When people are searching an attorney to help them with their latest legal matter, they need to remember that attorneys are bound by ethical standards. These standards dictate the cases that attorneys can take, and these standards dictate times when attorneys should turn away clients. The instances below show when an attorney must turn away clients due to ethical problems with the case or the client. An interview between Law360 New York and attorney Sean Hecker outlined some of the following details about legal cases.
The Case Is Lost
Attorneys knows that some cases cannot truly be litigated properly, and they know that they would be wasting their client’s time. Attorneys are bound by a code of ethics that states that they must decline to represent clients who are fighting a losing battle. The attorney should never take money from a client who should not be pursuing their case.
Conflicts Of Interest
When attorneys are confronted with a conflict of interest, they must decline to represent the client they are meeting with. All attorneys must make sure that there is no appearance of bias or a conflict on their part. If the attorney is found to be caught in a conflict of interest, they must recuse themselves immediately.
Attorneys can represent their family members in all cases, but attorneys must make sure that they are careful with other relationships. When an attorney is representing their girlfriend, boyfriend, mistress or acquaintance, it is easy for the attorney to appear to be in the middle of a conflict of interests.
When an attorney finds that they are in the middle of improper communications with a client, they must decline to represent their client. Attorneys and clients cannot enter into inappropriate or illicit communications, and an attorney who believes they are being lured by a client must make sure they stop representing that client as soon as possible.
When attorneys are deciding when to take on cases, they need to make sure that they are following the guidelines above. An attorney must make sure they understand how to remain ethically sound while also seeing clients who need their help. This balance of ethics is one that all attorneys must consider with each new case.