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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 27645
Experience:  Attorney with experience in family law.
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Is it ethical family law attorney to go into chambers

Customer Question

Is it ethical for a family law attorney to go into chambers with the OPC and make decisions for their client, and then not allow their client to refuse to accept? What should that client do in that case?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

My name is ***** ***** I'd be happy to answer your questions today.

Rule 3-500 of the Rules of Professional Conduct requires a member of the bar to keep clients reasonably informed about what's going on in their case and any significant developments. If they're making decisions that affect the case without notifying the client, that could be a violation.

Rule 3-501 requires the attorney to convey written settlement offers. Oral offers should also be communicated if they're significant (look at the notes to the rule).

Advising a client to do something that's not in their best interests could also be a violation of the duty to act with competence. Rule 3-110.

Those are the rules that most might apply to what you've said. The lawyer does have authority to make decisions regarding the strategy of litigation, because that's something lawyers know and most clients don't. But at the end of the day, it's up to the client to decide whether or not to accept an offer. If the attorney won't allow the client to accept, the client can ask the attorney to withdraw from the case.

An attorney also has the ability to report violations of the Rules to the Bar Association.
http://www.calbar.ca.gov/Attorneys/LawyerRegulation/FilingaComplaint.aspx

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