September 1961

CONFLICTING INTEREST—RETIREMENT FROM PUBLIC EMPLOYMENT--No member of a law firm represent a defendant, indicted on a criminal charge, if one of such firm’s members, while previously serving as an Assistant County Attorney, had handled or worked on case concerning said defendant.

Canons 6, 33.


A, serving as an Assistant County Attorney, handled a case concerning D, a juvenile charged with rape. A resigned as Assistant County Attorney and formed a partnership with B. A advised B of all the information contained in the State's case against D. Shortly thereafter, D became 17 years of age and was indicted for statutory rape, and A and B made D's bond and intend to represent D during his trial. Would such action on the part of A and B be a violation of the Canons of Ethics?


It is the opinion of the committee that it would be a violation of Canon 33 for A, under the circumstances stated, to represent D. Such representation by A would also violate Article 32 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure.

B, A's partner, would be disqualified from representing D under, among other rulings, Opinion 104, which clearly sets out that one member of a firm may not accept employment which previous relations prevent another member from accepting. (9-0.)