For an attorney, what constitutes a conflict of interest?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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For an attorney, what constitutes a conflict of interest?

I currenty am going to court tommorow on a TCO for verbal abuse. I just got notice of my girlfriend’s attorney and his firm represened another party that suied me for theft. Is there a conflict of interest I

he as already represented another party and now is representing my girlfriend? Is that reason to ask for a motion to withdrawl?

Asked on November 30, 2017 under Criminal Law, Iowa


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

This is not a conflict: a conflict is when *your* attorney is representing currently someone with interests opposed to you, or previously was your attorney and is using information (or potentially using) information from representing you against you. It is not a conflict if the attorney for another person (your girlfriend) previously sued you or litigated against you, because. They are not now and never were your lawyer (or at least you do not indicate that they ever were) and a conflict can only involve your attorney.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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