Ethics and Drafting Effective Conflict of Interest Waivers

Monday May 1, 2017

One of the bedrock principles of law practice is that clients are entitled to the absolute loyalty of their lawyers. Clients should not be concerned that their interests are compromised by a lawyer’s duty to other current or former clients, third parties, or by the lawyer’s own personal interests. The competing principle is that clients should be able to choose whoever they would like to represent them. When these two principles collide in the form of current or prospective conflicts, the only ethical resolution is a client’s informed consent to a written waiver of the conflict. But it easier said than accomplished. Effective waivers must be carefully drafted to ensure the client is informed of the conflict and its consequences to their interests. The challenge grows when the waiver purports to be in advance of any current conflict. How do you “inform” a client of a conflict that does not yet exist and may never exist? This program will provide you with a real-world guide to the rules governing conflict waivers, the types of waivers, and how to draft them to avoid future dispute and discipline.
Handout Materials Will be Emailed to You Prior to the Seminar

Starts 12:00 p.m.
1.0, including 1 hour of ethics MCLE Credit Hours

• Drafting effective waivers of conflicts of interest in litigation and transactions
• How advance waivers differ substantially from waivers of current conflicts
• Essential elements of effective waivers and ensuring there is “informed” consent
• Types of advance waivers – stating subject area, adverse parties, neither or both
• Sources of rules and practical guidance on drafting waivers
• Common mistakes made in drafting waivers
• Consequences of ineffective waivers – discipline, disqualification, litigation, loss of fees


William Freivogel, Freivogel Ethics Consulting – Chicago