Conflicts and Confidentiality

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This article is a topic within the subject Law, Lawyers and Society.

Required Reading

Y. Ross & P. MacFarlane, Lawyers’ Responsibility and Accountability: Cases, Problems and Commentary, Fourth Edition (Butterworth’s, 2012), pp. .

  • [1] Rationale: … to protect people from being taken advantage of by someone who stands in a position of ascendancy
  • Responsibilities of lawyers as fiduciaries:
    • Avoid conflicts of interest with clients
    • Avoid exploiting relationships for unsolicited personal gain
    • Disclose any conflicts and your knowledge of the client
    • Keep client’s details confidential
    • Account for money on someone else’s behalf
  • [2] In event of conflict:
    • Disclose it to your client and stop acting for them or get their consent and ensure they find someone else
    • Disqualifying a lawyer also disqualifies the firm
    • Cf. Rules 10-12, Professional Conduct and Practice Rules (NSW)
  • May: There will always be conflicts of interest between client and fiduciary; there is going to be some moral compromise and professionals should only really avoid it (by eliminating it or ending their client relationship) when the fiduciary cannot consent
  • [3] Lawyers cannot act in cases where they believe they may be called upon to testify

End

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References

Textbook refers to Y. Ross & P. MacFarlane, Lawyers’ Responsibility and Accountability: Cases, Problems and Commentary, Fourth Edition (Butterworth’s, 2012).

  1. Textbook, p. 100
  2. Textbook, p. 101
  3. Textbook, p. 102
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