State Bar of South Dakota

Ethics Opinion 85-2

January 24, 1985

Your request for an opinion on whether your law firm and any or all of its members may defend criminal cases in your county where your first cousin and one of your partner’s brother is states attorney has been considered by the Committee. 

A strong majority feel there is no impropriety if the states attorney assigns prosecution to a deputy states attorney or an assistant attorney general of those cases your law firm defends. 

It is recommended a full disclosure be made to your client and his consent then be obtained. 

The states attorney must definitely reassign cases to his deputy or an assistant attorney general where there would be an “appearance” of impropriety. 

Carl W. Quist
Chair, Ethics Committee