83-F-51 - Attorney taking over attorney files

FORMAL ETHICS OPINION 83-F-51


Inquiry is made as to whether or not a confidential relationship exists
between attorneys when one is called upon to take over the files of the
other and the obligation to report ethical violations discovered after having
acquired the files.


Disciplinary Rule 1-103 of the Code of Professional Responsibility provides:
DR 1-103 Disclosure of Information to Authorities.
(A) A lawyer possessing unprivileged knowledge of a
clear violation of DR 1-102 shall report such
knowledge to a tribunal or other authority
empowered to investigate or act upon such
violation.
(B) A lawyer possessing unprivileged knowledge or
evidence concerning another lawyer or a judge shall
reveal fully such knowledge or evidence upon
proper request of a tribunal or other authority
empowered to investigate or act upon the conduct of
lawyers or judges.
The only exception to the requirements of DR 1-103 is knowledge or information gained
in an attorney-client relationship coupled with an expectation of privilege.
There is no confidential relationship between attorneys when one is called upon to take
over the files of another attorney.
This 12th day of August , 1983.
ETHICS COMMITTEE:
Edwin C. Townsend
W. J. Flippin
Henry H. Hancock
APPROVED AND ADOPTED BY THE BOARD