Obligations of Local Counsel Under Pennsylvania R.P.C.

December 18, 2019 at 12:30pm1:30pm
Professional Responsibility Committee
Philadelphia Bar Association

1101 Market St., 11th Fl. Conference Center

Philadelphia, PA 19107

A lawyer hired to serve as 'local counsel' is immediately confronted with ethical and practical questions.  And, the 'wrong' answer to any of those questions can lead to significant professional problems. 

Join your colleagues and hear the panelists who specialize in ethics and professional responsibility answer the following questions and much more:

  • Does 'local counsel' have customary ethical obligations to the hiring lawyer, and/or to that lawyer's client?
  • Does 'local counsel' in litigation have obligations beyond those of ‘local counsel’ in a transaction matter?
  • If 'local counsel' in litigation does have additional obligations, what are they, and to whom are they owed?
  • Must 'local counsel' have an engagement agreement with the client?
  • Can 'local counsel' limit the scope of the representation? If so, how?
  • Can serving as mere 'local counsel' be used to disqualify you from future representations, on basis of conflict of interest?
  • If lead counsel is using a strategy which 'local counsel' believes is ineffective, what, if any, obligations does local counsel have?
  • Does 'local counsel' ever have an obligation to go around lead counsel, and report directly to the client?
  • What is the reason that the term 'local counsel' is in quotes?