When you hire an attorney, you expect them to be on your side. When your interests are at risk, you count on your counsel to fight for you, defend your rights and represent your wishes.
However, in some cases, you might determine that your lawyer has a conflict of interest. In those instances, they may not represent you effectively. But how do you know if your case is compromised?
When can an attorney represent you during a possible conflict of interest?
When an attorney agrees to handle your case, they must adhere to professional conduct statutes and follow the case laws and ethics opinions in the jurisdiction in which they are licensed to practice. But no matter how hard most attorneys try to adhere to the laws prohibiting conflicts of interests, problems can arise.
If you believe your attorney might have a conflict of interest, consider whether their obligations to another client limit their ability to properly represent you.
If your attorney has loyalty to another client, there could be a potential conflict of interest if they:
- Represent two opposing parties in a dispute
- Have not clarified who they represent
- Belong to a large firm with clients who may be in opposition to your claim
- Represent multiple parties in a class action lawsuit
While you might believe your attorney had a conflict of interest because you did not win your case, that is not necessarily accurate. However, if you feel their representation of you conflicted with an opposing party or they provided you inadequate counsel due to their obligations to another client, you may want to explore your rights and see if you have grounds for recourse.