Client Consent to Future Conflicts Will Not Apply Where Disclosure is Inadequate

David P. Atkins and Marcy Tench Stovall
ABA/BNA Lawyers' Manual on Professional Conduct

On August 30, 2018, in a long-awaited decision, the California Supreme Court weighed in on a question of increasing significance to law firms: under what circumstances will a conflict waiver contained in an initial client engagement agreement be deemed enforceable when a conflict of interest might arise later in the firm's representation of a different client? David P. Atkins, a member of Pullman & Comley's Litigation Department and leader of its Professional Liability Section, and Marcy Tench Stovall, an attorney in Pullman & Comley's Professional Liability Section, examine the decision of Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton, LLP v. J-M Manufacturing Co., Inc., and discuss important lessons for law firms on the use of prospective conflict waivers.

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