Johnson v. Bursek.
2024 CO 1. No. 22SC497. Rules of Professional Conduct—Public Policy—Sua Sponte Rulings.
January 16, 2024
The Supreme Court held that Colorado Rule of Professional Conduct 5.6(a) prohibits agreements that require a lawyer departing from a firm to pay the firm an undifferentiated per-client fee for continued representation of those clients. The Court also held that Rule 5.6(a) constitutes public policy and that contractual violations of the rule are void as against public policy. Finally, the Court took notice of the court of appeal’s sua sponte severability ruling and, in light of fairness concerns, vacated the court of appeals’ opinion insofar as it conflicted with the trial court’s severability analysis.