8/15/12

Bresnahan Quoted in BNA Story on Lawyers’ Obligations to Clients

Related Practices

Attorneys & Professionals

Pamela Bresnahan, a partner in the Vorys Washington, D.C. office, was quoted in a BNA Lawyers’ Manual on Professional Conduct story titled “Speakers Try to Cabin Slippery Concept of Lawyers’ Fiduciary Obligation to Clients.”  The story was about a panel discussion that occurred at the Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers annual meeting.  Bresnahan served as a member of the panel, which was titled “Lawyers' Fiduciary Duty to Clients: How Far? How Wide? How Long?”

The story states:

“Bresnahan reported on a new case in which the plaintiff alleges that its longtime counsel on environmental matters ‘closed one file and went on to represent the state of Minnesota in an environmental matter against [it].’

In a declining economy, Bresnahan noted, it's getting harder and harder to avoid representing potential adversaries or competitors. For example, she explained, a firm has been representing one beverage company for a long time, but business is slowing, and the firm wants to start representing other beverage companies. Its longtime client feels betrayed.

Ellen Pansky of Pansky Markle Ham, South Pasadena, Cal., brought up waivers. Is a recitation in the retainer agreement that ‘you understand we represent others in the same business’ effective, she asked. Bresnahan said the answer depends upon whether the other representation involves a different subject matter, whether confidential information is involved, and how long the representation continues.”

To read the entire story, please visit the Bloomberg BNA website.