Advisory Opinion: 1569

Year Issued: 1994

RPC(s): RPC 1.7

Subject: Conflict of interest; law firm representing witness at deposition in case in which firm represents party


The Rules of Professional Conduct (RPC) Committee reviewed your ethics inquiry regarding whether an attorney can represent a pastor at a deposition if his associate attorney is representing the defendant in the same lawsuit. It was the Committee's opinion that as long as the deposition testimony of the pastor is not harmful or detrimental to the other client of your law firm, then no conflict of interest is presented. When it becomes reasonably likely that the pastor's testimony will become adverse to your firm's other client, then you would have a conflict that might not only require you to withdraw from continuing to represent the pastor, but might disqualify your law firm from continuing to represent the defendant.

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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.