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  1. #1

    Default Representing a Close Relative

    My question relates to legal practice in the state of: New York

    Should an attorney recuse him/herself from defending a close relative? Would it be considered a conflict of interest? Would it even be allowed?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Representing a Close Relative

    Depending on the particulars, generally no. But it could certainly be an issue in a DV case, estate law or something similar. We would need to know more.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Representing a Close Relative

    Quote Quoting MaltbyMark
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    We would need to know more.
    Let's say it was vehicular accident where a fatality was involved.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Representing a Close Relative

    Quote Quoting debodun
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    Should an attorney recuse him/herself from defending a close relative? Would it be considered a conflict of interest? Would it even be allowed?
    Why do you ask?

    Seriously, what is your situation and what about it gives rise to the question.

    Details count.

    Quote Quoting debodun
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    Let's say it was vehicular accident where a fatality was involved.
    That doesn't help a bit.

    Did that really happen? If yes, then who is who, and who is getting represented by the lawyer?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Representing a Close Relative

    The fact that the client is a relative is not a conflict of interest by itself. An attorney needs to always evaluation the relationships he has with his client and with any other parties (and in this sort of case victims, etc...) that would give an appearance of impropriety or that would interfere with his providing effective counsel.

    Frankly, I'd take my cousin Vinnie any day Actually, my sister. While I come from a family of attorneys, she's the goto one. If she can't handle it, she can snap her fingers and the appropriate counsel will appear.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Representing a Close Relative

    Quote Quoting debodun
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    My question relates to legal practice in the state of: New York

    Should an attorney recuse him/herself from defending a close relative? Would it be considered a conflict of interest? Would it even be allowed?
    Whether the attorney should agree to represent a relative depends on a lot of factors. But there is nothing in the rules of professional conduct that would bar the attorney from representing a relative and the mere fact that the client is a relative is not a conflict of interest. A conflict of interest for a lawyer generally arises in one of two situations: (1) the attorney's representation of this client would be against another current or former client of the lawyer and (2) the lawyer has some other interest that may be adverse to the client and that might cause the attorney not to do his/her best in representing the client.

    The main challenge in most representations of family members is being able to remain objective. It is important that a lawyer be able to see the matter objectively and provide objective opinions of the matter faced by the client. But there are certainly a lot of situations in which there is no problem for a lawyer to represent a relative and it happens all the time.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Representing a Close Relative

    Quote Quoting flyingron
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    Actually, my sister. While I come from a family of attorneys, she's the goto one. If she can't handle it, she can snap her fingers and the appropriate counsel will appear.
    That would make for a good TV sitcom.

  8. #8
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    Jul 2018
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    Default Re: Representing a Close Relative

    Quote Quoting debodun
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    Should an attorney recuse him/herself from defending a close relative?
    Depends on the relevant facts.

    Quote Quoting debodun
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    Would it be considered a conflict of interest?
    No.

    Quote Quoting debodun
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    Would it even be allowed?
    Yes.

    I'm not sure why you would think, in the abstract, this would be at all problematic. Lawyers represent their relatives all the time in both civil and criminal matters.

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