Conflicting responsibilities are part of the nature of practicing law.
Good attorneys know that failing to deal with impermissible conflicts of interest lead to difficult ethical problems in their practice.
Attorneys must recognize conflicts of interest under Rule 1.06 and take appropriate action.
The lawyer must at a minimum withdraw and communicate that the representation has ended when such a conflict arises.
At such a low threshold, a lawyer’s conscience is the touchstone against which to test whether their actions are appropriate.
Representing multiple people in a matter is often implausible for a lawyer as divided loyalty violates a fundamental aspect of any lawyer representation.
At a minimum lawyer communication must be often and effective enough to know when a conflict has risen and deal with it in an appropriate manner.
Next article – Delving into Client Funds and Property