When a new client comes into your office and tells you about the kind of case that he has, before you even really listen to the facts of the case, you need to run a conflicts check. This is when you see who all the parties of the case are and you determine whether you have a conflict of interest. For example, whether you have a preexisting relationship with any of the parties or whether you have some kind of financial interest in the outcome of the case. It is very important to establish a conflict check early on because if you do not do it, you can find yourself being disqualified down the line.
One of the things you want to consider is if you are being asked to represent two parties. You have to determine whether there is a conflict between representing both the plaintiffs. Even though the two plaintiffs may have the similar claim in the case, they might have claims against each other, which would create a conflict. First, you have to identify whether there exists a conflict and if there is a conflict, consider whether you can resolve the conflict by having full disclosure and a written waiver of conflict of interest signed by the clients.
In the first interview, your client is going to tell you what this case is about. Before you even decide to take the case, you are going to want to engage in interviews with some key players and maybe review some of the key documents, so you can get a feel for the validity of the case. You also need to explain to your client the costs that are going to be involved. You do not want to misrepresent or understate the value of the case and you do not want to overstate the chances of succeeding.
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