We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

What is a Conflict Waiver?

By Toni Henthorn
Updated: May 16, 2024

When an attorney represents two or more of the parties in a legal matter, the dual representation may create a conflict of interest for the attorney. Although he may genuinely believe that he can fairly represent both clients, the representation at best is limited, since the attorney cannot ethically attempt to negotiate or improve the deal for either side against the interests of the other side. If the attorney chooses to undertake dual representation, he must obtain a conflict waiver from each of the parties. The conflict waiver is a written document signed by each party that specifically discloses the risks, benefits, and alternatives of the dual representation. A properly executed conflict waiver allows the attorney to steer clear of claims by a party of unethical conduct or malpractice related to the dual representation.

By obtaining a conflict waiver, the attorney has a way to keep profitable cases and valuable clients in situations where he would otherwise have to withdraw from a case. There are three main components to the conflict waiver process. First, before the attorney agrees to represent the clients, he must fully disclose the conflict and inform the potential clients of the disadvantages, advantages, and alternatives to the dual representation. After a full disclosure and discussion of the ramifications of dual representation, the attorney must have each potential client sign a conflict waiver document that outlines the items that the attorney covered and clearly spells out each party’s desire to retain the attorney in spite of the conflict. Finally, the attorney must believe and note that he has a valid conviction that he can fairly and competently manage the dual representation.

Dual representation has the obvious advantages of saving the clients time and money. For example, if two people are getting a divorce and they have already agreed on custody, alimony, and marital property division, then dual representation by one lawyer can save the couple a considerable amount of money and speed up the process. On the other hand, if the points of contention are not resolved or if the parties begin to argue, then the attorney cannot help them resolve the dispute. He cannot advocate strongly for one position or the other. Furthermore, neither party enjoys complete attorney-client confidentiality, because any disclosures made by one party that materially affects the position of the other party would have to be disclosed by the attorney.

The conflict waiver document should advise that the parties consult independent counsel before agreeing to the dual representation. Although the involved parties will rarely do so, this protects the attorney from ethics grievances or malpractice claims. A conflict waiver does not absolve the attorney of his duty to avoid irreconcilable conflict situations. If there is no practical way for the attorney to provide thorough and competent representation to each client, then the attorney is constrained ethically to remove himself from the case.

MyLawQuestions is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
MyLawQuestions, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

MyLawQuestions, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.