When You Must Withdraw Services

Pursuant to Chapter 3 of the Professional Code of Conduct, rules 3.7-7 and 3.4-1, you must withdraw your legal services in these situations:

  • Your client discharges you.
  • Your client instructs you to act in a manner inconsistent with your professional responsibilities.
  • Your client takes a position solely to harass or maliciously injure another.
  • Your continuing to act will lead to a conflict of interest.
  • You are not competent to handle the matter.

You have an obligation to the state, courts and tribunals, other lawyers, your client and yourself as articulated in Chapter 2, Rule 2.1 of the Professional Code of Conduct, “Canons of Legal Ethics.” You must work within, and not outside, the bounds of the law; no client has the right to demand that you violate the law or act in a fraudulent manner (2.1 -3(e)). And, because you owe a duty to the state to maintain its integrity and its laws, you should not aid, counsel, or assist a person to act in any way contrary to the law (2.1-1(a)). The specific rules are included in the Code Rule 3.2 regarding the representation of organizations as in-house counsel, and the obligations of withdrawal which apply to those lawyers.