The University of New Hampshire Law Review


[Excerpt] “There may have been a day in which most American legal matters involved one client and one lawyer, but that day has surely passed. People today travel widely, businesses sell their goods and services across the country, and activity of all sorts—both legal and illegal—can be carried out in cyberspace. In such a society the laws of multiple jurisdictions can be relevant to the broad range of client circumstances. At the same time, legal issues have become increasingly complex, forcing lawyers to make referrals to outside specialists. In addition, some transactions or litigation matters may simply be too large for one attorney or even one law firm to handle. The result of these and other forces is that it is quite common for a lawyer to represent a client in concert with lawyers from other firms. Unfortunately, the rules of ethics pay scant attention to these multiple-lawyer, multi-firm situations. Among the most basic issues facing lawyers who share a representation is the question of who is responsible for maintaining communications with the client. Much of the time, no doubt, little thought is given to the ethical requirements of communication, and the lawyers and client informally develop a group dynamic that successfully manages the flow of information. Nevertheless, in those instances in which problems arise, it may be necessary to ask which attorney has or had the responsibility to keep the client apprised of developments in the legal matter. This article will address that question.”

Repository Citation

Stephen C. Sieberson, Two Lawyers, One Client, and the Duty to Communicate: A Gap in Rules 1.2 and 1.4, 11 U.N.H. L. REV. 27 (2013), available at http://scholars.unh.edu/unh_lr/vol11/iss1/4