Complying with the rules when moving between the public and private sectors is critical

, The Legal Intelligencer


If an assistant district attorney leaves the District Attorney's Office and is hired by a private firm, can that firm continue to defend criminal defendants?

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  • Scott Meyer

    This analysis seems a little off the mark. A bonus intended to be paid in consideration of prior services is simply not the product of "disinterested benevolence". The danger with transfers unconnected with services rendered is undue influence. Since a lawyer is presumed to be in a confidential relationship, a prohylatic rule is a clear necessity. I agree that there can be a slippery slope deciding where a "bonus" ends and a "gift" begins, but that can be handled by the reasonable fee requirement. Can a fee agreement be amended? One would think yes, subject to the usual attorney-client fee safeguards. The lack of a legal obligation to pay does not make the transfer a gift. The IRS would certainly expect the attorney to report the transfer as income.

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