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A hopeless conflict of interest



Perhaps someone had the right to petition a court to declare "J.G." of New York incapacitated and appoint a guardian over him, lest his erratic behavior jeopardize his pending personal injury suit. But if so, the person with that right was not the attorney who was prosecuting the injury suit on his behalf, since that attorney faced a fatal conflict of interest in the matter, ruled Judge Alexander W. Hunter, Jr. of the Bronx. "The judge, who is not handling the personal injury action, also found that the attorney's testimony in support of the petition violated attorney-client privilege," reports the New York Law Journal. Had the judge ruled the other way, we might worry about the possibilities that could unfold when some future jittery client announced that he wanted to back out of a suit: "Whassa matter, you crazy?" the lawyer might retort -- and pick up the phone.

 

 


Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy
rmangual@manhattan-institute.org

Katherine Lazarski
Manhattan Institute
klazarski@manhattan-institute.org

 

Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.