Ethics Opinion 171

By Committee on Professional Ethics

Professional Ethics Committee Opinion

Opinion #171 – 11/06/1970 (52-70)
Topic: Conflict of Interest; Part-time District Attorney
Digest: Not proper for a part-time district attorney to represent an infant in a juvenile delinquency proceeding
Code: Canon 9; EC 9-2; DR 9-101


May a part-time district attorney, who is a partner in a law firm or his partners, represent an infant defendant accused of juvenile delinquency in the Family Court?


It is the opinion of the Committee that it would be improper for the part-time district attorney or his partners to represent the infant in a juvenile delinquency proceeding in the Family Court. The juvenile delinquency proceeding in the Family Court is a criminal proceeding. Since the part-time district attorney in fact is the representative of the people on many occasions, his representation of the defendant would give the appearance of impropriety in violation of Canon 9.  See also EC 9-2: DR 9-101: Drinker, “Legal Ethics” p.118 (1953); ABA Inf. 922 (1966); and N.Y. State 130 (1970).

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