Sunday, December 24, 2006

Mediation Ethics in California: No DQ For Joint Representation

"A California appeals court has held that a party in mediation cannot disqualify a lawyer who jointly represents two other parties with different interests," summarizes Ben Cowgill here in his Legal Ethics Newsletter, and links the opinion helpfully. 56528_cali

More than anything, the decision to reverse the trial court's order of disqualification in this context came down to standing--the lack of an ability to complain by the party having no affected confidentiality interest.  The Court of Appeal said:  "We have identified no ethical consideration that would mandate application of a mediation-disqualification rule whenever parties who knowingly consent to joint representation participate in mediation, particularly where the Legislature expressed no such intent."  [Alan Childress]

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