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A conflict of interest can result in financial losses

When you find an attorney for your case, the last thing you ever want to do is hire someone who is working for the other party. Why? There's a distinct conflict of interests if you decide to work with someone who also has an interest in helping the other person win his or her case.

When there is a conflict of interests, it's hard to tell if your attorney will do his or her best to support your claims. He or she might be in a position to make more money or to get more benefits by helping the other party win.

Of course, choosing an attorney who is working with the other party is an extreme example. Other attorneys can have a conflict of interests even if they aren't working with the other party.

What creates a conflict of interests?

There are many things that could create a conflict of interests. For example, if you're being tried for a case in which you're accused of killing a pedestrian, it probably wouldn't be a good idea for an attorney who lost a loved one in a pedestrian accident to represent you if he or she can't fully support your case. Likewise, if your attorney is only working with you but his or her firm is working with the other party, it may not be in the firm's interest for you to win the case. That's why you need to do your research and make sure the attorney only has your interests at heart.

What should you do if your attorney has a conflict of interest?

Normally, an attorney should be clear with you if he or she has a conflict, so you can find someone else to work with. If he or she doesn't tell you and you find out after you lose your case, you may have a legal malpractice claim against the attorney.

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