When a situation arises in which you need to hire a lawyer in Florida, you should feel confident that the person you select to work with will represent you fairly and provide services, information and counsel that is in your best interest. This is a relatively basic right and is actually something that is outlined in the guidance set forth by The Florida Bar as per the Rules of Professional Conduct.
Several situations may present a potential conflict of interest for an attorney and one of these is when a single lawyer represents more than one client at the same time. Ethical rules prevent a lawyer from acting on behalf of multiple persons simultaneously if such representation would be to the detriment of one of those clients. This may be due to the inherent nature of the representation where what is good for one party is bad for the other. It may also result when an attorney has limited scope with which to represent one party because of the responsibilities they have to another.
In the event multiple simultaneous representations can exist without these issues, the attorney is required to disclose the details to the clients and obtain their consent to the representations. This consent should either be documented at a hearing or in writing.
This information is not intended to provide legal advice but is instead meant to give residents in Florida an overview of the ethical requirements to which attorneys are bound so as to provide appropriate representation and counsel to their clients that is free from conflicts of interest.