2013 (Legal Ethics) Bar Exam Questions: Multiple Choice Question 15

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Based on the same facts as Question XIV, assume that Diana, aside from being a family friend of the couple, has been formally and informally acting as their lawyer in all their personal and family affairs. She has represented them in court in a case involving a car accident and in the purchase of their family home,for which they formally paid the attorney’s fees that Diana billed.In this instance, Wanda asked about her legal rights but did not formally ask for a written opinion from Diana. Horacio never had any input on the query as he was then away on an out-of-town trip for his office.Diana advised Wanda that she is fully protected in law and her best course of action is to have an abortion while her pregnancy is not yet far advanced.

Did Diana violate the prohibition against representing conflicting interests when she provided legal advice to Wanda without Horacio’s knowledge? (1%)

(A) Yes. The decision of whether to have an abortion should be decided by both spouses; thus, Diana should not have provided legal advice in the absence of Horacio whose concerns and positions are unknown to her.

(B) No. Diana did not give any formal advice that would constitute legal practice calling for the strict observance of the conflict of interest rules.

(C) No. The decision on whether or not to have an abortion lies solely with Wanda; it is her body and health that is in issue.

(D) No. Horacio and Wanda are married, any advice given to Wanda is deemed to have been given to Horacio as well.

(E) No. Giving advice to Wanda is not necessarily acting against Horacio’s interest; Diana was giving advice based on the couple’s best interest

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