LEO: Multiple Representation - Substantially  LE Op. 1092


Multiple Representation - Substantially Unrelated Matter.


June 16, 1988


Basically, you advise that you represent a regional jail commission on an

hourly basis and have been giving legal advice to that commission for over

a year. The funding of the jail comes from the state, the county and

cities A and B. Of the five voting commissioners on the commission, one is

appointed by city A's city council. The appointee on the commission from

city A at this point is the assistant to city A's chief of police. You

have recently received a court appointment for an indigent defendant from

the general district court in city A. Client X is charged with a

misdemeanor of obstruction of justice and assault and battery of a police

officer. You feel that client X has a legitimate civil rights action

against a police officer from city A for injuries received and also

against the police department of city A for neglect in securing medical

treatment for the injuries.


You wish to know whether or not you may represent X in this matter.


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 5-105(A)

states that a lawyer shall decline proffered employment if the exercise of

his independent professional judgment on behalf of a client will be or is

likely to be adversely affected by the acceptance of the proffered

employment except to the extent permitted under DR:5-105(C).

Disciplinary Rule 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 interests 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 it is not improper for you to represent client

X as long as disclosure is made and consent received from both X and the

jail commission. The Committee does not believe that DR:5-105 is

applicable to your inquiry since the Committee does not believe that the

two matters are substantially related.


Committee Opinion June 16, 1988