LEO: Conflict of Interest - Part-Time LE Op. 633

 

Conflict of Interest - Part-Time Commonwealth's Attorneys -

Substitute Judges - Legislators - "Due Process" Hearings -

State Licensing Agencies - Private Practice.

 

June 19, 1985

 

It is not improper for a part-time commonwealth's attorney to represent

either parents or school boards as part of his or her private practice so

long as the part-time commonwealth's attorney has no contact with or

responsibility for any commonwealth cases involving either the parents or

the school board, and so long as there is no reasonable basis for

inference of the exploitation of the prestige of the attorney's public

office or of a conflict of interest between the public duties of the part-

time commonwealth's attorney and the attorney's duties in private

practice.

 

It is not improper for a substitute judge to represent either parents or

school boards as part of the judge's private law practice even in the

jurisdiction where the judge serves as a substitute judge; provided,

however, that the judge can avoid even the appearance of impropriety which

is prohibited by the provisions of Canon 2 of 3 of the Canons of

Judicial Conduct and DR:9-101 of the Virginia Code of Professional

Responsibility. Further, the substitute judge in those circumstances also

should keep in mind DR:8-101(A)(2) and (3).

 

It is not improper for attorneys/legislators to represent either parents

or school boards in "due process" hearings or to represent clients before

state licensing agencies so long as the attorney/legislator can exercise

independent professional judgment unaffected by financial, business,

property or personal interests or so long as the client consents to the

representation after full and adequate disclosure by the

attorney/legislator of any of these interests which might create a

potential conflict of interest between the attorney and the client. [ DR:

5-101]

 

Committee Opinion June 19, 1985