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                                     100 N.J.L.J. 1126 (1977)


Appointed by the New Jersey Supreme Court

OPINION 320 (Supplement)

PBA Attorney's Private practice
Where Police Member is Witness

    In Opinion 320, 98 N.J.L.J. 857 (1975), this Committee concluded that State v. Galati, 64 N.J. 572 (1974), applied to civil as well as criminal matters. We have now determined that we have interpreted Galati too broadly and that our opinion should be limited to criminal, quasi-criminal and disciplinary matters. In Galati the Court said, at page 576:
        So it is that when the PBA's lawyer undertakes the representation of a private cause in which a member of that same PBA is destined to testify (on one side or another) there is bound to occur a public suspicion that the PBA witness will be inclined to palliate or vivify his testimony in order to accommodate the lawyer who, outside the court room, is en rapport with and supportive of the private and organizational interest of the PBA witness.

    The conclusion of Galati, as well as our opinion as herein modified, is that an attorney who is known as a PBA attorney, whether regularly retained or on a case by case basis, may not represent a member of the PBA in any criminal quasi-criminal or disciplinary matter in which another member of the PBA may be called upon to testify. The impropriety exists only where the attorney is so associated with the PBA in the public's mind as to arouse suspicion when he represents, an individual member of the PBA in such matters so closely concerned with the public interest. Clearly this does not prevent any member of the PBA from retaining counsel of his own choosing who is not so associated with the PBA, nor does it prevent continuing representation of the PBA by its attorney in any matter whether or not a member of the PBA will be called upon to testify.
    Opinion 320 is accordingly modified as set forth in this supplement.

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