On the other hand, simultaneous representation in unrelated matters of clients whose interests are only generally adverse, such as competing economic enterprises, does not require consent of the respective clients. [8] Loyalty to a client is also impaired when a lawyer cannot consider, recommend or carry out an appropriate course of action for the client because of the lawyer's other responsibilities or interests.

The conflict in effect forecloses alternatives that would otherwise be available to the client.

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Relevant factors in determining whether there is a potential conflict include the duration and intimacy of the lawyer's relationship with the client or clients involved, the functions being performed by the lawyer, the likelihood that actual conflict will arise and the likely prejudice to the client from the conflict if it does arise. [27] For example, a lawyer may not represent multiple parties to a negotiation whose interests are fundamentally antagonistic to each other, but common representation is permissible where the clients are generally aligned in interest even though there is some difference of interest among them.

[28] Conflict questions may also arise in estate planning and estate administration.

Where the conflict is such as clearly to call in question the fair or efficient administration of justice, opposing counsel may properly raise the question.

Such an objection should be viewed with caution, however, for it can be misused as a technique of harassment.

A lawyer’s obligations regarding conflicts of interest are not present solely at the onset of the attorney-client relationship; rather, such obligations are ongoing such that a change in circumstances may require a lawyer to obtain new consent from a client after additional, adequate disclosure regarding that change in circumstances.

[20] Paragraph (b) requires that client consent be memorialized in writing.The propriety of concurrent representation can depend on the nature of the litigation.For example, a suit charging fraud entails conflict to a degree not involved in a suit for a declaratory judgment concerning statutory interpretation.A lawyer’s romantic or other intimate personal relationship can also adversely affect representation of a client. [13] A lawyer may be paid from a source other than the client if the client is informed of that fact and consents and the arrangement does not compromise the lawyer's duty of loyalty to the client. For example, when an insurer and its insured have conflicting interests in a matter arising from a liability insurance agreement, and the insurer is required to provide special counsel for the insured, the arrangement should assure the special counsel's professional independence.So also, when a corporation and its directors or employees are involved in a controversy in which they have conflicting interests, the corporation may provide funds for separate legal representation of the directors or employees, if the clients consent after consultation and the arrangement ensures the lawyer's professional independence. [19] A client may consent to representation notwithstanding a conflict.[24] A lawyer may represent parties having antagonistic positions on a legal question that has arisen in different cases, unless representation of either client would be materially limited.