Wednesday, August 13, 2014
The Washington Court of Appeals - Division III sua sponte disqualified an attorney from representing his client in an appeal from the imposition of sanctions in a domestic action.
As the noblest calling, the legal profession demands the highest ethical behavior from its members. A supreme commandment of attorney ethics is undivided loyalty to a client and shunning any self-interest that would conflict with the interests of the client.
The attorney made arguments on appeal of a $55,000 award of attorneys fees and costs that were beneficial to himself but harmful to the client.
The essence of the argument was that the client should be held solely responsible for the sanction.
The court makes clear that, when attorney and client point fingers at each other, a concurrent conflict exists. (Mike Frisch)