My lawyer is part of a 3-man (Family) Law Group. My lawyer represents me in an ongoing ICBC accident claim. My lawyer's

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Customer: My lawyer is part of a 3-man (Family) Law Group. My lawyer represents me in an ongoing ICBC accident claim. My lawyer's brother, same Law Group, is representing another lady in an accident claim that names my husband as a defendant, as driver of a company vehicle. Is there a conflict of interest with this Law Group?
JA: What state are you in? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: BC canada
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: My case is ongoing since Dec 2015, with an offer to ICBC to settle. If not, X4D in October & go from there. 3 yrs ago when my husband's accident occurred, he was informed that his company would handle everything, but now he got a letter from a Lawyer saying he has to appear & disclose all documents, go to X4D & court.
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: When, 3 yrs ago, I noticed the same Law Group was defending against my husband, I asked my lawyer's paralegal about a possible conflict. She brushed the question off, saying it was 2 different lawyers.
Answered by Debra in 18 mins 2 years ago
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Debra
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Debra, Expert

Hello and Welcome to JustAnswer. My name is***** will be working on your question today and I am looking forward to our conversation.

Customer
Only the one question. Is there a Conflict of Interest with this Family Law Group?
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Debra, Expert

I am sorry to hear of this difficult situation.

Let me make sure I understand. One of the lawyers acting for you at this law firm has a partner at this law firm who is acting against your spouse and you and your spouse are not separated, correct?

Customer
Correct, for over 28 yrs. Both re: vehicle accidents, both cases in negotiations & both cases prior to X4D.
Customer
All correct. The lawyers involved are brothers.
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Debra, Expert

This is a conflict of interest. The only way these lawyers could actually proceed the way they've been doing is to get the consent of all parties.

It is possible for partners in the firm to represent parties who may be in conflict. This has to be done with the consent of the parties and they do what is called putting up an ethical wall (it used to be called a Chinese wall if you want to Google that) which would then mean that they undertake never to look at the others files.

But, if this didn't happen then it is grounds for them to step down from the fire and it is also grounds for you to file a complaint with the Law Society.

Do you see what I mean?

Customer
Not sure. You do know that these are 2 different car accidents, 2 years apart, that my husband was driving a company vehicle (with permission ), & that both he & the company are named in the case? It is possible that I may be on the 10 yard line with a settlement. If that does happen, then the "conflict of interest" would not exist any more, right? Or if the other case settles, same result?
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Debra, Expert

Yes I do know they are two different car accidents.

The problem is whether one lawyer would have some information that could help the opposing lawyer and so that's why there's often concerns about lawyers acting for different parties even if it's not in the same case.

But if there's no possibility that that could be happening we are one could get confidential information to be use against the other then it may be a non-issue.

Customer
For now, assume that there is no confidential information that could be used against the other party. How can my husband be included in the case when his company has the insurance &, if so, what would his liabilities be?
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Debra, Expert

I don't know. I don't know the facts well enough in this question was not about this issue so if you want to start a new post and set out all the facts more clearly there I could try and answer there.

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Debra, Expert

Thank you for trusting us to help you here at JustAnswer. If you have any follow-up questions, or need clarity on anything we went over today, please feel free to let me know-I am happy to help!

Customer
My husband was driving, in the company vehicle (with permission), to start work in early morning. He was driving a van that had a bucket on it. Going down a hill, the other driver was cut off suddenly, so she moved quickly into my husband's lane. He swerved as much as possible, because there now wasn't enough room for him to stop his truck, clipping the back fender of her car. She also was on her way to work. I'm assuming soft tissue damage & a loss of work claim. He, along with his company, are named in the law suit.
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Debra, Expert

Then why isn't ICBC defending him?

Customer
Sorry, I'm not being clear. ICBC is defending him & his Company. My question was, "Why is he included in this law suit at all"? This Company vehicle can be driven by lots of different employees. My husband's original understanding was that it was nothing to worry about, that the Company would handle all of it.
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Debra, Expert

Well he shouldn't be included but he hast to defend because he is included.

Customer
Thanks for your help. It was great to have a 3rd party answer my questions.
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Debra, Expert

Anytime.

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