No, not without the pro se litigant's knowledge and consent.
As for the rationale, it has to do with putting oneself on the line for that document. In federal court, see Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and in state court, see California Code of Civil Procedure section 128.7.
Frank W. Chen has been licensed to practice law in California since 1988. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice for a particular case. This Avvo.com posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, please consult with your own attorney.
Your question does not indicate how it is that you know that papers were filed without your opposing party's knowledge. Even if this happened, it is a matter between the client and the attorney, it would not generally be expected to directly affect the adverse party in the litigation. If there is some sort of conflict between the opposing party and its attorney, that might be something to inquire into by the court, but your question does not present enough information to fully understand the context.
I have been licensed to practice in the State of Oregon since 1990. I am not offering legal advice regarding your question, only general information regarding the law. You are not my client nor am I your attorney unless we sign a retainer agreement.
Generally, no, a lawyer cannot file something on behalf of a party the lawyer does not represent. The lawyer is an agent and an agent may only act on behalf of his/her principal. But there are often exceptions to the rule, and you haven't provided enough information. What kind of paper was filed? What do you mean "on behalf of"?
I am licensed only in California and this response is provided as general information only. It is not intended to be legal advice. Legal advice must be based on the exact facts of the particular situation, and by necessity this forum is not appropriate for discussion of specific, exact facts. Contact a lawyer for more specific advice. My answer to your question on AVVO does not create an attorney-client relationship.
Sure, if you are talking about physically filing papers as opposed to preparing them (i.e., acting as an advocate for and giving advice) for the other side). I did something like that this morning, as a courtesy handing out papers in court for a party who couldn't make it and was participating by Court Call.
On the other hand, the lawyer can't do anything against his/client's interests, and this includes giving advice to the other side - a conflict of interest and violation of the duty of undivided loyalty to the client.
So, courtesies to help the litigation proceed smoothly, yes - substantive work contrary to the client's interests, no way.
(handling civil litigations in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1980)
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