Los Angeles Lawyer
The Magazine of the Los Angeles County Bar Association
Septermber 2004 Vol. 27, No. 6
MCLE Article: Behavior Modification
Laws are already in place to restrain attorneys who engage in uncivil and offensive behavior
By Judge Michael D. Marcus
Michael D. Marcus, a retired judge of the California State Bar Court, is a mediator and arbitrator with ADR Services, Inc. in Los Angeles. He is the vice chair of the Los Angeles County Bar Association's Professional Responsibility and Ethics Committee.
By reading this article and answering the accompanying test questions, you can earn one MCLE ethics credit. To apply for credit, please follow the instructions on the test.
The plea for improvement in attorney behavior is longstanding. It is a fixture of discussions in legal periodicals and the basis for codes of civility suggested by bar associations and the courts.1 But this rising tide of commentary and efforts to effect change has had no substantial impact on improper attorney behavior. Since unpleasant and inappropriate attorney conduct continues unabated, despite all the well-intended exhortations and proposals, it is time to look for other ways to combat attorney misbehavior. Ironically and fortunately, there is no need to create new standards or laws, since effective alternatives already exist in the Business and Professions Code, the Rules of Professional Conduct, and case law.2
Improper and unethical attorney conduct can take many forms and occurs in every phase of litigation, from the filing of the initial pleading to an appeal from a final judgment. Misconduct occurs when attorneys file actions and assert defenses that are either not legal and just or are without probable cause and for the purpose of harassment,3 engage in or oppose discovery without substantial justification,4 have a conflict of interest with a current or former client,5 communicate with a represented party,6 unnecessarily attack the honor or reputation of a witness,7 intentionally elicit inadmissible evidence,8 suppress evidence that they have a legal obligation to reveal or produce,9 communicate with a juror during trial,10 and make false statements of fact in final argument.11 However, the misbehavior that attracts the most attention and can make the practice of law unpleasant emerges from acrimonious and unnecessarily combative contacts between opposing counsel and between counsel and the court. These fractious situations and the improper behavior they engender have a more immediate need of being corrected.
Prohibitions for Opposing Counsel
Attorneys misbehave toward one another in a myriad of ways, including making misrepresentations to opposing counsel. The applicable statutes for addressing this problem are Business and Professions Code Sections 6068(d) and 6106. The former states that attorneys shall "employ, for the purpose of maintaining the causes confided to him or her such means only as are consistent with truth, and never to seek to mislead the judge or any judicial officer by an artifice or false statement of fact or law." The first part of that duty has been interpreted to mean that attorneys shall "employ only such means as are consistent with the truth when representing a client."12
Business and Professions Code Section 6106, while more general in its scope ("The commission of any act involving moral turpitude, dishonesty or corruption…constitutes a cause for disbarment or suspension"), also prohibits the making of misrepresentations to opposing counsel.13 Accordingly, it is misconduct for an attorney to falsely misrepresent the financial status of a client's business to a third party and his or her attorney,14 to falsely represent to opposing counsel that the attorney has the authority to settle a case,15 and to misrepresent to an attorney for a company that there is evidence of misconduct by that company.16 Such "acts [of dishonesty] manifest an 'abiding disregard of the "fundamental rule of ethics-that of common honesty-without which the profession is worse than valueless in the place it holds in the administration of justice."'"17
One area no longer expressly covered by California law is attorney boorishness or offensive conduct, because that part of Business and Professions Code Section 6068(f), which provided that "it is the duty of an attorney to…abstain from all offensive personality," was deleted by the legislature in 2001. Although the California Supreme Court previously relied upon that portion of the statute for imposing discipline against attorneys in two separate cases and more recently referenced it concerning the outrageous conduct of a prosecutor that led to the reversal of a death penalty prosecution,18 the legislature was apparently more impressed by a Ninth Circuit decision that found the term "offensive personality" to be unconstitutionally vague.19
The absence of a statute proscribing offensive behavior, however, should not be read as general approbation for such conduct, because statutory language still exists that mandates that attorneys must "maintain the respect due to the courts of justice and judicial officers"20 and that attorneys shall "advance no fact prejudicial to the honor or reputation of a party or witness, unless required by the justice of the cause with which he or she is charged."21 Consequently, attorneys who wish to act like fools do so at their own peril, since remedies remain for regulating their abusive behavior, whether at a deposition or in court.
Attorney mistreatment of other attorneys during court proceedings may not necessarily be more common than it is in pretrial litigation, but it certainly is more visible. Vilifying or demeaning opposing counsel during trial is unfortunately not uncommon when the competitive juices are flowing and the outcome of a case is most conspicuously at risk. Bad judgment, the pressure of the moment, or inexperience can cause attorneys to charge opponents with suborning perjury, engaging in deception, or fabricating a defense.22 Calling opponents names and demeaning their objections is also improper.23 "Such behavior only serves to inflame the passion and prejudices of the jury, distracting them from fulfilling their solemn oath to render a verdict based solely on the evidence admitted at trial."24
Attacks on the integrity of counsel can lead to mistrials or reversals of judgments and convictions.25 Moreover, the trial court must notify the State Bar if those events occur.26
While the integrity of counsel should be above attack at trial, it can still be argued appropriately that "it's [their] job to throw sand in your eyes"27 and that "an experienced defense counsel will attempt to 'twist' and 'poke' at the [opponent's] case."28 It is also appropriate for counsel to attack the credibility of opposing witnesses, including experts.29 The distinction is that these arguments as well as the attacks on witness credibility, if supported by the evidence and inferences drawn from that evidence, are not an attempt to impugn the honesty of counsel.30
When an attorney attacks the credibility of opposing counsel in front of a jury, the trial court should sustain an objection to the improper statement and then instruct the jury to disregard it. Although prejudice has been theoretically avoided at that point,31 it may also be appropriate and necessary for the court to warn the offender that further similar misconduct could lead to a contempt citation, a mistrial, or both. However, criminal trial judges should proceed cautiously in threatening misbehaving prosecutors or defense counsel with a mistrial because any discharge of a jury after it has been sworn may result in a dismissal of the charges when they are refiled unless the defendant consented to the discharge or "manifest" (i.e., legal) necessity existed for the mistrial.32
The failure to timely object to an attorney's improper comments coupled with a failure to request an admonition when the misconduct occurs before a jury may be considered a waiver on appeal of the issue.33 Courts have found exceptions to the requirement of an objection and a request for admonition when an admonition would not have cured the alleged harm,34 or when an objection would have been futile because the trial judge would have overruled it.35 Additionally, in civil proceedings, the misconduct of counsel may be considered as grounds for a new trial even when an objection to the misconduct had not been made.36
Still, neither trial nor appellate judges should remain uninvolved when confronted with misconduct by a lawyer and an adversary who does not make a timely objection. In that situation, the trial judge on his or her own initiative should intercede to halt the prejudicial conduct,37 and the appellate court should address the misconduct if it was flagrant and repeated.38
Apparently, criminal trial judges do not have the same sua sponte obligation to intervene as do their civil counterparts because, it has been reasoned, criminal defense "counsel might have had a tactical reason for not objecting."39 Notwithstanding that observation, and even if the nonobjecting defense attorney was intentionally laying the groundwork for an appeal based on his or her own ineffective assistance,40 the better practice would be for the criminal trial judge to rein in the abuses in the absence of an objection.
Ensuring Proper Conduct toward the Court
Attorneys sometimes forget that respect is also owed the judicial officers before whom they appear. Although judicial rulings may not always meet attorneys' expectations, and attorneys should be given substantial freedom of expression in representing their clients,41 it is still their duty to "maintain the respect due to the courts of justice and judicial officers."42
The purpose of rules prohibiting statements that impugn the integrity of judges is not to shield them from unpleasant or offensive criticism but, rather, to preserve public confidence in the fairness and impartiality of our system of justice.43 Consequently, although "an attorney is entitled to advocate respectfully and in good faith his contentions on behalf of his client even though asserted inadequacies in the action taken by the court are pointed out,"44 at some point the attorney must defer to that ruling, even if it is erroneous.45 Counsel who continue complaining after their objections have been preserved for appeal face a contempt citation for contemptuous or insolent behavior.46
In applying these standards to attorney speech, a court held that an attorney did not overstep the bounds of propriety by arguing in good faith that a court order defeated the ends of justice.47 And the supreme court held that a trial court erred in holding an attorney in contempt for objecting in the jury's presence regarding comments made by the court on the evidence-an event that occurred when the jury was already in lengthy deliberations.48
On the other hand, it is improper to exhibit a sneering and contemptuous attitude toward the court,49 to accuse a judge of unlawful or illegal behavior,50 to write that a judge was "petty,"51 to allege that a judge improperly favored one side over the other,52 to claim that a judge misused his or her position to financially help a litigant,53 to assert that "[t]his court obviously doesn't want to apply the law,"54 to accuse a judge of being intellectually dishonest,55 to claim that the client had not received a fair trial,56 to yell at and interrupt a judge in front of a jury,57 and for a male attorney in a fit of pique to tell a female judge, "you're not my mother."58
A trial judge may admonish an attorney for his or her misconduct in the presence of a jury for the purpose of correcting the message given by that behavior to the jurors that they, too, may disregard the court's directives and ignore its authority.59 In doing so, the judge should not make discourteous and disparaging remarks that might discredit the attorney or create the impression that the court is siding with the opponent.60
Besides the sanction of contempt for impugning the integrity of the judiciary, the court can also strike any pleading or brief in which an abusive remark is made.61 A final order of contempt against an attorney that may warrant discipline under the Business and Professions Code must be reported to the State Bar.62
Just as attorneys cannot make misrepresentations to opposing counsel, they certainly cannot make them to judicial officers.63 And the obligation to avoid deceitful statements is in the negative as well as in the affirmative; in other words, it includes the "suppression of that which it is one's duty to declare as well as in the declaration of that which is false."64 Consequently, there is no distinction among concealment, half-truths, and false statements of fact.65 The duty of vigorous advocacy cannot justify such misconduct.66 The legislature is so critical of conduct involving an intent to deceive the court that it made its commission a misdemeanor.67
Misrepresentations occur when attorneys tell the court that a witness was under subpoena when he or she was not;68 make false statements in an adoption proceeding;69 make false statements to a bail commissioner;70 fail to advise the court where a client can be reached;71 conceal opposing counsel's continuance request, which leads to the opponent's default;72 file a civil complaint with facts known to be false;73 allege identical property damage in separate claims arising out of separate automobile accidents;74 make a false statement concerning a client's financial condition;75 sign a declaration for a declarant;76 misrepresent grounds for a continuance;77 fail to advise the court on a motion to dismiss, following a successful demurrer, that the plaintiff had already filed a timely amended complaint;78 misrepresent facts at a settlement conference;79 and fail to tell the court that another judge has issued a stay order in the case.80
Once an attorney has made a misrepresentation, albeit an unintentional one, he or she has an affirmative duty, after becoming aware of the misrepresentation, to "immediately inform the court and to request that it set aside any orders based upon such misrepresentation; also, counsel should not attempt to benefit from such improvidently entered orders."81
Distinct from the duty of an attorney not to mislead a judicial officer by "an artifice or false statement of fact and law" is the duty not to "intentionally misquote to a tribunal the language of a book, statute, or decision"82 and "knowing its invalidity, [not] cite as authority a decision that has been overruled or a statute that has been repealed or declared unconstitutional."83 Consequently, an attorney committed misconduct where he did not advise the trial court that a rehearing of a supreme court decision had been granted.84
As a corollary to these rules regarding the citing of legal authority, "attorneys have an ethical duty to reveal to the court before which they are appearing any controlling precedent which squarely contradicts their position."85 Attorneys with expertise in a specific area of the law may have a heightened obligation to educate the court on relevant issues.86 While the obligation to cite pertinent precedent is obviated when opposing counsel is present,87 the better approach, however, is for the attorney to advise the judge about all controlling precedent, even when opposing counsel is present and when it is against the attorney's position, because the court should be made aware of that law. This notice serves to affirm to the court that counsel is ethical and prepared-qualities that will benefit the attorney in the present case and in all future appearances before the same judicial officer.
Another form of misconduct by attorneys before the judiciary occurs when attorneys do not comply with court orders. Although Business and Professions Code Section 6103 makes the willful disobedience of a valid court order grounds for suspension or disbarment,88 few lawyers apart from those who practice in the State Bar Court and few jurists other than those who serve on the State Bar Court know of the section's availability or significance. Instead, most lawyers and judges believe that the only consequence for the failure to obey a court order is contempt.89
Although a void order can be contested,90 disobeying the possibly defective order while challenging its validity is an action taken at counsel's peril if he or she incorrectly assesses the situation. The more prudent course is to obey and appeal the edict.91
Ex Parte Communications
Attorney misconduct involving the court also includes unauthorized ex parte communications. Contacts with a judge regarding the merits of a contested matter are prohibited unless all counsel have consented to the communication,92 or the opposing party was informed about when and where the application for an ex parte hearing would be made within a reasonable time before the hearing, or the party seeking the hearing made a good faith but unsuccessful effort to notify the opposing party, or "for reasons specified" the requesting party "should not be required to inform the opposing party or the opposing party's attorney"93 of the meeting. Additionally, a corporate or government representative in response to a motion for disclosure of a trade secret or for peace officer personnel records may appear in camera for a determination of the materiality of the information sought.94
Statutes, case law, and court rules applicable to criminal proceedings provide numerous other exceptions to the general rule prohibiting ex parte contacts with the court. For defendants and defense counsel, these exceptions include providing a defendant's confidential financial statement for a determination whether or not to appoint counsel,95 allowing a defendant the opportunity to tell the trial court why continued representation by appointed counsel will substantially impair his or her right to effective counsel,96 advising that the client may testify untruthfully,97 showing good cause for the nondisclosure or regulation of discovery,98 seeking the appointment of a second attorney,99 and making an offer of proof as to why inconsistent defenses at trial require that the charges be severed.100
Prosecutors may have ex parte communications with the court to ask that a witness who has refused to answer a question on self-incrimination grounds be ordered to answer the question or produce evidence,101 to seek the approval and signature of a judge on a witness immunity order,102 to obtain the approval and signature of a judge for a search warrant,103 to obtain a ruling as to whether or not an informant is material to a defendant's guilt,104 and to show good cause for the nondisclosure or regulation of discovery.105
Compliance with two of the exceptions in Rule 379 of the California Rules of Court-notification of the hearing a reasonable time before the hearing and a good faith but unsuccessful effort to notify the opposing party-should not be sufficient for an ex parte communication, because a last-minute notification and a good faith notification attempt still impose an unnecessary burden on the counsel and party who receive or should have received the ex parte notice. These exceptions should be reserved for "a bona fide emergency such that the lawyer's client will be seriously prejudiced by a failure to make the application or communication on regular notice."106
Attorneys should not expect that the protection afforded by the litigation privilege in Civil Code Section 47(2) will immunize their misconduct involving other attorneys or judicial officers. The litigation privilege does not extend to either criminal or disciplinary prosecutions for misconduct.107 Although there is no authority as to whether or not the litigation privilege can be raised in contempt proceedings, there is sound reason to support an argument that it should not apply, because the policies of protecting the integrity of the administration of justice and the courts are common to both discipline and contempt proceedings.108
The statutes, case law, and rules regarding what is and is not proper attorney conduct toward fellow attorneys and the courts are unambiguous. They will be a breath of fresh air to some and a surprise for others, but, for all attorneys, they embody principles by which attorneys should conduct their practices. Nonetheless, it is not expected that the knowledge and use of these authorities will have an immediate salutary effect on the conduct of counsel. Indeed, that would be a very naive expectation. But what is certain is that the statutes, case law, and rules that are already in place are meaningful and useful in a way not always fully grasped by attorneys and the courts. When invoked appropriately, these existing laws and rules governing attorney misconduct should prove over time to be increasingly effective in raising the ethical standards of advocacy and improving relations between all members of the legal system.
SIDEBAR: The Power of Persuasion
Potentially draconian consequences may result from misconduct committed by one attorney against another. For example, Business and Professions Code Section 6106 provides that the commission of any act involving moral turpitude or dishonesty shall be cause for disbarment or suspension. The availability of these sanctions, however, does not mean that the attorney on the receiving end of out-of-court attorney misconduct should seek punishment for an opponent's first misstep. Rather, the statutes, rules, and case law should serve initially as guides for ethical legal behavior for all counsel. Their existence should be a wake-up call for those attorneys who have borne the brunt of acts of misconduct and for those who have been the transgressors.
Before filing a motion for sanctions, the aggrieved attorney should bring the applicable statute, rule, or case law to the offender's attention. That person should be advised in a nonpatronizing fashion that his or her conduct appears to be a violation of an ethical standard. A subsequent request for sanctions should be made only if the miscreant has not changed his or her behavior. Nonetheless, as every attorney knows who has ever filed such a request, a motion for sanctions may be given short shrift by the court, which already hears far too many unsubstantial ones. Consequently, motions for sanctions should be supported by applicable statutes, rules, and case law in addition to a recitation of the relevant facts.
Only as a last resort, and never for the purpose of seeking an edge in a civil proceeding, should counsel threaten an opponent with reporting his or her conduct to the State Bar's Office of Chief Trial Counsel. That threat could be a violation of Rule 5-100 of the California Rules of Professional Conduct.1-M.D.M.
1 Rule 5-100 of the California Rules of Professional Conduct states, "A member shall not threaten to present criminal, administrative, or disciplinary charges to obtain an advantage in a civil dispute."
Endnotes for main text:
1 See, e.g., Los Angeles Sup. Ct. R. of Ct. 7.12; Los Angeles County Bar Association Litigation Guidelines, adopted by the Association's Board of Trustees in 1989 and endorsed by the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, available at http:/www.lacba.org/showpage.cfm?pageid=46.
2 Except where noted, all statutes, rules, and cases apply to both civil and criminal lawyers, including prosecutors. See Cal. Rules of Prof'l Conduct R. 1-100(A) (stating, in part, that the Cal. Rules of Prof'l Conduct are binding on all members of the State Bar).
3 Bus. & Prof. Code §6068(c); Cal. Rules of Prof'l Conduct R. 3-200(A).
4 Code Civ. Proc. §2017(c).
5 Cal. Rules of Prof'l Conduct R. 3-300, R. 3-310.
6 Cal. Rules of Prof'l Conduct R. 2-100.
7 Bus. & Prof. Code §6068(f).
8 People v. Bonin, 46 Cal. 3d 659, 689 (1988).
9 Cal. Rules of Prof'l Conduct R. 5-220; In re Ferguson, 5 Cal. 3d 525, 532 (1971).
10 Cal. Rules of Prof'l Conduct R. 5-320.
11 Cal. Rules of Prof'l Conduct R. 5-220(B).
12 In the Matter of Katz, 3 Cal. State Bar Ct. Rptr. 430, 435 (1995).
15 Levin v. State Bar, 47 Cal. 3d 1140, 1144 (1989).
16 Barton v. State Bar, 2 Cal. 2d 294, 297 (1935). Barton falsely represented that he had affidavits from clients establishing that an oil company had been mislabeling its gasoline and that the clients were damaged as a result. Barton later told opposing counsel that he was involved in a "shake down."
17 Levin, 47 Cal. 3d at 1147 (citing Coppock v. State Bar, 44 Cal. 3d 665, 679-80 (1988) (quoting Tomlinson v. State Bar, 13 Cal. 3d 567, 577 (1975)).
18 Heavey v. State Bar, 17 Cal. 3d 553, 559-60 (1976); Hogan v. State Bar, 36 Cal. 2d 807, 809-10 (1951); People v. Hill, 17 Cal. 3d 800, 819-20 (1988).
19 United States v. Wunsch, 84 F. 3d 1110, 1119-20 (9th Cir. 1995).
20 Bus. & Prof. Code §6068(b).
21 Bus. & Prof. Code §6068(f).
22 People v. Bell, 49 Cal. 3d 502, 538 (1989) (prosecutor contended that defense counsel had suborned perjury, fabricated a defense, and engaged in deception); People v. Herring, 20 Cal. App. 4th 1066, 1077 (1993) (It is misconduct to argue that defense counsel tell their clients what to say, plan their defenses, and do not want the jury to hear the truth.); Love v. Wolf, 226 Cal. App. 2d 378, 391 (1964) (counsel accused of suborning perjury); Las Palmas Assocs. v. Las Palmas Ctr. Assocs., 235 Cal. App. 3d 1220, 1246 (1991) (counsel accused of not being forthright on three occasions-one supposedly involving the suppression of evidence and two others regarding pleading and discovery issues).
23 Love, 226 Cal. App. 2d at 391.
24 Las Palmas Assocs., 235 Cal. App. 3d at 1246.
25 People v. Hill, 17 Cal. 3d 800 (1988); Love, 226 Cal. App. 2d 378.
26 Bus. & Prof. Code §6086.7(b).
27 Herring, 20 Cal. App. 4th at 1077.
28 People v. Medina, 11 Cal. 4th 694, 759 (1995).
29 People v. Arias, 13 Cal. 4th 92, 182 (1996).
30 People v. Cummings, 4 Cal. 4th 1233, 1303, n.49 (1993).
31 People v. Wash, 6 Cal. 4th 215, 263 (1993); People v. Jones, 15 Cal. 4th 119, 168 (1997).
32 Arizona v. Washington, 434 U.S. 497, 505 (1977) (manifest necessity standard); People v. Fields, 13 Cal. 4th 289, 299-300 (1996) (legal necessity standard).
33 Sabella v. Southern Pac. Co., 70 Cal. 2d 311, 317 (1969); People v. Johnson, 47 Cal. 3d 1194, 1236-37 (1989).
34 Hoffman v. Brandt, 65 Cal. 2d 549 (1966); People v. Price, 1 Cal. 4th 324, 447 (1991).
35 Sabella, 70 Cal. 2d at 319 (citing Love v. Wolf, 226 Cal. App. 2d 378 (1964)); People v. Hill, 17 Cal. 3d 800, 820-22 (1988).
36 Malkasian v. Irwin, 61 Cal. 2d 738, 747 (1964).
37 Sabella, 70 Cal. 2d at 321, n.8.
38 Simmons v. Southern Pac. Transp., 62 Cal. App. 3d 341, 355 (1976).
39 People v. Carrera, 49 Cal. 3d 291, 321 (1989).
40 See Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668, 687-89 (1984).
41 Gallagher v. Municipal Court, 31 Cal. 2d 784, 795-96 (1948) (attorney for a third party repeatedly objected to questions asked by judge of jurors supposedly contacted by the third party). See also In re Buckley, 10 Cal. 3d 237, 249 (1973) (holding that "the system is built upon the belief that the truth will best be served if defense counsel is given the maximum possible leeway to urge in a respectful but nonetheless determined manner, the questions, objections, or argument he deems necessary to the defendant's case…").
42 Bus. & Prof. Code §6068(b). See also People v. Massey, 137 Cal. App. 2d 623, 625 (1955) (holding that attorneys, as officers of the court, owe a duty of respect to the court).
43 Standing Committee v. Yagman, 55 F. 3d 1430, 1437 (9th Cir. 1995).
44 In re Hallinan, 71 Cal. 2d 1179, 1184 (1969) (More is needed for a contempt citation than that the attorney's tone of voice was contemptuous.).
45 Hawk v. Superior Court, 42 Cal. App. 3d 108, 126 (1974).
46 Code Civ. Proc. §1209(a)(1).
47 Raiden v. Superior Court, 34 Cal. 2d 83, 86-87 (1949).
48 Cooper v. Superior Court, 55 Cal. 2d 291, 302 (1961).
49 Rose v. Superior Court, 140 Cal. App. 418, 425-26 (1934).
50 Ramirez v. State Bar, 28 Cal. 3d 402 (1980) (improper to accuse appellate justices of acting "unlawfully," "illegally," and being "parties to the theft" of property belonging to the attorney's clients).
51 Hogan v. State Bar, 36 Cal. 2d 807, 809-10 (1951).
52 Sears v. Starbird, 75 Cal. 91, 92-93 (1888) (supreme court brief stricken when attorney alleged that the trial judge had improperly favored other side).
53 In the Matter of Humphrey, 147 Cal. 290, 294-95 (1917).
54 In re Buckley, 10 Cal. 3d 237, 248-50 (1973) (statement contemptuous on its face because it suggested that "the judge knew the law but deliberately chose to ignore it").
55 People v. Chong, 76 Cal. App. 4th 232, 236 (1999).
56 Hanson v. Superior Court, 91 Cal. App. 4th 75 (2001).
57 Boysaw v. Superior Court, 23 Cal. 4th 215, 218-23 (2000). In Boysaw, the supreme court annulled a contempt order because the trial court did not first state that the attorney had been warned that his tone of voice was objectionable. The contempt order would have been upheld, however, "had the trial court rested its finding of contempt upon petitioner's direct refusal to obey the court's order not to continue arguing its evidentiary ruling, or upon the rude, hostile, and disrespectful content of petitioner's response."
58 McCann v. Municipal Court, 221 Cal. App. 3d 527, 540-41 (1990). This outlandish comment was preceded by "I will not move on until you haul me away" and "you're not going to convict my client."
59 Chong, 76 Cal. App. 4th at 244.
61 Baldwin v. Daniels, 154 Cal. App. 2d 153, 155-56 (1957). The court of appeal noted that, in counsel's brief, he repeated scandalous remarks that the trial court had previously ordered stricken from the complaint. This led the appellate court to strike the brief in its entirety. See also Sears v. Starbird, 75 Cal. 91, 92-93 (1888).
62 Bus. & Prof. Code §6086.7(a).
63 See Bus. & Prof. Code §6068(d) (misrepresentations to a court) and Cal. Rules of Prof'l Conduct R. 5-200(B) (adds misrepresentations to a jury).
64 Daily v. Superior Court, 4 Cal. App. 2d 127, 131 (1935).
65 Franklin v. State Bar, 41 Cal. 3d 700, 709 (1986) (citing Grove v. State Bar, 63 Cal. 2d 312, 315 (1965)).
66 Bryan v. Bank of Am., 86 Cal. App. 4th 185, 193 (2001).
67 Bus. & Prof. Code §6128(a).
68 In the Matter of Farrell, 1 Cal. State Bar Ct. Rptr. 490, 497 (1991).
69 Burns v. State Bar, 213 Cal. 151 (1931).
70 DiSabatino v. State Bar, 27 Cal. 3d 151 (1980).
71 Davidson v. State Bar, 17 Cal. 3d 570 (1976).
72 Grove v. State Bar, 63 Cal. 2d 312 (1965).
73 Pickering v. State Bar, 24 Cal. 2d 141, 144 (1944).
74 Scofield v. State Bar, 62 Cal. 2d 624, 628 (1965).
75 Dixon v. State Bar, 32 Cal. 3d 728 (1982).
76 Garlow v. State Bar, 30 Cal. 3d 912 (1982).
77 Vaughn v. Municipal Court, 252 Cal. App. 2d 348, 358 (1967).
78 Datig v. Dove Books, 73 Cal. App. 4th 964 (1999).
79 In the Matter of Jeffers, 3 Cal. State Bar Ct. Rptr. 211, 219-20 (1994).
80 Glade v. Glade, 38 Cal. App. 4th 1441, 1457, n.16 (1995) (no prejudice resulted from attorney's silence because judge would have granted summary judgment had he known of the order).
81 Datig, 73 Cal. App. 4th at 981.
82 Cal. Rules of Prof'l Conduct R. 5-200(C).
83 Cal. Rules of Prof'l Conduct R. 5-200(D).
84 Ainsworth v. State Bar, 46 Cal. 3d 1218, 1224-25, 1233-34 (1988).
85 In the Matter of Riley, 3 Cal. State Bar Ct. Rptr. 91, 109 (1994).
86 In the Matter of Harney, 3 Cal. State Bar Ct. Rptr. 266, 283 (1995) (concealment of MICRA limitations).
87 Shaeffer v. State Bar, 26 Cal. 2d 739, 747-48 (1945).
88 Business and Professions Code §6103 states, "A willful disobedience or violation of an order of the court requiring him to do or forbear an act connected with or in the course of his profession, which he ought in good faith to do or forbear constitute causes for disbarment or suspension."
89 Code Civ. Proc. §1209(a)5.
90 People v. Gonzalez, 12 Cal. 4th 804, 808 (1996).
91 In re Berry, 68 Cal. 2d 137, 148-49 (1968).
92 Cal. Rules of Prof'l Conduct R. 5-300(B)(2).
93 Cal. R. of Ct. 379(a).
94 Evid. Code §§915(b), 1045(b).
95 Penal Code §987(c).
96 People v. Marsden, 2 Cal. 3d 118 (1970); Cal. R. of Ct. 33.5(a).
97 People v. Brown, 203 Cal. App. 3d 1335, 1338 (1988).
98 Penal Code §1054.7.
99 Keenan v. Superior Court, 31 Cal. 3d 424, 430 (1982).
100 People v. Memro, 11 Cal. 4th 786, 851 (1995).
101 Penal Code §1324.
102 Id.; People v. Boehm, 270 Cal. App. 2d 13, 20 (1969).
103 Penal Code §1523.
104 Evid. Code §§915(b), 1042(d).
105 Penal Code §1054.7.
106 Los Angeles Sup. Ct. R. 7.12(j)(3).
107 Silberg v. Anderson, 50 Cal. 3d 205, 218-19 (1990).
108 Mowrer v. Superior Court, 3 Cal. App. 3d 223, 230 (1969); Chadwick v. State Bar, 49 Cal. 3d 103, 111 (1989).
||By reading this article and answering the accompanying test questions, you can earn one MCLE ethics credit.