LEO: Legal Aid Society - Conflict of  LE Op. 949


Legal Aid Society - Conflict of Interest.


July 8, 1987


An individual received preliminary information regarding a divorce from

an officer of a legal aid society. A year later, the same individual was

interviewed by a pro bono program, which is a cooperative effort with the

legal aid society, and referred to a private attorney in connection with

the same domestic matter. The individual's spouse had also consulted the

legal aid society on an unrelated matter prior to the filing of the

divorce. When served with divorce papers, the spouse had the legal aid

society file the appropriate answer and cross bill.


It is not improper, given the above, for the private attorney to continue

to represent his client as long as full disclosure is made and consent of

the parties received. It is improper, given the above, for the legal aid

society to continue to represent its client. It is not improper for the

legal aid society to assist its client in finding substitute counsel once

proper disclosure and consent of the parties is obtained. However, it is

not required that the legal aid society find substitute counsel. [ DR:4-

101, DR:5-105; LE Op. 221 and LE Op. 241]


Committee Opinion July 8, 1987