Wednesday, September 15, 2010
An attorney who had represented a driver and two passengers in an automobile accident matter was reprimanded by the New Jersey Disciplinary Review Board:
Unquestionably, respondent engaged in a conflict of interest situation by representing all three clients, when their interests became adverse. From the moment that respondent became aware of the possibility that [client] Hunter might not have used the turn signal, a conflict of interest emerged. His representation of both driver and passengers might have been permissible only if (1) the other driver was totally culpable, (2) the culpable driver's insurance coverage was sufficient to cover both claims, and (3) respondent had obtained his clients' written consent to the representation (citing a 1973 ethics opinion).
The attorney had two prior disciplinary actions for unrelated misconduct, both over a decade ago. (Mike Frisch)