In the unfortunate case of a claim, hedging problems may arise when a related company has worked on a case in which counsel for the lawyer was not involved or aware of. Unfortunately, his name was mentioned on the letterhead, so he can be cited as an accused. If the lawyer`s lawyer is not covered by the company`s behaviour policy, there may be a considerable problem, because the lawyer`s own policy will often not be covered. Or at least there will be a „denial of coverage“ between insurance agencies that resign themselves to health insurance. What for? Its policy only applies to work carried out on behalf of the insured`s clients who, in many cases, is not the related company. This type of „client,“ „who is the registration lawyer“ and „who is the designated insured“ are frequent challenges that underscore the need to address and address insurance coverage issues at an early stage. Adequate coverage for the associated company and lawyer`s exposures can usually be obtained as long as the problem is addressed from the outset. My experience, although very limited, is that these insurance coverage issues are not taken into account when this amorphous relationship is established. The ABA and California rules allow a lawyer to hold one or more „counsel“ names and have a separate source of work, provided that the companies involved properly monitor and clarify conflicts and comply with all applicable ethical rules. In particular, state Bar of California Standing Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct Opinion Formal (COPRAC) 1993-129 finds that „the number of relationships“ of consultants „in which a member or law firm can serve is not limited by a strict numerical standard … In theory, the law firm „O“ can serve as „counsel“ for the law firms „A,“ „B“ and „C.“ Law firms may decide to keep cases in-house with the assistance of a contract/independent lawyer on the basis of a project or to cooperate consistently with a lawyer who acts as an „advisor“ for their law firm, provided that the lawyers concerned properly resolve conflicts of interest and exercise the advertising obligations.
Law firms can also transfer the case to other law firms ethically. Relationships between lawyers of different companies can benefit both financially and in the quality of the representation of lawyers and clients. Any lawyer or law firm considering a „Von Counsel“ relationship must also understand the conflict of interest rules that a von Counsel denomination creates in their respective states. California Rule of Professional Conduct 3-310 resolves lawyers` disputes regardless of whether a lawyer is a partner, lawyer or fixed-term lawyer and prohibits a lawyer from accepting or pursuing client representation where a real or potential conflict affects the member`s representation. After nearly 50 years in the practice of law, I have met the term „Du Counsel“ several times and I have never bothered, other than being curious, to study the actual definition and ethical nature of the relationship. In my nine years as a member of the Illinois Attorneys` Registration and Disciplinary Commission Review Panel, the last three as President, and for any number of years prior to being a member of the ARDC hearing body, we have never had an ethical question, a lawyer`s charges or been compelled to review and apply a definition of the lawyer`s mandate. I have never seen it as a problem in a complaint, as a practicing lawyer, including the more than 20 years I have served on the claims committee of the Illinois State Bar Association/Mutual Insurance Company.