Ethics Counsel

Ethics Opinion No. 161

Adopted October 8, 1952

Messrs. Carder & Carder,

Baker Building,

Hobart, Oklahoma.

Attention: Mr. Clayton Carder.


“Your letter of May 12, 1952, has been referred to the Legal Ethics and Statewide Disciplinary Action Committee of the Oklahoma Bar Association. This question is covered by Canon No. 6 of Professional Ethics. The second and third paragraph of Canon 6 is as follows:

‘It is unprofessional to represent conflicting interests, except by express consent of all concerned given after a full disclosure of the facts. Within the meaning of this canon, a lawyer represents conflicting interests when, in behalf of one client, it is his duty to contend for that which duty to another client requires him to oppose.

‘The obligation to represent the client with undivided fidelity and not to divulge his secrets or confidences forbids also the subsequent acceptance of retainers or employment from others in matters adversely affecting any interest of the client with respect to which confidence has been reposed.’

Predicated upon the facts stated in your letter of May 12, the Committee is of the opinion that no apparent confliction [sic] of interests exists.

It may develop that you will be a necessary witness in one of these actions. If that fact should occur, you may find yourself in violation of Canon No. 19 of our Professional Ethics. However, we are unable to express an opinion relative to this factor unless this condition would arise and the circumstances were before us for decision.

It is, therefore, our belief that you are not disqualified to act as attorney for the surviving partner in the District Court cases.

Yours truly,

Gerald B. Klein

The above opinion was prepared by Mr. Gerald B. Klein, a member of the Committee.