Ethics Opinion 155

By Committee on Professional Ethics

NEW YORK S’TATE BAR ASSOCIATION
Professional Ethics Committee Opinion

Opinion #155 – 10/09/1970 (39-70)

Topic:  Waiver of Defenses
Digest: Client may direct lawyer to waive technical defenses
Code:  EC 7-8

QUESTION

Is a lawyer bound by a client’s instructions to defend all suits on the merits and to avoid the use of technical defenses?

OPINION

Once a client is fully informed as to the legal consequences of a waiver of a defense that may be available, the decision whether to forego a legal defense is ultimately for the client and not for the lawyer (EC 7-8). Accordingly, the lawyer is bound to follow the client’s instructions.

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