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Some portions of the collection may already be severely out of date, so please be cautious in your use of this material.

Alaska Rules of Professional Conduct


Comment - Rule 2.2

Under this rule, it is contemplated that a lawyer may act as an intermediary between two or more parties with potentially conflicting interests. In the examples noted in the third paragraph of the ABA comment, a lawyer may act as a intermediary in helping organize a business with two or more clients, or perhaps arranging a property distribution in the settlement of an estate. The Committee thought that a divorce, dissolution, custody dispute, alimony dispute, child support dispute, or marital property settlement dispute was not on the same level as a business organization or an estate dispute.

The emotional content of any marital dispute, any child custody dispute, or any marital property dispute is almost always substantially higher than any other dispute. The potential for claims of lack of impartiality, claims of lack of preservation of client confidences, and claims of material prejudice to one party were thought to be very high in these situations. The potential for claims of this nature from one of these parties after the intermediation is completed is so high, that it was determined to be virtually impossible for a single lawyer to act as an intermediary in the divorce or dissolution context. Therefore, it is prohibited under Rule 2.2(d).

Paragraph (d) does not preclude a lawyer from acting as a mediator or arbitrator in a domestic relations case where it is clear the lawyer is not representing either party in that proceeding.