GN NOTE: SBates I refuse to Post the type of unfounded accusations you wrote especially from someone with no backbone to use their real name and a valid email Address so your comments went in the trash where they belong.
Another prominent Merrimack Valley Attorney pointed out the following regarding my concern with Atty. Long investigating in any way, shape or form any alleged harassment allegations made by the Superintendent.
I regularly follow the Lowell blogs and have never commented on any before but after reading the portion on legal advice, I felt I should give you a heads up.
Lawyers in MA are required to follow the MA Rules of Professional Conduct. They can be found in Rule 3:07 of the SJC’s Court Rules.
The advice that you were given seems to confuse statutory conflict of interest (“COI”) issues under 268A (that apply to government employees who have to avoid certain ‘appearance’ concerns primarily on financial matters) with the professional rules that attorneys must follow.
Under the professional rules, it is about actual conflicts and their potential to be created. It really isn’t about ‘appearance’.
The Professional Rules that appear to be relevant based on the info you supply (there may be more Rules, this was a quick and curt review):
Rule 1.6 Confidentiality of Information
Rule 1.7 COI – General Rule
Rule 1.8 COI – Prohibited Transactions
Rule 1.9 COI – Former Clients
Rule 1.10 Imputed Disqualification
Rule 1.13 Organization as Client
To illustrate the difference by way of example, I cite three SJC Comments on Rule 1.7, the last of which seems most apt:
 Ordinarily, a lawyer may not act as advocate against the client the lawyer represents in some other matter, even if the other matter is wholly unrelated. However, there are circumstances in which a lawyer may act as advocate against the client.
For example, a lawyer representing an enterprise with diverse operations may accept employment as advocate against the enterprise in an unrelated matter if doing so will not adversely affect the lawyer’s relationship with the enterprise or conduct of the suit and if both clients consent upon consultation.
[8A] The situation with respect to government lawyers is special, and public policy considerations may permit representation of conflicting interests in some circumstances where representation would be forbidden to private lawyer.
 Conflicts of interest in contexts other than litigation sometimes may be difficult to assess. Relevant factors in determining whether there is potential adverse effect include the duration and intimacy of the lawyer’s relationship with the client or clients involved, the likelihood that actual conflict will arise and the likely prejudice to the client from the conflict if it does arise. The question is often one of proximity and degree.
Lastly, (and generally speaking) the concerns listed in the opinion for an outside ‘independent’ set of eyes relate to Number 11 which depending on the actual facts may or may not create an actual conflict.
However, based on ‘appearance’ alone these issues are what a lawyer who is seeking to discredit the findings of any such report would focus on to show the bias and inherent flaws of any such report.
I hope this helps.