Questions Concerning Joint Representation in Civil Matters

1.         A husband and wife enter your office and say that they want you to help them work out the details of their friendly divorce.  Is this a case of your representing directly adverse clients (MR 1.7(a)(1)), and/or representing a clients duties to whom may materially limit your representation of another client (MR 1.7(a)(2))?  

2.         In State v. Callahan, Callahan testified that he believed that he was acting merely as a scrivener to draw up an agreement that the two parties had already agreed to.  Does the court’s decision depend upon the conclusion that Callahan was wrong about this?

3.         What does a lawyer who is acting as a scrivener for a contract do when he discovers that one of the parties is acting under a mistaken belief concerning the terms of the contract?

4.         A husband and wife retain you to draft up their estate plans and their wills.  The wife tells you in confidence that their child is not the husband’s, but the result of an early affair.  She requests that you keep this fact quiet.  What do you do? 

5.         Imagine that the husband suspects that child is not his and sues for divorce.  During the hearing for child support, the husband’s lawyer calls you to the stand to testify about the wife’s conversation with you.  May you claim that the conversation is privileged?

6.         What does it mean for someone to be a lawyer for the situation?  Is the idea intrinsically paternalistic?