Modified Transcript of “Can An Attorney Represent Two People” for the Hearing Impaired:
**Applies to both civil and criminal matters.
It’s not unusual for an attorney to represent more than one person in a case. The attorney needs to make sure that each person is represented to the best of that attorney’s ability without any form of conflict. It’s something you need to be very careful about.
It’s something that we, right off the bat, want to discuss and disclose to clients. Normally, when someone’s coming to me about a case, I want to talk to one person to start with. I don’t want to establish conflict by having both people there at the same time.
When the person calls. They’ve gotten in some trouble one way or the other. They may have a claim or claims against them or case(s) against them and they want to ask some questions. There may also be someone else involved.
SEE RELATED: RETAINING AN ATTORNEY
Generally speaking, we’ll talk to that first person, the person whom reached out and sought our legal assistance. One of the first questions we ask is, “Was there anyone else involved?” If there is, we’ll immediately do what we refer to as a “Conflict Check.” We check our open and archived computer files to determine whether we presently represent or have ever in the past represented someone else involved in the case.
We’ll see if there’s any potential for conflict. Then, we’ll either say, “Hey, we can help out,” or we’ll advise that that person (THE SECOND PERSON INVOLVED WITH CRIMINAL ALLEGATIONS) seek independent counsel. Normally that involves us telling our new client, “Thanks for the referral. We probably can’t help both you and your friend. We’re more than willing to refer another law firm or attorney for that other case.”
More often than not, there are rare exceptions, but we most often will advise the client, even to avoid the appearance of what we call impropriety or conflict; we’ll oftentimes help that other person (THE SECOND PERSON INVOLVED WITH CRIMINAL ALLEGATIONS) find another lawyer through providing a referral. The KEY is that we will make a referral to the second person charged without discussing the facts of the case or in any way creating a potential for conflict of interest.
It’s just easier representing one person.
That doesn’t mean that there aren’t times where we will join people for representation. I do encourage people to give us a ring. Offer a free confidential consultation and we can tell you how that process takes place and what needs to be put in place before the jail visit, before speaking to you.
Bill Powers has been listed in 2015 SuperLawyers North Carolina Magazine. In calendar years 2012, 2013 & 2014, SuperLawyers further included Bill in the “Top 100″ Lawyers in North Carolina. In 2013 Bill Powers was listed as “Top 25 in Charlotte” by SuperLawyers North Carolina.
For Membership Information & Criterion for Inclusion to SuperLaywers North Carolina see: https://www.avvo.com/attorneys/28208-nc-f-powers-1739178.html
Powers Law Firm PA in 2015 has been again listed as a “Best Law Firm” by U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT. For Member Info & Criterion for Inclusion see: https://www.bestlawyers.com/firms/powers-mccartan-pllc/44550/US/
In 2015 Bill Powers has been included in Best Lawyers of America. For membership info & criterion for inclusion see: https://www.bestlawyers.com/lawyers/bill-powers/78562/
Bill Powers has also been listed in “Top 100 Criminal Defense Lawyers in North Carolina” by The National Trial Lawyers. For member info & criterion for inclusion see: https://www.thenationaltriallawyers.org/profile-view/Bill/Powers/5071/
“Top 10 Criminal Defense Attorneys in North Carolina” as listed in The National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys. For member info & criterion for inclusion see: https://www.national-academy.net/attorney-members/bill-powers