Are attorneys who represent both buyer and seller bound to see that both parties are treated equally?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Are attorneys who represent both buyer and seller bound to see that both parties are treated equally?

An attorney represented me and the buyer in the sale of my
home. I have been unable to get cooperation from him in
recovering reimbursement for taxes paid. Is he legally bound
to see that this is done?

Asked on November 5, 2017 under Real Estate Law, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Yes, if there was dual representation, then both parties are the attorney's client and he owes the same legal duties of effective and loyal represenation to both. If the attorney is not discharging his professional obligations to you, you could look to file an ethical complaint about him; you might also first let him know that if he does not provide you the assistance and representation he is supposed to, you will take all appropriate legal steps to protect your rights, including filing a complaint if necessary. Possibly, that will motivate him to help, or at least to explain in a clear way, so it can be discussed, why he feels this is not part of his representation of you.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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