87 N.J.L.J. 449
July 16, 1964
Conflict of Interest - Divorce Actions
An attorney represents the defendant-husband in a divorce suit
based on adultery. The husband of the co-respondent has likewise
filed suit for divorce, based on the adultery of the co-respondent.
Would it be improper for the attorney to represent the defendants
in both actions?
For the purpose of this opinion, it is assumed that the adultery, of which complaint is made in each suit, involves the same dates, places and circumstances and that each defendant has the full and unequivocal consent of the other to have the same attorney represent each of them.
Under these circumstances, there appears to be no impropriety for the attorney to represent both defendants. It would seem that the testimony of each defendant is essential to the other defendant and that there is no conflict of interest which would in any way prevent the attorney from giving his best efforts and skill to each client. The defendants have a common interest in presenting the facts of the case and the outcome must affect each party in the same manner.