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                                         101 N.J.L.J. 41
                                        January 19, 1978


Appointed by the New Jersey Supreme Court


Conflict of Interest
Local P.B.A. Attorney
Attorney for School Board

    An attorney who is presently legal advisor to a local policemen's benevolent association inquires whether he is precluded from accepting an appointment as attorney for the municipal board of education. The attorney states that the board of education is an appointed board, and the attorney to the board is selected by the appointed members.
     We see no inherent conflict of interest in the acceptance of this appointment. In Opinion 260, 96 N.J.L.J. 1129 (1973), we held that our opinions should not be read so broadly as to require attorneys for policemen's benevolent associations to limit their practice except in matters where the members of the association might be expected to appear as witnesses.
    In Opinion 345, 99 N.J.L.J. 714 (1976), we declined to pass on a question whether a municipal judge may serve as a school board attorney, holding that there was a substantive question of dual office holding, upon which we would not pass. However, we did point out those situations or circumstances where the individual involved would have to disqualify himself when the board found it necessary to file charges or appear in municipal court. Under the facts here,

if the board brings proceedings in the municipal court and the municipal police officials are witnesses, then the board attorney who is the policemen's benevolent association's attorney will be disqualified from appearing in those proceedings. Cf. Opinion 320, 98 N.J.L.J. 857 (1975), outlining the disqualification upon a P.B.A. attorney's private practice where a police member is a witness, and State v. Galati, 64 N.J. 572 (1974).

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