87 N.J.L.J. 191
March 26, 1964
Conflict of Interest
An attorney who has been appointed as borough attorney states
that he is requested by the board of education of the borough from
time to time to give advice to it on an ad hoc basis, since the
board has no attorney of its own. He cites, as examples of the type
of proceedings he handles for the board of education, actions
before the State Commissioner of Education and the State Board of
Education. He inquiries whether he should give up his position as
borough attorney or decline further requests for advice from the board of education, or whether he may still represent the board in the areas and on the basis indicated.
This particular problem has been touched upon in our Opinions 4, 86 N.J.L.J. 357 (1963); 5, 86 N.J.L.J. 361 (1963); 11, 86 N.J.L.J. 621 (1963); and 15, 86 N.J.L.J. 734 (1963), although not in the exact context of this inquiry.
As was said in Opinion 4, where an attorney represents a municipality, he must avoid any retainers from others which would place him in a position where he is seeking relief from the municipality or is opposing its action on behalf of a private client. The board of education in this case is a private client.