can an attorney refuse to represent a client who lies to them?

by Jovan Simonis 3 min read

Can an attorney refuse to represent a client? Rule 2.01 - A lawyer shall not reject, except for valid reasons, the cause of the defenseless or the oppressed.

R. Prof. C., does allow a lawyer to refuse to offer evidence on behalf of a client that the lawyer reasonably believes to be false.

Full Answer

How do you deal with a lying client?

Let the client know you expect the truth But no matter the client, it is wise to spend a few minutes, and a paragraph in your retainer agreement, setting out the expectation that the client is going to be truthful and forthright during your representation.

Can an attorney tell a client to lie?

In California, the Rules of Professional Conduct govern a lawyer's ethical duties. The law prohibits lawyers from engaging in dishonesty. Cal.

Is it ever acceptable to lie to a client?

Everyone knows that lawyers are not allowed to lie — to clients, courts or third parties. But once you get beyond deliberate false statements, the scope of the obligations to truth and integrity become less clear.

Can lawyers decline a client?

The short answer to this is yes, an attorney can absolutely refuse to defend someone. While lawyers can refuse to defend someone, they are not likely to do so based on whether they are guilty or not guilty. You should have a good relationship with your lawyer because they are the one fighting for you.

What if an attorney knows his client is lying?

(3) offer evidence that the lawyer knows to be false. If a lawyer, the lawyer's client, or a witness called by the lawyer, has offered material evidence and the lawyer comes to know of its falsity, the lawyer shall take reasonable remedial measures, including, if necessary, disclosure to the tribunal.

What are attorneys afraid of?

Being judged unfairly by potential or actual jurors. Being intimidated by judges. Suffering reprisals from judicial disqualification motions or reporting judicial misconduct. Suffering “the pain, humiliation and shame of defeat.”

Should patients always be told the truth?

When physicians communicate with patients, being honest is an important way to foster trust and show respect for the patient. Patients place a great deal of trust in their physician, and may feel that trust is misplaced if they discover or perceive lack of honesty and candor by the physician.

Can lawyers lie during negotiations?

Bar ethics rules prohibit lawyers from lying outright. The American Bar Association in model professional rule 4.1 says that it's unacceptable for lawyers to “knowingly make a false statement of material fact or law” when representing a client.

What happens if you lie on the stand?

Lying on the stand under oath is known as perjury, a serious offense that may require defense from a criminal attorney. A witness charged with perjury can face steep monetary fines, probation, jail time, and even problems with security clearances and gainful employment.

What are some of the reasons why an attorney may choose to decline representation?

5 Reasons an Attorney Would Decline Your CaseReason #1: The Financial Benefits of Pursuing Your Case are Insufficient. ... Reason #2: They Deem Your Case Not Strong Enough. ... Reason #3: The Attorney May Not Be Capable of Handling Your Case. ... Reason #4: The Statute of Limitations Has Expired on Your Case.More items...•

What are some reasons why an attorney might not take a case?

Top 7 Reasons Why Lawyers Won't Take Your CaseThere is No Money to be Made in Your Case. ... Other lawyers have rejected your case. ... The Statute of Limitations has expired. ... You have a weak case. ... There is a conflict of interests. ... They don't specialize in that type of case. ... They don't like you.

What is it called when a lawyer doesn't do his job?

Legal malpractice is a type of negligence in which a lawyer does harm to his or her client. Typically, this concerns lawyers acting in their own interests, lawyers breaching their contract with the client, and, one of the most common cases of legal malpractice, is when lawyers fail to act on time for clients.

How do you prove a defendant is lying?

The most common way to prove a witness's testimony is false is through a deposition, which is an interview under oath, usually conducted by attorneys. Depositions are rare in family court proceedings.

Can a lawyer break privilege?

In that sense, the privilege is the client's, not the lawyer's—the client can decide to forfeit (or waive) the privilege, but the lawyer cannot. The privilege generally stays in effect even after the attorney-client relationship ends, and even after the client dies.

Do defense attorneys know the truth?

Although popular culture may detest the work that criminal lawyers do, the function of a lawyer is crucial in order to maintain justice and ensure fair outcomes for anyone that is facing legal charges. Truthfully, a defense lawyer almost never really knows whether the defendant is guilty or not of the charged crime.

What should you not say to a lawyer?

9 Taboo Sayings You Should Never Tell Your LawyerI forgot I had an appointment. ... I didn't bring the documents related to my case. ... I have already done some of the work for you. ... My case will be easy money for you. ... I have already spoken with 5 other lawyers. ... Other lawyers don't have my best interests at heart.More items...•


The ‘Cab Rank rule,’ which is adopted by lawyers in common law jurisdictions, is that an advocate shall deny representing any client who in Simply put, a lawyer cannot refuse to provide legal assistance to anyone who approaches him or her.


There can be various reasons for a lawyer to decline representing the case:


Except for petitioners in person, the Supreme Court has held that no one other than advocates is allowed to plead cases on behalf of others. It is not a question of the right to allow a person to plead his case in front of a court. There’s no reason why a lawyer can’t represent a close friend without breaching the law.


Here is a list of various qualities that a lawyer has, all these help a lawyer in understanding and solving cases.

Do lawyers lie to their clients?

In California, the Rules of Professional Conduct govern a lawyer's ethical duties. The law prohibits lawyers from engaging in dishonesty.

Can I sue a lawyer for lying?

The rules of legal ethics in most states require attorneys to be honest and to be able to do their job at a certain level of competence. If you feel that your legal representative has lied or misled you, or is performing their duties at a level below that of a competent attorney, you may want to file a lawsuit.

What is it called when a lawyer lies?

In his email, Brett asked whether lawyers are allowed to commit “ perjury .” The term “perjury” refers specifically to making a false statement under oath. It's rare for lawyers to commit perjury for the simple reason that lawyers generally do not make statements under oath--that's what witnesses do.

How do you deal with a lying lawyer?

If you think your attorney has acted unethically You can complete a complaint form online or download a PDF complaint form from the State Bar's website. You may also call the State Bar at 800-843-9053 (in California) or 213-765-1200 (outside California) to discuss the complaint-filing process.

What is ethical reason?

First of all, to clarify, the question when asking about "ethical reasons" is asking about personal, not legally enforceable reasons based in personal morality that a lawyer might withdraw. This terminology can be a bit confusing because violations of legally enforceable rules of professional conduct for lawyers, are commonly called "ethics rules". But, violations of "ethics rules" were discussed above, and this part of the answer is about non-legally enforceable reasons rooted in a lawyer's personal moral compass that might cause a lawyer to withdraw from a representation of a client in the middle of a case.

Why can't a lawyer stop defending a client?

A lawyer absolutely cannot stop defending a client because the lawyer believes the client is guilty. This is so that an apparently guilty client only has to convince a court of his innocence, not a court and his lawyer.

Why do lawyers withdraw?

Indeed, one of the main motives for a lawyer to withdraw other than not getting paid, is that the client's conduct makes it impossible for the lawyer to represent the client in a manner that doesn't harm the lawyer's reputation.

What happens if a lawyer withdraws from a case?

Similarly, if the lawyer withdraws following a judge's implication that the lawyer has engaged in misconduct in a case, or following a client letter to court accusing the lawyer of something unsavory, that hurts the lawyer's reputation.

How often should a lawyer withdraw from a case?

A typical, good quality, ethical lawyer with a busy practice will withdraw from representing a client in the middle of a case perhaps once every two to four years on average, and more often if the lawyer handles a lot of small cases and a high volume of clients.

Why do criminal defense lawyers push to have clients who are 100% guilty acquitted?

For example, criminal defense lawyers routinely push to have clients who are 100% guilty acquitted because the evidence against the defendant was obtained illegally by the police. Part of a lawyer's role in defending a criminal case involving a guilty defendant is to perform the larger civic role of constantly monitoring the law enforcement system for police misconduct that incidentally benefits the client (and that is one reason why a court doesn't want to let a lawyer withdraw when the defendant is likely to be guilty but there are indications of police misconduct in the case).

What happens if you don't object to an inadmissible evidence?

For example, usually when a lawyer is present and the prosecution seeks to admit inadmissible evidence, the lawyer objects on the proper legal ground and the judge evaluates the objection and keeps the evidence out. But, if no one objects, letting in the evidence can still lead to a reversal on appeal if doing so was "plain error", and the "plain error" or objection preservation analysis on appeal becomes even trickier if the defendant representing himself objects to the evidence coming in, but for the wrong reasons - for example, objecting to inadmissible hearsay on the grounds that it is irrelevant when it isn't irrelevant but is inadmissible, but mentions that the person questioned "wasn't even there" when the statement was made.

What happens when a lawyer lies to his client?

A lawyer may refuse to offer evidence, other than the testimony of a defendant in a criminal matter, that the lawyer reasonably believes is false. ... The failure of the client to be truthful with the lawyer is grounds for the lawyer to withdraw from the representation.

Can lawyers get in trouble for lying?

The American Bar Association Model Rules of Professional Conduct prohibit lawyers from making false statements of material fact or law to third parties, and from failing to disclose material facts when necessary to avoid assisting criminal or fraudulent conduct by a client.

Why can defense lawyers lie?

The defendant may be lying to take the rap for someone he wants to protect. Or the defendant might be guilty but of a different and lesser crime than the one being prosecuted by the district attorney. ... For these reasons, among others, defense lawyers often do not ask their clients if they committed the crime.

Why are lawyers ethical?

Lawyers have ethical duties to the court, their client and society greater than their personal values. Their duty to the court is paramount. It’s a bit like doctors and their Hippocratic oath: a doctor wouldn’t neglect a dying patient just because they didn’t like what the patient did - the doctor’s oath is more important; it’s exactly the same with lawyers. However, if a lawyer was personally conflicted and it would affect their duties then they could recus

Why does my lawyer refuse to hand over my case?

The major reason a lawyer refuses to hand over a file is that the client owes money or the lawyer has a lien on the file. In some jurisdictions, a lawyer may hold on to a file for a certain period of time as long as they are not harming the client’s case. In other jurisdictions, a lawyer may not hold on to a file at all.

Why can't a lawyer refuse a client?

Other answers have said a lawyer cannot refuse a client because they do not like them. I personally work almost exclusively on a contingent fee basis. I only get paid if I win.

What are the duties of a lawyer?

1. Lawyers have duties above their personal values: Lawyers have ethical duties to the court, their client and society greater than their personal values. Their duty to the court is paramount. It’s a bit like doctors and their Hippocratic oath: a doctor wouldn’t neglect a dying patient just because they didn’t like what the patient did - the doctor’s oath is more important; it’s exactly the same with lawyers. However, if a lawyer was personally conflicted and it would affect their duties then they could recuse themselves (see C below).

What is the duty of an attorney?

Combined with the protections against unreasonable search & seizure, self-incrimination, and other Constitutional restrictions on State power, it is the duty of an attorney to represent their client to the best of their ability, and to hold the St

What happens if someone is clear guilty of a crime?

There are many situations where someone is "clearly" guilty, but the State has overstepped its boundaries and illegally obtained evidence. In those cases, the defendant has an attorney to bring the State to bear on their violations of the defendant's rights, and to assert any applicable defenses permitted by law. And, if it is demonstrated that the State acted illegally, such evidence is (and should be) disqualified from presentation. If that then leads to the release of the defendant, it's not the defense attorney's actions that caused that result, it was the overbearing actions by the State.

Why is cherry picking unprofessional?

Overt cherry-picking is unprofessional because in theory it impinges on access to justice. Legal theorists (Dworkin, Rawls) would argue that if lawyers only take the best-paying clients then the poorest clients will have to take what they can get, which may not be very good. In practice though, it’s easy for lawyers to work exclusively with clients of their choosing, just like the Ritz is open but exclusive: everyone can go to the Ritz but not everyone can stay there.


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Court Appointed Lawyers Pretty Much Take All Cases Assigned To Them

In public defense cases (court appointed attorneys), many attorneys work on contract with a company or for the state. They do not have an opportunity to interview their clients before beginning representation, and basically agree to represent any client who is assigned to them by the court or the group that manages them.

The Personal Experiences Of A Former Defense Lawyer

As a former defense lawyer who has interviewed hundreds of potential clients, I can speak from experience.

Are We The Right Fit?

We also explore whether the lawyers in the office actually have the experience and expertise and knowledge to effectively represent the particular client.

Other Reasons A Defense Attorney Would Decline

One of the primary reasons I would decline to take a case, even if the client had money to afford me and I had the expertise he needed, was that I just didn’t like him.

Personal Reasons To Decline Cases

Personally, as a defense attorney, I assisted clients charged with drunk driving, assault, drugs, coercion, murder, and more.

What is Ernest V Linek?

Ernest V Linek (Unclaimed Profile) The identity of a client is usually considered to be confidential information - so the attorney was correct in not answering your question. Usually, it is only after the client grants permission to the lawyer to reveal the relationship - then the attorney is permitted to do so.

What happens if you don't disclose who you represent?

Furthermore, if you or your company is involved with litigation and represented by an attorney already, any other attorneys should never contact you but should go through your attorney directly. This is an ethical rule. If the person tries to contact you again instead of your attorney, let your attorney know right away.

How to know if a lawyer is a lawyer in Oregon?

If a person is really an attorney, they'll have an identifying number with the Oregon State Bar (this answer applies to Oregon). You can then check them out professionally at Oddly, if the client has asked that the lawyer keep his name confidential, then the lawyer can't tell you who he represents. However, I'm pretty sure that you can then refuse to answer any questions in other words, you don't give any information until they tell you who's asking. Your company should have legal representation, and you need to tell your company's attorney about this contact.

What to do if an attorney refuses to answer your question?

If the attorney refuses to answer your question, simply hang up on him or her. Just because the person is an attorney, that is no license to be rude.

What happens if an attorney does not represent the client?

If the attorney does not represent the client, which I would ask to be confirmed in writing, then you have no obligation to provide any information regarding a case. In some situations, (such as if YOU were an attorney yourself), it would be an ethical violation for you to say anything.

What to do if you don't like comments?

If you don't like the comments, hang up the phone.

Do attorneys have to disclose their client's name?

In that case, the attorney doesn't need to disclose the name of the client. However, your situation sounds a little suspicious.