Legal Ethics

Lawyer's New Client in Murder One Case Allegedly Killed a Former Client

A Minnesota criminal defense lawyer is now representing, in a first-degree murder case, a man who is accused of killing a former client of the attorney.

This kind of situation can raise some complicated ethical issues, experts tell the Star Tribune.

But there is no clear conflict of interest, because the slaying of Guled Hashi Mohamed, 26, near a Minneapolis bar on May 29 for which Justin Seurer’s new client, Biyamin Beiti Omar, 28, was indicted didn’t pertain to Seurer’s earlier representation of Mohamed in a felony terroristic threats case.

However, there could potentially be a problem, says director Martin Cole of the state’s Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility, if Seurer has information about Mohamed that he could use for Omar’s defense but for his duty to keep confidential information from his earlier representation of Mohamed.

Seurer has declined to discuss his representation of Omar and didn’t return the newspaper’s phone message last week.

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