When a business partner dies, is it legal for the partnership’s attorney to subsequently represent only the surviving partner in matters related to the sale of partnership assets?

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When a business partner dies, is it legal for the partnership’s attorney to subsequently represent only the surviving partner in matters related to the sale of partnership assets?

Otherwise stated, can the partnership’s attorney legally represent the surviving partner in partnership disputes between the heir to the partnership who also happens to be the court appointed administratrix?

Asked on August 17, 2010 under Business Law, New York

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Ethically the attorney represents the interest of the business and not of the individual.  What you want to know is if in this instance it creates a conflict of interest.  Really the specifics of everything involved has to be addressed.  But certainly the situation may give rise to a potential conflict and the attorney should steer clear of actual representation of any party as against the interests of the business.   Sounds like legal mumbo jumbo, correct?  What I would strongly suggest is that you seek the help of an attorney that is not involved with the matter to help you sort it through.  If there is an appearance of impropriety then your attorney should do what is necessary to make sure that everyone involved - including the Court - is aware of what is going on and that the matter is resolved asap.  Good luck.


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