OPINION 217
January 1959

CONFLICTS OF INTERESTS—EMPLOYMENT—COUNTY ATTORNEY IN PRIVATE PRACTICE—A county Attorney is his private practice may not represent an out of state father in a civil action for contempt of court for failure to support his children residing in the county, as required by a divorce decree, when the attorney for the mother intends to seek criminal prosecution of the father for such failure if the civil action does not accomplish the desired results.

Canon 6.

Question

Is it ethical for the County Attorney in his private capacity to defend an out of state father in a contempt of court proceedings for failure to support his children residing in the county as ordered in a divorce decree, when the only other lawyer in the county is representing the mother and intends to prosecute the father in a criminal action for such failure to support his children if the civil action does not accomplish the desired results, all of which the County Attorney is aware? The County Attorney and the mother's attorney are the only two lawyers practicing law in the county, and the nearest town with a practicing lawyer is twenty-nine miles away.

Opinion

Under the circumstances outlined in this inquiry the County Attorney may not represent the father in a civil case; due to conflicts, or potential conflicts, of interests, representation of the father would violate Canon 6. See Opinions 48, 109, 184. (8-0)