Professional responsibility and legal conflicts of interest

Florida residents may find themselves in need of legal counsel for many reasons. These could include a divorce, financial challenges and even a bankruptcy filing, the need to seek compensation after a workplace accident or motor vehicle accident and more. Regardless of the reason that an attorney is sought, people need to know that they are finding someone who will be not only willing but fully able to work with their best interests in mind.

Sometimes a conflict of interest may be evident either at the start of a potential legal relationship or maybe even once the relationship gets underway. The Balance suggests that a conflict of interest may not always be evident in a relationship with an attorney but should be watched for. One example of a type of potential conflict include when one attorney represents multiple plaintiffs in a personal injury lawsuit and all plaintiffs do not want to settle at the same time. Another example is when different attorneys in the same practice represent clients with competing interests.

The American Bar Association's Center for Professional Responsibility outlines very clear parameters by which attorneys should adhere. These parameters are designed to prevent conflicts of interest or to provide guidance in the event that a conflict does arise.

One option people can consider is to approve in writing a particular relationship with an attorney that acknowledges the conflict and details how it will be managed. Other people may choose to seek alternative representation. Things like one attorney representing both parties in a dispute are not allowed, for example.

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