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Tag Archives: California lawyers

What is a Trust, and How Are Trusts Created in California?

By Robert Ross |

WHAT IS A TRUST? In California (as in other U.S. states), the law establishes various ways in which the property of a deceased person (a “decedent”) passes to his or her heirs. When the decedent leaves only a will, or dies without any valid estate planning documents, the decedent’s property (called the “estate”) usually… Read More »

When Must a Lawyer Check for Conflicts of Interest?

By Robert Ross |

LAWYERS MUST RUN A CONFLICT CHECK BEFORE AGREEING TO REPRESENT A CLIENT Where a conflict of interest exists, a lawyer must: Obtain proper consents and clearances, if the conflict can be waived Refuse to represent the potential client, if the conflict cannot be waived or addressed in a way that permits representation Since this… Read More »

When is “Zealous Advocacy” Legal Malpractice?

By Robert Ross |

LAWYERS HAVE A DUTY TO REPRESENT CLIENTS ‘ZEALOUSLY” AND COMPETENTLY Lawyers have a legal duty to represent their clients “zealously” and competently. Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines “Zealous” as “marked by fervent partisanship for a person, a cause, or an ideal.” The Cambridge online dictionary says it means “enthusiastic and eager.” Changed to a noun, the… Read More »

When Is a Lawyer Required to Refuse a Case?

By Robert Ross |

DO LAWYERS HAVE TO ACCEPT EVERY CASE? No. In fact, in some situations, lawyers cannot accept a case or agree to represent a certain client.   LAWYERS HAVE A DUTY TO REFUSE CERTAIN CASES AND CLIENTS Various laws and ethics rules govern the cases (and clients) a lawyer can–and cannot–accept. Generally, lawyers have a duty not to… Read More »

When Has a Lawyer Breached His or Her Legal Duty of Care?

By Robert Ross |

HOW DOES BREACH OF DUTY RELATE TO LEGAL MALPRACTICE? Legal malpractice (also called professional negligence) involves a lawyer’s breach (violation) of a legally mandated duty of care. Specifically, a breach of the professional standard of care that is applicable to the relevant situation. When evaluating a lawyer’s potential breach of duty, the issue is whether the… Read More »

Who Can Sue a Lawyer for Malpractice?

By Robert Ross |

GENERALLY, ONLY CLIENTS CAN SUE A LAWYER FOR MALPRACTICE In California, the general rule is that privity of contract (i.e., a contractual relationship) is a required element of standing to bring a malpractice claim. Put another way, only clients (generally, former clients) can usually bring malpractice claims against lawyers in California. The necessary privity of… Read More »

What is Legal Malpractice?

By Robert Ross |

WHAT IS “LEGAL MALPRACTICE”? The term “legal malpractice” refers to the professional negligence of an attorney within an attorney-client relationship. Less formally, “legal malpractice” occurs when an attorney acts negligently in the course of representing a client. It is a form of negligence, which is a tort (a “civil wrong”). Strictly speaking, legal malpractice is… Read More »

Is a Foreign Legal Consultant the Same as Pro Hac Vice Counsel?

By Robert Ross |

ADMISSION PRO HAC VICE IS DIFFERENT FROM CERTIFICATION AS A FOREIGN LEGAL CONSULTANT Pro hac vice admission grants a non-California lawyer (in good standing) permission to appear before a California court. In essence, admission pro hac vice allows a lawyer to represent clients in the same manner as a California-licensed attorney for purposes of the… Read More »

Can California Courts Sanction Pro Hac Vice Counsel?

By Robert Ross |

CALIFORNIA COURTS HAVE AUTHORITY TO SANCTION PRO HAC VICE COUNSEL Pro hac vice admission is a process by which out-of-state attorneys (i.e., those licensed in other U.S. states, but not in California) may appear and represent clients in California courts. Attorneys who meet and comply with the requirements for pro hac vice admission can… Read More »

When Do California Courts Deny Applications For Pro Hac Vice Admission?

By Robert Ross |

This post is part of our continuing series on pro hac vice admission in California* PRO HAC VICE ADMISSION IS NOT GUARANTEED Pro hac vice admission grants a licensed out-of-state attorney permission to appear as counsel in a California court in association with a given legal matter. Generally speaking, pro hac vice admission exists as… Read More »

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