Selected recent authorities in the area of
professional responsibility, both new authorities and pending proposals are covered.
L.A. County Bar Op. No. 504
Interpreting Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 6068 (e), the ethics committee opines that an
attorney must follow a clients instructions not to disclose confidential information
in the context of a minor clients disclosure of continuing sexual abuse in
dependency proceedings. The opinion summary states: If the attorney so disagrees
with the minor clients decision that the attorney-client relationship is materially
impaired and the attorney cannot continue to represent the minor client competently, the
attorney must seek to withdraw from the engagement.
L.A. County Bar Op. No. 505
An attorney-client engagement agreement containing provisions by which a client agrees not
to accept a confidential settlement in exchange for reduced attorney fees is ethically
permitted provided the client retains the authority to settle the case without the lawyers
consent and without the imposition of any penalty that would violate the prohibition
against unconscionable fees found in rule 4-200 of the California Rules of Professional