Relationships, the Rules of Professional Conduct and Land Use: Ethical Quagmires for Land Use Attorneys
Real Estate Law Journal, Vol. 39, 2010
22 Pages Posted: 12 Oct 2010 Last revised: 23 Jul 2013
Date Written: October 11, 2010
Much has been written about ethics in the land use game in terms of reported court decisions and opinions of state attorneys general and statewide ethics bodies, but the literature is devoid of a focused examination on how bar association committees on ethics and professionalism (lawyers providing ethical guidance to other lawyers) apply the Rules of Professional Conduct to provide advice to the thousands of full-time and part-time attorneys who have a role in the planning and zoning process. This article begins to fill the void by introducing the application of the various Rules of Professional Conduct, as adopted by the specific opining jurisdiction, through a review of the relevant reported opinions of the various committees and sometimes courts, in the land use context. Part I discusses the challenges that arise for lawyers vis-à-vis their clients in the land use context. This is followed by a discussion in Part II of the ethics and professionalism issues that confront lawyers who serve on local boards.
Keywords: ethics, professionalism, zoning, land use, conflicts of interest, appearance of impropriety, legal ethics, government ethics, public sector ethics
JEL Classification: K11, K19
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation