92 N.J.L.J. 185
March 20, 1969
Associate of Municipal Attorney
An attorney has made inquiry to ascertain if it would be
unethical for him to accept appointment as attorney for a municipal
planning board where one of the partners in the firm with which he
is associated is the attorney for the same municipality. The
inquirer is employed by the firm, receives a salary and shares in
In our Opinion 67, 88 N.J.L.J. 81 (1965), we held that a municipal attorney cannot serve as attorney for a planning board of the same municipality because the two bodies may entertain conflicting points of view. In our Opinion 117, 90 N.J.L.J. 745 (1967), we reaffirmed this holding where a municipal attorney inquired whether he could serve as advisor to the borough's planning board in preparation of its master plan.
The inquirer is of the opinion that the conflict of interest, if any, is minimal and therefore believes that he should not be disqualified from accepting office.
It is our opinion that to accept the office would be unethical since we have held previously that even where an attorney shares office space with another attorney it would be improper to handle matters which may conflict with his office associate, Opinion 74, 88 N.J.L.J. 357 (1965).