I filed a law suit and then defendant went to my attorneys office and started dealing with my attorney. My attorney only told me about this 3 days later. My attorney never even called me to ask if I minded this. I do not know what was said in this meeting. My attorney did show me documents that the defendant gave to him. I asked my attorney if he had the defendant sign anything waving rights to his attorney being present. What should have been done in this situation with regards to California attorneys ethics?I do have the documents and my attorney showed and shared them with me. I have a copy of them. I am now thinking that the defendant is trying to run up my attorneys bill by going to him directly. Can I instruct my attorney not to communicate with the defendant? The defendant has 25 more days to present his answer to the lawsuit. It has only been 5 days since he was served lawsuit. I want the defendant to take an attorney and go through proper channels. I have the resources to go two years with this case. We did receive valuable information in the documents the defendant presented to my attorney. The defendant has committed fraud, should I hire criminal attorney as well as business attorney to pursue criminal actions such as submitting the fraud to the DA's Office for criminal action?
Until a party is represented by legal counsel they are deemed to be in pro per and can directly speak with opposing counsel. You lawyer had no ethical duty to advise you prior to the meeting or to refuse to meet, only to totally represent your interests. Not to show you documents may be different, if you are sure there were documents given.
The above is general legal and business analysis. It is not "legal advise" but analysis, and different lawyers may analyse this matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in the question. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. I am only licensed in California. See also avvo.com terms and conditions item 9, incorporated as if it was reprinted here.
Asa a practical matter, you cannot hire an attorney to represent your legal interests and at the same time prohibit attorney actions in furtherance that objective. Your attorney is required at many stages over the course of litigation to communicate directly with the opposing party -- either through counsel if there is one, or directly if there is not.
Who is quarter-backing this case? You? Why? And are you then assuming responsibility for its success? You cannot hold the attorney accountable for the result or even the soundness of the strategy if you are the architect of the case. Either hire a lawyer you trust, or keep your money in your pocket.
My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must not be relied upon as legal advice. I give legal advice only in the course of an attorney-client relationship. Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me. That relationship is established only by individual consultation and execution of a written agreement for legal services.
> I want the defendant to take an attorney and go through proper channels.
You can want that but there is no legal requirement than an individual hire an attorney. People have a right to represent themselves and it is entirely proper. Only Corporations have to be represented by counsel, and that's only once they get into court.
One of the things that most attorneys will discuss with a client is that the other side can run up your bills. As attorneys we can't NOT talk to the other side. We can encourage them to talk faster. We can encourage them to send us documents first so we can look them over before we sit down to talk. But we cannot force them to have counsel or refuse to talk to them.
And if they don't have an attorney, there is no need for a waiver.
As to the fraud, there's a difference between civil fraud and criminal activity. Just as the defendant in your case has the right to talk to you attorney, you have a right to call the police, but don't be surprised if they tell you to resolve your private issue with the defendant in your civil action.
You don't tug on Superman's cape; you don't spit into the wind; you don't pull the mask off the old Lone Ranger; And you don't get legal advice from a free Q&A page on the Internet. The above is a general statement of the law or just my opinion. I am not saying whether it applies to your situation or not because I don't know the details and youâ€™ve not hired me as your attorney.
As long as your attorney has no knowledge that the defendant is represented by an attorney, there is nothing preventing his communicating with the defendant and it probably worked to your benefit. The attorney will usually decide when and whether something is important enough to communicate to the client, and probably saved you fees by waiting until later. You can certainly instruct your lawyer not to communicate with any unrepresented party and to communicate to you every detail of his representation, but that would probably not amount to the best or more practical way to represent you. If you feel strongly enough about it you may give such instructions in writing and the attorney may then decide whether or not he/she wishes to continue to represent you in the future under the conditions you prescribe.
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