Tuesday, October 02, 2007

conflicts of interest and attorneys

Doug Miller, an attorney, hit the target on his blog. Here are a couple of blurbs:

"The problem with fiduciaries in controlled business relationships isn't limited to just Realtors. It includes attorneys as well. If an attorney represents a client in a residential real estate closing and then also issues the title insurance and performs the closing, that attorney has just created an insurmountable conflict of interest. Most ethics opinions require attorneys not to use their law practice to steer clients into another business. For example, it would be unethical for me to have both a real estate brokerage and a law practice and refer people from one to the other. "; and

"Attorneys, as fiduciaries, may not "sell" their clients anything, they must act with due diligence, avoid conflicts of interest, must not have secret profits, must not engage in self dealing, they have a duty of full accounting and on and on... The duties of a fiduciary are immense. Sometimes I wonder why real estate agents want to fall into this category... "

Nicely said, Doug.

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