Acceptance of Legal Fees by United States Attorney

Headnotes: 

United States Attorney would be prohibited by 18 U.S.C. § 205(1) from accepting an attorney’s fee generated in a case that he handled while in private practice, if the lawsuit were determined to constitute a claim against the United States, and if his interest in the fee was of a contingent nature at the time he began government service.

Whether a matter in litigation constitutes a claim against the United States for purposes of 18 U.S.C. § 205 depends not upon whether the United States is a plaintiff or defendant, but upon whether the United States has a significant monetary interest at stake in the lawsuit.

Updated July 9, 2014