COURT APPOINTED ATTORNEY DROPS CURRENT CLIENT TO REPRESENT ANOTHER CLIENT ON THE OPPOSING SIDE IN THE SAME CASE, CLAIMING CONFLICT OF INTEREST.

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COURT APPOINTED ATTORNEY DROPS CURRENT CLIENT TO REPRESENT ANOTHER CLIENT ON THE OPPOSING SIDE IN THE SAME CASE, CLAIMING CONFLICT OF INTEREST.

MY BROTHER’S ATTORNEY DROPPED HIM TO REP ANOTHER PERSON IN THE SAME CASE (AGAINST HIM). IS THIS EVEN LEGAL, CONSIDERING WHAT THE LAWYER ALREADY KNOWS ABOUT MY BROTHER AND THE THINGS HE HAS TOLD HER IN REGARDS TO THE CASE? THINGS HE WOULD OF TOLD NO ONE BUT HIS ATTORNEY. AND HOW WOULD HE GO ABOUT GETTING HER REMOVED FROM THE CASE ALL TOGETHER, IF POSSIBLE?

Asked on June 23, 2009 under Criminal Law, Kentucky

Answers:

B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

I'm not a Kentucky lawyer, and there are differences from one state to another.  But none of the different sets of rules I've seen, for lawyers' ethics, would even remotely allow anything like this.  If a lawyer has a conflict of interest for one party to a lawsuit, that attorney has no business representing or advising anybody in the lawsuit.  Period. And it isn't just an actual conflict of interest that triggers this, it is anything that looks like a conflict of interest, because lawyers in most states are required to "avoid even the appearance of impropriety" for conflicts.

Your brother needs to ask the court for a new lawyer, and to have the old one removed from the case.  Ordinarily, a letter to the judge is useless, but in this case, it might be the first thing to try, with copies being A motion will probably have to be filed, and it's usually best if an attorney draws up the papers.  If there's any way to hire a lawyer for him, one place to look for qualifed attorneys is our website, http://attorneypages.com


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