Skip to content

Opinion 649

Question Presented

May a Texas lawyer represent her employer, a federal government agency, in defending a claim against the agency brought by agency employees regarding an employment decision made by the agency, when that decision may also adversely affect the lawyer personally and result in the lawyer’s having the same or a substantially similar claim against the agency?

A Texas lawyer is an employee of a federal government agency (the “Agency”).  The lawyer’s duties include defending the Agency before administrative tribunals when Agency employees appeal the Agency’s adverse employment decisions.  Because of automatic spending cuts as part of the federal budget “sequestration,” the Agency plans to begin furloughing employees, including possibly the lawyer.  The Agency asks the lawyer to defend it in appeals by other employees who are furloughed. If the lawyer is subsequently furloughed she could appeal the decision in the same manner and on the same grounds as other employees’ appeals in which she had defended the Agency. 

Bluebook Citation

Tex. Comm. On Professional Ethics, Op. 649 (2015)