Monday, July 30, 2007

Client? What Client?

An attorney cannot comply with ethical obligations to a client if the attorney fails to recognize the existence of the lawyer-client relationship. An attorney was recently reprimanded by the Maine Board of Bar Overseers for misconduct in representing a client in a real estate matter where the lawyer contended that he had only represented the lending bank. The board found that "there [was] no question that, by an objective standard, that both the lawyer and client could and should reasonably understand and agree that [the attorney] had undertaken the representation of [the client]." The failure of the attorney to acknowledge this fact "made it impossible for him to meet or fulfill all of the other  obligations which he owes to a client pursuant to the Maine Bar Rules." (Mike Frisch)

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