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advance from settlement

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What is the name of your state? California, My question is I was involved in a car accident 14 months ago and have an attorney. Due to many tests and lack of health insurance I was only able to have surgery 2 months ago. My disability insurance stopped after one year so I now have no income. I was told by many people who claimed to have recieved an advance from their attorney to request one from my lawyer. When I did he stated that he could not because it creates a conflict of interest and goes against the state bar. Is this correct or am I legally able to request an advance?



An attorney is not a bank. You have no legal standing to ask an attorney anything like this.

And whomever told you they did get an advance is blowing smoke...unless the attorney is called "Fat Louie" and wears diamond rings and smokes a big cigar.


Senior Member
My response:

Read this thoroughly and carefully. A lawyer is permitted to loan money to an existing client provided the client promises in writing to repay the loan. [Ca Professional Conduct Rule 4-210(A)(2); see Bradpiece v. State Bar (1974) 10 Cal.3d 742, 744, 111 Cal.Rptr. 905, 906; Hildebrand v. State Bar, supra, 18 Cal.2d at 824, 117 P.2d at 863]

However, even if the loan is permissible under Ca Professional Conduct Rule 4-210, the attorney must comply with other applicable rules of professional conduct, including Ca Professional Conduct Rule 3-300 regarding entering into a business transaction with a client and Ca Professional Conduct Rule 3-310 regarding avoiding conflicts of interest. [See Ca Professional Conduct Rule 4-210(B)]

A business transaction with a client or other transaction by which counsel knowingly acquires a pecuniary interest adverse to the client is ethically permissible only if the following requirements are met:

• The transaction and its terms are fair and reasonable to the client and are fully disclosed to the client in writing in a manner that can be reasonably understood by the client; and

• The client is advised in writing that he or she may seek the advice of an independent lawyer regarding the transaction, and is given a reasonable opportunity to seek that advice; and

• The client consents in writing to the terms of the transaction. [Ca Professional Conduct Rule 3-300]

From an attorney's perspective, to loan money to a client based upon the client's case is also just bad business practice. Most attorneys don't want to be "partnered" with a client. Also, it's just a hassle to comply with the Bar rules in this regard, and then there's always the potential for problems and squabbles with the client later on down the line. In other words, there's everything "in it" for the client, and nothing "in it" for the attorney except for a lot of extra work - - and attorneys don't like to do extra work.

Get your money elsewhere.


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