LEO: Attorney/Client-Personal Interest Which  LE Op. 980


Attorney/Client-Personal Interest Which May Affect

Professional Judgment.


October 12, 1987


You advise that you are a sole practitioner and reside in a community

with a homeowner's association. The covenants which run with the land

require that all residents be members of the association and pay an annual

assessment. The assets of the association are specifically for the

maintenance of the common property and welfare and recreation of community

residents. You have been offered employment by the association to serve as

registered agent, review contracts, collect late assessments and file

annual taxes. You wish to know whether it is proper for you to accept the

employment offered by the association.


Your inquiry is governed by Canon 5 of the Virginia Code of Professional

Responsibility. Specifically, DR:5(A) states "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."


The Committee opines that you may have conflicting interests as a member

of the association while serving as counsel and registered agent to the

association; however, it would not be improper for you to accept the

association's offer of employment as long as you make full disclosure to

and receive consent from the association.


Committee Opinion October 12, 1987