Conflict of Interest
A lawyer’s job is to represent his or her clients professionally, to best of his ability and as a zealous advocate. In any divorce or criminal case, the lawyer can only represent one client at a time. In a criminal matter the accused is entitled to un-conflicted representation. If the lawyer represents or has represented one of the witnesses other than the client, then a conflict exists and the lawyer must withdraw from the case. In a divorce case, conflicts of interest can also arise. Suppose these facts: Husband has been married 3 times, divorced 2 times. Husband during his first and second divorce is represented by Lawyer X. Now Wife no. 3 seeks a divorce from her Husband and she retains Lawyer X to represent her against her Husband. Lawyer X is the Husbands former lawyer. Lawyer X has a conflict of interest. He has confidential and intimate knowledge about the Husbands economics, finances, and personal matters. Wife no. 3., is seeking an advantage against her husband, by hiring her Husband’s former Divorce lawyer. Should Lawyer X withdraw his representation of Wife no. 3 during the Divorce from the Husband? The answer is yes. The Lawyers Professional Code of Conduct requires a lawyer to represent one client at a time without a conflict of interest. A Probate and Family Court Judge will order Lawyer X to withdraw his or her appearance on behalf of the Wife no. 3., because Lawyer X has a conflict of interest.