A conflict check is a method used by law firms to ensure that conflicts of interest do not exist between the firm's existing clients and a potential new client. Lawyers should establish an effective conflict checking system and regularly maintain and update the information it contains.
A conflict checking system may be a physical database or a software-based one. The physical type typically includes folders containing information about all of the firm's clients, both past and present, and all the parties involved in any matters where the clients used the firm's services. When a new client contacts the firm, the firm checks the client's name against the information contained in the folders to ensure no conflicts exist. While the system works, computerized systems can be faster. However, both systems rely on the firm keeping information updated and current.