Under California Rules of Professional Conduct (CRPC), what is the definition of “associate”?


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Lou employs Patty as a paralegal. Patty is a former lawyer who was disbarred years ago. Lou asks Patty to distribute these brochures at local hospitals, doctors’ offices, and other public locations. At a local hospital, Patty hands one of these brochures to Christy. Christy takes the brochure and later calls Patty. Christy tells Patty that Dr. Don has mistreated her terribly and that she needs help. Patty obtains from Christy the facts of Christy’s case and tells Christy that Patty will research the law and get back to her regarding whether or not Patty will agree to represent her.

Patty then discusses the case with Lou. Lou says that he does not represent female clients, but if Patty wants to take the case on he will not object.
Patty then calls Christy and agrees to represent her. Patty also calls on Adam, a junior associate attorney in the office, to research the issues further as Patty identified them from her conversations with Christy. Adam does so. From his research, Adam determines that Christy’s case is weak and that it would likely be subject to dismissal and thrown out of court. Adam reports this to Patty. Patty in turn reports this to Lou. Lou says this is Patty’s case and instructs Adam to go ahead and draft and file a malpractice complaint saying whatever is necessary to state a claim against Dr. Don. Adam does so.

Lou then tells Patty to call Christy and tell her that Christy has an airtight case, that they are preparing the complaint and that it is only a matter of time before they “see the money.” Patty does exactly this. During Patty’s conversation with Christy, Christy asks how much this will cost her. Patty responds that, like their brochure says, “Unless we win, there is no cost to you at all.” “If we do win,” Patty says, “we will take 45% of the recovery for fees and an additional 15%
of the recovery to cover costs. Plus, any dissatisfaction regarding the case will be
resolved by binding arbitration.” Christy says that this all seems fine.

Patty then reports to Lou that the deal with Christy is confirmed. Patty also reminds Lou that she was the one that brought Christy into the office and that under Patty’s long- standing agreement with Lou, Patty is to receive 10% of any recovery received in the matter. Thus, Patty asserts, the division of the 45% between Patty and Lou will be 10% to Patty, 35% to Lou and 15% to reimburse their outlay of costs. Lou agrees.



1. Under California Rules of Professional Conduct (CRPC), what is the definition of
2. Under what rule is this found?
3. Are attorneys who are licensed in states other than California bound by the
4. Are attorneys who are licensed in California bound by the CRPC?
5. Has Lou violated any rules of CRPC just by hiring Patty as a paralegal?
6. Explain, citing any applicable rules.
7. Have they engaged in any activity that violates a rule? What behavior?
8. Does Lou’s brochure violate any rules regarding attorney advertising?
9. Explain your answer to No. 8 above.
10. What rule governs Lou’s ability to list himself as a “Certified Specialist”?
11. What does he have to do to meet the requirements of the rule?
12. Has he done this?
13. Does Lou violate any rules of advertising and solicitation by asking Patty to
distribute brochures at hospitals?
14. Would any rules be violated if he asked her to sit and distribute brochures in the
emergency rooms of every hospital and capture the names of the individuals who
took the brochures?
15. Would the activity in the question above be considered advertising or
solicitation? Under what rule?
16. What facts indicate that Lou has violated Rule 1-320 of CRPC?
17. Explain your answer to the above question.
18. Has Lou violated any rule by having a policy not to represent any female clients?
19. If so, explain and cite any rules involved.
20. Would Lou violate the CRPC if he had a policy that he would not represent any
“alleged” batterers in domestic violence cases?
21. What if as a result of this policy his clientele was 100% female?
22. Did Patty violate the CRPC in her initial exchange with Christy at the hospital?
23. Did Patty violate the CRPC in her initial phone conversation with Christy?
24. Has a duty of confidentiality been created regarding the information Christy
provided during her initial conversation with Patty? Explain.
25. What CRPC rule did Patty violate in her second telephone conversation with
26. Is Lou bound to follow the determination that Adam finds based on his research
of Christy’s issues?
27. If so, what CRPC rule governs?
28. Has Lou violated the CRPC by directing Adam to “draft and file a malpractice
complaint saying whatever is necessary to state a claim against Dr. Don”?
29. Has Adam violated the CRPC by following the direction from Lou?
30. Under CRPC rule 2-200, is it acceptable for Lou to share fees with Patty?
31. With Adam?
32. Is it a violation of the CRPC for Lou to tell Patty to relate specific legal advice to
33. What problems/violations occur during Patty’s 3rd conversation with Christy?
34. Explain your answer to the above question.
35. Name a defense that Christy could raise to Patty’s claim that a deal was
“confirmed” during their 3rd conversation.
36. Name another defense that Christy could raise to Patty’s claim that a deal was
“confirmed” during their 3rd conversation.
37. Would the fee agreement between Patty and Lou be acceptable if it was in

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