September 1964

CONFLICTING INTEREST—TWO TAXING AGENCIES—Representation in a delinquent tax case of two taxing agencies by one attorney is not a per se violation of the Canons of Ethics since there is not necessarily a conflict, but the attorney should be vigilant to detect any conflict between the interests of his two clients.

Canon 6.


Is it unethical for an attorney to represent more than one taxing agency in a delinquent tax suit in which a city and a school district are joint plaintiffs or in a delinquent tax suit in which a school district is plaintiff and a city is an impleaded defendant?


Not necessarily. Under Canon 6, it is unethical to represent conflicting interests, and an attorney represents conflicting interests when, in behalf of one client, it is his duty to contend for that which duty to another client requires him to oppose. Since the question as stated does not necessarily involve a conflict, there would be no per se violation of the Canons. However, it cannot be said that such dual representation is always ethical, because conflicts of interest could arise, in which event the attorney should disqualify. (8-1.)