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socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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During the lawsuit and under document production, Konica-Minolta

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During the lawsuit and under document production, Konica-Minolta produced a personal document which I sent to one of my friends and it has nothing to do with the business between my company and Konica-Minolta. It was an email which was not directed to Konica-Minolta either directly or through the CC: or BCC:

This document alone is a snap shot which must had produced by mistake and more could be thought of in the possession of Konica-Minolta. The reason for this statement is that my house had been burglarized before the dispute started with Konica-Minolta and a police report was filed on the spot at 3:30 am in the very early morning of the Mar 20, 2004.

My question is this: I asked my Attorneys to focus on this as a suspected criminal activity that needs to be investigated. They refused to do and claimed that this document (which carries a bate number by Konica-Minolta) is one simple incident and it is most likely circumstantial. Now: Can classify their refusal to do what I asked them to do?

Please advise me Nate.

Thank you


Different contributor here. Please permit me to assist.

California law provides that the attorney is entitled to control the procedural/tactical aspects of a case, and the client is entitled to direct the substantive/strategic aspects. Code Civ. Proc. 283(1); See Blanton v. Womancare, Inc. (1985) 38 C3d 396, 404. An attorney cannot enter into any binding settlement agreement without the client's written consent, and in fact, the client must sign any substantive settlement. See Marriage of Helsel (1988) 198 CA3d 332, 339. However, the attorney can sign any pleading, and stipulate to the admissibility or inadmissibility of evidence.

A criminal matter can only be prosecuted by the county district attorney where the alleged crime occurred. Investigation of your burglary, if it were to show that your legal opponent was involved, could certainly change the outcome of your civil action. However, it may be that your attorneys believe that the investigation would be far too costly and unlikely to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence -- so, the attorney can decline to investigate on that basis -- and not be liable for malpractice.

You can demand that the attorney investigates, as long as you're prepared to pay for the investigation. But, if not, then the attorney is within his authority to refuse, and your only recourse would be to terminate the attorney's services and hire someone new to take over the case.

Please understand that I have no interest in providing you with anything less than a completely satisfying answer. However, if the law does not favor your unique circumstances, then the best that I can do is to explain what the law "is" and what it "is not." Also, as a member in good standing of the State Bar of California, I believe I am in a better position to discuss the law of the jurisdiction in which your case arises, than are other contributors here who are licensed elsewhere in the USA (as they would be in a better position to discuss the law of their jurisdiction of licensure).

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