Link to original WordPerfect Document

                                         120 N.J.L.J. 251
                                        July 30, 1987


Appointed by the Supreme Court of New Jersey


Conflict of Interest: Counsel
to County College Serving as
Counsel and Board Member to Bank
in which College's Funds are Deposited

    The inquirer here is designated attorney for a county college. He is also a member of the board of directors of a bank and counsel to the bank in certain matters, not including customer related matters. The bank is one of two depositories of funds of the county college. The facts set out indicate that inquirer has assiduously divorced himself on both sides from being involved in any relationship between the bank and the college. Further, depositories are chosen based upon a bidding process whereby the highest bidders are chosen to be depositories. The issue posed in the inquiry is:
    Does a conflict of interest exist merely because an attorney represents two clients that have a continuing relationship with each other, but in which the attorney does not participate for either client in that relationship?

    It is clear that no conflict exists by the simple reason that an attorney represents two clients who have a continuing relationship.

    The question which the Committee must consider is whether counsel is precluded from representation of both clients because of the appearance of impropriety since the college is the creature of a public entity. See Opinion 229, 95 N.J.L.J. 81 (1972).
    We think that the circumstances presented here cannot be viewed by the public as creating any invidious inference of favoritism or undue influence. Therefore, it is our opinion that the inquirer may continue in his endeavor as he has in the past.

* * *

This archive is a service of Rutgers University School of Law - Camden