Court ruling may limit job changes by NM lawyers

Posted at: 02/25/2013 7:50 AM
By: The Associated Press

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - A court ruling may make it harder for New Mexico lawyers to change law firms.

The Albuquerque Journal  reports that a recent ruling says a law firm must withdraw from a case because it hired a lawyer who once worked for the other side.

That's more restrictive than New Mexico's previous legal rule that barred an individual lawyer from working on a case if the lawyer previously worked for the other side.

In a case involving BNSF Railway Co., the company's law firm promised that a lawyer it hired from a firm representing another litigant wouldn't work on the case or disclose confidential information.

However, the other litigant wouldn't waive a possible conflict of interest claim. The Supreme Court overturned a judge who declined to disqualify BNSF's law firm.

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