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Ethics of Joint Representations: Keeping Secrets & Telling Tales

April 10, 2020 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Joint representation in litigation is fraught with potential conflicts of interest among the jointly represented parties.  There are substantial issues related to decision-making, information flows, confidentiality, and loyalty.  Any of these issues, if not carefully explained to clients and documented in written waivers, may lead to dramatically adverse results for clients – and expose the lawyer to ethics complaints and potential discipline.  This program will provide you with a practical guide to the substantial ethical issues in joint representations in litigation and how to navigate them.

Handout Materials will be emailed to you prior to the seminar
1.0 MCLE Credit Hours, including 1 ethics hour


  • Forms of joint representations – separate representation on same matter v. joint representation on same matter
  • Information flows under “keep secrets” and “no secrets” agreements
  • Information flows in the absence of any agreement – what happens when there are no guardrails?
  • Loyalty issues – managing inherent conflicts of interest and the use of advance waivers
  • Voluntary and inadvertent creation of joint representations
  • Attorney-client privilege ramifications in a later arising dispute among jointly represented clients


Elizabeth Treubert Simon, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP – Washington, DC

Thomas E. Spahn, McGuire Woods LLP – McLean, Virginia