Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Eastern District sets out conflict rules for lawyers

One of the games that used to be played by folks wanting a dissolution of their marriage was to go "lawyer shopping" with all of the top domestic firms in their area. The point of the game wasn't really to find a lawyer - although one of the firms was generally hired. The real point of the game was to keep the party's spouse from using any of those firms.

Then, along comes the Eastern District Court of Appeals in Thompson v. Dueker, decided on August 9th of this year. The Eastern District said that just making the rounds of the local domestic attorneys isn't enough. Now information that's provided has to be "significantly harmful" if used against the prospective client.

This decision should slow down - or stop the "lawyer shopping" game and level the playing field for both parties.