Purpose & Benefit: Conflicts search enables firms to track related parties and their relationship to clients and matters. For example, there is a client named Dr. Joe Smith. When entering Joe’s information into the database, you will first define attributes such as his contact information and his title such as Doctor. So Joe is the related party. Second, you will have to define how Joe is related to other parties or matters. For example, Joe could be an adverse party in one case and a witness in another. This information will allow you to track each party’s relationships to other clients and firm matters.
“In the legal profession, the duty of loyalty owed to a client prohibits an attorney (or a law firm) from representing any other party with interests adverse to those of a current client. The few exceptions to this rule require informed written consent from all affected clients. In some circumstances, a conflict of interest can never be waived by a client. In perhaps the most common example encountered by the general public, the same firm should not represent both parties in a divorce or child custody case.
A prohibited or undisclosed representation involving a conflict of interest can subject an attorney to disciplinary hearings, the denial or disgorgement of legal fees, or in some cases (such as the failure to make mandatory disclosure), criminal proceedings. In the United States, a law firm usually cannot represent a client if its interests conflict with those of another client, even if they have separate lawyers within the firm, unless (in some jurisdictions) the lawyer is segregated from the rest of the firm for the duration of the conflict.” (ref: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conflict_of_interest#Conflicts_of_interest_related_to_the_practice_of_law)
Steps to enable conflicts search:
- Click on Settings under Clients tab.
- Under the General sub tab, enable the Enable Conflicts Search? check box.
- Enter the desired related party custom field label in the Related Party Custom Field Label field.
Enter the desired relationship custom label in the Relationship Custom Label field.
- Click the Save button.
- Now click on Related Party Types tab.
- Create a new Related Party Type by clicking on the Create New Related Party Type link. You can define the types of relationships you’d like to track as well as the types of related parties. We recommend you simply use Clients as the Related Party Types since the majority of your conflicts with related parties will be with your clients.
- Specify a Code for the related party type.
- Specify a Description for the related party type.
- Ensure Active? checkbox is enabled.
- After entering the required data, click the Save button to save the related party type.
- Now click on the Relationship Types tab.
- Click the Create New Relationship Type link to create a new relationship.
- Specify a Code for the relationship type.
- Specify a Description for the relationship type.
- Ensure Active? checkbox is enabled.
- Enter the required data and click the Save button to save the relationship type.
- Now click on Related Parties under the Clients tab.
- Click the Create New Related Party link to create a new related party.
- Enter the required data and click the Save button to save the related party.
- Now click on the name of the related party you created.
- Scroll down to go to the Relationships section, and click the Create New Relationship link to create a new relationship.
- Specify the Type of the new relationship from Client, Adversary, Co-Party, or Other.
- Specify a sub-type if necessary. This is the Relationship Type you created earlier (above).
- Specify whether you want to define the new relationship through your list of Clients or Matters, then type or double-click for a list of options to choose from your existing client-matter data.
- Specify the date for this new relationship.
- You may type in a custom title for this new relationship.
- Specify any relevant Notes.
- After entering the required information, click the Save button to save the new relationship.
- Now click on Conflict Search under Clients tab.
- You can refine the type of search criteria you need between the following options:
Contains Any Words Like
Contains All Words Like
Contains The Phrase
- Type in the search criteria.
- Hit Search.
- An example below shows what a conflict search result may look like:
Note: The conflict search is performed with a new party, such as when a prospect contacts the firm. Enter the name of the new person in the Conflict Search and determine if this person was involved with an existing client, which could result in a conflict of interest.