1. Client-Lawyer Relationship
Related Opinions

ER 1.12.     Former Judge, Arbitrator, Mediator or Other Third-Party Neutral

(a) Except as stated in paragraph (d), a lawyer shall not represent anyone in connection with a matter in which the lawyer participated personally and substantially as a judge or other adjudicative officer or law clerk to such a person or as an arbitrator, mediator or other third-party neutral, unless all parties to the proceeding give informed consent confirmed in writing.
(b) A lawyer shall not negotiate for employment with any person who is involved as a party or as lawyer for a party in a matter in which the lawyer is participating personally and substantially as a judge or other adjudicative officer, or arbitrator, mediator or other third-party neutral.  A lawyer serving as a law clerk to a judge or other adjudicative officer or arbitrator may negotiate for employment with a party or lawyer involved in a matter in which the clerk is participating personally and substantially, but only after the lawyer has notified the judge or other adjudicative officer.
(c) If a lawyer is disqualified by paragraph (a), no lawyer in a firm with which that lawyer is associated may knowingly undertake or continue representation in the matter unless:

(1) the disqualified lawyer is timely screened from any participation in the matter and is apportioned no part of the fee therefrom; and
(2) written notice is promptly given to the parties and any appropriate tribunal to enable them to ascertain compliance with the provisions of this Rule, including a description of the particular screening procedures adopted; when they were adopted; a statement by the personally disqualified lawyer and the new firm that the parties' and tribunal's material confidential information has not been disclosed or used in violation of the Rules; and an agreement by the new firm to respond promptly to any written inquiries or objections by the parties or the tribunal about the screening procedure; and

(3) the personally disqualified lawyer and the new firm reasonably believe that the steps taken to accomplish the screening of material confidential information will be effective in preventing such information from being disclosed to the new firm and its client.

(d) An arbitrator selected as a partisan of a party in a multi-member arbitration panel is not prohibited from subsequently representing that party. 


[1] This Rule generally parallels ER 1.11.  The term "personally and substantially" signifies that a judge who was a member of a multi-member court, and thereafter left judicial office to practice law, is not prohibited from representing a client in a matter pending in the court, but in which the former judge did not participate.  The fact that a former judge exercised administrative responsibility in a court does not prevent the former judge from acting as a lawyer in a matter where the judge had previously exercised remote or incidental administrative responsibility that did not affect the merits.  The term "adjudicative officer" includes such officials as judges pro tempore, referees, special masters, hearing officers and other parajudicial officers, and also lawyers who serve as part-time judges.  Canons A(2), B(2) and C of the Model Code of Judicial Conduct provide that a part-time judge, judge pro tempore or retired judge recalled to active service, may not "act as a lawyer in any proceeding in which he served as a judge or in any other proceeding related thereto."  Although phrased differently from this Rule, those Rules correspond in meaning.

[2] Like former judges, lawyers who have served as arbitrators, mediators or other third-party neutrals may be asked to represent a client in a matter in which the lawyer participated personally and substantially.  This Rule forbids such representation unless all of the parties to the proceedings give their informed consent, confirmed in writing.  See ERs 1.0(e) and (b).  Other law or codes of ethics governing third-party neutrals may impose more stringent standards of personal or imputed disqualification.  See ER 2.4.

[3] Although lawyers who serve as third-party neutrals do not have information concerning the parties that is protected under ER 1.6, they typically owe the parties an obligation of confidentiality under law or codes of ethics governing third-party neutrals.  Thus, paragraph (c) provides that conflicts of the personally disqualified lawyer will be imputed to other lawyers in a law firm unless the conditions of this paragraph are met.

[4] Requirements for screening procedures are stated in ER 1.0(k).  Paragraph (c)(1) does not prohibit the screened lawyer from receiving a salary or partnership share established by prior independent agreement, but that lawyer may not receive compensation directly related to the matter in which the lawyer is disqualified.

[5] Notice, including a description of the screened lawyer's prior representation and of the screening procedures employed, generally should be given as soon as practicable after the need for screening becomes apparent.  When disclosure is likely to significantly injure the client, a reasonable delay may be justified.