Attorney Conflict Of Interest Rules Essay
A conflict of interest occurs when a lawyer’s ethical obligations to one client conflict with the interests of another client. A conflict is defined as “a substantial risk that the lawyer 's representation of the client would be materially and adversely affected by the lawyer 's own interests or by the lawyer 's duties to another current client, a former client, or a third person.” [Sharp v. Next Entertainment, Inc. (2008) 163 Cal.App.4th 410, 426.) The Rules of Professional Conduct set forth and are intended to protect those duties owed by attorneys to their clients. These include the duty of undivided loyalty, the duty of confidentiality, the duty to exercise independent judgment, the duty to provide competent representation, and the duty to communicate with the client. The duties of loyalty and confidentiality may be comprised where a conflict exists and, thus, attorneys must recognize, address, and prevent such conflicts from occurring.
Attorneys most frequently see a conflict arise in an adverse setting, where clients’ interests compete. This may arise in several situations.
- Concurrent: California Rule of Professional Code 3-310 provides that an attorney may not, without the informed written consent of each client, accept representation of more than one client in a matter in which the interests of the clients actually or potentially conflict or represent a client in a matter and at the same time in a separate matter accept as a…