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Do special considerations apply when another law firm wants to hire you to work with them on a case or project for one of their clients?

Yes.  When lawyers from different firms team up to represent the same client, they should consult with each other and the client about the scope of their respective representations and the allocation of responsibility among them.  The circumstances in which it is appropriate for a law firm to associate or consult with another lawyer outside the firm are addressed in New Mexico’s Rules of Professional Conduct.  For example, Rule 16-101 NMRA imposes a duty of competence.  Competent representation is defined as “the legal knowledge, skill, thoroughness, and preparation reasonably necessary for the representation.”  Where a lawyer or law firm needs additional resources to meet this requirement in a particular area, competent representation may be provided by associating or consulting with another lawyer of established competence in that area if it is feasible to do so.  Rule 16-105 NMRA addresses the division of fees between lawyers from different firms to facilitate both lawyers’ work on a case in which neither alone could serve the client as well.  Additional considerations may apply depending on the facts and circumstances of each case or project, as well as the local rules of procedure for each jurisdiction.

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  • New Mexico’s Rules of Professional Conduct are available to the public online at NMOneSource.com.
  • Additional resources to help find an attorney or resolve disputes over attorney’s fees are available from the State Bar of New Mexico at nmbar.org.