Monday, June 23, 2008

No Disqualification

The Supreme Judicial Court of Maine affirmed an order denying a motion to disqualify counsel in a divorce case. The husband had called an attorney's office to discuss his concerns after the wife had purchased a house without his knowledge. It was unclear whether or not he actually spoke to the attorney, but there was no further contact thereafter. A year later, the wife retained the lawyer. Here, the court concluded that the magistrate properly denied the motion to disqualify, as there was no attorney-client relationship with the husband, the "probability" that they never spoken and the attorney's office protocols to prevent conflicts. Practice point: this case makes clear the advisability of having such office protocols. (Mike Frisch)

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