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luigirovatti's avatar

Could you answer me the following hypothetical legal situation from the TV series "Suits" (S08E15)

Asked by luigirovatti (2097points) 1 week ago

You got two clients, both in a deal together. One bills seven figures, the other five. They both waive conflict, then you find out the big one was planning on “kicking out” the other one from the deal. You can’t break privilege by telling the other client, so, what can you do?

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7 Answers

JLoon's avatar

I think that episode was probably a little weak on reality.

In fact this type of situation comes up occaisonally in corporate law, and the rule is simple: If you represent both clients you have an equal duty to each one.

So, you inform the big guy that you have to disclose what you know and you tell the little guy. But before you do anything you give the principal client the opportunity to seek other council, and offer mediation to both parties in order resolve conflicts or disputes.

It works out, but the results are usually less dramatic and don’t make for good TV ;)

JLoon's avatar

By the way, this situation is called “concurrent conflict of interest” and its carefully addressed in the ABA Rules of Professional Practice.

The waiver provision is the key.

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