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The final Ethics 2000 Report was submitted to the House of Delegates and was approved by that body February 5, 2002. In August of 2001, the House of Delegates approved the Ethics 2000 Report of the Ethics 2000 Commission (Commission), with several exceptions. Those exceptions have now been acted on and as acted on by the Commission have been approved by the House of Delegates. Several of these significant changes have significance to Family Law practitioners.
RULE 1.18: DUTIES TO PROSPECTIVE CLIENT
This is a new provision in the Rules of Professional Responsibility and is particularly significant where one spouse has interviewed a divorce lawyer for shopping purposes, without retaining that lawyer, and the other spouse subsequently comes to the same office. New Rule 1.18 as created, modified, and adopted in February 2002 provides that even if the first lawyer receives disqualifying information from the first spouse to come in the office, representation of the second appearing spouse is permissible by some other lawyer in the firm, if: (1) the first lawyer took no more disqualifying information than necessary to determine whether to represent the prospective client; (2) the disqualified lawyer is timely screened from any participation in the matter and is apportioned no part of the fee from the matter; and (3) written notice is promptly given …