How to Avoid Conflict of Interest with Divorce Lawyers in Maryland
A lawyer typically works in the best interest of his/her client. However, there can arise a situation of conflict of interest. Are you aware of what constitutes “conflict of interest”? Before you hire a lawyer and spill the beans to them, read this to know about conflict of interest, which can tilt the case in favor of the opposing party.
Examples of conflict of interest
Let’s take the example of a divorce case. Potential conflicts of interest that can arise in this case include:
- After you have had an initial consultation with a divorce lawyer and decide not to hire them, the lawyer cannot represent your spouse as per law. This is to avoid leaking of confidential information to the other party.
- A lawyer can never represent both spouses in a divorce case. This holds true in case of uncontested divorce too. A divorcing couple, no matter how amicable, can have opposing interests with regards to division of marital property and individual long-term welfare. Separate lawyers for each spouse can work better in the interest of their clients.
- When you contact a law firm for divorce lawyers in MD, your spouse cannot hire a lawyer from the same firm. In other words, the law bars the firm to appoint a lawyer for the opposing party of your case. If it happens, it is conflict of interest and you can report it to the Bar.
- The lawyer representing your case cannot enter into any kind of business relationship or transaction with your opposing party.
What happens when lawyers are guilty of conflict of interest?
The American Bar Association (ABA) has set rules for ethical conduct lawyers must abide by. This set of ethics helps to prevent conflicts of interest. It helps lawyers to stay loyal to their clients and focus on their clients’ best interest.
A conflict of interest can severely affect the outcome of any case.
Lawyers who fail to abide by ABA rules must attend a disciplinary hearing. The can be denied legal fees or suspended from practice. The ABA can also permanently disbar a lawyer, if the need arises.
How to avoid conflict of interest?
As a client, you must keep your antennae up to catch the signs of any conflict of interest.
There may be no conflict of interest in the beginning of a case, but as the case proceeds, conflicts may appear. Some conflicts arise after the case ends. So, keep your eyes and ears open.
Take action as soon as you get the slightest sign of a conflict of interest. Talk to your lawyer. Avoid keeping silent because this can affect your case and its outcome.
Divorce lawyers in Maryland are known to work in the best interest of their clients. Most competent lawyers work under the ethical code of conduct and that’s one of the reasons behind their popularity. It’s vital for a lawyer to be devoted completely to the case of their client. Only then can you be confident of a favorable outcome of your case.