Title: Opinion File 76-26 thru 76-27
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/WL00003452/00001
 Material Information
Title: Opinion File 76-26 thru 76-27
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
 Subjects
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida
 Notes
Abstract: Buddy Blain's Collections - Opinion File 76-26 thru 76-27
General Note: Box 14, Folder 5 ( Opinions 1976 - 1977 - 1976 - 1977 ), Item 6
Funding: Digitized by the Legal Technology Institute in the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: WL00003452
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Levin College of Law, University of Florida
Holding Location: Levin College of Law, University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

Full Text

r\ ^76-26



Se tember 24 1976 k EY W O R D S: r4



MEA0 TO: FILE 0 o"
FF M: LMB
RE: REPRESENTING INTERESTS OF MULTIPLE CLIENTS


Canon 5 of the Florida Bar Code of Professional Responsibility
states: "A lawyer should exercise independent professional judgment
on behalf on a client."

It goes without saying that the professional judgment of a
lawyer should be exercised, within the bounds of the law, solely
fcr the benefit of his client and free of compromising influences
and loyalties. EC5-1

"Occasionally a lawyer is called upon to decide in a particular
case whether he will be a witness or an advocate. If the lawyer is
bth counsel and witness, he becomes more easily impeachable for
irerest and thus may be a less effective witness. the roles
of an advocate and of a witness are inconsistent; the function of
an advocate is to advance or to argue the cause of another, while
tlat of a witness is to state facts objectively." EC5-9

". It is not objectionable for a lawyer who is a potential
witness to be an advocate if it is unlikely that he will be called as
a witness because his testimony would be merely cumulative or if his
testimony will relate only to an uncontested issue. In the exceptional
situation where it will be manifestly unfair to the client for the
lawyer to refuse employment or to withdraw when he will likely be
a witness on a contested issue, he may serve as advocate even though
hE may be a witness. In making such decision it should be
clear that refusal or withdrawal will impose an unreasonable hard-
slip on the client before the lawyer accepts or continues the employ-
m nt. Where the question arises, doubts should be resolved in favor
t e lawyer testifying and against his becoming or continuing as an
a vocate."

"Maintaining the independence of professional judgment required
oJ a lawyer precludes his acceptance or continuation of employment
tlat will adversely affect his judgment on behalf of or dilute his
Icyalty to a client. This problem arises whenever a lawyer is asked
t< represent two or more clients who may have differing interests,
whether such interests be conflicting, inconsistent, diverse, or
otherwise discordant." EC5-14


_C I_






S. 76-27


P ge No. 2


there are many instances in which a lawyer may
properly serve multiple clients having potentially different
i terests in matters not involving litigation. If interests
v ry only slightly, it's generally likely that the lawyer will
n t be subjected to an adverse influence and that he can retain
h s independent judgment in behalf of each client; and if the
interests become differing,withdrawal is less likely to have a
d sruptive effect upon the causes of his clients." EC5-15

"In those instances where a lawyer is justified in representing
two or more clients having differing interests, it is nevertheless
Se sential that each client be given the opportunity to evaluate his
need for representation free of any potential conflict and to obtain
other counsel if he so desires. Thus, before a lawyer may represent
multiple clients, he should explain fully to each client the implica-
t:ons of the common representation and should accept or continue
e ployment only if the clients consent. If there are present other
circumstances that might cause any of the multiple clients to question
tle undivided loyalty of the lawyer, he should also advise all of the
c ients of those circumstances." EC5-16

"A lawyer employed or retained by a corporation or similar entity
o es his allegiance to the entity and not to a stockholder, director,
Soificer, employee, representative, or other persons connected with
t e entity. In advising the entity, a lawyer should keep paramount
i s interest and his professional judgment should not be influenced
bi the personal desires of any person or organization. Occasionally
a lawyer for an entity is requested by a stockholder, director,
officer, employee, representative, or other persons connected with
tle entity to represent him in an individual capacity; in such case
tle lawyer may serve the individual only if the lawyer is convinced
tlat differing interests are not present." EC5-18

"A lawyer may represent several clients whose interests are not
actually or potentially differing. Nevertheless, he should explain
ary circumstances that might cause a client to question his undivided
loyalty. Regardless of the belief of the lawyer that he may properly
represent multiple clients,he must defer to a client who holds the
c ntrary belief and withdraw from representation of that client."
E(5-19

Canon 9 states: "A lawyer should avoid even the appearance of
p ofessional impropriety."


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