(3) I do not consider a "present client" to have become a "former client" until the conclusion of the legal matter for which I was contracted to work.
By following the screening process outlined above, any conflicts of interest and imputed disqualification* can be avoided without difficulty.
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*Most states have not addressed the issue of imputed qualification as it relates to contract lawyers, either through formal opinions or case law. Much of the American Bar Association's Formal Opinion 88-356 concerns the factual analysis appropriate for determining whether a temporary or contract lawyer is "associated with" a firm for purposes of the imputed disqualification rule (ABA Model Rule 1.10).
In Kentucky, the state supreme court has adopted verbatim substantial portions of ABA Formal Opinion 88-356 in its advisory opinion in Oliver v. Board of Governors, Kentucky Bar Ass'n, 779 SW 2d 212, 217 (Ky. 1989). See the Oliver opinion here. Although Oliver primarily concerns "temporary lawyers" who work through placement agencies (rather than independent contractors), the Oliver court's analysis makes clear that following a careful screening process will allow contract attorneys and hiring firms to avoid imputed disqualification without difficulty.