"Attorney Should Anticipate Possible Conflicts Before Representing Company and Employee," BNA's Employment Discrimination Report
This article discusses the recent PA Bar Association's Formal Op. on groundwork that needs to be laid before an attorney can represent both a corporate client and one or more of its constituents, in order to prevent discord. Littler's Rob Pritchard notes that "In the past, management-side employment lawyers in Pennsylvania had little guidance with respect to their ethical duties when asked to represent both a corporate client and an employee of that client in employment litigation." Pritchard also added, "Questions about the circumstances under which such joint representations were even permissible, what to do about confidential information that one client did not want to disclose to the other, and how to manage conflicts that might arise as the case proceeded remained unresolved. Op. 2006-200 answered many of these questions. While the opinion generally tracks language from the 2005 amendments to the Pennsylvania Rules of Professional Conduct, its significance cannot be understated, particularly for lawyers who have historically treated the corporation as their 'primary' client and the employee as their 'secondary' client."