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OBA Ethics Counsel

Ethics Opinion No. 28

Adopted May 27, 1932

In two disciplinary proceedings had before the Board of Governors were incidently involved the ethics of a member of The State Bar in connection with bankruptcy proceedings. In both of them the member of the bar represented a client in obtaining his adjudication in voluntary bankruptcy, thereafter representing the bankrupt client in the proceedings. The member of the bar thereafter obtained representation for certain preferred claimants against the estate of each of his bankrupt clients, filed the preferred claims and prosecuted them to collection.

The member of the bar has made an oral request for an opinion as to the propriety of his actions in those proceedings.

It is the opinion of the Board that, inasmuch as the interest of a bankrupt and the interest of his creditors in a bankruptcy proceeding are adverse, it is professionally improper for an attorney to represent both the bankrupt and his creditors in such a proceeding.

To the same effect see Opinion 40 of the American Bar Association Committee on Professional Ethics reported in January, 1932, issue of the American Bar Association Journal.