Not a joking matter is Joe Kelly Levasseur acting, in his own words, as both an attorney and an alderman at-Large in the matter of TN Gas vs. the City of Manchester.
NH Rules of Professional Conduct
(a) Definitions. As used in this rule:
lawyer-official means a lawyer actively engaged in the practice of law, who is a member of a governmental body;
governmental body means any state or local governmental agency, board, body, council or commission, including any advisory committee established by any of such entities;
related body means a governmental body whose members are appointed or elected by the lawyer-official or the governmental body of which the lawyer-official is a member;
interest means a direct, personal and pecuniary interest, individually or on a client’s behalf, in a matter which is under consideration by either the governmental body of which the lawyer-official is a member, or by a related body; and
advisory committee means any committee, council, commission, or other like body whose primary purpose is to consider an issue or issues designated by the appointing authority so as to provide such authority with advice or recommendations concerning the formulation of any public policy or legislation that may be promoted, modified, or opposed by such authority.
(b) No lawyer-official shall:
(1) participate in any hearing, debate, discussion or vote, or in any manner otherwise attempt to influence the outcome of a matter in which the lawyer-official has an interest;
(2) utilize information obtained in such capacity for his or her own personal benefit or that of his or her clients or the clients of the firm with which the lawyer-official is associated;
(3) appear on behalf of a client before any governmental body of which the lawyer-official is a member or any related body;
(4) accept anything of value from any person or organization when the lawyer-official knows or reasonably should know that the offer is for the purpose of influencing the lawyer-official’s actions or decisions as a lawyer-official;
(5) use his or her official position to influence or to attempt to influence either the governmental body of which the lawyer is a member or a related body to act in favor of the lawyer-official or the lawyer-official’s clients or clients of the firm with which the lawyer-official is associated.
(c) Other lawyers in the firm with which the lawyer-official is associated may appear on behalf of clients before the governmental body of which the lawyer-official is a member, if the lawyer-official publicly disqualifies himself or herself and refrains from participation in the matter in accordance with paragraph (b)(1) of this Rule and otherwise conducts himself or herself with respect to the matter in question in accordance with paragraph (b) of this Rule. Other lawyers in the firm with which the lawyer-official is associated may appear on behalf of clients before a related body, if the lawyer-official conducts himself or herself with respect to the matter in question in accordance with paragraph (b) of this Rule.
Ethics Committee Comment
This Rule was not considered by the ABA. Service by members of the New Hampshire Bar to state and local government should be encouraged. This Rule is intended to facilitate rather than limit the opportunities of attorneys to serve on state and local governmental bodies.
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