Is It Okay For My Attorney to Have a Conflict of Interest?
Posted September 21st, 2022.
Categories: Legal Malpractice.
You have the right to choose any attorney whom you trust to represent you in your lawsuit. However, it is not always that simple, as an attorney may be disqualified from representing you if there is an existing conflict of interest. In the event that your attorney did not disclose a conflict of interest before pursuing your case, and you lost as a result, you must read on to see how a seasoned New Jersey legal malpractice attorney at The Law Offices of Mark S. Guralnick can help you fight back.
What are the most common cases of a conflict of interest?
Most attorney work on multiple cases at once. So, an overlap is bound to occur, but when it does, your attorney must disclose this. Below are the most common cases of conflict of interest that can lead to legal malpractice:
- Your attorney is acting against a client they once had or currently represent in another matter, but fails to obtain permission from you or the other party to proceed.
- Your attorney is also representing an opposing client in your case.
- Your attorney has a business relationship with an opposing client in your case.
- Your attorney has a financial interest in the outcome of your case that conflicts with your financial interest.
- Your attorney pressured you to settle too quickly once they realize their fees will be lower than they anticipated.
Is it acceptable for my attorney to have a conflict of interest?
An attorney-client relationship is essentially built on trust. Thus, failure to disclose a conflict of interest and continuing to represent you is a violation of this trust. In fact, according to New Jersey law, this ethics violation constitutes legal malpractice.
In a best-case scenario, your attorney should have recognized the conflict of interest at hand and referred you to another reputable attorney to take over your case. But if they did not do so, then you have a valid legal malpractice claim on your hands. What’s better is if you can prove that your attorney did not do proper research on your case to identify the conflict of interest. Or, you can prove that your attorney did do the research and identified the conflict of interest, but still decided to represent you and ultimately lost your case.
If any of the above scenarios is applicable to you, you should not hesitate in reaching out to one of our competent attorneys at our legal malpractice law firm located in Cherry Hill today.
Contact our experienced New Jersey firm
If you require the services of a dedicated legal malpractice attorney in New Jersey, please contact The Law Offices of Mark S. Guralnick today for a free consultation.