Lawyers often seek disqualification of the opposing counsel based upon their conflicts of interest as a strategic measure to delay litigation and increase costs for the other side. For many years, courts presumed that parties unaffected by the conflict of interest had standing because of the lawyer's professional obligations to report violations of ethics rules. Recently, the United States Supreme Court has cast doubt on the standing of such parties. This article first gives a brief introduction to conflict of interest rules and standing, followed by an in-depth analysis of the state of the law. Ms. Johnson concludes with an application of the constitutional standing analysis, demonstrating that the requirements imposed upon non-clients who move for disqualification of opposing counsel actually furthers the purposes of conflicts rules rather than impeding them.
Northern Illinois University Law Review
"Standing to Raise a Conflict of Interest,"
Northern Illinois University Law Review: Vol. 23:
1, Article 3.
Ivy Johnson, Standing to Raise a Conflict of Interest, 23 N. Ill. U. L. Rev. 1 (2002).