Employment of Board Member's Law Firm
Opinion rules that a law firm may accept employment on behalf of a governing board upon which its partner sits if such is otherwise lawful.
Editor's Note: This opinion was originally published as RPC 130 (Revised).
Lawyer L is a partner in Law Firm A, B & L. Other members of Law Firm A, B & L currently represent County C in several matters. Law Firm A, B & L expects to be employed by County C in regard to several other matters in the near future. Lawyer L has just been elected to County C's board of commissioners. In light of Lawyer L's new political office, can members of Law Firm A, B & L represent County C?
Yes. If an attorney or an employee of that attorney serves as a member of a county or municipal governing board, or state or federal legislative body or any entity thereunder, or committee thereof, it shall not be unethical for a partner, associate, or law firm of that attorney to represent such governing board, body, or entity provided the selection of the partner, associate, or law firm of that attorney is made with full disclosure of the relationship with the attorney board member and provided further that the attorney board member takes no part in the selection of the partner, associate, or law firm of that attorney for the representation of the governing board, body, or entity and the engagement is otherwise lawful. Reference is made, for example, to the prohibition and the exceptions thereto in G.S. §14-234. CPR 290 is overruled to the extent that it conflicts with this opinion.