A request has been made for an opinion from an attorney who represents a
County Beer Board.
In this particular instance, the attorney prepares the minutes of the regular monthly
meetings, represents them in litigation if the applicant appeals the denial of a permit and
advises them on legal questions. The attorney is compensated a designated amount each
month plus an hourly fee for time spent in litigation.
The attorney is in a law firm and the firm never engages in representing anyone in a
matter involving the Beer Board or beer permits. However, members of the law firm
have represented other individuals before the Board of Zoning Appeals and other such
The County does not have a regular county attorney and, when necessary, employs
various private attorneys from time to time in specific matters.
The inquiry is made as a consequence of Formal Ethics Opinion 81-F-4 to determine
whether or not the law firm is prohibited from representing individual clients who have
matters involving other boards and agencies.
The prior opinion, 81-F-4, was intended to apply to private practitioners who serve as
County attorneys. In this particular instance, there appears to be no conflict of interest
manifested in the firm accepting employment from individuals who have matters
involving other boards and agencies of the county which, in no way, relates to the Beer
Board or beer permits.
This 10th day of July , 1981.
W. H. Lassiter
George E. Morrow
APPROVED AND ADOPTED BY THE BOARD