RPC 1.7(B) Interpretation

RPC 1.7(b) provides in pertinent part: A lawyer shall not represent a client if the representation of that client may be materially limited by the lawyer's responsibilities to another client or to a third person, or by the lawyer's own interests, unless: (1) the lawyer reasonably believes the representation will not be adversely affected; and (2) the client consents after a full disclosure of the circumstances and consultation with the client. . . . An accused's right to the "assistance of counsel" grows out of the Sixth Amendment to the Federal Constitution and Art. I, P10 of the New Jersey Constitution, both of which have been interpreted to fundamentally guarantee the right to "effective assistance." State v. Bellucci, 81 N.J. 531, 538, 410 A.2d 666 (1980). "The constitutional right to the 'assistance of counsel' contemplates that the attorney's position as an advocate for his client should not be compromised before, during or after trial." State v. Land, 73 N.J. 24, 29, 372 A.2d 297 (1977). A defendant is entitled to undivided loyalty from his or her attorney whose representation must be "untrammeled and unimpaired." Bellucci, supra, 81 N.J. at 538, 410 A.2d 666. The Court observed that there "can be no greater violation of a defendant's right to effective counsel than when his attorney is serving conflicting interests." State v. Pych, 213 N.J.Super. 446, 452, 517 A.2d 871 (App.Div.1986).