LEO: Conflict of Interest - Multiple LE Op. 1096
Conflict of Interest - Multiple Representation -
Department of Social Services and Parents Prosecuted by the DSS
in Unrelated Matters.
June 16, 1988
You advised that you have been contacted by your county's department of
social services and have been asked if you will be able to represent them
on a case-by-case basis in the following types of cases: (1) child
protective services/civil; (2) adult protective services/civil; (3)
guardianship proceedings primarily due to old age/capacity. You presently
serve as guardian ad litem for the juvenile domestic and relations court
in your county and also represent parents (both retained and court
appointed) in child protective service cases.
You wish to know whether or not you may simultaneously represent the
department of social services and parents who are being prosecuted by the
DSS, although in unrelated matters.
DR:5-105(C) states that in the situations covered by DR:5-105(A) and (
B), a lawyer may represent multiple clients if it is obvious that he can
adequately represent the interest of each and if each consents to the
representation after full disclosure of the possible effect of such
representation on the exercise of his independent, professional judgment
on behalf of each.
The Committee opines that if you believe that you may adequately
represent the interests of each, and if disclosure is made to both the
parents and the DSS, and consent is received from each, it would not be
improper for you to represent both parties.
Committee Opinion June 16, 1988