ADVERSE INFLUENCES AND CONFLICTING INTERESTS -- It is an open question whether a firm may accept employment seeking parole or pardon of one in prison when a member of the firm was district attorney, before his retirement, who prosecuted and convicted the prospective client.-
RETIREMENT FROM JUDICIAL EMPLOYMENT-- Where a man in prison seeks to employ a firm to obtain his parole or pardon, the committee is evenly divided on whether such employment should be accepted when a member of the firm is the district attorney who convicted the man, but who is now in private practice.
Canons 6, 33.
Question: Would it be a violation of the Canons of Ethics for a law firm to accept employment in representing a man now in the penitentiary in obtaining a pardon or parole where one member of the firm was the district attorney who prosecuted and convicted the same man, but is now in private practice?
Opinion: Eight replies to this inquiry were received from members of the committee. Four of the members are of the opinion that to accept such employment would violate Canons 6 and 33 of the Canons of Ethics of the State Bar of Texas.
Four members are of the opinion that it would not be a violation since considerations of clemency present an entirely different matter from the conviction of the man for crime.(4-4)