Lawyers in New Jersey owe their clients a duty of loyalty. This means many things, but above all, it means that the lawyer must promise to act in the client’s best interests. When the lawyer’s outside interests conflict with the client’s, the lawyer may be improperly motivated to use the position of trust in a way that hurts the client while benefiting the lawyer. This is a type of legal malpractice under New Jersey law.
At Team Law, our legal malpractice lawyers have fought to get justice for clients harmed because of their lawyer’s unethical behavior for decades. We know that it can be difficult to trust another lawyer. We take pride in our reputation for excellent legal services—and we have already helped our New Jersey clients recover over $650 million in compensation.
As lawyers, we made promises to act in our clients’ best interests before we even began practicing law in New Jersey—and we take those promises seriously. If you have suffered harm because of your lawyer’s failure to disclose conflicts of interests, our lawyers are here to protect your rights.
Failure to disclose a conflict of interest and continuing representation is usually an ethics violation under New Jersey law. If you were harmed because of the conflicted representation, you may have the right to a variety of remedies, including financial compensation. To learn more about protecting your rights, call or contact our legal malpractice lawyers to schedule a free case review.
In some cases, a lawyer may agree to represent a client before discovering a conflict of interest. In that case, the lawyer must disclose the conflict and the potential risks associated with the conflict as soon as possible. Often, the conflicted lawyer will refer you to another reputable lawyer.
American Bar Association rules state that loyalty and independent judgment are essential elements in the lawyer-client relationship. Any type of conflict that might impact the lawyer’s ability to advocate zealously to protect the client’s interests can be a breach of the lawyer’s duties. Your lawyer might be financially responsible for conflicts of interest involving:
The lawyer’s position does not have to be directly adverse to the client’s in order for a conflict of interest to arise. For example, if the lawyer represents multiple partners in a business venture, that could create a conflict even though the business partners are on the same side. The lawyer may have a problem advocating solely for one client because the lawyer also has duties to the others.
At Team Law, we respect our clients’ right to privacy. Your lawyer has a legal duty to keep the information you share confidential. In many cases involving conflicts of interests, it also comes to light that the lawyer shared information you entrusted to your lawyer in confidence. If you suffered financial harm as a result, you may have the right to compensation.
You may have a variety of legal remedies if you were harmed by your lawyer’s conflicted representation, including financial reimbursement and the right to report your lawyer’s ethical violations to the New Jersey bar association. To establish your rights, our lawyers will:
To effectively represent a client, a lawyer cannot have competing interests that impact how the lawyer provides that representation. If you were harmed—or believe you may have been harmed—because of your lawyer’s conflicts of interest, schedule a free case review with our New Jersey legal malpractice lawyers to tell us what happened.
It depends. Consent to a conflict of interest is only a defense to a malpractice claim if your consent was fully informed. That means that the lawyer informed you about the risks of his or her continued representation in the face of the conflict of interest. In some cases, your informed consent may have to be in writing and signed.
Lawyers have a duty to put procedures into place to avoid conflicts of interests. The scope of that duty may depend upon the size of the firm and the practice area involved. That’s one of the reasons why lawyers offer a free consultation—so that they can learn more about whether they can help the client based on the case at hand.
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