How can Lawyers Avoid Conflicts of Interest?
Conflicts of interest are arguably one of the top reasons that your legal clients could find themselves facing legal malpractice, or professional liability claims. While not unique to the legal field, conflict-of-interest cases are among the most rapidly increasing problem areas in the legal profession, according to business solutions website LexisNexis.com.
So where do these conflicts of interest come from? Some experts believe that lawyers and attorneys may not be vetting out their potential clients and contacts as much as they should be, saying that when a lawyer is searching the background of a new client or even an employee, they need to go beyond just the resume or business card of the potential client. Every connection needs to be sought out in order to bring all possible sources of conflict to the surface. This includes researching nicknames and other aliases, businesses they’ve worked for or with in any capacity, and personal interests that might be problematic later on.
Experts say that even in small legal firms, this needs to be done with some type of electronic database that is easily searchable and enables the legal firm to designate a consistent protocol within their firm that will help them store comprehensive information and retrieve it quickly. This system should have reporting capabilities that will provide your legal client with tangible proof that they’ve ran all the necessary checks, to hopefully detect any possible conflicts of interest before representation.
Conflicts of interest and other legal malpractice claims may still occur despite your clients best efforts, which is why it’s vital that they have the right Lawyer Professional Liability policy in place. At AFPD, we understand the unique risks your clients face, which is why we pride ourselves on providing the best insurance solutionss for your clients’ professional liability needs.