/docs/default-source/ethics-opinions/ethics-opinion-527-rev.pdf?sfvrsn=2

Ethics Articles

Los Angeles County Bar Association Professional Responsibility and Ethics Committee


Walking the Tightrope: What to do When Your Client Lies During Deposition
By Diana K. Rodgers, Esq.
LACBA Update, January 2017


How to Withdraw From a Superior Court Civil Case
By James I. Ham, Esq.
LACBA Update, December 2016


When is Production of a Privileged Document Inadvertent?
By Robert K. Sall
LACBA Update, November 2016


So You Think If It's Public It's OK?
By Diane Karpman
LACBA Update, October 2016


To Copy or Not to Copy: That is the Question
By David L. Brandon
LACBA Update, September 2016


Preserving Former Clients' Confidentiality in Successive Representation of Clients with Conflicts of Interest
By Gayle Eskridge
LACBA Update, August 2016


Ethical Billing of Attorneys Fees
By Carole J. Buckner
LACBA Update, July 2016


An Attorneys Duties and Options When Faced with a Diminished Client: Change On the Horizon
By Brandon N. Krueger
LACBA Update, June 2016


Your Arbitration is a Terrible Thing to Waste
By James Arden
LACBA Update, May 2016

Open-Ended Attorney-Client Relationships: A Potential Concurrent Representation Pitfall
By Rashida Adams
LACBA Update, April 2016


Attorneys' Fee Lien Enforcement Traps
By David R. Krause-Leemon
LACBA Update, March 2016


What Rights Does an Insurer Have against Cumis Counsel?
By Joel A. Osman and Melissa M. Kurata
LACBA Update, February 2016


Ethical Roadmap to the New Legal Marketplace
By Teresa J. Schmid
LACBA Update, January 2016

Penalty Called on Zealous Advocacy
By John W. Amberg
LACBA Update, November/December 2015

You're Outta Here! Avoiding Disqualification When Representing Small Organizational Clients
By Ellen A. Pansky
LACBA Update, November/December 2015

Attorney Billing Statements: Are They Privileged or Not?
By Robert K. Sall
LACBA Update, October 2015

Attorneys in Quasi-Judicial Appointments and Social Media Malfunctions
By Lisa Miller
LACBA Update, September 2015

Avoiding the Unauthorized Practice of Law
By Carole J. Buckner
LACBA Update, August 2015

Code of Judicial Ethics Canon 3D(2)—What Attorneys Need to Know
By Rashida Adams
LACBA Update, July 2015

Malpractice Action by One Client Destroys Attorney-Client Privilege of Jointly Represented Client
By Gayle Eskridge
LACBA Update, June 2015

When Silence Isn’t Golden: Misleading a Court by Omission
By Evan A. Jenness
LACBA Update, May 2015

Attorneys Have a Duty to Adequately Communicate with Their Clients—No Excuses!
By Gayle Eskridge
LACBA Update, April 2015

Concurrent Representation of Bankruptcy Debtor and Creditor May Be Permissible in Limited Situations
By David L. Brandon
LACBA Update, March 2015

California Recognizes the In-Firm Attorney-Client Privilege
By Wendy Wen Yun Chang
LACBA Update, February 2015

Red Flags: Inquiring Further into the Veracity of a Client’s Story
By Andrew M. Vogel
LACBA Update, January 2015

Legal Ethics and Cloud Computing
By Carole J. Buckner
LACBA Update, December 2014

Attorney’s Duty in Releasing Former Client’s File
By Gayle Eskridge and Kymiya St. Pierre
LACBA Update, November 2014

LinkedIn for Lawyers: Benefits and Burdens
By Lisa Clare L. Miller and Teresa J. Schmid
LACBA Update, October 2014

Are Communications between a Law Firm’s Lawyers and In-House Counsel regarding Actual or Potential Conflicts of Interests with a Client Protected by the Attorney-Client Privilege?
By David B. Parker and Jason J. Rudolph
LACBA Update, September 2014

Marketing Legal Services Ethically
By John W. Amberg
LACBA Update, August 2014

Is a Prospective Client Entitled to Attorney Work Product Developed in the Course of Deciding Whether to Accept the Engagement?
By Joel A. Osman and Kevin Mohr
LACBA Update, July 2014

The Lawyer-Client Privilege, Waiver, and "Common Interest" Doctrine: Seahaus La Jolla Owners Association v. Superior Court
By Kevin Mohr
LACBA Update, June 2014

COPRAC and PREC Opinions on Attorneys' Use of Technology Lead the Way
By Diana K. Rodgers
LACBA Update, May 2014

Beware of Strangers Bearing Gifts: The Perils of Purloined or Privileged Evidence
By Robert K. Sall
LACBA Update, April 2014

Settlement Agreement Provisions That Purport to Restrict an Attorney's Right to Practice Law
By Gayle Eskridge
LACBA Update, March 2014

What Can Non-Admitted Attorneys Do in California without Violating the State Bar Act?
By Joan Mack
LACBA Update, February 2014

Sending Contractual Notice to a Represented Party: Prudent Practice or Ethically Prohibited?
By David L. Brandon
LACBA Update, January 2014

Legal Ethics and Online Lawyer Referral Services
By Carole J. Buckner
LACBA Update, December 2013

Death of a Sole Practitioner: Planning for the Event and Administering the Aftermath
By Gayle Eskridge
LACBA Update, November 2013

Should California Lawyers Have a Duty of "Compu-tence"?
By Andrew M. Vogel
LACBA Update, October 2013

Border Searches versus Clients' Confidential Information: The Ninth Circuit's Cotterman Analysis and Counsel Entering the United States with Mobile Devices
By Lisa Miller
LACBA Update, September 2013

Tips for Ethically Navigating Withdrawal from Litigation
By Diana K. Rodgers
LACBA Update, August 2013

When Is It Ethical to Pay a Fact Witness?
By John W. Amberg
LACBA Update, July 2013

When (Over-) Zealous Advocacy Crosses the Line
By Andrew M. Vogel
LACBA Update, June 2013

Where to Turn with Questions on Legal Ethics
By Joan Mack
LACBA Update, May 2013

People v. Stender: Important Tool in the Anti-Fraud Arsenal or Danger to All Lawyers?
By Clare Pastore
LACBA Update, April 2013

Modern Problems: Are Attorneys Permitted to Respond to Derogatory Internet Postings by Former Clients?
By Lisa Miller
LACBA Update, March 2013

New Theories for Non-Clients to Seek Disqualification of Counsel
By Robert K. Sall
LACBA Update, February 2013

Revisiting E-Discovery
By Richard D. Hoang
LACBA Update, January 2013

Pre-Litigation Demand Letters: Assessing the Thin Line between Zealous Advocacy and Extortion
By David B. Parker and David D. Yang
LACBA Update, December 2012

How Limited Is Your Limited Scope Representation?
By Wendy Wen Yun Chang
LACBA Update, November 2012

Lawyer as Witness
By Michael H. Strub Jr.
LACBA Update, October 2012

Ethical Implications of Ghostwriting
By Carole J. Buckner
LACBA Update, September 2012

Unwaivable Conflicts of Interest
By Kevin Mohr
LACBA Update, August 2012

Marketing Legal Services with Group Coupons
By Richard D. Hoang
LACBA Update, June/July 2012

Revisiting the Enforcement of Arbitration Clauses
By Robert K. Sall
LACBA Update, May 2012

Written Disclosure Requirements: More Than a Technicality
By Joan Mack
LACBA Update, April 2012

Ethical Constraints on Subpoenaing Clients
By Carole J. Buckner
LACBA Update, March 2012

Ethical Rules Require Reasonable Care When Using Technology in the Practice of Law
By Wendy Wen Yun Chang
LACBA Update, February 2012

The Crossroads of Confidentiality and the Litigation Privilege
By Robert K. Sall
LACBA Update, January 2012

Appearance of Partiality Disclosures by Neutral Arbitrators
By Judge Michael Marcus (ret.)
LACBA Update, December 2011

Informed Consent to Aggregate Settlements under Proposed Rule 1.8.7
By John W. Amberg
LACBA Update, November 2011

Understanding the Ethical Rule against Communication with a Represented Party or Person
By Louisa Lau
LACBA Update, October 2011

Resist Temptation: Reviewing Privileged Documents You Are Not Supposed to Have
By Wendy Wen Yun Chang
LACBA Update, September 2011

A Drafting Conundrum: Is It Permissible to Include a Provision for Binding Arbitration of a Fee Dispute in a Written Fee Agreement?
By Joan Mack
LACBA Update, August 2011

When Is It Ethical for Attorneys to Lie?
By David B. Parker, William K. Mills, and Rosalyne A. Pak
LACBA Update, June/July 2011

Ethical Informal Discovery of Social Media
By Carole J. Buckner
LACBA Update, May 2011

E-Mail and Attorney-Client Privilege: Cautionary Tales for Employee and Employer
By Clare Pastore
LACBA Update, April 2011

Planning for the Inevitable: Easing the Burden on Your Heirs in the Event of Your Death
By David L. Brandon
LACBA Update, March 2011

Discounting Your Fees: Is It an Ethical Violation?
By Robert K. Sall
LACBA Update, February 2011

Preserving the Attorney-Client Privilege for Communications with In-House Counsel
By John W. Amberg
LACBA Update, January 2011

Ethical Implications of "Of Counsel" Relationships
By David B. Parker and Elliott Benjamin
LACBA Update, December 2010

Don't Pass the Buck on Ethics in International IP Practice
By Mark Scarsi
LACBA Update, November 2010

Playing the Percentages: Is It Ethical?
By Ellen Pansky
LACBA Update, October 2010

Vicarious Disqualification of Private Law Offices
By Louisa Lau
LACBA Update, September 2010

Separate but Equally Important: Duties of Confidentiality and Loyalty
By Lisa Miller and Robert Sainburg
LACBA Update, August 2010

When Are Confidential Communications with a Law Firm's In-House Counsel Protected by the Attorney-Client Privilege?
By Joan Mack and Matthew O'Brien
LACBA Update, June/July 2010

An Attorney's Obligations in Mediation
By Judge Michael D. Marcus (ret.)
LACBA Update, May 2010

Show Me the Money (Trail): Keeping Up with the Dollars and Sense
By Lisa Miller
LACBA Update, April 2010

Hot Potatoes: The Perplexing Problem of Evidence of Crime
By Evan A. Jenness
LACBA Update, March 2010

Court Officers Protect Client Confidences?
By James Ellis Arden
LACBA Update, February 2010

A Flat Fee Future?
By James Ham and Ellen Pansky
LACBA Update, January 2010

Promoting Business under the Advertising Rules
By Robert K. Sall
LACBA Update, December 2009

Proper Use of Contingent Expert Contracts
By David L. Brandon
LACBA Update, November 2009

The California Pro Bono Stimulus Package
By Mark C. Scarsi
LACBA Update, October 2009

Caperton v. Massey Coal Co.: Floodgates Opening or Stating the Obvious?
By Clare Pastore
LACBA Update, September 2009

An Ethics Lesson from the Bush Justice Department
By John W. Amberg
LACBA Update, August  2009

Modifying Fee Agreements, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love California Rule of Professional Conduct 3-300
By David B. Parker and Justin D. Denlinger
LACBA Update, June/July 2009

Vicarious Disqualification of Public Law Offices
By Louisa Lau
LACBA Update, May 2009

Civility Guidelines in a Nutshell
By Judge Michael D. Marcus (ret.)
LACBA Update, April 2009

To Err Is Human—or Is It Moral Turpitude?
By Ellen Pansky
LACBA Update, March 2009

Ethical Challenges in the Use of Electronic List Service Communications
By Lisa Claire Miller
LACBA Update, February 2009

Resolutions for a New Year: Enjoying an Ethical and Profitable Law Practice
By James I. Ham
LACBA Update, January 2009

New Federal Rule of Evidence 502: Help Is on the Way
By Clare Pastore
LACBA Update, December 2008

The Screening Debate Continues
By Robert K. Sall
LACBA Update, November 2008

Who Do You Trust...with Client Trust Funds?
By Joan Mack and Tina Wong
LACBA Update, October 2008

Ethical Hazards and the Recordkeeping of Client Trust Accounts—Details Count!
By Joel A. Osman
LACBA Update, August 2008

Effect of Word Processing on Ethical Obligations When the Relationship Ends
By David L. Brandon
LACBA Update, June/July 2008

New Discovery Rules, Same "Old" Ethics Rules
By Patrick Fraioli Jr.
LACBA Update, May 2008

Proper Conflict Disclosures for Joint Clients
By Robert K. Sall
LACBA Update, April 2008

Beware of Opposing Counsel Bearing "Gifts"
By David B. Parker and John W. Hurney
LACBA Update, March 2008

10 Golden Rules for Successful (and Ethical) Law Practice
By James I. Ham
LACBA Update, February 2008

Do's and Don'ts: Ex Parte Contacts with the Judiciary
By Hon. Michael D. Marcus (ret.)
LACBA Update, January 2008

Staying Abreast of the Latest Technology Even If You Don't Use It
By James Ellis Arden
LACBA Update, December 2007

The Connection between Ethical Advocacy and a Lawyer's Integrity
By Ellen A. Pansky
LACBA Update, November 2007

The Ethics behind the Use of Staff Counsel
By Joel A. Osman
LACBA Update, September 2007

The Continuing Saga of the Application of Disqualification Rules to Public Lawyers
By Louisa Lau
LACBA Update, August 2007

Attorney-Client Intimacy: Too Hot to Handle?
By Evan A. Jenness
LACBA Update, June/July 2007

Attorney Self-Defense and the Duty of Confidentiality
By David L. Brandon
LACBA Update, May 2007

Attorney Liability for Reliance on Client Statements
By Jeremiah Reynolds
LACBA Update, April 2007

The Prosecutor, Recusal, and Issues before the California Supreme Court
By Roderick W. Leonard
LACBA Update, March 2007

Confidentiality at Risk from Wardriving in America
By James Ellis Arden
LACBA Update, February 2007

Breaking Up Is Hard to Do: Terminating the Attorney/Client Relationship
By Ellen A. Pansky
LACBA Update, January 2007

Hollywood Lesson on Cooperation vs. Conflict of Interest
By Jeremiah Reynolds
LACBA Update, December 2006

A Pocket Guide to Mediation Ethics: A Black Letter Summary of an Attorney's and a Mediator's Ethical Duties at a Mediation
By Michael D. Marcus
LACBA Update, November 2006

Advocacy Has Its Limits
By David L. Brandon
LACBA Update, October 2006

Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes: Longstanding Ethical Duties in the Context of Economically Driven Developments in the Legal Profession
By Patrick A. Fraioli Jr.
LACBA Update, September 2006

Supervising Outside Agents in a Blame-the-Lawyers World
By Evan A. Jenness
LACBA Update, August 2006

The Question of the Sophisticated Client
By Joel A. Osman
LACBA Update, June/July 2006

Conflicts and Firm Disqualification without Evidence of Shared Confidential Information
By Roderick W. Leonard
LACBA Update, May 2006

Attorney Solicitation of Legal Work in Business Settings
By Hon. Samuel L. Bufford
LACBA Update, April 2006

A Few Things to Remember about Notification and Reporting Requirements
By Rebecca Meyer Rosenberg
LACBA Update, March 2006

Are Attorneys Obligated to Monitor Their Client as a Parent Would Watch a Child?
By Louisa Lau
LACBA Update, February 2006

Who's Watching? Beware the Vulnerabilities of Communicating through Advanced Technology
By David L. Brandon
LACBA Update, January 2006

The Informed Consent Doctrine: What's Good for the Patient is Good for the Client
By David B. Parker and Diana Tsudik
LACBA Update, December 2005

Who's on First: When an Attorney's Former Client Serves as an Expert Witness
By Kenneth C. Feldman
LACBA Update, November 2005

Technology and the Challenge of Maintaining Client Confidences
By Joel A. Osman
LACBA Update, October 2005

Unauthorized Ex Parte Contact with a Represented "Party"
By Roderick W. Leonard
LACBA Update, September 2005

No Duty to Rat in California
By Evan A. Jenness
LACBA Update, August 2005

Saving the Attorney-Client Privilege
By John W. Amberg
LACBA Update, June/July 2005

The California Rules of Professional Conduct: The Good, the Bad, and the Utterly Confusing
By David B. Parker and Nicholle Noyes
LACBA Update, May 2005

The Ethics of Pro Bono
By Toby J. Rothschild
LACBA Update, April 2005

Mandatory Arbitration of Fee Disputes: Still No Definitive Answers
By Jeffrey Tidus
LACBA Update, March 2005

"Ethics" Often Determines Legal Duties to Non-Clients
By Phillip Feldman
LACBA Update, February 2005

A Lawyer's Nightmare: (In)excusable Neglect
By Louisa Lau
LACBA Update, January 2005

Attorneys' Continuing Duties to Court after Termination of Attorney-Client Relationship
By Patrick A. Fraioli Jr.
LACBA Update, December 2004

Borissoff: Attorney Duties Can Run to Third Party That Legislature Determines Assumes Rights, Powers of Original Client
By David L. Brandon
LACBA Update, November 2004

California Supreme Court Reiterates Risk of Attorney-Client Transaction Being Nixed
By Joel D. Rubin
LACBA Update, October 2004

Rojas: Writings Prepared for Mediation Are Confidential
By Judge Michael Marcus (ret.)
LACBA Update, September 2004

Disciplinary Deference: Ninth Circuit Defers to, Reciprocates California's Disbarment of Attorney Practicing before Federal Agency
By Jeremy E. Pendrey
LACBA Update, June/July 2004

Quantum Meruit Recovery of Attorney Fees: Work Performed under Fee Sharing Agreements Absent Client's Written Consent
By Russell I. Glazer
LACBA Update, May 2004

What on Earth's a Positional Conflict, and What'll They Think of Next?
By R. Gerald Markle
LACBA Update, April 2004

Getting Paid: Must a Lawyer's Charging Lien Be in Writing to Be Enforceable?
By Jon L. Rewinski
LACBA Update, March 2004

The Lawyer's Duty Redefined: In a Time of Perceived Crisis, to Whom Does the Lawyer Owe a Duty?
By John W. Amberg
LACBA Update, February 2004

Belated Fee Complaints: What to Do?
By Ellen A. Pansky
LACBA Update, January 2004

Client-Plaintiff in Legal Malpractice Action Entitled Only to Be Made Whole, Not a Windfall
By Louisa Lau
LACBA Update, December 2003

After Attorney Error: What Is the Duty to Assist the Former Client in Mitigating Consequences?
By David B. Parker and Nancy L. Webster
LACBA Update, November 2003

AB1101: An Attorney's Dilemma—To Tell or Not to Tell
By Louisa Lau
LACBA Update, October 2003

For Sarbanes-Oxley and Professional Responsibility Watchers...A Long, Hot Summer
By Teresa Schmid
LACBA Update, June/July 2003

"Irreconcilable Differences" Revisited
By David E. Kenney
LACBA Update, May 2003

Must Client Confidences Be Sacrificed to Achieve Economic Security?
By Teresa Schmid
LACBA Update, May 2003

Are Accounting Firms Still Practicing Law?
By Teresa Schmid
LACBA Update, April 2003

Square Peg in Round Hole? Application of Rule 3-310 to Public Attorneys
By Louisa Lau
LACBA Update, March 2003

The New Face of Professional Responsibility after the Sarbanes-Oxley Act
By Teresa Schmid
LACBA Update, February 2003

Secure Your Client's Written Consent...or Say Good Bye to Your Share of the Fees
By Louisa Lau
LACBA Update, January 2003

Rule Aficionados and ADR
By Diane L. Karpman
LACBA Update, December 2002

In Defense of David Westerfield's Attorneys
By Terri Towery
LACBA Update, November 2002

Stark Naked Referral Fees
By Diane L. Karpman
LACBA Update, October 2002

Sunrise, Sunset...or Termination Letters: Avoiding Former Client Conflicts
By Diane L. Karpman
LACBA Update, September 2002

Risky Behavior Aggravates Insurance Crisis
By Diane L. Karpman
LACBA Update, August 2002

Legal Consumers' Protection Act: A Solution in Search of a Problem?
By Michael Tenenbaum
LACBA Update, June/July 2002

Change and the Standard of Care
By Diane L. Karpman
LACBA Update, May 2002

Favors, Friends, and Family
By Diane L. Karpman
LACBA Update, April 2002

"Whoops" Revisited
By Ira Spiro
LACBA Update, March 2002

Confidentiality, Collaboration, and Lawyer Angst
By Diane L. Karpman
LACBA Update, February 2002

Don't Fight Substitution Out of a Client's Matter
By Ellen A. Pansky
LACBA Update, January 2002

CCP §128.7: An Illusory Deterrent
By Paul D. Hesse
LACBA Update, December 2001

Capital Punishment "Volunteers": What's Defense Counsel to Do?
By Terri Towery
LACBA Update, November 2001

Different Strokes...
By Diane L. Karpman
LACBA Update, October 2001

Knowing the Code: Wilful Conduct and Moral Turpitude
By Diane L. Karpman
LACBA Update, September 2001

Illuminating the Murky Area of Lawyer-to-Lawyer Consultations
By Diane L. Karpman
LACBA Update, August 2001

The Impact of New Technology on the Duty of Confidentiality
By Jon L. Rewinski
LACBA Update, June/July 2001

The Bench: Contact with Officials
By Diane L. Karpman
LACBA Update, May 2001

When You Have a Fool for a Client
By John W. Amberg
LACBA Update, April 2001

"Not a Hired Gun": Ethical Duties to Justice and the Courts
By Ira Spiro and Diane L. Karpman
LACBA Update, March 2001

Dissolution of a Law Firm
By Diane L. Karpman
LACBA Update, February 2001

Legal Ethics Law, Rules, and Commentary: Where to Look
By Ira Spiro and Diane L. Karpman
LACBA Update, January 2001

Ethics Are Coming! Ethics Are Coming!
By Diane L. Karpman
LACBA Update, December 2000

Good News for Ethical Walls and Screens
By Ira Spiro
LACBA Update, November 2000

Construction Project: Authorizing Ethical Walls in California
By Ellen A. Pansky
LACBA Update, April 2000

Understanding the Duty of Confidentiality
By John W. Amberg
LACBA Update, March 2000

WPS: Accidentally Placing Confidential Communications in the Wrong Hands
By Ira Spiro
LACBA Update, January 2000

Ethics Committee: Notable 83-Year History of Providing Guidance, Practical Advice to County Bar Members
By H. Jay Ford III
LACBA Update, December 1999

Dangerous Liaisons: Application of Conflicts Law to Attorneys Changing Firms
By Stanley E. Goldich
LACBA Update, November 1999




The Professional Responsibility and Ethics Committee will consider requests from LACBA members for formal opinions on ethics matters of general interest to the bar. The committee does not opine on matters of law or offer opinions for the benefit of particular clients or in response to matters presently in dispute. The committee may respond to written questions about ethical matters of general interest through a private informal letter or a published formal opinion. If you have an ethical question that you would like the committee to consider, mail your written inquiry to: Los Angeles County Bar Association, Professional Responsibility and Ethics Committee, P.O. Box 55020, Los Angeles, CA 90055-2020 or email your inquiry marked “Confidential” to msd@lacba.org.