Government Attorneys’ Participation as Plaintiffs in a Suit Against the Office of Personnel Management

Headnotes: 

Assistant United States Attorneys (AUSAs) are not barred by 18 U.S.C. § 205 from participating as plaintiffs in a class action suit challenging the authority of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to reduce the cost of living allowance paid to all federal employees in Alaska, though they may not accept any compensation for assisting in prosecuting the claims of the class or act as agents or attorneys for the class.

The AUSA’s duty of loyalty to a client under applicable standards of professional conduct does not preclude his joining a suit against OPM, but he should avoid taking an active or notorious role in the litigation.

Updated July 9, 2014