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Duty Requires Reporting Fellow Attorney Mental Issue, DC Bar Says

Oct. 21, 2019, 9:42 PM

Attorneys have ethical obligations to their clients when another lawyer in their firm or government agency is mentally impaired to the extent that it threatens client interests, the D.C. Bar’s legal ethics committee advised.

Every attorney has to report to the appropriate authority an impaired lawyer who’s acted in a way to raise a “substantial question” about honesty, trustworthiness or fitness to practice law, unless such disclosure would be prohibited under the duty of confidentiality owed to clients,” according to the opinion published on the bar’s website Oct. 17.

Even if the impaired lawyer leaves the firm, attorneys still may ...