• FreeAdvice has a new Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, effective May 25, 2018.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our Terms of Service and use of cookies.

Is this conflict of interest ?

Accident - Bankruptcy - Criminal Law / DUI - Business - Consumer - Employment - Family - Immigration - Real Estate - Tax - Traffic - Wills   Please click a topic or scroll down for more.

LynnST

Junior Member
What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)?
PA

I have utilized pro bono services in a child custody case through firm a. Recently, the defendant utilized pro bono services in the and case, but through a separate firm. Is this conflict of interest? From my understanding, because the pro bono services are volunteer based and a lawyer can volunteer in multiple firms, it is. Am I incorrect? And if I am, what do I do from here?
 

PayrollHRGuy

Senior Member
Not if it was different lawyers and different firms. Just because you got free legal representation doesn't mean the other party doesn't get to.
 

quincy

Senior Member
What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)?
PA

I have utilized pro bono services in a child custody case through firm a. Recently, the defendant utilized pro bono services in the and case, but through a separate firm. Is this conflict of interest? From my understanding, because the pro bono services are volunteer based and a lawyer can volunteer in multiple firms, it is. Am I incorrect? And if I am, what do I do from here?
There is no conflict of interest in both having attorneys who offer their services pro bono if the lawyers/firms are not the same. This is not to say that there might not be a conflict of interest for some other reason.
 

LynnST

Junior Member
There is no conflict of interest in both having attorneys who offer their services pro bono if the lawyers/firms are not the same. This is not to say that there might not be a conflict of interest for some other reason.
Okay. Thank you for answering my question :).
 

Zigner

Senior Member, Non-Attorney
What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)?
PA

I have utilized pro bono services in a child custody case through firm a. Recently, the defendant utilized pro bono services in the and case, but through a separate firm. Is this conflict of interest? From my understanding, because the pro bono services are volunteer based and a lawyer can volunteer in multiple firms, it is. Am I incorrect? And if I am, what do I do from here?
In your scenario, it's only a conflict if it's the same attorney who is representing both of you.
 

latigo

Senior Member
What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)?
PA

I have utilized pro bono services in a child custody case through firm a. Recently, the defendant utilized pro bono services in the and case, but through a separate firm. Is this conflict of interest? From my understanding, because the pro bono services are volunteer based and a lawyer can volunteer in multiple firms, it is. Am I incorrect? And if I am, what do I do from here?
"It is (a conflict of interest) because the pro bono services are volunteer based and a lawyer can volunteer in multiple firms. . . " ?!

One question, if you please.

Did you create the above illogical gibberish assaulting the aesthetic senses all by your natural born self?!
 

quincy

Senior Member
"It is (a conflict of interest) because the pro bono services are volunteer based and a lawyer can volunteer in multiple firms. . . " ?!

One question, if you please.

Did you create the above illogical gibberish assaulting the aesthetic senses all by your natural born self?!
Aw, come on, latigo. Most people do not have your understanding of the law and the legal system - hence the reason lawyers (and legal forums) exist.



At least, I can think of no other excuse for their existence.
 

CTU

Meddlesome Priestess
Aw, come on, latigo. Most people do not have your understanding of the law and the legal system - hence the reason lawyers (and legal forums) exist.



At least, I can think of no other excuse for their existence.
You just won the internet, quincy.

My laptop, however, does not thank you for the impromptu coffee shower it just took. :p:D
 

quincy

Senior Member
You just won the internet, quincy.

My laptop, however, does not thank you for the impromptu coffee shower it just took. :p:D
I was just called "amiable" by another poster. I hope my comment hasn't destroyed that illusion. :)
 

Taxing Matters

Overtaxed Member
What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)?
PA

I have utilized pro bono services in a child custody case through firm a. Recently, the defendant utilized pro bono services in the and case, but through a separate firm. Is this conflict of interest? From my understanding, because the pro bono services are volunteer based and a lawyer can volunteer in multiple firms, it is. Am I incorrect? And if I am, what do I do from here?
The idea behind lawyer conflict of interest rules is to do things. The first is to prevent the situation where the lawyer’s representation of one client may work the disadvantage of another current or former client of that lawyer. An example would be where Lawyer Amy had represented Bill in his divorce from Cindy and then two years later Cindy retains Amy to handle a child support modification. That would be a conflict of interest because Amy may have confidential information about Bill from the divorce that she could now use against him in her representation of Amy in the child support modification case. This is a situation in which Bill, the former client, would be the one harmed by the conflict and he would be the one that would have reason to object to it.

The second thing the conflict of interest rules are meant to do is prevent the situation where some other interest of the lawyer conflicts with the interests of the client. The idea here to avoid situations where the attorney might throw his client under the bus, as the saying goes, to protect the lawyer’s other interests. For example, suppose that Arnold hires Barry to sue XYZ Corporation. It turns out that Barry is a major shareholder of XYZ corporation. Barry might not work very hard on Arnold’s lawsuit against XYZ because XYZ may lose money if Arnold wins and thus hit Barry financially. Obviously here it is the current client, Arnold, who is hurt by the conflict and it would be Arnold that would have the objection to the conflict.

The rules will in some cases provide that if one lawyer in a law firm is disqualified due to a conflict of interest then the entire law firm for whom he works is also disqualified.

It would not generally be a conflict of interest, however, for two clients opposing each other in the same case to go to the same pro bono referral agency (e.g. the bar association or whatever). That does not result in the lawyers themselves getting confidential information about the opposing client that he/she can then use against that person. The bottom line is that unless the lawyer or law firm now representing the defendant once represented you it is unlikely that there is a conflict of interest here.
 

quincy

Senior Member
The link I provided earlier describes in some detail what is considered a conflict of interest, comparing Pennsylvania's conflict of interest rules with the ABA's model rules. It can be a lot to absorb, however.
 

Find the Right Lawyer for Your Legal Issue!

Fast, Free and Confidential
Top