LEO: Attorney - Business Interests Which May LE Op. 1027
Attorney - Business Interests Which May Affect
February 1, 1988
You wish to know whether or not it is improper for an attorney to
represent the legal affairs of a business when the attorney has a personal
or financial interest in that business.
Disciplinary Rule 5-101(A) [ DR:5-101] states that "A lawyer shall not
accept employment if the exercise of his professional judgment on behalf
of his client may be affected by his own financial, business, property or
personal interests except with the consent of his client after full and
adequate disclosure under the circumstances."
Disciplinary Rule 5-104(A) [ DR:5-104] provides that "A lawyer shall
not enter into a business transaction with a client if they have differing
interests therein and if the client expects the lawyer to exercise his
professional judgment therein for the protection of the client, unless the
client has consented after full and adequate disclosure under the
circumstances and provided that the transaction was not unconscionable,
unfair or inequitable when made."
Based upon the facts presented and the above cited disciplinary rules, as
long as the attorney's professional judgment on behalf of his client is
not affected by his financial interest and disclosure is made and consent
received, it is not improper for an attorney to represent the legal
affairs of a business when the attorney has a personal or financial
interest in the business.
Committee Opinion February 1, 1988