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Conflict question: in house attorney

My friend Billy Bob works for company A as an in house attor imoothereforeim04/26/18
If he goes to company B then company A becomes a “former c onehell04/26/18
Billy Bob is Gucci. Just "build" and document your firewall isthisit04/26/18
imoothereforeim (Apr 26, 2018 - 9:37 am)

My friend Billy Bob works for company A as an in house attorney. Company A is in litigation with company B. Billy Bob did not work on the litigation.

Billy Bob faces layoff at company A and company B is firing. You see where this is going.

Is there a conflict for Billy Bob to work for company B?


*can we end this conflict nonsense? Billybob is just a working stiff. How is this fair to Billy Bob? Let's not pretend attorney is a profession. Its just a freaking clerk job.

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onehell (Apr 26, 2018 - 10:13 am)

If he goes to company B then company A becomes a “former client” to which different rules apply. You can never represent current clients against each other no matter how unrelated the cases may be, but you can represent a current client against a former client if it is not “the same or a substantially related matter” or if the former client gives informed consent and no confidential information learned during the former representation is used.

So as long as he has severed all ties with company A and is walled off from the litigation with company A or any substantially related matter, he can work in house at company B. Company A could also sign a waiver with informed consent removing even that restriction, though I don’t know why they would and even if they did you still can’t use privileged or confidential info acquired from the former representation against the former client. See mr1.9.

As a practical matter, most in house lawyers don’t litigate anyway; they farm that out. So it shouldn’t be that much of an obstacle as long as company B isn’t hiring him thinking they’ll get the inside scoop on this litigation. Company B just needs to know going in that unless company A signs a waiver they’re going to have to put a Chinese wall between your friend and the litigation against company A.

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isthisit (Apr 26, 2018 - 10:43 am)

Billy Bob is Gucci. Just "build" and document your firewall between Billy Bob and the current litigation at Company B.

Your local rules may vary.

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