California Lawyers Association


View articles related to the topic of legal ethics

In the context of the No-Contact rule, an attorney sending an email or text which includes her client to another attorney may provide implied consent to the receiving attorney to hit the "Reply All" button, thereby permitting the receiving attorney to communicate directly with the represented client on the email chain. Read more
A well-worn adage, variously attributed to Abraham Lincoln or Benjamin Franklin, holds that any person – including a lawyer – who represents himself has a fool for a client. And if those two luminaries were alive today in an age where many legislative frameworks as well as contract clauses provide for attorney fee awards to a prevailing party, they might have further observed that this same fool attorney would not get paid. That is because there is a well-settled rule that a lawyer who is appearing on his or her own behalf and is the prevailing party in a lawsuit may not be awarded attorney fees. Read more
The ABA recently provided some ethics guidance that every lawyer needs to understand. Opinion 491 that impacts a lawyer’s responsibility to discover their client’s corrupt practices. Read more
The California Rules of Professional Conduct require informed written consent from an affected client under a number of different circumstances involving conflicts of interest. For example, Rule 1.7 requires informed written consent from each client if a lawyer were to represent a client in a matter directly adverse to another current client or whenever there is a significant risk that the lawyer’s representation would be materially limited by the lawyer’s responsibilities or relationships to others or the lawyer’s own interests. Read more
You’ve heard all the stereotypes about New Jersey? Well, some are true, and some not so much. But you might be surprised by how the myths, realities, and Hollywood fictions about the Garden State teach valuable ethics lessons to lawyers. Read more
If you are planning a summer vacation, you undoubtedly are looking forward to some rest, relaxation, or time off from working. Far too many professionals these days are able to stay plugged in to the office during their vacations with the same tools that allowed them to work from home through the pandemic. However, if you are looking to unplug while on vacation, it’s important to plan ahead so that you can continue to fulfill your ethical obligations. Read more
For a variety of reasons, and in a variety of practice areas, many lawyers encounter self-represented litigants on a regular basis. Whether the person decided to go it alone from the inception of the matter or has discharged counsel (or had counsel withdraw) for some reason during the pendency of the matter, the issues that arise are similar. Read more
According to Thomson Reuters’ 2022 Report on the State of the Legal Market, one of the most significant tasks law firms are facing in the current year is recruiting and retaining legal talent, once again putting lateral hiring, and the related conflicts of interest involved, in the spotlight. Read more
Attorneys are first and foremost advocates for their clients’ causes. That is, California attorneys are called upon to be “zealous” advocates for their clients. The Supreme Court of California has affirmed this on several occasions stating that once a lawyer agrees to representation of a client, they must represent the client “zealously, within the bounds of the law.” However, recent appellate court decisions have sought to temper the “zealousness” of advocacy with the equally important concepts of civility and cooperation Read more
ABA Model Rule 1.2 and the California Rules of Professional Conduct Rule 1.2, as well as various court rules, permit a lawyer to limit the scope of representation when reasonable under the circumstances, yet many lawyers do not take advantage of this opportunity to provide limited scope and unbundled legal services. Read more

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