There may be any number of reasons that you need to hire an attorney at different times. From the creation or updating of your estate plan, the development of a prenuptial agreement, the establishment of a new business and more, ensuring that you have proper legal representation and advice is important. One of the many important elements of legal representation is that it is in your best interest.
As explained by the American Bar Association, an attorney is bound by oath to provide judgement for you that is independent and to act in a manner that is loyal to their clients. Inherent in this is that the attorney must avoid any situation that results in a conflict of interest on their part. Such a conflict of interest may arise in the form of a personal or professional interest, a third party, a former client or a current client.
A conflict of interest may be identified after a lawyer has been hired to work for you or before you retain them. In either case, they have the responsibility for clearly identifying the conflict. If the conflict involves another client and the lawyer believes they may still be capable of properly representing you, they must provide you and the other party with details on how this would be achieved. Only with the written consent of all parties should representation continue.
If you would like to learn more about what types of situations may constitute a conflict of interest on the part of an attorney you have hired and how you may seek help at these times, please feel free to visit the lawyer’s conflict of interest page on our legal malpractice website.