Ethics Counsel

Ethics Opinion No. 84

Adopted January 25, 1935

A member of the bar whose term as county attorney expired on January 7, 1935, reentered the general practice. While county attorney, and in the performance of his official duties as such, he filed a complaint against two persons charged with crime and represented the State at the preliminary hearing, at the conclusion of which the two persons were bound over to the District Court for trial. As county attorney he filed the information against the persons in the District Court.

The two persons named now desire to retain the member of the Bar to defend them against the charges upon final trial in the District Court.

The member of the Bar desires an opinion as to whether or not with propriety, he may accept the employment.

In response:

Under the circumstances related, the member of the Bar may not accept the employment. Rule 38 of the Rules of Professional Conduct provides:

“A lawyer, having once held public office or having been in the public employ, should not after his retirement accept employment in connection with any matter which he has investigated or passed upon while in such office or employ.”