Brief Fact Summary. Respondent represented both parties in a real estate transaction and purposely drafted the sale agreement to favor the buyer, a long-time client. Neither this provision nor the pre-existing relationship was disclosed to the seller.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. An attorney must fully disclose all potential conflicts of interest to both parties.
It is not required that the complaint contain a reference to the specific canon of ethics which may have been violated.View Full Point of Law
Issue. Was Respondent’s conduct proper here?
Held. No. Respondent’s failure to disclose his prior relationship with Lygrisse, as well as his conduct regarding the drafting of the land sale contract, “clearly rises to the level of deceit and dishonesty.” Discipline is appropriate here.
Discussion. Although providing full disclosure to both parties can sometimes be very difficult, this was a case in which there was an absolutely unquestionable duty to do so. Also, should Callahan have ever agreed to this arrangement (in which he was effectively representing both sides of a real estate transaction) in the first place? The court hardly addresses this question.