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.
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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