question about conflict of interest

This is a discussion on question about conflict of interest within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Hi guys I've got a quick question about a conflict I might be in, I've only been with the forum a little while but I ...

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Thread: question about conflict of interest

  1. #1
    Member Array mrm's Avatar
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    question about conflict of interest

    Hi guys I've got a quick question about a conflict I might be in, I've only been with the forum a little while but I value your opinion so here goes. My wife is a paralegal with the public defenders office and I am a pawnbroker full time, but the mayor of the town (small town) recently approached me with an officers reserve program that I would be the first to do boy I was gung ho cause It is a way to get the officers thing out of my system without taking the pay cut. Now my wife is kinda upset cause she sees this as a conflict of interest cause I would be on the police report that she had to defend these people on. Now dont get me wrong I see her point but I dont think it would be enough of a conflict to matter cause it is only volunteer and not very often
    Im open to any advice you guys can give me

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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    In other words she doesn't wanta have to pick your testimony or character apart on the stand,
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    No conflict of interest involved in it. My brother was a LEO and his wife was a Public Defender in the same town. The few times their paths crossed professionally, she declined the case and had it assigned to another attorney. The only thing you have to remember, you will both need to keep your mouth closed about anything that has to do with work.

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    It is only a conflict of interest if you end up on opposite sides of the same case. How often this happens will depend on the size of her office and your department, the larger the department/office, the less chance of it happening. If that situation ever comes up she should recues herself and let somebody else handle the case.

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    It is one less thing to Pillow talk about. I see no problem with it. If she happens to catch a case that on an arrrest that you made it would be easily enough to pass to another attorney in the same firm. If she is a solo she could recommend another firm to stand in.

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    Quote Originally Posted by archer51 View Post
    The few times their paths crossed professionally, she declined the case and had it assigned to another attorney.
    What Archer said, +1.
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    The thing she keeps telling me is why should she have to worry about losing a case to another attorny for a voluteer postion (which I have to agree with her which doesnt help my arguement by the way) but it is something I have always wanted to do, and like I told her I have no problem with the attorney grilling me in front of everyone like he is supposed to.

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    How is she losing a case to another attorney? She's in the Public Defenders office and giving the case to a colleague. Can't she just get one traded back to her in lieu of "your" case?
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    Senior Member Array Rob P.'s Avatar
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    It is not a conflict of interest on your part. It only creates a potential conflict of interest on her part.

    The solution is to inform her boss/supervisor that you work as a reserve officer. She will then not be assigned cases in which you were involved. If she receives casework in which you are involved, she needs to immediately stop all work, read no further, and inform her boss of the mistake. She must also be kept separate from all casework in which you are involved including meetings in which those cases are discussed or during that portion of the meeting if it's a general meeting.

    This is a fairly common thing with the Public Defender and District Attorney's offices so it's not a big deal for them. It certainly does not affect anyone's job retention.

    You may still privately discuss the cases with her as she will not be on the opposite side for those matters. SHE may not discuss the cases with her co-workers or them with her.

    I know this for a fact as my spouse and I are on opposite sides of the prosecution team (I'm defense counsel, she's CSI). The benefit is that both of us get to discuss cases and give input to each other which looks at the issues from the opposite side. Which makes both of us better at our job because we can see what the other side needs/wants/will do. It also gives us one more common ground for our relationship, which is stronger for it IMO.

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    Distinguished Member Array Squawker's Avatar
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    Please forgive my ignorance, but do paralegals actually try cases? I was under the impression, quite possibly incorrect, that they did the research and prep, but an attorney had to try the case. If paralegals don't actually try cases, then there's no conflict. Would you clear this up for me? As a Physician Assistant, I do the vast majority of what a physician does when it comes to treating patients, taking the history, performing the exam, order and interpret the tests, form a treatment plan, and prescribe the meds. I just have an MD for backup. Paralegals could be something similar, so that's why I'm interested.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Squawker View Post
    Please forgive my ignorance, but do paralegals actually try cases?
    They don't, but many would lead you to believe that they do. Perhaps the OP's wife is paraing while waiting to get on as council?

    No matter, Archer and the others are right; there is no conflict, but the potential is there. I personally know an LEO who wife is a county judge and an prosecutor who's wife is also an attorney with the public defenders office. Its no big deal.
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    I'd like to be a fly on the wall in that home, SIXTO. "****** honey, how do you always beat me?"


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    Squawker you are correct she does not try the case but she does pretty much what the lawyer does just not the pay, she went to her boss and asked if he had a problem with it and he said he very much does his comment was why dont you tell him to volunteer for the fire dept which I wont post what my comment was but I think you can figure it out

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    Senior Member Array A1C Lickey's Avatar
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    Now her boss is being unreasonable. Like everyone else has said, it's just part of the job.
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    Quote Originally Posted by archer51 View Post
    No conflict of interest involved in it. My brother was a LEO and his wife was a Public Defender in the same town. The few times their paths crossed professionally, she declined the case and had it assigned to another attorney. The only thing you have to remember, you will both need to keep your mouth closed about anything that has to do with work.
    + 1

    Hey, back in the '60 I live in a very rural mountain County. We had two lawyers in the County. Both maintained private practices.

    Also, they ran against each other for the County Prosecutor, every election. The one that was elected appointed the other as his Deputy. The one that wasn't elected was also appointed Public Defender and, in turn, he appointed the County Prosecutor as his Assistant Public Defender.

    Then if one had a private practice client up on charges the other would prosecute. They also split the lower paid Public Defender work, letting the other prosecute about half the lower income cases.
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