Week of August 13, 2007

"Sometimes lawyers seem to forget that, in their professional capacities, they owe a duty of loyalty to their clients - even when they no longer like them. And whan a lawyer becomes convinced that his client is on the wrong side of a particular legal dispute, the lawyer generally has the option of staying out of that dispute. He does not, however, have the option of switching sides and suing a client on behalf of a third party, alleging that the very settlement that he obtained for the client in prior litigation actually belongs to the third party. And when the client objects to such an attempt, and sued the lawyer for breach of his professional obligations, the lawyer probably shouldn't cross-complain back against her, apparently outraged that she has dragged him into the controversy and caused him to expend money to defend himself."

Justice William W. Bedsworth
Philipson & Simon v. Gulsvig (August 15, 2007, G037335) p. 1

Read my summary of the case