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Conflicts of interest can take a variety of forms and can crop up at any point during, and even prior to, a representation. Some conflicts result from the concurrent representation of two parties with conflicting interests, or, as was the situation leading to the recent reversal of Charles Schwarz’s conviction in connection with the assault on Abner Louima,[1] from a conflict between an attorney’s personal interests and those of his client. Other conflicts, with unfortunate results both for the criminal defense lawyer and his or her client, can arise before a representation even begins, from information obtained during the course of an interview with a prospective client, even where the attorney does not take on that representation. The American Bar Association recently adopted revisions to the Model Rules of Professional Conduct that attempt to provide a framework for limiting conflicts arising from interviews with prospective clients.[2]

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