Overcoming a potential conflict of interest

You have probably heard the term "conflict of interest" used many times when describing the relationship between an attorney and a client. There is good reasoning behind this principle; you would not want your attorney's efforts on your behalf to be distracted due to obligations they might have to other parties. Yet past interactions that we here at St. Denis & Davey have had with clients has shown us that people often only want to work with one attorney in Florida, regardless of whether ethical rules might otherwise discourage them from doing so. 

It may not be difficult to understand your desires if you feel the same way. Throughout the course of working with an attorney, you establish an element of trust that may not be easily duplicated. You will be happy to know, then, that are scenarios where an apparent conflict of interest can be overcome. The American Bar Association states in its Model Rules of Professional Conduct that your attorney should avoid representing you if it is possible that your representation could adversely affect that of another client (or vice versa). However, if your case meets the following criteria, then your attorney's involvement may be allowed: 

  • Your attorney believes they can provide diligent and competent representation to both you and the other client
  • Representing both of you concurrently is not prohibited by law
  • Your claim is not against that of the other client being represented
  • Both you and the other client confirm your consent to the situation in writing

Remember to consider carefully the advantages of remaining with the same attorney in such a scenario. You can learn more about potential conflicts of interest by continuing to browse through our site. 


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