Ethical walls within private law firms aren’t coming down. In fact, they’ve just been braced.

Los Angeles’ 2nd District Court of Appeal took a momentous step Wednesday by ruling that an entire law firm need not be automatically disqualified from a case simply because one of its attorneys has a conflict of interest. The firm only needs to prove “by evidence,” the court held, that the tainted lawyer’s confidential client information wasn’t shared with others on the staff who represent an opposing party.

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