Every lawyer or law firm, no matter how small or how limited the practice area, must have a conflicts database and a procedure to check and log a conflict review. Firms without a reliable attorney/client conflict check system ignore a systematic risk in their operation.
There is no question that a law firm conflict of interest system must adequately detect, identify and address any potential conflict. While the basics of an attorney-client conflict checking system might appear simple, in practice it is fairly challenging to develop a “bulletproof” system. A system that properly functions must be up to date at all times, easy for the firm to use at the time of case intake, and readily identify potential conflicts of interest.
If you are entertaining the idea of checking conflicts with a manual system or relying on your memory or just doing a search against your entire address book — think again! We are way beyond the days where it’s okay to have a manual conflict checking system. Every practicing lawyer should have a computerized attorney/client conflict check tool for identifying conflicts arising from clients and transactions.
Step 1: Maintain your comprehensive, master contact database within CosmoLex itself. (“Maintain” means “keep it current”!)
Step 2: For current and past clients, specify key relationships (e.g. link clients with other contact names and specify relationships such as spouse, adversary, adversary’s counsel, key witness, etc.) in their contact record.
Step 3: Before taking on a new client, run a conflict search. Save a copy of the search report in the case file.
“I LOVE COSMOLEX! I chose CosmoLex because of its price, features, and ease of access.”
Rebecca Wright / Wright Law, LLC / Wyoming / February 2017
“Easy decision. I think it is the only product out there that combines accounting, storage tasks, email etc. all into one.”
Elyse Johnson / EBJ Law / North Carolina / January 2017
“The practice management features streamline my practice...and allows me to cut down on wasted time.”
Kenneth Sternberg / Law Office of Kenneth S. Sternberg / New York / May 2017