If you obtain a consultation from an attorney and then your spouse hires the same attorney as legal representation, isn’t that a conflict of interest?

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If you obtain a consultation from an attorney and then your spouse hires the same attorney as legal representation, isn’t that a conflict of interest?

Asked on December 10, 2012 under Family Law, Tennessee

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

It may be a conflict of interest:

1) If the consultation was for an unrelated matter (e.g. real estate), there is a very good chance it would not represent a conflict or ethical problem.

2) If the consultation was for the same matter (e.g. divorce) that your wife has retained the attorney for, it is probably not a conflict per se (since you were, presumably, not a client--that is, you presumably did not retain the lawyer), *but* the attorney may not use any information which he/she obtained from the consultation against you or for your wife. If you believe this is the case, there may be a breach of legal ethics, and you should bring it to the court's attention and/or to the attention of your state bar association.


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