To protect all clients, Zundel Law conducts a thorough conflict of interest check before engaging in representation of any individual, family, organization, or school entity. Zundel Law was established on a foundation of strong legal ethics and personal integrity. Please read on to learn more about the firm’s Conflicts Policy, which applies to both litigation and non-litigation matters. Our conflicts check starts by identifying the individuals involved in the matter and the legal issues at stake. Throughout the process, clear communication is a priority.
Rules of Professional Conduct
The Pennsylvania Rules of Professional Conduct prohibit lawyers from representing clients who have identifiable legal interests that are adverse to one another. Clients have a clear right to zealous legal advocacy. An ethical attorney cannot zealously advocate for multiple clients that have opposing interests in the same case or a substantially related case. Even after representing a client, a lawyer has an ongoing duty to avoid representing another party in the same or a substantially related legal matter where the new client’s interests are adverse to the interests of the former client.
For example, ethics rules prohibit a school attorney who prosecuted a school discipline case against student Karen Smith on behalf of a prior client from then engaging in representation of Karen Smith against the school district.
Lawyers also cannot use information they learn from representing a client to disadvantage that client (current or former) in any way.
When any conflict of interest concern is raised, Zundel Law will: (1) clearly identify the client or clients affected; (2) determine whether a conflict of interest as defined by ethical guidance in fact exists; (3) decide whether the representation may occur with consent of all necessary parties despite the existence of a conflict; and (4) obtain informed consent from those parties. If a conflict of interest exists and consent is not appropriate or possible, the representation will be declined. If a conflict comes up after the representation of a client has begun, either withdrawal of counsel or the consent process will need to occur.
Each Case is Unique. Each Client is Unique.
Zundel Law’s mission is to leverage an expansive understanding of education and school law to help clients navigate their legal rights in the school setting. Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any further questions about the conflict of interest check process.