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The relation between Riordan Manufacturing and Litteral & Finkel is one of client-attorney which has to be maintained and kept in a fiduciary framework on the basis of a private business rapport. Even if the cousin of Dr. Riordan is still alive and is still connected with the law firm (Litteral & Finkel), the situation remains the same…
For instance, let us presume that Riordan Manufacturing has a pending petition for the issuance of a patent in a government office having charge of intellectual property and this lawyer-cousin of Dr. Riordan is the head of that intellectual property office which has a judicial or quasi-judicial function over the matter; under this set of circumstances, there can be the possibility of bias or prejudice on the part of that lawyer-cousin. In such an instance, the lawyer-cousin has to inhibit himself from any participation in the intellectual property case.
However, the fact that the lawyer-cousin of Dr. Riordan is a partner of Litteral & Finkel and the latter law firm is the retained outside counsel of Riordan Manufacturing does not constitute any conflict of interest nor does it pose some possibility of bias or prejudice as will be contrary to public interest, public policy or public order. Interestingly, this aspect is even moot and academic because the said lawyer-cousin is already dead.
Another possible conflict of interest is in a situation where a strained relation arises between Riordan Manufacturing and Litteral & Finkel. ...
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