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Legal Memorandum: Mandatory Withdrawal

Issue: Whether a California attorney’s disqualification as counsel for Defendants is mandatory?

Area of Law: Ethics & Professional Responsibility
Keywords: Withdrawal; Disqualification; Continued employment
Jurisdiction: California
Cited Cases: 117 Cal. Rptr. 2d 125; 119 Cal. App. 4th 671
Cited Statutes: Cal. Rule of Prof. Conduct, Rule 3-700(B)(2)
Date: 03/01/2006

Where an attorney knows or should know that continued employment will result in violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct, withdrawal is mandatory.  Cal. Rule of Prof. Conduct, Rule 3-700(B)(2).  If the attorney does not withdraw of his own accord, his disqualification from further representation of any defendant to his current case becomes compelled.  Farris v. Fireman’s Fund Insurance Co. (2004 5th Dist.) 119 Cal. App. 4th 671, 682, 14 Cal. Rptr. 3d 618, 625 at 675; City National Bank v. Adams (2002 2d Dist.) 96 Cal. App. 4th 315, 318, 117 Cal. Rptr. 2d 125, 128 at 134-35.

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