A lawyer departing from a law firm sued both the firm and a partner in the firm. Both the partner and the firm are represented by the same counsel, and the trial court disqualified that counsel, holding there was a nonwaivable actual conflict. The court concluded the conflict existed because the departing lawyer is a […]
“Rules Are For Children. This Is War, And In War The Only Crime Is To Lose,” Joe Abercrombie.
During the trial of a personal injury action, defense counsel asked questions in clear violation of the trial court’s in limine orders. The trial court sustained each of plaintiff counsel’s objections, but defense counsel continued to violate the in limine orders. The Court of Appeal reversed the judgment in favor of the defendant, stating: “Because […]
Court Refused To Accept Dismissal Of Appeal, Stating: “The Lack Of Civility Demonstrated In This Case Is A Matter Of Public Interest.”
Two paragraphs of the opinion best describe what happened: “We find FCI’s conduct with respect to this entire case demonstrative of a particularly nasty type of scorched earth tactics. A purportedly stolen hard drive, which was placed in the hands of defendants solely for litigation purposes, has resulted in an attempt to disqualify counsel and […]
Law Firm Of Attorney Who Volunteered To Conduct A Settlement Conference & Received Confidential Information Cannot Later Represent A Party To The Action.
An attorney served as a settlement officer in a mandatory settlement conference conducted by a judge and two volunteer attorneys in a case which did not settle. Later, the law firm of the attorney substituted in to represent the defendant in the same action. The trial court denied a motion to disqualify the law firm. […]
It’s Not Nice To Fool The State Bar.
A lawyer affirmed she had satisfied compliance with her Minimum Continuing Legal Education [MCLE] requirements when in fact she had not. Caught in the net of a random audit, the lawyer said she was previously mistaken and corrected the error. The Office of the Chief Trial Counsel [OCTC] of the State Bar charged the lawyer […]
Arbitrator’s Disclosure Obligations And Motion To Vacate.
In Dornbirer v. Kaiser Foundation (2008) 166 Cal.App.4th 831, [83 Cal.Rptr.3d 116], the arbitrator in a dispute between a patient and her medical provider (Kaiser) disclosed his prior participation in several matters involving Kaiser and its legal counsel. The disclosure statement omitted multiple pieces of information required under Code of Civil Procedure section 1281.9, including […]
Lawyer ’s Practice Got Too Big To Control.
The first sentence of the State Bar Court opinion is: “This case illustrates ethical problems that arise when an attorney fails to supervise nonlawyers in a high volume law practice.” The lawyer’s loan modification practice grew quite large and he lost control of what was happening at one of his offices. When he discovered the […]
No Disqualification: I Told You About It; Now Forever Hold Your Peace.
It’s a family law case, and the commissioner presiding over the matter, who has post-judgment support matters still pending, has agreed to preside over the wedding of the wife’s lawyer. The husband petitioned the appellate court for a writ of mandate, seeking disqualification of the commissioner under Code of Civil Procedure section 170.1, which says a judge is disqualified if […]
Factor At A Discount. Oh, What A Tangled Web We Weave.
A plaintiff was injured in a car accident and treated at first at Kaiser, and later at a surgery center on a “lien basis.” The bill for treatment at the surgery center was between $40,000 and $50,000. On the day of the surgery, the surgery center sold its account receivable and lien to a factor at […]
Suspension And Two-Year Probation State Bar Contends Hearing Officer Not Tough Enough On Lawyer.
The lawyer took his toddler for a walk and left his nine-month old alone and asleep in a crib for 40 minutes. He was convicted of misdemeanor child endangerment, and the State Bar hearing judge recommended a 120-day actual suspension subject to a one-year stayed suspension and two-year’s probation. Before the State Bar Court of California, […]
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