94 N.J.L.J. 553
June 24, 1971
Conflict of Interest -
Representing Conflicting Buyer and Seller
An attorney has been retained by both buyer and seller in a
real estate transaction. Each of the clients has been advised with
respect to the problems involved in dual representation and each
has indicated his desire to have the attorney represent both of
A serious controversy has now arisen between the clients and the attorney asks whether he may continue to represent one of them or whether he must withdraw from representation of both.
It is clear that the attorney may no longer represent either party to the transaction. The possibility of controversy between the clients is one of the principal difficulties with dual representation. An attorney who has acted for a client may not render services professionally against him where to do so might injuriously affect his former client in any matter in which he formerly represented him. See this Committee's Opinion 97, 89 N.J.L.J. 507 (1966). Since both parties were his clients, it would therefore be a violation of Canons of Professional Ethics, Canon 6 for him to continue to represent either.