Can a lawyer defend2 people on the same case?

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Can a lawyer defend2 people on the same case?

I have a co-defendant on my case who’s already on probation in VA under state guideline but I was represented on the case by the same lawyer and mine is headed to the federal courts.

Asked on August 11, 2010 under Criminal Law, Maryland

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

A lawyer can defend two people in the same case unless there would be a potential conflict of interest in representing both individuals.  A potential conflict of interest could arise if testimony of one defendant could implicate the other defendant or vice versa.  If there is a potential conflict of interest, the attorney is required to advise the client in writing of the potential conflict of interest and inform the client to obtain an opinion from another attorney not connected with the case as to whether or not the client should retain a different attorney due to the conflict of interest.

If you decide to continue with the same attorney as your co-defendant, the attorney should have you  sign a waiver of the potential conflict of interest.  The waiver would indicate that you have been informed of the potential conflict of interest and have decided to continue representation with the same attorney.


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