Dual Representation: Why Filing the Same Legal Claim with Two Attorneys Can Be a Problem

Dual representation occurs when a person hires two separate attorneys to handle the same legal claim or case. While it may seem like having two lawyers could be twice as beneficial, it often leads to complications and can actually harm your case. Here’s why — but first, some background.

How Can I End Up with Two Lawyers?

Dual representation is an easier predicament to get yourself into than you may think. In today’s world of huge litigations against mammoth corporations, there is power in numbers. Every day, you probably hear or see ads for lawsuits telling you to call a certain number “if you or a loved one has been injured.” Some of these ads are paid for by law firms, but others are paid for by companies called lead generators. Lead generators gather your claim information to, in turn, pass it on to law firms handling your specific litigation.

Sometimes your information is passed to more than one law firm. You may receive and sign paperwork from both, not realizing that they are different. The law firms themselves don’t realize that you’re already represented, so they agree to represent your case without knowing your case is signed by another lawyer.

What this all boils down to is that it isn’t difficult to become confused about who is representing your case. It’s also not difficult to accidentally or intentionally sign contracts with two different law firms and end up in a dual rep situation.

Problems with Dual Representation

Why should you avoid hiring two attorneys for your claim? Here are a few answers.

Duplicate Claims Filed

If you are represented by two different law firms and they don’t know about each other, there is a solid chance you will end up with two claims filed in court. It may seem like this is a good idea, right? Wrong. You may think you’re making sure your case is represented, and you may even believe you’ll receive compensation on both claims, but it doesn’t work this way. What will likely happen is that, when the claims settle (or before), all claims will be put into a database and compared. If you show up as having two claims, not only will it look bad on your part, but you will likely significantly delay your reimbursement while both claims are sorted out.

Conflict of Interest

One of the key issues with dual representation is a conflict of interest. Attorneys have a duty to act in their clients’ best interests and provide them with unbiased advice. However, when two lawyers are working on the same case, conflicts can arise. They might have different strategies or approaches, leading to disagreements and confusion. This can make it difficult for them to work together effectively to achieve the best outcome for you.

Communication Problems

Another problem with dual representation is the risk that information won’t be shared. When you have two attorneys working on your case, they may not have clear boundaries regarding communication. Worse yet, they may not know about each other and have no idea that they need to share information. This can result in important details or evidence being missed or misunderstood by one or both attorneys.

You may tell one attorney about something important like an update in your medical condition, but the other lawyer will not have that crucial information. It’s important for your legal team to have a comprehensive understanding of your case, and having multiple attorneys can create confusion and hinder your lawsuit.

Duplication of Efforts

Moreover, dual representation can also lead to unnecessary duplication of work and increased costs. Each attorney may spend time and resources on tasks that the other attorney is already handling. For example, one may spend considerable time and money ordering medical records or other data when the other attorney already has that information. This duplication can waste valuable time and money, which could have been better utilized in strengthening your case.

Weakening Your Case

Additionally, having two attorneys representing you in the same legal claim can send conflicting messages to the opposing party. This can weaken your position and negotiation power. It’s essential to present a unified front and have a clear and consistent legal strategy. Dual representation can complicate matters and hinder your ability to present a strong and cohesive case.

The Court Always Finds Out

In the worst scenario, your claim can be filed twice by attorneys who are not aware that the other claim exists. This is common in mass tort litigations in which there are thousands of plaintiffs. Eventually, data bases are combed through and the court does recognize that you are represented twice. Sorting through the differences and details of your claims can lead to considerably longer time until you receive compensation, and a lot of frustration on the part of your legal teams.

When is It OK to have Two Attorneys?

Not every situation in which you are represented by two law firms is a bad dual representation situation. One of the most common situations in which this is fine is when your first attorney refers your claim to a law firm that specializes in the type of case you are filing, or if they are licensed and experienced in the jurisdiction where you are located.

For example, clients are frequently referred to OnderLaw by other law firms for personal injury cases because our team is highly experienced in this area. They may still maintain communication with their original attorney, but both law firms work together to resolve each case. This is not a problem because both law firms agree to the terms, and agree to discuss your claim as it progresses.

Choose Only One Attorney to Represent Your Case

To ensure the best possible outcome for your legal claim, it’s crucial to carefully choose a single attorney who you trust and feel comfortable working with. Selecting one dedicated attorney allows for clear communication, a focused strategy, and avoids the potential conflicts and complications that come with dual representation.

At OnderLaw, we understand the importance of providing our clients with dedicated legal representation. Our experienced legal team will listen to your story, guide you through the legal process, and work tirelessly to fight for your rights. We believe in clear communication, a unified approach, and putting your best interests first.

Remember, hiring one attorney who is dedicated to your case can streamline the legal process, enhance communication, and maximize your chances of a favorable outcome. It’s about having a strong advocate by your side, fighting for your rights with undivided attention and commitment.

If you have any questions or need legal assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team at OnderLaw. We’re here to help you navigate the legal landscape and seek the justice you deserve.