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  1. #1
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    Nov 2008
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    Ill attorney acting as attorney and Giving Legal advice in Calif

    Jurisdiction / State: California

    Is it ethical for an attorney in another state (Ill), to appear to represent a person in Calif on the sale of a house? Without that person's permission?
    I live in Calif. During my divorce, my brother-n-l who has a legal practice in Ill, called my real estate agent and my attorney, appearing to represent me on the sale of my house. He Emailed and phoned them many times, but never had any communication with me at all. He made demands of my agent and my agent rewrote the sale agreement several times because the agent thought my brother-n-l was my attorney.I never knew about the changes yet my brother-n-l appeared to be acting on my behalf. I had told my brothert-n-l to stay out of ALL my business and any business that concerned both my husband and me together. He didn't.
    The attorney bills from my Calif attorney include over $2500 of calls and Emails to and from my brother-n-l (and my attorney) and (my attorney) to me concerning my brother-n-l.
    I did not want my brother-n-l involved in my business, especially behind my back. I think he should pay my attorney's bills, not me. His interference also held up the sale of the house a few months by changing contracts several times. This also cost me money.
    Is it legal for an Ill attorney to give legal advice in Calif or to appeaer to be acting in his professional capacity as my attorney when in fact he is not? He bypassed me and called my Calif attorney personally and my sales agent, making it sould as if I were his client.
    What can I do?

  2. #2
    thelawprofessor's Avatar
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    May 2001
    New York City
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    If you're asking whether your brother in law could help you out, I doubt there is really a problem with that part of your story. What I don't understand is why your brother in law kept at it, rolled up $2,500 in calls -- did you tell your attorney not to speak to your brother in law? If you didn't and allowed this to go on, is it fair to blame your attorney for the bill? The real question here involves whether your attorney should have known not to deal with your brother in law and whether these calls were justified if you gave him notice not to take them. That's just my take on your complaint.

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