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N Cal Atty
N Cal Atty, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 9338
Experience:  attorney at self
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Here's part of the letter opposing council wrote to my

Customer Question

Here's part of the letter opposing council wrote to my attorney. Is it ethical for him to threaten me in such a manner? Is this something that the BAR would investigate? Does rule 5-100 apply to this?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  N Cal Atty replied 1 year ago.

What does the first page say?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sent you both pages
Expert:  N Cal Atty replied 1 year ago.

Thank you.

I am sorry but it is legal for a lawyer to threaten to cite a party for contempt, so I do not see this as a violation of Rule 5-100. I see it as pretty sleazy but my opinion is that the Bar would not discipline the lawyer for having done this.

I am not out to protect lawyers; I hate them as much as anyone. But it would be unfair to you, and unprofessional of me, not to give you my honest opinion.

For an example of a case where a demand letter did cross the line, see

I hope this information is helpful.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
where does Rule 5-100 tell us the train of zealous representation come off the tracks? One key word in the 5-100 Rule is "threaten." Another is "advance." Taken together with the rest of 5-100, it is not improper for instance to actually make a report about the opposition's illegal conduct to the appropriate government agency, but it is improper for a lawyer to communicate the potential reporting beforehand as a means of gaining leverage and concession to an issue in the civil matter (which, of course, includes family law cases). As such, in regard to examples above of illegal activities of the other party that may come to light, there is nothing wrong or unethical about advising the client to make a report to the IRS or to the police department (assuming such reporting doesn't hurt the client's position or expose him/her to unintended adverse consequences). But the line is crossed by using or attempting to use the information against the Ex to 'get 'em over a barrel.' Here is paragraph I was reading on this subject what do you think?
Expert:  N Cal Atty replied 1 year ago.

Your understanding is correct but threatening to have a party cited for contempt is an exception to the general rule. Threatening to file criminal charges is generally not allowed, but civil contempt is in its own category.

It is always BS when a lawyer says do this or we will have no choice but to do X. There is always a choice. The threat is borderline, and you can complain to the State Bar if you want, but I doubt that it will discipline the lawyer for this.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok thank you very much.
Expert:  N Cal Atty replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for using Just Answer!

Expert:  N Cal Atty replied 1 year ago.

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