Rule 1.12 Former Judge or Arbitrator

(a) Except as stated in paragraph (d), a lawyer shall not represent anyone in connection with a matter in which the lawyer participated personally and substantially as a judge or other adjudicative officer or law clerk or staff attorney to such a person or as an arbitrator, unless all parties to the proceeding give informed consent, confirmed in writing.

(b) A lawyer shall not negotiate for employment with any person who is involved as a party or as lawyer for a party in a matter in which the lawyer is participating personally and substantially as a judge or other adjudicative officer or as an arbitrator. A lawyer serving as a staff attorney to a court or as a law clerk to a judge or other adjudicative officer or arbitrator may negotiate for employment with a party or lawyer involved in a matter in which the lawyer is participating personally and substantially, but only after the lawyer has notified the court, judge, other adjudicative officer, or arbitrator.

(c) If a lawyer is disqualified by paragraph (a), no lawyer in a firm with which that lawyer is associated may knowingly undertake or continue representation in the matter unless both the disqualified lawyer and the lawyers representing the client in the matter have complied with the requirements set forth in RPC 1.11(b)(1), (b)(2), and (b)(3) and have advised the appropriate tribunal in writing of the circumstances that warranted the utilization of the screening procedures required by this Rule and the actions that have been taken to comply with this Rule.

(d) An arbitrator selected as a partisan of a party in a multimember arbitration panel is not prohibited from subsequently representing that party.


[1] This Rule generally parallels RPC 1.11. The term “personally and substantially” signifies that a judge who was a member of a multimember court, and thereafter left judicial office to practice law, is not prohibited from representing a client in a matter pending in the court, but in which the former judge did not participate. So also the fact that a former judge exercised administrative responsibility in a court does not prevent the former judge from acting as a lawyer in a matter where the judge had previously exercised remote or incidental administrative responsibility that did not affect the merits. Compare the Comment to RPC 1.11. The term “adjudicative officer” includes such officials as judges pro tempore, referees, special masters, hearing officers and other parajudicial officers, and also lawyers who serve as part-time judges. The provisions of Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 10 concerning the Application of the Code of Judicial Conduct provide that a part-time judge, judge pro tempore, or retired judge recalled to active service may not “act as a lawyer in any proceeding in which the judge has served as a judge or in any other proceeding related thereto.” Although phrased differently from this Rule, those Rules correspond in meaning.

[2] Like former judges, lawyers who have served as arbitrators may be asked to represent a client in a matter in which the lawyer participated personally and substantially. This Rule forbids such representation, unless all of the parties to the proceedings give their informed consent, confirmed in writing. See RPC 1.0(e) and (b). Other law or codes of ethics governing third-party neutrals may impose more stringent standards of personal or imputed disqualification. See RPC 2.4.

[3] [Intentionally omitted]

[4] Requirements for screening procedures are stated in RPC 1.0(k) and RPC 1.0, Comments [8]-[10].

[5] Notice, including a description of the screened lawyer’s prior representation and of the screening procedures employed, generally should be given as soon as practicable after the need for screening becomes apparent.

Definitional Cross-References

“Confirmed in writing” See RPC 1.0(b)

“Firm” See RPC 1.0(c)

“Informed consent” See RPC 1.0(e)

“Knowingly” See RPC 1.0(f)

“Screening” See RPC 1.0(k)

“Substantially” See RPC 1.0(l)

“Tribunal” See RPC 1.0(m)

“Writing” See RPC 1.0(n)


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