Risk Update

Conflicts Analysis 101 (and 201) — Training Materials & Scenario Walkthroughs

Scouring the internet for risk nuggets on a Sunday morning — hey, everyone needs a hobby — I came across an interesting resource. Linked below is workshop developed and presented by counsel for the University System of New Hampshire. Across a dozen pages, it provides a really excellent overview of several conflicts and professional responsibility issues, along with the step-by-step analysis and resolution of several hypotheticals and strands.

This all reminded me of a recent risk round table event I sat in on where the topic of staff training and development was in focus. I suspect we’ll see more interest in this arena as organizations navigate those challenges in 2021 and beyond.

For now, see:  “Ethics: Managing Conflicts of Interest, Attorney Client Privilege, and Other Thorny Issues when Serving as Foundation Legal Counsel or Working with Your Campus Foundation” —

  • “Assume for purposes of this part of the outline that you serve as counsel to a university. Do you also, by virtue of your status as corporate counsel, serve as counsel to all the university’s subsidiaries and affiliates—including a separately incorporated supporting foundation?”
  • “Obviously, if the university’s lawyer is not the foundation’s lawyer, then there’s no conflict possibility to analyze. But if corporate or ethical or other precepts assign to that lawyer the responsibility for corporate subsidiaries and affiliates, there might be if the corporation and its affiliate are adverse to one another. So the follow-up question is whether, if the university’s lawyer does function as counsel to the
    foundation, there is a potential conflict. Under what circumstances? How can a putative conflict be managed or mitigated?”
  • “We come, then, to the second strand of our analysis. Assume that one lawyer represents both university and foundation. Under what circumstances does that “concurrent representation,” to use the nomenclature in Rule 1.7, give rise to potential conflicts of interest? And how can conflicts be mitigated? Let’s examine the text of Rule 1.7, with some annotations:”

For more, see the complete workshop.