Advisory Opinion: 1205

Year Issued: 1988

RPC(s): RPC 1.9

Subject: Conflict of interest; client confidences and secrets; lawyer who wrote wills for both husband and wife wishes to represent husband in dissolution


The Committee considered your inquiry concerning whether you may undertake to represent a husband in a dissolution proceeding where you wrote wills for both the husband and wife in 1975. The Committee was of the opinion that in drafting the wills you necessarily obtained confidences and secrets from both clients and therefore, you could not now undertake to represent the husband adversely to the wife without complying with RPC 1.9.

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Advisory Opinions are provided for the education of the Bar and reflect the opinion of the Committee on Professional Ethics (CPE) or its predecessors. Advisory Opinions are provided pursuant to the authorization granted by the Board of Governors, but are not individually approved by the Board and do not reflect the official position of the Bar association. Laws other than the Washington State Rules of Professional Conduct may apply to the inquiry. The Committee's answer does not include or opine about any other applicable law other than the meaning of the Rules of Professional Conduct.