At times, both members of a couple want to employ the same law firm to assist them in specific legal needs, examples are estate planning and adoptions. Such representation is more efficient in these examples. However, the Rules of Professional Conduct limit our ability to represent multiple clients with respect to the same transaction. We cannot represent multiple clients who have conflicting interests without their informed written consent. Even if there is no apparent conflict, multiple clients must be advised of any actual or reasonably foreseeable adverse effects that might arise from such multiple representations.
If for any reason, I were to take on dual representation, ie both adopting parents or both spouses for an estate plan, I cannot take sides; I must be impartial. Each person is entitled to my unbiased services and to all knowledge that I have about their entire matter. In short, I cannot represent one party to the detriment of the other. I believe that the following adverse effects are reasonably foreseeable and arise from our representation of both parties:
1. If we represent both of you, each of you will be our client with respect to the same transaction. In that case, matters that one client might discuss with the lawyer are not protected by the attorney/client privilege from disclosure to the other client. The Rules prohibit us from agreeing with either of you to withhold information from the other. Of course, anything either of you discusses with us is privileged from disclosure to third parties.
2. If the two of you have a difference of opinion concerning your proposed representation, we can point out the pros and cons of such differing opinions. The Rules prohibit us, as the lawyers for both of you, from advocating one of your positions over the other.
3. If conflicts do arise between the two of you of such a nature that it is impossible in our judgment to perform our obligations to each of you it would become necessary for us to withdraw as your joint attorney and to advise one or both of you to obtain independent counsel.
3. If conflicts do arise between the two of you of such a nature that it is impossible in our judgment to perform our obligations to each of you in accordance with this letter, it would become necessary for us to withdraw as your joint attorney and to advise one or both of you to obtain independent counsel.
In a high majority of matters joint representation is inappropriate or we can not represent a party due to a conflict of interest. When this happens and Surratt Law Practice can not represent you, we have two firms that we highly recommend for family law in Reno, Nevada:
These professionals are recommended by Surratt Law Practice in an effort to better serve our clients. We cannot guarantee the quality of the work, product or service they provide. However, we have had positive experiences with each of these professionals. Please make sure you interview and screen any professional you may meet with before using their services. When you contact them, please let them know we referred you and let us know of your experiences