HomePractice AreasAbout Our FirmCharlotte Perrell, Esq.Stephanie Wright, Esq.ArticlesLocationMissing a DeadlineConflicts of InterestEthics ViolationDo you have a claim?Contact Us

What are they?

            A conflict of interest occurs when a lawyer is involved in multiple cases or transactions, one of which could possibly corrupt the lawyer’s motivations or actions in another. Regardless of their respective areas of practice, all lawyers are bound to represent their clients zealously.  In other words, lawyers must make each and every client a high priority, and must always keep the best interests of each client in mind.  When a conflict of interest is involved, adherence to these duties becomes more difficult, if not impossible.  Generally speaking, an attorney may not pursue an interest or action which is adverse to his client’s interests or incompatible with applying his best skill, zeal and diligence in representing his client.  The largest total settlement payments for malpractice claims are paid for claims alleging conflicts of interest.  In most states, violation of rules prohibiting conflicts of interest could result in a lawyer’s disbarment.

When are conflicts of interest most likely to arise?

            Conflicts of interest appear in many different forms in legal cases.  Some of the most common examples of conflicts of interests involve the following circumstances:

  • The lawyer represents opposing sides in the same dispute.
  • The lawyer simultaneously represents two parties on the same side of a dispute with potentially conflicting interests.
  • The lawyer has a personal relationship with a party or lawyer on the opposite side of a case.
  • The lawyer has previously represented a party on the other side of a case.

This list is not comprehensive, as conflicts of interest could potentially arise in countless situations.  If you have reason to believe that your attorney did not exercise undivided loyalty in representing you, and you have suffered damage as a result, you may have a legal malpractice case.


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