Thursday, July 9, 2009

Attorney Conflict Opinion

In Schulte v. Agnus, et al (3D09-1529), the Third DCA denied a petition for certiorari relating to an attempt to disqualify counsel. In the trial court, the party sought to disqualify counsel based upon Rule 4-1.7(a) of the Rules Regulating the Florida Bar.

Allegedly, the petitioner sought to disqualify the counsel for the respondent based upon his prior representation of the petitioner. The trial court originally granted a motion to disqualify counsel and then reversed its decision on rehearing.

As the Third DCA recognized, the problem with the argument is the Rule the petitioner relied upon solely relates to current representation. The petitioner should have sought to remove counsel for the respondent based upon Rule 4-1.9. Rule 4-1.9 governs conflicts between attorneys and former clients.


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