Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Lee v. Charles

United States District Court, Second Circuit

October 16, 2013

AMANDA LEE, Plaintiff,
v.
JOEL B. CHARLES, and JOHN W. WANY, Defendants.

OPINION & ORDER

JOHN F. KEENAN, District Judge.

This Opinion addresses the potential conflict of interest issue first raised sua sponte by the Court in its September 30, 2013 Order. Having considered the parties' submissions and the governing caselaw, the Court concludes that Miller may continue to represent Defendants upon the satisfaction of the conditions set forth below.

I. Background

In the instant case, Plaintiff Amanda Lee alleges that she was struck by a car owned by Defendant John W. Wany and driven by Defendant Joel B. Charles. Trial is scheduled to begin on November 13, 2013.

Defendants are represented by the same attorney, Christopher Miller of James G. Bilello and Associates. That firm is comprised of attorneys and staff who are all employees of GEICO, the insurer of the car that allegedly hit Plaintiff. On September 30, 2013, this Court issued an Order directing the parties to address the possibility that this dual representation constitutes a conflict of interest. (ECF No. 30.)

II. Discussion

A. Summary of Legal Principles

Although a litigant has the right to freely choose his lawyer, a court must balance that right against "the need to maintain the integrity and high standards of the legal profession." Norwind v. Rowland , 584 F.3d 420, 435 (2d Cir. 2009). For guidance on the issue of a New York attorney's potential conflict of interest, the court may look to the New York Rules of Professional Conduct. See id.; Monzon v. United States, No. 13 Civ. 1943, 2013 WL 4804095, at *2 (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 9, 2013). Rule 1.7 states:

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b), a lawyer shall not represent a client if a reasonable lawyer would conclude that either:
(1) the representation will involve the lawyer in representing differing interests; or
(2) there is a significant risk that the lawyer's professional judgment on behalf of a client will be adversely affected by the lawyer's own financial, business, property or other personal interests.
(b) Notwithstanding the existence of a concurrent conflict of interest under paragraph (a), a lawyer may represent a client if:
(1) the lawyer reasonably believes that the lawyer will be able to provide competent and diligent ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.