September 01, 2013

The Ethics of Joint Representation

Representing more than one client in the same matter is a potential minefield. Here's how to avoid an explosion.

Lucian T. Pera

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We all do it. We all ought to be capable of doing it. But we all ought to do it more carefully.

From time to time, lawyers are called upon to represent more than one client in the same matter. Call it joint representation or call it multiple representation, it is an essential, everyday capability that we simply must have in our repertoires. For that reason, we all need regular reminders about how to do it ethically and prudently.

Let’s start with a fundamental principle: Before, during, and after a joint representation, treat all joint clients equally in all respects, including loyalty, confidentiality, communication, and decision making.

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