[Answer/discuss the question below, or see 2017 bar exam Legal and Judicial Ethics Instructions; 2017 Legal and Judicial Ethics questions: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, and 16; See also 2017 Bar Exam: Information, Discussions, Tips, Questions and Results]
Eva consulted Atty. Doble Kara, a well-known solo practitioner, to represent her as a probable heir to the huge estate of her late lamented grandaunt who died without issue. After Atty. Doble Kara perused the documents relevant to the estate presented by Eva, he told Eva that he could not be of help to her.
A few days later, Eva learned that Atty. Doble Kara had just initiated intestate proceedings involving the same estate in the RTC, and the petitioner seeking appointment as administratrix was Mely, Eva’s hostile cousin and co-heir to the estate.
Eva moved to immediately disqualify Atty. Doble Kara from representing Mely on the ground of conflict of interest, but Atty. Doble Kara explained to the estate court that there was no conflict of interest because he had no lawyer-client relationship with Eva. He further indicated that Eva had not also paid him any retainer fee.
Given his explanations to the estate court, may Atty. Doble Kara ethically represent Mely?