The First Department, reversing Supreme Court, determined defendant’s motion to disqualify plaintiff’s attorney should have been granted:
Plaintiff’s counsel represented defendant at the time that he commenced this action against defendant on plaintiff’s behalf. Thus, the conflict of interest arose at that time and must be assessed as of that time (see Rules of Professional Conduct [22 NYCRR 1200.0] rule 1.7[a] …).
Although the matter in which plaintiff’s counsel represented defendant is unrelated to the instant matter, we find that counsel should be disqualified because “an attorney must avoid not only the fact, but even the appearance, of representing conflicting interests” … . City & County Paving Corp. v Titan Concrete, Inc., 2019 NY Slip Op 04776, First Dept 6-13-19