You know, the word conflict check rolls off a lawyer’s tongue very easily. It’s something we’re used to doing. Essentially, the way our attorney ethics rules are written is we’re only allowed to work with one client in a particular deal if their interests are out of alignment with another client. We can work together with two clients if their interests are aligned and the clients know that we’re working with both of them, but in most cases, we have a tension between parties. For instance, the person buying a business has a tension with the person selling the business. Their interests are different. There’s a negotiation going on there. We as lawyers can only be on one side of a negotiation, so we have to do what we call a conflict check.
A conflict check is a fancy word for checking our lists of clients, current, and past, and making sure there’s no reason that we can’t work for the client. Our job is to work for the best interests of our client, and the conflict check makes sure that we don’t have a problem with that. These conflict checks can involve multiple people and can involve attorneys throughout an entire law firm. They’re an important process and they do help protect our clients. The next time you hear an attorney say I have to do a conflict check, that’s generally a good thing. They are doing the right thing to make sure they are protecting the interests of their clients, but it’s nothing to be worried about. It’s a standard process and a procedure in a law firm operation and something you can expect.
Have you been concerned about the word conflict check? Did you understand what a conflict check was prior to this blog? Do you have any additional questions on what a conflict check is? Please join us in the comments below.
This posting is intended to be a tool to familiarize readers with some of the issues discussed herein. This is not meant to be a comprehensive discussion and additional details should be discussed with your attorneys, accountants, consultants, bankers and other business planners who can provide advice for your circumstances. This article should not be treated as legal advice to any person or entity. Freeimages.com/Photographer Nevit Dilmen.
About the Author
Shawn McBride — R. Shawn McBride is the Managing Member of The R. Shawn McBride Law Firm, PLLC. Shawn works successful, private business owners in their growth and missions to make a company that stands the test of time. You can email R. Shawn McBride or call (214) 418-0258.
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