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In re Clauson's Case

53 A.3d 621 (2012)

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In re Clauson’s Case

New Hampshire Supreme Court

53 A.3d 621 (2012)

Facts

Brenda Gray reported to the police that her husband, Todd Gray, had assaulted her, and Todd and Brenda’s daughter corroborated the report. Todd was arrested, and a no-contact order was entered against him. Brenda, however, wanted Todd to come home, so Brenda asked K. William Clauson (defendant) to represent her and Todd in lifting the no-contact order and to represent Todd in the assault matter. Brenda and Todd told Clauson that the assault never happened. Clauson did not get written informed consent from Brenda or Todd concerning the possible conflict of interest of representing them both. The trial court lifted the no-contact order and postponed trial for a year, pending Todd’s good behavior. A complaint was filed with the bar concerning Clauson’s representation of Brenda and Todd. After a hearing, the Supreme Court Professional Conduct Committee (PCC) held that Clauson violated New Hampshire Rule of Professional Conduct 1.7(a) and suspended Clauson for six months. Clauson appealed the order, arguing that there was no conflict because Brenda and Todd’s interests were aligned in getting the no-contact order lifted and because Brenda and Todd claimed that there had been no assault.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Lynn, J.)

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