As indicated in the “Intake” page and in the introduction to “New Clients,” lawyers are prohibiting from representing clients when there is a conflict unless there is a waiver by the parties. Conflict of interest situations are not common; however, every precaution must be taken to ensure there is no conflict. An informal conflicts check is conducted by asking the taxpayer if the clinic currently or in the past represented any party related to the taxpayer or with whom the taxpayer lived.
Additionally, a formal conflict check is conducted using the AMICUS’ “Check Conflict” tool described under the “Intake” page. Attached to the intake form a list of all names identified by AMICUS that could represent a conflict. If one or more potential conflicts are identified by AMICUS, ask the taxpayer during the initial interview about the potential conflict and note on the intake sheet the result of your inquiry. If a possible conflict is identified, alert your supervisor prior recommending that the taxpayer be accepted as a client. Conflicts most often occur in family situations where the clinic represented one family member and that representation conflicts with assisting another family member. If we cannot resolve the conflict the Clinic may refer the matter to another pro bono attorney.