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Several years ago you represented Mr. Grant in his divorce proceedings. Yesterday a Mr. Baxter called to retain your services in his divorce. It turns out that Mr. Baxter married Mr. Grant’s ex-wife, and apparently things didn’t work out so well. Mr. Baxter and Mr. Grant have never met.
Which of the following best describes any potential issues ad steps you should take?
Choose one answer.
Opie Cunningham is a lawyer who used to work at a mid-sized Saskatoon firm. Barney Furley created a proprietary piece of software, and between August 2019 and March 2021, Opie represented Mr. Furley in negotiating a software licensing agreement with Holistic Smoothies Ltd. Terms and conditions were discussed, but the agreement was not finalized during Opie’s representation. The COVID-19 pandemic hit Opie hard; a friend of his from law school had contracted COVID-19 from a client and had died. He re-evaluated his priorities and left his firm to spend more time with his family.
In November 2022, Opie figured it was time to get back into the practice of law, but he decided he wanted more flexibility regarding his hours. He settled on setting up shop with Dexter Ward and Associates, a small firm of civil litigators. Opie established an arrangement where he was an independent practitioner operating out of Dexter Ward’s offices, paying a fixed amount to the firm for overhead. To save costs, he shared resources, including the website and letterhead, on which he listed himself as “associate counsel.”
In early 2023, Chuck Ward came to Opie and asked him if his workload would permit Opie to come onboard a litigation file as second counsel. Opie agreed, and dove into the file. Not far into the file the names began to sound all too familiar. It turns out that Dexter Ward and Associates are representing Holistic Smoothies Ltd., who are defendants in an action brought by Mr. Furley for specific performance on the agreement that Opie was trying to negotiate years earlier on Barney’s behalf. It turns out that the central point of contention in the litigation is the existence of the alleged agreement.
What best describes the status of matters?
Choose one answer.