81-F-11 - Beer Board Attorney

 

BOARD OF PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY OF THE SUPREME COURT OF TENNESSEE

FORMAL ETHICS OPINION 81-F-11

 

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 county boards.

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.

ETHICS COMMITTEE:

Randall Burcham
W. H. Lassiter
George E. Morrow

APPROVED AND ADOPTED BY THE BOARD