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Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility

Seattle University School of Law

Seattle University Law Review

1998

Dependency

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Dependency And Delegation: The Ethics Of Marital Representation, Naomi Cahn, Robert Tuttle Jan 1998

Dependency And Delegation: The Ethics Of Marital Representation, Naomi Cahn, Robert Tuttle

Seattle University Law Review

The two hypotheticals for this symposium concern a lawyer who is asked to represent a married couple in which one spouse would like to cede decision-making authority to the other. As we have examined the lawyer's ethical responsibilities, we have identified two distinct, but conceptually related, issues of legal ethics. The first, a threshold question, deals with the nature of marital representation: May a lawyer simultaneously represent both husband and wife? And if so, how should the representation be structured? The second adds an additional layer of complexity: If a lawyer represents both husband and wife, may the lawyer accept …