Professional ethics

Can I file ethics charges against an attorney who lied in negotiations and in a court filing dealing with a major issue ?

I am on the Board of a HOA which is now being sued by a homeowner concerning our restriction on the renting of guesthouses. The opposing attorney in discussions prior to the homeowners lawsuit continually stated the homeowner rented his guesthouse and that the 5 year statute of limitations had run on enforcement of that restriction. The Board was not aware nor were the neighbors. Homeowner files for declaratory judgement to allow him to rent and that the SOL had run stating continuous rental of 6 years. On deposition of homeowner, he admits to having rented the guesthouse for 3 days in 2014, no other time.

Negotiations and pleadings on this material issue were a complete lie. Can I file ethics charges with the bar? Under California Business Code it is a misdemeanor>

Nathan’s Answer

Is litigation still active? Does your side have counsel? What did counsel respond in opposition to opposing counsel's pleadings? An ethics complaint by an opposing party might not have real traction unless you can prove that pleadings were a sham upon the court, but proving that is a tall order. You might want to speak to fresh counsel to review what you are specifically talking about since the facts seem a bit more detailed than an online board's responses by various counsel can really provide. But you'd have to determine if that is worth the cost of the attorney's time. HOA's can be targets for lawsuits and depending on the size of the HOA, it may or may not be worth it to keep the fight going.

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