I've written a short story in which a prosecutor in a case gets romantically involved with a witness for the prosecution, and is subsequently investigated due to the fact that he is in a relationship with a witness, which could possibly motivate him to be more persistent in prosecuting the accused. It's not so much a conflict of interest, but I've searched dictionaries and thesauruses in search of an appropriate term, but haven't found one.

  • Since this is a request for a synonym, maybe try asking over on english.stackexchange. FWIW, conflict of interests may still be the correct term.
    – Llewellyn
    Commented Jan 2, 2021 at 11:57

2 Answers 2


To Llewellyn's point, are you asking for synonyms or alternative means to communicate the concept?

Though admittedly verbose, it could be fun looking for a colorful way to explain the term in regards to the situation at hand. "The Court finds that his external relationship to () provides the opportunity for bias, and thus has decided to disallow his involvement in the proceedings. "

  • I guess kind of both...it's not a "conflict of interest", per se, but that it potentially could cloud the prosecutor's judgement, I guess. I have no idea why I didn't think of "bias", like you suggested, as it's quite obvious. slaps forehead
    – Jami Johns
    Commented Jul 20, 2021 at 4:41

I think the closet words are dispute and difference of opinions. You could also try 'opposing interests' or 'competing interest'. Maybe even cross-purposes.

Just giving multiple alternatives, because any of these could fix based on your context.

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