Will an attorney handle a case that involves taking the county he serves to court?? State of Washington county of Lewis.

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    What do you mean by "the county he serves"? Is the lawyer a full-time employee of the county? Is the county one of his clients? Does he have a part-time position as county attorney? Or does the lawyer just practice in the county courts and is a member of the county bar association? The answer is not the same for all of these alternatives. May 31, 2021 at 4:27

1 Answer 1


If you're talking about a lawyer who "serves" the county as an employee, the answer is no; the Rules of Professional Conduct would bar that representation as a conflict of interest.

If you're talking about a lawyer who "serves" the county in the sense that the county is his primary geographic market for clients, there is generally no prohibition on taking such a case.

There are many instances, though -- especially in very small counties -- where the political networks are so incestuous that lawyers worry that taking a case against one official will result in some kind of retaliation by the judges, whether in the form of adverse decisions or just fewer referrals. There are some lawyers who are not willing to take that risk.

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