“You happened to be one of the lucky attorneys who got hired at a big New York City law firm before the economic crisis, but recently found yourself among the many that are laid off and looking for a new job at another firm. A potential employer is interested, but after submitting the vast list of cases and clients that you have actively worked on, it declines to hire you because of a conflict of interest that it is unwilling to risk. This problem is real and alive more today than ever before. New York failed to address this problem in its recently adopted ethics rules that do not include a provision allowing for the use of screens for laterally moving attorneys. Unfortunately, this leaves the state’s law firms and courts with no clear standard to follow and hampers the mobility of lateral moving attorneys in an already depressed economy. …”
This article by Fallyn B. Reichert of Goldberg Segalla’s Global Insurance Services Practice Group offers a brief introduction on the use of screening and discusses the main arguments for and against allowing non-consensual lateral screening, including identification of the multiple situations where the New York Rules currently allow screening and discusses the evolution of screening through decisions from the state and federal courts deciding on motions to disqualify counsel (commonly favoring screening over imputed disqualification).