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End-of-life notice: American Legal Ethics Library

As of March 1, 2013, the Legal Information Institute is no longer maintaining the information in the American Legal Ethics Library. It is no longer possible for us to maintain it at a level of completeness and accuracy given its staffing needs. It is very possible that we will revive it at a future time. At this point, it is in need of a complete technological renovation and reworking of the "correspondent firm" model which successfully sustained it for many years.

Many people have contributed time and effort to the project over the years, and we would like to thank them. In particular, Roger Cramton and Peter Martin not only conceived ALEL but gave much of their own labor to it. We are also grateful to Brad Wendel for his editorial contributions, to Brian Toohey and all at Jones Day for their efforts, and to all of our correspondents and contributors. Thank you.

We regret any inconvenience.

Some portions of the collection may already be severely out of date, so please be cautious in your use of this material.


Connecticut Legal Ethics

1.12   Rule 1.12 Former Judge or Arbitrator

1.12:100   Comparative Analysis of Connecticut Rule

Primary Connecticut References: CT Rule 1.12
Background References: ABA Model Rule 1.12, Other Jurisdictions
Commentary:
Connecticut Commentary:

1.12:101      Model Rule Comparison

Conn. Rule 1.12 is identical to Model Rule 1.12.

1.12:102      Model Code Comparison

Paragraph (a) is substantially similar to DR 9-101(A), which provided that a lawyer "shall not accept private employment in a matter upon the merits of which he has acted in a judicial capacity." Paragraph (a) differs, however, in that it is broader in scope and states more specifically the persons to whom it applies. There is no counterpart in the Model Code to paragraphs (b), (c) or (d).

With regard to arbitrators, EC 5-20 stated that "a lawyer [who] has undertaken to act as an impartial arbitrator or mediator, ... should not thereafter represent in the dispute any of the parties involved." DR 9-101(A) did not permit a waiver of the disqualification applied to former judges by consent of the parties. However, DR 5-105(C) was similar in effect and could be construed to permit waiver.

1.12:200   Former Judge or Arbitrator Representing Client in Same Matter

Primary Connecticut References: CT Rule 1.12(a)
Background References: ABA Model Rule 1.12(a), Other Jurisdictions
Commentary:
Connecticut Commentary:

There appear to be no pertinent Connecticut court decisions or ethics opinions on this subject.

1.12:300   Negotiating for Future Employment

Primary Connecticut References: CT Rule 1.12(b)
Background References: ABA Model Rule 1.12(b), Other Jurisdictions
Commentary:
Connecticut Commentary:

Informal Opinion 98-3 (1998) discussed whether an attorney, while a member of the Judicial Selection Commission, may represent private clients in adversarial proceedings in the court of the State of Connecticut. While the Committee stated that there was no per se prohibition of this representation, the Committee cautioned that potential conflicts could arise in front of a particular judge whose re-appointment was pending and the attorney and judge may have an obligation to have the matter heard by another judge.

1.12:400   Screening to Prevent Imputed Disqualification

Primary Connecticut References: CT Rule 1.12(c)
Background References: ABA Model Rule 1.12(c), Other Jurisdictions
Commentary:
Connecticut Commentary:

There appear to be no pertinent Connecticut court decisions or ethics opinions on this subject.

1.12:500   Partisan Arbitrators Selected by Parties to Dispute

Primary Connecticut References: CT Rule 1.12(d)
Background References: ABA Model Rule 1.12(d), Other Jurisdictions
Commentary:
Connecticut Commentary:

In Dobuzinsky v. Middlesex Mutual Assurance Co., No. 376243, 1995 WL 574769, *1 (Conn. Super. Sept. 22, 1995), the defendant filed a motion to disqualify the law firm of plaintiff's attorney, on the ground that the attorney previously acted as an arbitrator in proceedings involving an uninsured motorist's claim against the defendant. In the present action, the record did not support a finding that the defendant would be harmed by the attorney's representation of the plaintiff. Moreover the plaintiff did not present facts that supported a finding of a conflict of interest and the defendant did not offer any relevant case law to support the disqualification of plaintiff's attorney or his law firm. After considering these facts and ethics opinions, the court denied defendant's motion to disqualify the law firm of plaintiff's attorney.

Informal Opinion 99-32 (1999) held that Conn. Rule 1.12 applies to a practicing attorney appointed as a referee. The Committee concluded that a lawyer acting as a state referee should minimize the appearance of partiality and (a) request assignment to hear cases in court locations where the lawyer's litigation practice is ordinarily not conducted; (b) take whatever actions possible to not hear cases of lawyers with whom the referee has continuing legal/business arrangements; and (c) make full disclosure of possible conflicts to the parties.