Is it legal for two attorneys of the same law firm to represent opposing end of the same trial/case? 26 Answers as of February 13, 2013

If two attorneys work for the same law firm, is it legal for them to represent two individuals on the same case but opposing ends. Can this be a conflict of interest?

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Law Offices of Ronald A. Steinberg & Associates | Ronald A. Steinberg, BA, MA, JD
I don't think it is proper.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 2/13/2013
Law Office of Christian Menard
Law Office of Christian Menard | Christian Menard
The question is not one of legality, but ethics. It is not ethical for two attorneys in the same firm to represent opposing parties without the written consent of both parties to waive the obvious conflict of interest. I would suggest you find yourself another attorney.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/13/2013
S. Joseph Schramm | Joseph Schramm
This would generally be a conflict of interest based on the facts you have stated unless there is something about the case or the law firm involved that would permit this, like the parties to the action giving their consents to allow it.
Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
Replied: 2/13/2013
Law Offices of Mark West
Law Offices of Mark West | Mark West
On the surface it sounds like a conflict of interest. Did they inform you of this representation before they began work and ask you to sign a waiver of the conflict? There is something called a "chinese wall" which can be used to keep the 2 sides from communicating with the other and find out what is going on. Generally speaking the firm should decline the representation and should definitely have both clients sign waivers of the conflict.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/13/2013
Kelaher Law Offices, P.A.
Kelaher Law Offices, P.A. | James P Kelaher
It is unquestionably a conflict of interest and an ethics offense, as well.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 2/12/2013
    Law Offices of Benjamin D. Pelton | Benjamin D. Pelton
    i think that is a conflict and not permitted.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 2/12/2013
    Lombardi Law Firm
    Lombardi Law Firm | Steve Lombardi
    Answer: That would be highly unusual because of the obvious conflicts of interest.
    Answer Applies to: Iowa
    Replied: 2/12/2013
    Michael J. Sgarlat Attorney at Law | Michael Joseph Sgarlat
    On its face there seems to be a Conflict of Interest. Call the State Bar Association in which the case is pending and ask them to check it out.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 2/12/2013
    Henry Lebensbaum | Henry Lebensbaum
    As a general proposition, the answer is yes.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 2/12/2013
    Wayne J. Wimer, Inc. P.S.
    Wayne J. Wimer, Inc. P.S. | Wayne J. Wimer
    There is definitely a conflict of interest at play in what you describe. I had a situation years ago where a husband and wife were represented by a law firm relating to a number of business interests, and then subsequently wife filed for divorce using an attorney from the law firm that had previously represented husband and wife. We demanded that the law firm withdraw from representation due to their conflict of interest. The law firm refused to withdraw, and we filed a motion with the court to bar the law firm and its attorneys from further representing the wife. The court forced them out of the case.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 2/12/2013
    Law Ofices of Edwin K. Niles | Edwin K. Niles
    On the face of it, is sounds like an unethical conflict of interest, but there may be waivers or some other exception.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/12/2013
    Curry, Roby & Mulvey Co., LLC
    Curry, Roby & Mulvey Co., LLC | Bruce A. Curry
    I can represent a conflict of interest if the two defendants' interests are adverse to one another. If that is the case, the only way the same firm could continue to represent both parties is by written permission of the two clients. If the two defendants' positions in the case are not adverse, then there is nothing prohibiting the dual representation.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 2/12/2013
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