87 N.J.L.J. 106
February 13, 1964
Conflict of Interest
The following inquiry has been submitted for our opinion:
The newly elected mayor of our town desires to form
a committee of approximately seven business and
professional men primarily for the purpose of attracting
new small industries to the community. Our function would
be to explore methods by which this can be done and to
advise the mayor accordingly. It should be borne in mind
that this committee will have no official status. It will
not be recognized under any statute. It is not being
created by ordinance and it will not even have the
approval of the governing body.
The question now is whether or not, if I agree to serve on this committee beginning in the early part of 1964, I will still be free to accept legal matters involving the town in which I live.
In a survey of the legal profession Dean Pound defined the profession as a "group of men pursuing a learned art as a common calling in a spirit of public service, - no less a public service because it may incidentally be a means of livelihood. "The tradition of public service, with remuneration as an incident, originated with the barristers in their Inns of Court. Originally they were men of substantial origins, often sons of the leading families in England, who were not dependent on their profession for their livelihood. These traditions were brought to this country and have been preserved and formulated by our bar associations. Drinker, Legal Ethics 5 (1963).