Conflicted

If there was a car accident outside my house – and if I was a lawyer – could I represent both drivers in court?

Some would say conflict.

I don’t understand conflicts, so I have been pondering.

Let’s say the female driver was by all accounts doing nothing wrong. I can represent her in Court showing her perfect driving history.

Let’s say the male driver turned too early and apparently caused the accident. I can point to the unusual mistake in context of his good record and all is well.

I suppose the plot thickens if the woman reveals to me that she wasn’t paying attention at the time because her kids were fighting. She didn’t see the male driver and could have slowed down. I would choose not to mention this, but now I know this information.

I can’t tell the male driver. Who anyway, reveals to me that at the time he wasn’t driving; he was in fact testing a driverless vehicle app he had purchased and analysis has revealed that he did everything right and in fact the female driver sped up slightly and erratically before the crash.

I now have a web of information of pros and cons and if I was only representing one of them I would only have half the story; thus I could cherry pick what to tell in order to get the best outcome for my client. I am unlikely to share everything.

So, it is possible to represent two people but you lose a strategic advantage in your case, which must mean it’s not the best possible case put forward.

I conclude that legal conflict is basically so you can lie and manipulate.

This seems consistent with jokes about lawyers.

It does however seem at odds with the legal system as a whole. Would it not in fact be better to know all the dirty details in order to make the most equitable decision based on all the facts.

The Court should in fact require a conflict situation, while the lawyers argue against it. It’s starting to make sense.

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