conflict of interest


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Conflict of Interest

A term used to describe the situation in which a public official or fiduciary who, contrary to the obligation and absolute duty to act for the benefit of the public or a designated individual, exploits the relationship for personal benefit, typically pecuniary.

In certain relationships, individuals or the general public place their trust and confidence in someone to act in their best interests. When an individual has the responsibility to represent another person—whether as administrator, attorney, executor, government official, or trustee—a clash between professional obligations and personal interests arises if the individual tries to perform that duty while at the same time trying to achieve personal gain. The appearance of a conflict of interest is present if there is a potential for the personal interests of an individual to clash with fiduciary duties, such as when a client has his or her attorney commence an action against a company in which the attorney is the majority stockholder.

Incompatibility of professional duties and personal interests has led Congress and many state legislatures to enact statutes defining conduct that constitutes a conflict of interest and specifying the sanctions for violations. A member of a profession who has been involved in a conflict of interest might be subject to disciplinary proceedings before the body that granted permission to practice that profession.

Cross-references

Attorney Misconduct; Ethics, Legal.

conflict of interest

n. a situation in which a person has a duty to more than one person or organization, but cannot do justice to the actual or potentially adverse interests of both parties. This includes when an individual's personal interests or concerns are inconsistent with the best for a customer, or when a public official's personal interests are contrary to his/her loyalty to public business. An attorney, an accountant, a business adviser or realtor cannot represent two parties in a dispute and must avoid even the appearance of conflict. He/she may not join with a client in business without making full disclosure of his/her potential conflicts, he/she must avoid commingling funds with the client, and never, never take a position adverse to the customer.

conflict of interest

noun conflict, divergent interrsts between clients, ethical breach, prohibiting acceptance or retention of a case, variance of interest between clients
Associated concepts: code of professional responsibility
See also: disagreement
References in periodicals archive ?
'It is not about whether the AG thinks Syazlin will face a conflict of interests when she represents the three parties,' Abdul Hamid said.
Before meetings happen members declare any conflict of interest! As far as I am concern I have represented the oil industry fairly I believe the director-general and chairman of the organisation can bare me witness," he said.
"As such, there is more than prima facie evidence of Pichay's conflict of interest...
He said the authorities or public representatives should disclose instances of conflict of interests or relationships, which was considered as an ethical matter all this while and not a legal violation, since there was no laws to act on.
What mattered was that the deputy governor kept this potential conflict of interest secret.
Simply preparing an individual tax return for a couple using the married-filing-jointly status represents a potential, albeit minimal, conflict of interest. However, if the clients are involved in a pending divorce, the threats to integrity and objectivity are more significant.
Speaking to Cricket Next, a source at the CoA has said that Dravid hasn't violated the conflict of interest clause.
"She was therefore facing a potential conflict of interest, or a perception of a conflict of interest, between her role as a assembly member and her role as a minister.
CPAs are urged to use their professional judgment and take into account whether a reasonable and informed third party who is aware of the relevant information would conclude that a conflict of interest exists.
Manohar strongly ruled out any case of conflict of interest for the Prince of Kolkata.
“Committed to building long-term partnerships with our customers, ConvergePoint believes in constantly taking a proactive approach to help organizations address their compliance needs and streamline their processes,” said ConvergePoint's Chief SharePoint Architect Aju Koshy, “and the introduction of our Conflict of Interest Disclosure Software is the next step in working towards these goals.”
A bench of Justices TS Thakur and FMI Kalifulla, which heard the counsel for BCCI and Srinivasan on one side and rival Cricket Association of Bihar (CAB) on the other, had on December 17 reserved its verdict on Srinivasan's reelection plea but had indicated that the judgment could formulate accountability standards for illmanaged sports bodies to eliminate nepotism and conflict of interest.

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