May 1965

CONFLICT OF INTERESTS—SUING A CLIENT WHILE REPRESENTING HIM IN ANOTHER CASE—It is unethical for an attorney, while his firm is representing a claimant in a workmen’s compensation case, to prosecute a suit against such client for personal injuries to another person resulting from the same collision.

Canon 6.


May an attorney prosecute a lawsuit against a defendant for personal injuries to the plaintiff resulting from an automobile collision when such attorney’s firm represents said defendant as the claimant in a workmen’s compensation claim arising from the same collision?


No. Although under some circumstances an attorney may sue a client, the facts of this inquiry present a conflict of interests and a clear violation of Canon 6. See Opinion 298 (May 1965) and Opinion 123 (January 1956). (8-0.)