In re Dolan

76 N.J. 1, 384 A.2d 1076 (1978)

 

RULE:

N.J. Code of Professional Responsibility DR 5-105 provides in part that a lawyer shall decline proffered employment if the exercise of his independent professional judgment in behalf of a client will be or is likely to be adversely affected by the acceptance of the proffered employment. Except as prohibited by rule, opinion, directive or statute, a lawyer may represent multiple clients if he believes that he can adequately represent the interests of each and if each consents to the representation after full disclosure of the facts and of the possible effect of such representation on the exercise of his independent professional judgment on behalf of each. 

FACTS:

Respondent attorney was charged with ethical violations in connection with certain real estate transactions. Upon receipt of a report from the Middlesex Central Ethics Unit (New Jersey) the court issued an order to show cause regarding ethical violations by respondent attorney in connection with certain real estate transactions. The court found that respondent had engaged in prohibited conflicts of interest when he represented a land developer at the same time he was employed as a municipal attorney without making a full and timely disclosure.

ISSUE:

Did respondent engage in prohibited conflicts of interest when he represented a land developer at the same time he was employed as a municipal attorney without making a full and timely disclosure?

ANSWER:

Yes.

CONCLUSION:

The court ruled that respondent was under a duty to avoid representing those who could benefit from his position with the borough. The court held that a public reprimand was appropriate because respondent had an impeccable record with a long history of public service and contributions to the legal profession.

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