You are an associate working as a paralegal at a local law firm. Yesterday you met with a prospective client who wants to retain you to proceed on their behalf with an application to the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal alleging sexual harassment against their manager. They are a salesperson at a shoe store and their manager is constantly touching their hair and clothes telling the salesperson how beautiful they are. Today you input your prospective client’s information into your firm’s conflict checking system and identified that a partner at your firm previously represented the same manager of the same shoe store defending a different sexual harassment claim by a different employee. Based on the provided information, which of the following statements with regard to managing conflicts of interest is TRUE?
(a) There is no conflict of interest if you are retained on the new sexual harassment matter because the allegation is being made by a different employee who was not involved in the prior dispute
(b) There is no conflict of interest if you are retained on the new sexual harassment matter because you did not complete any legal work on the prior sexual harassment matter that was handled by your firm
(c) There are no circumstances that you would ever be permitted to be retained by the employee in the new sexual harassment claim because your firm previously defended their manager in a prior sexual harassment dispute
(d) You may be permitted to represent the employee in the new sexual harassment claim if their manager provides fully informed and voluntary consent after disclosure for you to act against him even though they are a former client in a related matte
Authority: Text pp. 156-57; Paralegal Rules of Conduct Rule 3.04(2),(4)(a)(b)