March 15, 2009
ABA Muffs Attempt to Draft Screening Rule
The ABA thought it was tackling great controversy when it debated a rule which, it thought, permitted 'screening" of lawyers who leave one firm and go to another: the new firm would not be disqualified by imputation if the lawyer was "screened off."
I saw the rule, and when I read it, I wrote (on another blog) about how it applied to lawyers while they are at a firm -- not when they come to a firm. Lo and behold, after they voted on the amendment, they apparently read it, and realized it does far more than what, they say, they were intending to do.
My co-blogger on legalethicsforum.com has written it up here
Luckily, the ABA rule binds no one and so the states can avoid the same problem.
Intent over plain meaning!