MEMBER ARTICLE: Reliance on Advice of Counsel Defense in Business Torts--Where We Are in California Jurisprudence and What it Means for In-House Counsel

Author: Constance J. Yu, Partner, Sideman & Bancroft LLP

Summary: Attorneys are among the wide range of advisors

that businesses, officers and directors rely upon

to assist them in making informed business

decisions. California courts have recognized the

“advice of counsel” defense since as early as

1862.1 Despite the defense’s long tenure in

California jurisprudence, only a dearth of

decisions exists in the context of business torts

outside of patent infringement and bad faith

insurance coverage cases. Moreover, California

jurisprudence treats the defense differently

depending on the context in which is raised. This

article examines the current state of California

law relating to the advice of counsel defense in

business litigation.

About NAMWOLF: The National Association of Minority & Women Owned Law Firms (NAMWOLF), founded in 2001, is a nonprofit trade association comprised of minority and women-owned law firms and other interested parties throughout the United States. Many corporations and public entities interested in diversifying their outside law firm ranks have focused almost exclusively on the utilization of minority and female attorneys at majority firms. Yet the available data strongly suggests that these efforts have not resulted in greater diversity in the legal profession. It is NAMWOLF’s view that the most effective way for corporations to increase diversity in the legal profession is to increase their retention of minority and women-owned law firms.

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Published In: Business Organization Updates

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© The National Association of Minority & Women-Owned Law Firms | Attorney Advertising

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