Is it ethical for a lawfirm to serve as a realtor?
Sometimes lawyers wear more than one hat, and much of the time, doing so isn’t problematic. Oftentimes, it makes sense, since obtaining a law degree shouldn’t preclude lawyers from performing other non-legal job functions. Of course, wearing multiple hats can sometimes pose ethical problems and this is especially true if it occurs during a single transaction. In that situation, it is particularly important to carefully consider the implications of performing dual roles.
In regard to this question, a committee concluded that it was not ethically permissible to serve as both a broker and lawyer for one client in the same transaction since doing so presented a conflict between the lawyer’s interests and the client’s. The committee explained that the reason the dual role was forbidden was because “a lawyer should not have a personal stake in the advice rendered, and as a broker who is paid only if the transaction closes cannot be fully independent in advising the client as a lawyer.”
This is actually a clear answer. Now how would we see it if a lawyer tries to convince customers during deals to switch brokers (in his favor) in order to make the commission into his pocket?
Well my opinion this would be clear – with a serious buyer at stake – the seller and the broker could be the losers when he relates to a multiple hat lawyer.
In the past all this type of greed lawyers have failed in the northcast of the DR.