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                                             93 N.J.L.J. 492
                                            July 9, 1970


Appointed by the New Jersey Supreme Court


Conflict of Interest
Representing Passengers -
Fee for Referring Driver

    The inquirer requests our opinion as to whether it is proper for an attorney to agree to forward to another attorney a referral fee where the latter attorney has referred the driver of a motor vehicle to the inquirer, retaining the passenger as his client. It is stated that the basis for the referral fee is to be the work done by the referring attorney in investigating the case either personally or through the services of a full-time investigator.
    The Supreme Court's directive appearing at 91 N.J.L.J. 81 on February 8, 1968 states that, with exceptions not here pertinent, an attorney should not represent both the driver of a car and his passenger against the driver of another car.
    It is clear that the proposed referral fee violates the spirit if not the letter of the directive and accordingly is improper.

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