What to do when an attorney discriminates

When you select an attorney to represent you in a case, you may meet with several lawyers to choose the one that best meets your needs. People often select a representative that they feel comfortable with and that they feel will present and/or defend them in the strongest way possible. So, what happens when a prospective attorney acts in a discriminatory manner toward you or any other client?

Attorneys who practice under the California State Bar, as well as anywhere else in the United States, must follow rules set for professional conduct. These rules set the precedence for how attorneys should act in order to offer fair and just representation to all. It is when an attorney does not follow these rules of conduct that they may run into a legal malpractice situation.

Under the California Rules of Professional Conduct, it is unlawful for an attorney to knowingly permit actions leading to discrimination or stand back and allow discriminatory actions to occur. Attorneys are prohibited from discriminating against someone because of their religion, race, sexual orientation, sex, national origin or age. It is also discriminatory for an attorney to turn down a case due to a client’s disability and/or refuse to represent them in court because of one of the previous discriminatory classes. In addition, attorneys are prohibited from acting in a discriminatory fashion against employees in their practice as well. Everyone is entitled to fair counsel, regardless of their sex, sexual orientation, abilities, race and age.

This information is intended to educate and should not be taken as legal advice.