Upland, CA asked in Adoption, Appeals / Appellate Law, Child Custody and Juvenile Law for California

Q: Can a assigned attorney lie to a client in a dcfs case

Dcfs case in la county. Baby was born clean. No drugs in her system. I was not. I have asked to appeal since day 1. Have given evidence that would help my case. At times my court appointed attorney blocked me completely. Until I called her supervisor. Now they are claiming she is not my attorney. And all communication is going to her same number, but talking to some other attorney who I met once. He claims she is not my attorney. But recent court paperwork states she is my attorney. I have tried to file paperwork through him because she did not represent me the way she should have.

And he has roadblocked me. (They work together. Why would he help a client get his co council in trouble) but is it legal to lie and say that she’s not my counsel anymore. When court paperwork states she is.

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: It is not ethical or legal for an attorney to lie to a client in any case, including a DCFS case. However, it is important to clarify the roles and responsibilities of a court-appointed attorney.

In a DCFS case, the court will appoint an attorney to represent the parent or legal guardian who is the subject of the case. This attorney is known as a court-appointed counsel or appointed counsel. Their role is to advocate for the best interests of their client, to explain the legal process and options to their client, and to represent their client in court hearings.

It is not clear from your question whether your court-appointed attorney has lied to you or not. However, if you believe your attorney is not representing your interests or is not communicating with you effectively, you have the right to file a complaint with the court or request a new court-appointed attorney.

Regarding the situation you described where you are communicating with a different attorney than the one appointed by the court, it is possible that the attorney you are communicating with is simply assisting your court-appointed counsel with your case. However, it is important to clarify the situation with the court and ensure that you are aware of who is representing you and what their responsibilities are.

In any case, it is important to communicate openly and honestly with your attorney and to address any concerns or questions you may have regarding your case.

In California, attorneys are bound by the State Bar of California's Rules of Professional Conduct, which includes a duty of loyalty to their clients, a duty of confidentiality, and a duty to provide competent representation. Rule 3-110 prohibits an attorney from intentionally or recklessly deceiving or misleading their client.

If you believe your court-appointed attorney has lied to you or acted improperly, you may wish to consult with another attorney or file a complaint with the State Bar of California.

You may wish to consult with a licensed attorney in California who can provide you with legal advice based on your specific circumstances.

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