Professional Responsibility


Screening is the isolation of a lawyer from any participation in a matter through the timely imposition of procedures within a firm that are reasonably adequate under the circumstances to protect information that the isolated lawyer is obligated to protect under these Rules or other law. Rule 1.0(k).

Screening is permitted in six situations:

  • When a lawyer has conflict from his association with a prior firm (Rule 1.10(a)(2))
  • When a lawyer has a conflict from a personal interest that does not have a significant risk of materially impacting the other lawyers' representation (Rule 1.10(a)(1))
  • When a former nonlawyer employee has become a lawyer (Rule 1.10, Comment 4)
  • When a government lawyer entered a firm (Rule 1.11)
  • When a lawyer received confidential information from a prospective client who did not become a client (Rule 1.18)
  • When a lawyer is disqualified because he was a judge, law clerk, arbitrator, or something similar. (Rule 1.12)

When a screening begins, a letter must be sent to the former client informing them of the screening procedures and that they have the right to challenge them in court.