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
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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