May 1957

ADVERSE INFLUENCE AND CONFLICTING INTERESTS - WILLS.  An attorney, appointed as independent executor under a decedant's will, may properly represent all the devisees in a suit against a tenant of the estate, who is a stranger to the will for the violation of one lease and the cancellation of another.

Canon 6.


Where an aged man, dying single and intestate, left his estate to his surviving brothers and sisters and in his will appointed his attorney independent executor, may such attorney, at the request of all of said devisees, ethically represent them in a meritorious suit against a tenant who is a stranger to the will (a) for a flagrant violation of a five year lease recognized as valid at the time of decedent's death, or (b) for cancellation of a much longer term lease prepared by tenant's attorney and executed shortly before decedent's death when he allegedly lacked physical and mental capacity?


All members agree that under the facts as understood to be presented there would be no conflict of interest which would preclude said attorney, either under Texas Canon 6 or any other Canon, from instituting suit for a violation of the recognized lease, and also agree that this would likewise be the situation with respect to suit to cancel the other lease, except that four members point out this would not be the case if deceased had asked his said attorney to check such latter lease before execution or had advised the tenant with respect to such latter lease (in either of which events said attorney would be precluded from accepting representation by Texas Canon 6 against representing conflicting interests), or if said attorney would be under a duty to testify (which would result in violation of Texas Canon 16). (8-0)