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                                        106 N.J.L.J. 141
                                        August 14, 1980


Appointed by the New Jersey Supreme Court


Part-time Assistant Municipal
Attorneys - Representing Opposing Spouses

    The factual situation presented to this Committee for its advisory opinion is as follows. The inquirer is a part-time assistant municipal attorney who also maintains a private law practice in the form of a partnership. Recently, a woman asked him to represent her in a divorce action. She had originally sought legal representation in this matter from another attorney who is also a part-time assistant municipal attorney in the same municipality which employs the inquirer and also maintains a separate private law practice. She was advised by the other attorney that he had represented her husband in the past and, therefore, would be unable to represent her in the divorce action and, in fact, he had been engaged by the husband to represent him in the divorce action. Apparently, he then referred the woman to the inquirer. The inquirer's question may be stated as follows:
    May attorneys who are both part-time assistant municipal attorneys for the same municipality represent the opposing parties in a divorce action?

    It is our considered opinion that the association of opposing attorneys as part-time employees of the same public employer does not create sufficient appearance of impropriety or conflict to prohibit such representation under the facts presented by this inquiry.

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