"That’s a question I’ve been chewing around: why is that a conflict of interest? ... They can in fact take a position, can’t they?"
Another thing that happened while I was away was the oral arguments on the latest petition to reopen the Barnes proceeding. The Main Line Times seems to have the most extensive summary. The quotation above is from Judge Ott. (See related thoughts here.) I still don't see how the plaintiffs get around the standing problem, and won't be surprised if there are sanctions this time.