Q: Can an attorney without the approval of all parties change the terms of a signed mediated marital settlement agreement

After the mediated marital settlement agreement (MSA) was signed by all parties (enforceable pursuant to CCP 664.6) Without the approval of all parties Respondent's lawyer changed the terms of the original signed MSA, then presented the modified MSA as the original. In court Respondent counsel admitted to changing the MSA, without petitioner approval. The Sacramento Superior Court threw out both the illegally modified MSA and the original signed MSA. Does the behavior of Respondents counsel qualify as attorney misconduct?

1 Lawyer Answer
Stephen Peter Anderson
Stephen Peter Anderson
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Santa Maria, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Probably, but it depends on the circumstances. Were there two attorneys? Was there any communication between them as to the change, either by phone or in writing? It looks like the problem got resolved by the court throwing both out and placing the parties in a pre-agreement situation. Best wishes, thanks for the opportunity .

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.