Attorneys in Florida and throughout the country are required to act in a fiduciary role. This means that they are not allowed to have conflicts of interest in any matters that they are involved in. A conflict of interest could arise if the attorney doesn’t know who his or her client is. This may occur when a legal representative agrees to take on a client who owns a startup that eventually evolves into a corporate entity.
Conflicts of interest may arise if an attorney agrees to represent both parties in a legal matter such as a divorce case or a real estate transaction. After a natural disaster or another type of accident, multiple victims may decide to hire the same attorney to represent them. While this may not create a conflict of interest in itself, there is the potential for this to happen.
Attorneys who work for large law firms may have a greater chance of having ties to individuals who are defendants in a matter that they are working on. Working for a large firm could also increase the possibility that a legal professional has a relationship with an insurance company. If this insurance company is a defendant in a case he or she is involved with, it could create a conflict.
If an attorney takes a case despite the potential for a conflict of interest arising, that individual may have committed legal malpractice. Clients may be entitled to compensation or other relief from the attorney in question if he or she failed to act as a fiduciary. Generally speaking, an individual will need to show that an attorney’s negligence resulted in a full or partial financial loss in the original matter. An attorney with experience in legal malpractice law may collect statements and other evidence may be used to prove that this happened.