Informal Opinion Number: 930156

Rules: 1.7;1.10;7.5(f)
Client-Lawyer Relationship
Conflict of Interest: General Rule
Summary: shared conflicts of interest due to joint advertising

QUESTION: Attorney A and Attorney B share office space. Attorney A represents clients in an adoption. Attorney B was appointed GAL when A and B did not share offices. Attorney A and B ran a joint advertisement with a general heading “law offices” and their joint address. Their individual names and phone numbers also appeared. Is it a conflict for B to be the GAL? ANSWER: Yes, the advertisement implies a relationship between the attorneys. Therefore, A and B will be treated as a firm for conflict of interest purposes, including imputed disqualification.

Informal Opinions are ethics advisory opinions issued by the Office of Legal Ethics Counsel to members of the Bar about Rule 4 (Rules of Professional Conduct), Rule 5 (Complaints and Proceedings Thereon), and Rule 6 (Fees to Practice Law) pursuant to Missouri Supreme Court Rule 5.30(c). Written summaries of select Informal Opinions are published for informational purposes as determined by the Advisory Committee of the Supreme Court of Missouri pursuant to Rule 5.30(c). Informal opinion summaries are advisory in nature and are not binding. These opinions are published as an educational service and do not constitute legal advice.

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