An attorney’s improper involvement in a client’s business affairs or entrepreneurial interests can raise conflict of interest issues and may form the basis of a legal malpractice claim.
These types of business relationships may take several forms which may include:
- Becoming a part of a client’s business and gaining an ownership interest in that business.
- Becoming an officer or director of a client’s business.
- Having a client become a partner or investor with the lawyer.
- Investing in the client’s business,
- Accepting stock from a client instead of customary fees.
- If a client is in doubt or feels uncomfortable or just wants another opinion about any proposed transaction then it is advisable to get the advice of another, unrelated lawyer, to comment on the fairness of the proposed transaction.
The problems that these activities may create could include:
- Inadequate or nonexistent directors and/or officers insurance for the lawyer acting as outside counsel as an officer and a director.
- Improper advice based upon self dealing.
- Conflict of interest issues that arise.
- Weakened malpractice claims against the lawyer who may claim that he/she was not acting as your lawyer but as a business partner.
- Once you get the approval of, or fully understand the advice of a disinterested third party lawyer then you should have the original lawyer reduce everything to writing which you should run by the third party lawyer for final approval.
If you feel that your attorney has mishandled your business or personal affairs then you should seek the services of a legal malpractice lawyer for advice. Contact our experienced team at 888-244-5480 for a free consultation, and to make sure your rights are protected.