Another test of inconsistency of interests is whether the acceptance of a new relation would prevent the full discharge of the lawyer's duty of undivided fidelity and loyalty to the client or invite suspicion of unfaithfulness or double-dealing in the performance of that duty. Still another test is whether the lawyer would be called upon in the new relation to use against a former client any confidential information acquired through their connection or previous employment. The proscription against representation of conflicting interests applies to a situation where the opposing parties are present clients in the same action or in an unrelated action. It is of no moment that the lawyer would not be called upon to contend for one client that which the lawyer has to oppose for the other client, or that there would be no occasion to use the confidential information acquired from one to the disadvantage of the other as the two actions are wholly unrelated. It is enough that the opposing parties in one case, one of whom would lose the suit, are
PROBLEM AREAS IN LEGAL ETHICS CONFLICT OF INTEREST IN A REGULAR LAWYER-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP 96 MALINAO, John Vincent B. present clients and the nature or conditions of the lawyer's respective retainers with each of them would affect the performance of the duty of undivided fidelity to both clients. The proscription against representation of conflicting interests finds application where the conflicting interests arise with respect to the same general matter however slight the adverse interest may be. It applies even if the conflict pertains to the lawyer's private activity or in the performance of a function in a non-professional capacity. In the process of determining whether there is a conflict of interest, an important criterion is probability, not certainty, of conflict. Since the respondent has financial or pecuniary interest in SESSI, which is engaged in a business competing with his client's, and, more importantly, he occupies the highest position in SESSI, one cannot help entertaining a doubt on his loyalty to his client AIB. The close relationship of the majority stockholders of both companies does not negate the conflict of interest.
PROBLEM AREAS IN LEGAL ETHICS CONFLICT OF INTEREST IN A REGULAR LAWYER-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP 97 MAULION, Maricar Angela A. LOLITA ARTEZUELA v. ATTY. MADERAZO A.C. No. 4354 April 22, 2002 FACTS Allan Echavia had a vehicular accident in Mandaue City. He was driving a Ford Telstar car owned by a Japanese national, Hirometsi Kiyami, but was registered in the name of his brother-in-law, Jun Anthony Villapez. The car rammed into a small carinderia owned by complainant Lolita Artezuela. The destruction of the carinderia caused the cessation of the operation of her small business and due to financial constraints, stopped sending her two children to college. This prompted the complainant to engage the services of the respondent in filing a damage suit before Cebu RTC. An Amended Complaint was thereafter filed, impleading Echavia, Kiyami and Villapez, and dropping Sia as a party-defendant.
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