ABA Rules For Departing Attys Set Unprecedented Limits

Law360 (January 24, 2020, 4:53 PM EST) -- On Dec. 4, the American Bar Association's Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility published ABA Opinion 489.[1] The opinion imposes new — and significant — restrictions on firms' ability to require departing lawyers to abide by fixed notice periods before transitioning to a new firm.

ABA Opinion 489, titled "Obligations Related to Notice When Lawyers Change Firms," is bold: It states that fixed notice periods can be unenforceable, and that firms cannot prohibit a departing lawyer from contacting clients absent client consent.

One day before the opinion came out, Law360 published an article highlighting recent criticism of long notice periods...

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