This article examines the issue of standing for disqualification motions based on an attorney’s representation of a client with interest adverse to those of a former client of the attorney. The article focuses on the appropriateness of granting standing to nonclients to make disqualification motions, particularly when the former client has not objected to the attorney’s alleged conflict of interest. First, the article examines the Model Code of Professional Responsibility provisions implicated when an attorney is charged with a conflict of interest between present and former clients to discern what rights the Code wanted to safeguard. Second, this article considers the standing of the former client to determine whose rights are being protected when he moves to disqualify and to provide a frame of reference for the analysis of nonclient standing. Finally, the bulk of this article focuses on the propriety of permitting nonclients to make disqualification motions. This article suggests that courts will provide better, long-term protection for the interests the Code seeks to safeguard by curtailing the standing rights of nonclients to make disqualification motions.
Andra Barmash Greene, Everybody's Doing It—But Who Should Be? Standing to Make a Disqualification Motion Based on an Attorney's Representation of a Client with Interests Adverse to Those of a Former Client, 6 SEATTLE U. L. REV. 205 (1983).