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