Positional Conflicts of Interest
The University of Texas School of Law, Public Law and Legal Theory Research Paper Series Number 452
85 Pages Posted: 9 Jun 2013
Date Written: June 7, 2013
A positional conflict of interest occurs when a law firm adopts a legal position for one client seeking a particular legal result that is directly contrary to the position taken on behalf of another present or former client, seeking an opposite legal result, in a completely unrelated matter. The classic positional conflict of interest arises in litigation when a lawyer or law firm argues for one interpretation of the law on behalf of one client and for a contrary interpretation on behalf of another client. Such conflicts may also arise in the lobbying context when the lawyer or law firm is arguing for a particular change in the law for one client and in another representation is making a legal argument inconsistent with the position advanced for the first client. These conflicts may further arise in the transaction context when the lawyer or law firm drafts a particular arrangement for one client and for another client attacks the propriety of a similar arrangement.
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