Both the movant and, more obviously, the challenged lawyer face the most court scrutiny in disqualification analysis. This [post lists] the specific factors relating to the lawyer and the lawyer’s conduct that courts will examine when making their disqualification determinations. To the extent the following factors are present and discernible in a given case, courts will analyze the lawyer’s: (1) knowledge about the conflict of interest or other misconduct; (2) motives; (3) ethical violation or appearance of impropriety; (4) violation’s severity; and (5) occasionally, potential prejudice (flowing to the lawyer or lawyer’s firm) should the court grant the disqualification motion.[1]

[1]     The lawyer’s position (e.g., managing partner or elected district attorney) in the firm or organization and the extent of the lawyer’s acquisition of the former client’s confidential information might be relevant as well. Because courts usually analyze this factor when determining whether the lawyer’s conflict or other misconduct should be imputed to other attorneys in the firm or organization, it is addressed in that [post] (discussing the lawyer’s firm).

[Source: Keith Swisher, The Practice and Theory of Lawyer Disqualification, 27 Geo. J. Legal Ethics 71 (2014) (Part I.B.2).]