When Associates Leave- The Ethical Problem of Client Notification
|關鍵字:||受僱律師;離職通知;當事人選擇律師之權利;促使轉委任;招攬;associates;notice of leaving;protection of client’s interest;choice of counsel;solicitation|
When associates leave original firms to join other firms or to start their own business, “notifications of leaving” would usually be given. In Taiwan, the issue of giving clients such notification seldom catches the attention of practitioners and scholars, and basically there are no standards to follow. In the U.S, disputes about giving such notifications had been put to an end due to ABA’s Formal Op. 99-414. ABA opined that clients’ interests should always come first, and it classified clients into several groups: 1. associates “should” give notices to clients whose cases are now in the ongoing procedure, 2. it is “better” for associates to give notifications to clients who have had prior professional relationships with them due to the trust they had before, and 3. associates “may” choose to notify clients who do not belong to the above two groups. The concern for interests of associates and original firms is reflected on the content, timing and method of notification. After examining solutions proposed by the U.S and results of empirical studies, this thesis proposes the following structure, hoping to provide standards of notification. First, clients should be classified. When associates are in retainer agreements with clients, the interests of these clients should come first because they deserve higher level of protection. The interests of original firms can be protected by the timing and method of the notification. As to clients who are not in retainer agreements with associates, the interests of associates and their original firms come first. However, the protection for these clients cannot be overlooked, and laws of solicitation should still be obeyed. As to clients who once retained associates, notification may be given. Associates may urge the clients to sever their relationships with the firm, and laws of solicitation should be obeyed. For clients who once retained other lawyers in the original firms, notification should not be given before the departure. When there is a covenant not to compete, notification should not be given during the non-competition time period.
|Appears in Collections:||Thesis|
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