During these challenging times, Severson & Werson remains open and in full operation, consistent with the firm’s previously established contingency planning. While many of our attorneys and staff will be working remotely, as a firm, we continue in full operation. We are here to help, as always.

Attorney Ethics

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A non-attorney did not engage in the unauthorized practice of law by filling out and filing an application and renewal of judgment form to renew a judgment of which he and several other individuals were judgment creditors.  The task was clerical in nature, not legal.  Choosing the right form is simple.  There's only one Judicial Council form for the task. … Read More

When a law firm or client acquires an opponent's attorney-client information through surreptitious means such as hiring an outside counsel a former employee of the opposing party, the outside counsel in question must be disqualified from the representation. Read More

A law firm hired to represent water district and later fired, need not recuse itself from representing other water districts in the same litigation, especially since the first water district did not demand the recusal until ten years after hiring the law firm and was aware of the other representations the whole time. Read More

A former client need prove only that attorney’s fraud and breach of fiduciary duty in secretly funneling information about the client to opposing party while negotiating a settlement was a substantial factor in causing her harm, not that she would have obtained a better result but from the attorney’s wrongdoing. Read More

As a general rule in California, where an attorney is disqualified from representation, the entire law firm is vicariously disqualified as well. However, the general presumption is a rebuttable one, which can be refuted by evidence that an ethical wall or other circumstances has prevented the sharing of confidences in a particular case. Read More

The defendant’s attorney did not form a confidential non-client relationship with the plaintiff broker and so was not disqualified from representing the defendant; the information the attorney obtained from the broker either was necessary to the broker’s handling a property sale for defendant or was not confidential. Read More

No matter how the attorney receives another party’s inadvertently produced privileged material, the attorney owes a duty to notify the privilege holder and await a court’s resolution of any dispute over existence or waiver of the privilege; failure to do so may lead to disqualification.  Read More

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