Can an attorney not represent me because of what my married name used to be? 12 Answers as of September 28, 2015

I want to file chapter 7. I called this bankruptcy attorney and the lady put me on hold. She mentioned old last name use and my old married name. I said yes. She said that because it would be a conflict of interest, they cannot represent me. This lawyer is only a couple of miles from my ex-husband. But how would they know to ask me that type of question? Should I be very concerned?

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The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
If they represented him or had a consultation then it could be a conflict of interest to represent you.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 9/28/2015
Ronald K. Nims LLC | Ronald K. Nims
An attorney can decline representation for any reason that's not illegal discrimination (race, sex, religion, etc.) Most often, attorneys decline representation because they have a conflict of interest - that is they have represented someone who will be on the other side of your matter, such as a former spouse.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 9/2/2015
Richard B. Jacobson & Associates, LLC | Richard B. Jacobson
It's important for lawyers to avoid conflicts of interest or even the appearance of conflict of interest. I don't see what there is to worry about. This lawyer might be acquainted with your ex, but of itself that does not se significant.
Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
Replied: 9/2/2015
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
We keep records of who we have represented. We can not represent anyone where there is a conflict of interest. You can only be loyal to one client.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/2/2015
R. Steven Chambers PLLC | R. Steven Chambers PLLC
First, a lawyer is free to take or reject anyone as a client, just as the client is free to hire or not hire any attorney. Before accepting any case lawyers do what is called a "conflict check" to see if it would be a conflict of interest to take your case. Since you said the lady put you on hold she probably did a quick check of your current name and found your married or maiden names in their database. In any event, since they didn't take your case there is no need for concern.
Answer Applies to: Utah
Replied: 9/2/2015
    Eranthe Law Firm
    Eranthe Law Firm | Cate Eranthe
    You don't want an attorney representing you if there is a conflict of interest. Any attorney should check for conflicts before taking on any case. If the attorney has information about one party, like your ex, then they can't represent the other party. It doesn't sound like anything to be concerned about.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/1/2015
    A Fresh Start
    A Fresh Start | Dorothy G Bunce
    A lawyer in private practice is free to refuse to represent anyone they chose. If this lawyer previously met with your former husband, or represented one of your creditors, it would be a conflict of interest and this lawyer would not be able to ethically meet with you, much less represent you.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 9/1/2015
    Danville Law Group | Scott Jordan
    Maybe they represent your ex for the same reason you called the attorney. Nevertheless, just call another local bankruptcy attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/31/2015
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    He may have previously represented your ex or one of your creditors. I don't know that you should be concerned. Just select a different attorney to represent you on your bankruptcy matter.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/31/2015
    Freeman Law Group, LLC
    Freeman Law Group, LLC | Derek Freeman
    It sounds like the attorney has either represented your ex-husband or advocated for his interests sometime in the past. To represent you in a case which might be detrimental to his/her former client would be a conflict of interest. You should call around and find another attorney to represent you.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/31/2015
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    It is a standard conflict check and he has probably counseled your ex. It is normal, just seek, just engage different counsel.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/31/2015
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