Legal Malpractice through a Conflict of Interest
What is a “conflict of interest”? It is the reason why some judges are unable to take cases, why some lawyers should not accept cases, and why some jury members might be dismissed. “Conflict of interest” is a very important term in the legal world, so understanding what it means is essential.
Conflict of interest means one individual may have had some sort of a personal or professional relationship with another person in the current legal case that would tent to affect their judgment in the case. For example, if a prosecuting attorney previously had a personal relationship with a defendant, he or she should voluntarily retreat from the case. While everyone likes to proclaim his or her ability to perform a case without looking back at past history or being influenced by present entanglements, that is simply quite difficult. Additionally, if a judge has professionally worked with one of the attorneys (i.e., they are business partners either currently or previously), the judge should remove him or herself from the case. If a potential jury member knows one of the parties or important witnesses in the trial, they, too, may be removed from the case due to a “conflict of interest.”
If your attorney had a conflict of interest – or failed to protect you against the conflict of interest of the judge or jury member – this may well be considered legal malpractice in Florida, if you were damaged as a result. If you believe you are on the receiving end of such a malpractice situation, you need to seek out one of the Florida legal malpractice attorneys at Trials and Errors. We would be happy to sit down with you and work through the facts to determine whether or not there was a conflict of interest that rose to the level of legal malpractice.