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10-05

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Question Presented: 

 

A Lawyer may represent the driver and passenger in a personal injury claim only if the passenger does not make or does not intend to make a claim against the driver or the driver's liability insurance carrier. Even if the lawyer does not intend to make a claim against the driver, the lawyer must make inquiry to determine if a conflict exists, or could arise in the future.

To determine the appropriateness of concurrent representation, the lawyer should conduct an initial interview with only one client in order to obtain adequate information to make an informed judgment before the second prospective client is interviewed. If the initial interview is conducted with both prospective clients and a conflict is found to exist, the lawyer may be subject to complete disqualification from both cases.

Questions Presented:

Whether or not there is a conflict of interest in representing both the driver and the passenger in a rear end automobile accident?

If the plaintiff driver is found to be not contributorily negligent, would that eliminate any conflict (Apparently assuming time for appeal has run)?

If the plaintiff driver is found to be contributorily negligent, would that necessitate removal from the first and/or second case?

This page was last modified on Tuesday, April 3, 2012