This column, written by Mark Hinderks, of Stinson LLP, focuses on ethics questions. The discussion here is based on the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, but the Model Rules are often adopted in different and amended versions, and interpreted in different ways in various places. Always check the rules and authorities applicable in your relevant jurisdiction—the result may be completely different.

Question: Our firm currently represents two sophisticated commercial parties: client A on certain specialized tax credit matters and client B in environmental work concerning one of its manufacturing plants in a particular state. Our firm’s engagement letter with each defines the scope of each engagement, then contains a paragraph providing for an advance waiver of conflicts that confirms the client’s consent to our firm being adverse to the client in future matters that may arise if they are unrelated to the engagement described.