83-F-51 - Attorney taking over attorney files

 

BOARD OF PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY OF THE SUPREME COURT OF TENNESSEE

FORMAL ETHICS OPINION 83-F-51


Inquiry is made as to whether or not a confidential relationship exists between attorneys when one is called upon to take over the files of the other and the obligation to report ethical violations discovered after having acquired the files.

Disciplinary Rule 1-103 of the Code of Professional Responsibility provides:

DR 1-103 Disclosure of Information to Authorities.

(A) A lawyer possessing unprivileged knowledge of a clear violation of DR 1-102 shall report such knowledge to a tribunal or other authority empowered to investigate or act upon such violation.

(B) A lawyer possessing unprivileged knowledge or evidence concerning another lawyer or a judge shall reveal fully such knowledge or evidence upon proper request of a tribunal or other authority empowered to investigate or act upon the conduct of lawyers or judges.

The only exception to the requirements of DR 1-103 is knowledge or information gained in an attorney-client relationship coupled with an expectation of privilege.

There is no confidential relationship between attorneys when one is called upon to take over the files of another attorney.

This 12th day of August , 1983.

ETHICS COMMITTEE:

Edwin C. Townsend
W. J. Flippin
Henry H. Hancock

APPROVED AND ADOPTED BY THE BOARD