Conflicts of Interest in Muncipal Court – ACPE Opinion 6

Within the past few minutes, the Advisory Committee on Professional Ethics released Opinion 697 dealing with conflicts of interest in municipal court. The specific question presented to the Committee related to an attorney whose partner is the municipal zoning board attorney. The attorney requested an opinion as to whether he could appear before the municipal court in the same municipality where his partner is employed as the zoning board attorney.

The Opinion holds that attorney employment by various municipal boards that are funded by the municipality will bar the appearance in municipal court by his or her partners, associates and others connected with the firm.

Opinion 697 provides a complete history of this rule, its rationale and numerous other examples where such an appearance in municipal court would be considered a conflict of interest. The Opinion also gives of examples of other extraneous, quasi-municipal entities where such an appearance by a partner or associate would not be a conflict.

Download a copy of Opinion 697

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