before the development of radiometric dating techniques - Conflict of interest dating

A conflict of interest, in the legal sense, involves information about a client held by a member of the legal, paralegal or legal secretary.That information does not have to be attorney/client privileged information, nor does it have to include actual documented facts about a client's legal matter.

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Additionally, if the matter is adversarial (i.e., in litigation), the attorney must obtain the adversary's consent.

** Send a memorandum alerting all firm or corporation employees to the conflict of interest.

In practice areas where paralegals are not supervised by or accountable to an attorney but deal directly with the clients, paralegals make those decisions.

Paralegals should abide by the decision made by the attorney.


For paralegals who are supervised by or accountable to an attorney, the attorney is obligated to determine whether there is conflict of interest between the paralegal and the client or legal matter.Conflicts of interest involving paralegals usually result from personal and business relationships outside the legal environment or from legal matters handled at the paralegal's prior employment.If a conflict of interest is not identified and disclosed to the client or supervising attorney, the firm or employer may lose considerable time and money expended in handling the client's legal matter.The memo should advise employees that they are not permitted to communicate any information about the file with, or in front of, the person with whom the conflict of interest exists.** Maintain in the file a hard copy of that memorandum establishing the ethical wall (a) to remind people about the wall and (b) in case a challenge to the wall is made by an adversary or other individual.HOW TO ERECT AN ETHICAL WALL ** Once it is established that a conflict of interest exists, the client's consent for continued representation in the matter must be obtained.

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