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Tag: conflict of interest

Is It a Conflict of Interest and Is It Unethical if I Saw My Divorce Attorney Hug My Husband in Court?

Not likely.

Black’s Law Dictionary (11th ed. 2019) defines conflict of interest as:

  1. A real or seeming incompatibility between the interests of two of a lawyer’s clients, such that the lawyer is disqualified from representing both clients if the dual representation adversely affects either client or if the clients do not consent. See Model Rules of Prof’l Conduct R. 1.7(a) (2013).

Conflict of interest can also include, in the legal representation context, as actions of one’s attorney that exploit the attorney-client relationship for the lawyer’s personal benefit or to the client’s detriment.

So, unless one could somehow show that your attorney hugging your husband in court somehow harming your case or benefiting your attorney at your expense, I don’t see how your attorney hugging your spouse would be a conflict of interest.

It may be awkward or in bad taste from under some circumstances, but a conflict of interest? Not likely.

If the hug raises suspicions as to whether there is a relationship between your husband and your attorney that is itself a conflict of interest, that would not mean that the hug itself is itself an act constituting a conflict of interest.

Each state is different in the way it sets its code of attorney ethics, but the American Bar Association has a model code that many states either adopt or adapt. Here are the three main rules governing conflicts of interest from the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct:

Rule 1.7: Conflict of Interest: Current Clients

Rule 1.8: Current Clients: Specific Rules

Rule 1.10: Imputation of Conflicts of Interest: General Rule

Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277

(10) Eric Johnson’s answer to Is it a conflict of interest and is it unethical if I saw my divorce attorney hug my husband in court? – Quora

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Do attorneys ever have to represent relatives?

Do attorneys ever have to represent relatives or is that a conflict of interest?

I will give my personal opinion (as a lawyer, but not as a lawyer giving anyone any particular legal advice) as it applies in the jurisdiction where I practice divorce and family law (Utah).  

There is no inherent conflict of interest in an attorney representing a relative simply by virtue of the client being a relative. There is no inherent conflict of interest in an attorney representing a relative against another relative either simply by virtue of the client being a relative.  

If you learn that the opposing party’s attorney is a relative of that party, that is not a conflict of interest that would disqualify that attorney from representing that party.   

Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277  

https://www.quora.com/Do-attorneys-ever-have-to-represent-relatives-or-is-that-a-conflict-of-interest/answer/Eric-Johnson-311  

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Should I review the proposed settlement agreement with my own lawyer?

In a less complicated divorce, where each party has already agreed to the split of assets, do they each need to hire their own attorney, and why or why not? Should I review the proposed settlement agreement with my own lawyer?

I can answer your question conclusively in less than 100 words:

If your spouse and his/her lawyer submit to you a proposed agreement that appears to you (and you are not a lawyer yourself) to be a good, fair deal, would you prefer A) just to sign it hoping that it doesn’t contain any errors, omissions, or tricks and traps; or B) to sign it after first having your own independent counsel (i.e., your own lawyer) review the proposal to ensure it doesn’t contain any errors, omissions, or tricks and traps in it?

The correct course of action is obvious.

Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277

https://www.quora.com/In-a-less-complicated-divorce-where-each-party-has-already-agreed-to-the-split-of-assets-do-they-each-need-to-hire-their-own-attorney-and-why-or-why-not/answer/Eric-Johnson-311

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