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