Deion Sanders divorce drama: Conflict of interest?

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by STEVE STOLER

WFAA

Posted on April 26, 2012 at 6:02 PM

Updated Saturday, Apr 28 at 5:00 PM

McKINNEY - There’s new drama between the major players in the Sanders divorce saga: Deion, his wife, Pilar, and the Prosper Police Department.

The McKinney law firm representing the Town of Prosper also represents Deion Sanders in a slander suit brought against him by his wife.

Abernathy, Roeder, Boyd and Joplin has a contract to provide legal services to the town. In a letter, that firm told Pilar Sanders' lawyer the town would not release police reports he requested.

According to Collin County court records, Larry Boyd, an attorney who works for that law firm, is representing Deion Sanders and his daughter, Deiondra, in a defamation suit filed by his wife, Pilar.

One case is civil, the other criminal.

But, is there a conflict of interest?

"Where there's a reasonable appearance that their duty of loyalty, their duty of confidentiality, would be adversely limited by representation, they cannot go forward with that representation," said SMU Law Professor Jessica Weaver, who specializes in ethics.

A town spokesman said Prosper isn't concerned about a conflict. Celso Martinez said the town has "complete confidence and trust in the integrity of the firm.

"We've used them for a long time," he continued. "If it is an issue, it is an issue with them."

Pilar Sanders’ attorney, Pete Shulte, says the lawyer revelation shows the town and its police department are not impartial. As a result, Shulte is calling on Prosper to stop their investigation into Tuesday's events that let to assault charges being filed against Sanders and his estranged wife.

Prosper's law firm did not return our repeated attempts for comment.

E-mail sstoler@wfaa.com

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