The Rules of Professional Responsibility are a key part of ethics that oversee the legal profession. A major part of adhering to those Rules is that an attorney generally cannot represent two clients who have competing interests, which could potentially compromise how an attorney can represent their client effectively. By utilizing conflict checking through legal billing software, this potential issue can be found prior to developing into a major problem for the law office as well as the new client.
Understanding Conflict Checking
Every attorney and law firm must maintain a conflict database to check for potential client conflicts or competing interests. If this is handled through a manual process, this can wind up as a huge time waste. Additionally, it will be easier to miss a potential conflict when manual processes are used. When a robust system is put in place in concert with following industry best practices in a law office, the chances of a conflict developing is greatly reduced, if not non-existent.
Legal Billing Software and Conflict Checking
When a robust legal billing software system is in place in a law office, potential conflicts will be identified in their infancy, instead of once legal support is underway. Instead of relying on a likely incomplete and time-consuming manual process, legal billing software will find conflicts in an efficient and complete manner.
When a complete contact database, coupled with client’s information regarding the legal support provided, is maintained within a law office’s legal billing software, conflicts will be found when a conflict search is run within the system before a new client is added. If a conflict is discovered, the law office can alert the individual right away that they will need to seek different counsel for their legal issue.
By properly utilizing legal billing software and maintaining an accurate and complete client database, conflicts will be discovered prior to legal procedures getting underway, which will keep the law office within the guidelines of The Rules of Professional Responsibility and the individual will have peace of mind the competing law office has not received specifics related to their legal issue.