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).
Let me know if I can clarify or assist you further.
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