You have presented a hypothetical situation in which Client #1
requested that Attorney represent her in an eviction case based
partially on an incident which allegedly occurred between her son
and the son of a neighbor.  You indicate that Client #2 requested
representation immediately thereafter in an eviction case related
to nonpayment of charges.  Client #1 recognized Client #2 in the
hallway [of the law office] and notified Attorney that Client #2 is
the neighbor whose son was allegedly involved in the incident with
her son.

You further indicate that it is possible that Client #2 may be
called as a witness in the eviction case of Client #1, but that
there is no connection between the clients relating to the eviction
of Client #2.  You advise that there are no direct conflicts
between the interests of the clients, or information in one case
that would affect the lawyer's impartiality or ability to offer
undivided loyalty.  
However, you state that there may be an appearance of conflict
between the clients based on the fact that Client #2 may testify
against the interests of Client #1.

You indicate that both clients live in federally subsidized housing
and that there are very few, if any, pro bono attorneys available
where these clients live who have the necessary expertise or would
be willing to represent these clients.  Finally, you indicate that,
if Attorney, on the staff of a legal services agency, cannot
represent these clients, it is likely that they will go

You have asked the committee to opine, under the facts of the
inquiry, (1) whether Attorney may represent either or both parties;
and (2) whether disclosure would be sufficient to satisfy any
potential questions about the attorney's loyalty to clients.

The appropriate and controlling Disciplinary Rule related to your
inquiry is DR 5-105(C), which states that 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 is of the opinion that it is not obvious that
Attorney can adequately represent the interests of both Client #1
and Client #2.  Although the facts indicate that there is no
connection between the clients relating to the eviction of Client
#2, the facts do indicate, however, that Client #2 may be called as
a witness in the eviction of Client #1.  In order to provide
zealous representation to Client #l, therefore, Attorney would be
obligated to challenge the credibility of Client #2 in Client #1's
action while continuing to represent Client #2 on the unrelated
matter.  Thus, the committee is of the opinion that Attorney should
withdraw from representation of Client #1.  However, assuming that
Client #1 has no involvement in the eviction caser of Client #2,
the committee is of the opinion that it would not be improper for
Attorney to continue representation of Client #2.  See LEOs #1408,
1150, 706.

[DR 5-105(C); LEOs 706; 1150; 1408]

Committee Opinion
February 17, 1995