92 N.J.L.J. 726
November 6, 1969
Conflict of Interest
Associate of Municipal
Attorney Representing Developer
This inquiry questions whether it is proper for an attorney
who is an office associate of a municipal attorney to represent a
developer who is about to subdivide, erect and sell one and two-
family homes in the municipality which employs the municipal
attorney. All the legal proceedings for subdivision, variances,
etc., were attended to previously by the attorney representing the
corporation which sold the tract to the developer, and the inquirer
had no part in them.
We considered a similar inquiry in New Jersey Advisory Committee on Professional Ethics, Opinion 157, 92 N.J.L.J. 593 (1969), where we held that a part time municipal attorney may not continue to represent a builder of homes in the municipality which employs the attorney. See also New Jersey Advisory Committee on Professional Ethics, Opinions 90, 89 N.J.L.J. 241 (1966), 85, 88 N.J.L.J. 631 (1965), and 69, 88 N.J.L.J. 97 (1965).
What we decided in the above opinion applies with equal force here where the attorney concerned is an office associate of the municipal attorney. New Jersey Advisory Committee on Professional Ethics, Opinion 74, 88 N.J.L.J. 357 (1965).
Accordingly, this inquirer should not represent the builder in the municipality while he maintains an office association with the attorney for the municipality.