California Bar Journal
OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE STATE BAR OF CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 2000
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Ethics update...
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Selected recent authorities in the area of professional responsibility, both new authorities and pending proposals are covered.

Ethics Opinions

L.A. County Bar Op. No. 504
Interpreting Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code 6068 (e), the ethics committee opines that an attorney must follow a client’s instructions not to disclose confidential information in the context of a minor client’s disclosure of continuing sexual abuse in dependency proceedings. The opinion summary states: “If the attorney so disagrees with the minor client’s 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 lawyer’s 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 Conduct.