Ethics Committee Formal Opinion #1993-94/2
Lawyer‑Official: “General Counsel” to Real Estate Development Partnership Serving as Member of Municipal Governing Body.
November 10, 1993
An attorney serving, in effect, as general counsel to a real estate development partnership and frequently utilizing legal skills in the representation of the partnership before local land use boards and in contract, real property and other matters, likely is “actively engaged in the practice of law” within the meaning of Rule 1.11A. (Rule 1.11A(a)(1); Rule 1.11A(a)(2)).
The attorney’s employer under such circumstances is the client of the attorney for purposes of Rule 1.11A, even though the attorney’s responsibilities to the employer are generally business‑oriented rather than legal in nature. (Rule 1.11A(b)(3)).
- Is an attorney who is employed, in effect, as “general counsel” to a partnership and who represents that partnership frequently before local land use boards and in various contractual and real property matters “actively engaged in the practice of law” for purposes of Rule 1.11A?
- If an attorney so employed is thus “actively engaged in practice of law” within the meaning of Rule 1.11A, is the attorney’s employer the attorney’s “client” under Rule 1.11A(b)(3)?