111 N.J.L.J. 16
January 6, 1983
Conflict of Interest
Defending Client and Simultaneously Prosecuting
Complaint Filed by Client in Municipal Court
This inquiry is submitted by an attorney retained by a police officer charged with assaulting a complaining witness in a Municipal Court action. The attorney was directed by the Magistrate to simultaneously prosecute the complaint filed by his client against the complaining witness. The attorney questions his obligation to both defend his client and prosecute his complaint in the Municipal Court.
We believe that there is no conflict because the attorney is representing only the policeman, both as defendant and as prosecutor.
The temporary appointment of the attorney does not make him a "Municipal Attorney" or a "Public Prosecutor" as defined by us in previous opinions.
Because of the fact that the attorney was appointed by the Court to serve in this one instance, and is not a "Municipal Prosecutor," we do not believe that Opinion 104, 90 N.J.L.J. 49 (1967); Opinion 140, 91 N.J.L.J. 805 (1968); or Opinion 400, 102
N.J.L.J. 73 (1978) are applicable.