Your lawyer has a fiduciary duty to avoid conflicting interest with a client. A conflict of interest arises whenever a lawyer’s independent judgement on behalf of a client may be affected by a loyalty to another party or even to his or her own interest. There is a potential conflict of interest when an attorney:
- Represents multiple claimants in an aggregate settlement (common when an accident injures several individuals, all of whom hire the same lawyer)
- Represents both sides in a matter where the parties’ interests may conflict (e.g. representing both buyer and selling or both parties in a divorce)
- Has personal interest or loyalty that conflict with that of his/her client
When people are in need of legal assistance, they hire a lawyer to help safeguard their rights. While most people think of attorneys as reacting against the infringement of rights inflicted by others, they too can compromise the rights of their clients. When at attorney accepts a new client, they are legally responsible to represent them to the best of their ability, which involves not putting the needs of one client above another. When an attorney acts in a way that is not in the best interest of each and every client and one client or group of clients is put above another, this is referred to as a ‘conflict of interest’.
Protecting Your Rights
If you feel that your case was compromised due to the actions of your attorney placing the needs of another client above your own, you have likely been a victim of legal malpractice. The judicial system is not perfect and neither are all of its representatives. If you have experienced a financial injury due to your attorney engaging in an unethical practice, you have a right to be compensated just as you would if another’s negligence caused you a physical injury. In these types of situations, enlisting the help of a legal malpractice lawyer can help you get the compensation you deserve.
Get Help Recouping Your Losses Caused By A Lawyer’s Conflict Of Interest
If your claim or the amount of your recovery has been compromised because your lawyer had a conflict of interest, speak with Jim Traut at the Traut Firm by calling (714) 698-4750. You can also contact us online. Consultations are free and confidential.