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Is a plaintiff in a civil litigation, allowed to communicate with the defendant, or is written permission from counsel required?

Sacramento, CA |

There is NO injunctive order prohibiting contact in this civil litigation against a financial institution. The defendant's lawyer wrote a letter to me ordering me to not contact the defendant because it is against the CA civil procedure rules. My understanding is that lawyers need permission, not the parties themselves. I am not a lawyer. I have always been polite and cordial in all communications. The defendant has never asked me to refrain from communication and all communications have been cordial and polite in all regards. Is this attorney correct?

Attorney Answers 5

  1. Best answer

  2. Put the attorney to task - ask him in writing to provide you with a cite to the Civil Code of Procedure (CCP). then use google scholar to look it up.

  3. Generally, parties have a right to communicate without their counsel present. (See the "Discussion" section of Rule 2-100 of the California Rules of Professional Conduct, located at, noting that "Rule 2-100 is not intended to prevent the parties themselves from communicating with respect to the subject matter of the representation").

    However, it is important to note that the communication must originate with and be directed by you and not by your attorney. Otherwise, if the content of the communication originates with or is directed by the attorney, the communication is prohibited as indirect communication under Rule 2-100 of the California Rules of Professional Conduct :

  4. I agree with what's been said, but just because you can doesn't mean you should. Make sure you are careful about what you say because statements against your interests (as well as several other hearsay exceptions) could result in your statements being used against you during the case. Generally a good idea to let the lawyers talk.

    The information provided is for reference purposes only and is made with the disclaimer that the lawyer answering the question has seen none of the documents and does not have full knowledge of the circumstances of the individual client. This is general information based on hypothetical situations posed by the client. No representation is made that the legal services provided are of a better quality than those provided by any other attorney.

  5. You can but if you have counsel, you are far better served, generally, by letting your lawyer do her job and handle communications.

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