ETHICS OPINION 206
NUMBER 206 1922
Question. In the opinion of your Committee, is there any impropriety in interposing a general denial in an unverified answer in a divorce action in New York where the- defendant informs his attorney that the allegations of adultery in the complaint are true but that he is not certain that the plaintiff will be able to prove them?
Answer. In the opinion of the Committee, in New York the privilege of interposing such answer is a statutory right of the client (probably in order to protect the defendant against an admission of adultery whether express or implied from a failure to answer [Civil Practice Act, Section 1148]), They are, therefore, of the opinion that it is not improper for the lawyer, if his client desires it, to interpose such an answer in his behalf, though the Committee fully appreciates that generally an attorney is not justified in interposing a pleading which he knows to be false in fact. Under the practice in New York such judgments are not granted by default or upon the admission of guilt by the answer, or without proof of the offense charged. The answer, therefore, has not the effect of the ordinary pleading, and its presence does not operate as a deception.