* (unless we can’t be)
We want to promptly respond to any inquiries and help everyone who contacts our office. However, we are restricted by confidentiality rules and the Rules of Professional Conduct for lawyers. This can be frustrating for those who do not understand the guidelines.
For instance: if your parent has created documents with our office we cannot discuss those with you unless our client has specifically given us permission or you are their designated Agent under a Power of Attorney. In the event of your parent’s death, we can only speak with you if you are the Executor of their will. Rule 1.6 states in part: A lawyer shall not reveal information relating to the representation of a client unless the client gives informed consent, the disclosure is impliedly authorized in order to carry out the representation. We have disclosure forms that our clients may use to list persons to whom we may speak or give copies of their documents.
We are also restricted by conflict of interest rules. For instance, if we have consulted with someone whose interests are opposed to a potential client, in the same or a substantially similar matter, we cannot take on the potential client. Rule 1.7 provides in part: A lawyer shall not represent a client if the representation involves a concurrent conflict of interest. A concurrent conflict of interest exists if:(1) the representation of one client will be directly adverse to another client; or(2) there is a significant risk that the representation of one or more clients will be materially limited by the lawyer’s responsibilities to another client, a former client, or a third person or by a personal interest of the lawyer. We see this frequently with co-executors. If you are a co-executor, your interests must be aligned. If you are adverse to each other we cannot represent you.
Also, if you are currently represented by another lawyer we cannot speak directly with you. All communications must go through your attorney. Rule 4.2 states in part: Unless the lawyer has the consent of the other lawyer or is authorized to do so by law or a court order, a lawyer in representing a client shall not communicate about the subject of the representation with a person the lawyer knows to be represented by another lawyer in the matter.
Please help us help you! If you contact our office please let us know what you are inquiring about and give us the opportunity to check and make sure we have no conflicts or confidentiality restrictions. Contact us for a free consultation!