When an attorney should not represent you

Once you have hired an attorney, you should feel confident that your legal counsel is loyal to you and will represent your interests to the best extent possible. However, some Florida attorneys may represent your interests best by not representing you at all. For various reasons, an attorney may have an interest that could conflict with yours by taking you on as a client. By choosing to represent you, they can do great damage to your case.

Many people are unlikely to know in great detail the history of an attorney they approach for representation or the current clients represented by the attorney. It is up to the attorney to examine your case to find areas where representing you might create conflict. FindLaw points out that these conflicts may not be easy to find, so attorneys need to be thorough when they research their clients.

There are several areas where conflicts may emerge. Some prospective clients may want to litigate a business owned by someone the attorney has a personal or a professional relationship with. A new client may seek to sue a specific doctor while the attorney is also representing someone who works for that doctor. And in some cases, an attorney may have a fiduciary duty as a trustee or an executor that conflicts with the case of a client.

Even if an attorney does not have a relationship or interest that directly conflicts with a new client, sometimes taking on a particular client can impact the attorney’s ability to offer proper service to another client. The American Bar Association cautions that an attorney may not be able to properly serve a client due to obligations to another client. These obligations can materially interfere with an attorney’s ability to pursue the proper courses of action for the client.

Being represented by the wrong attorney can have devastating effects on your case. If you suspect your attorney did not serve you well for the above stated reasons, it can assist you greatly to ask an experienced legal malpractice attorney about your options.

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