kanBARoo Court. 23rd Installment. The Symbiosis between the State Bar and Inept Lawyers
Properly serving these defrauded persons’ interests requires a slightly creative application of the law of agency. The legal theory is that the insurer’s right and duty to send payments to my office depends on the existence of an attorney-client relationship between me and the insured, and the lack of such relationship gives defrauded persons the right to rescind their settlement agreement. Since no lawyer represented defrauded persons, one of the conditions precedent implied by law into the settlement agreement fails. It fails because an unlawful contract is void, as is the underpinning legal services contract between office manager Kim and defrauded persons. Because of extrinsic fraud, defrauded persons didn’t get a fair shot at negotiating their damages. Defrauded-persons’ attorneys could have placed the burden of financial loss on the insurance company.
In the case of a defrauded persons’ attorney, Scott A. Meyers, Esq., both self-interest and incompetence drove his failure to advance his clients’ interests. Meyers represents two distinct ostensibly defrauded persons, the first, personal injury claimants, and the second, a chiropractor claiming a lien on a defrauded person’s settlement. If Meyers had proceeded on the voided-settlement legal theory, his chiropractor could state no present claim, since a contingent-payment agreement governed the chiropractor's remuneration. This conflict between the clients is not the end of Meyers's misconduct. Lawyers lack patience for delaying recovery until some subsequent attorney of record can reap the reward, occasioning a second conflict of interest, this time between the personal injury claimants and Meyers personally.
How often do lawyers of Meyers’s ilk sabotage their clients’ interests, even without Meyers’s conflict of interest? The State Bar doctrinal line, in which accused lawyers must couch their mitigating remorse, is strict ethical liability for the acts of one’s staff, implying formation of an attorney-client contract despite subterfuge. Many lawyers without Meyers's corrupt tendencies will embrace this line, by osmosis and from wariness to undermine their own remorseful expressions, should their error or the State Bar’s caprice require.
Best to understand this blog:
- Read the 1st, 2nd, 7th, 8th, and 14th Installments, first; or
- Make liberal use of hyperlinks; and then
- Follow your interests; or
- Follow the case.