quick legal professionalism question - 1.7b conflicts

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shmoo597
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Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2008 10:31 pm

quick legal professionalism question - 1.7b conflicts

Postby shmoo597 » Fri May 07, 2010 12:07 am

Simple question:

You represent A in employment disputes, and B in real estate transactions. A then wants to sue B. If you get B's consent, can you represent A in A v. B?

You can, right?

Carnival1860
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Re: quick legal professionalism question - 1.7b conflicts

Postby Carnival1860 » Fri May 07, 2010 1:29 pm

I dont understand...are the two matters still pending? Looks like they are because you frame this as a M.R. 1.7 question. My feeling is that you still need both parties to give informed consent. There is direct adversity because the two parties are suing each other-there is a risk of materially limiting the representation because of divided loyalty etc.- need consent from both parties-lawyer also needs to subjectively believes that the representation wont be limited.

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ggocat
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Re: quick legal professionalism question - 1.7b conflicts

Postby ggocat » Fri May 07, 2010 1:58 pm

No.

First you must determine whether it is consentable. In a situation such as the one you described where one of your clients is suing the other, it will likely be nonconsentable. Note that this is an objective test. It matters not that the issues are unrelated. What matters is that the lawyer has divided loyalties.

Second, each affected party must give consent. Not just the party sued. The party you are representing can be an "affected party" because you are more likely to represent them less zealously when you are suing another one of your clients.

solidsnake
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Re: quick legal professionalism question - 1.7b conflicts

Postby solidsnake » Sun May 09, 2010 4:56 pm

shmoo597 wrote:Simple question:

You represent A in employment disputes, and B in real estate transactions. A then wants to sue B. If you get B's consent, can you represent A in A v. B?

You can, right?


If ongoing ACRs with both A and B, then A v. B is a 1.7a1 direct adversity conflict, regardless of what capacity lawyer represented each client ("same or substantially related" test is irrelevant to 1.7 current client conflicts). Consentability requires informed consent confirmed in writing by BOTH A and B, and under 1.7b1 lawyer must reasonably believe that he is able to provide competent and diligent representation to each affected client; as well as 1.7b3 lawyer can't be personally representing both A and B in the SAME litigation. Provided B has a different attorney for his employment dispute with A, and there is no 1.7b1 (or b2, but that is really rare and limited apparently) issue, it's consentable. Remember with 1.7 conflicts, though, both clients must give informed consent confirmed in writing.




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