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ETHICS OPINION 216
NUMBER 216 1923
Question. In the opinion of the Committee, what is the proper course for art attorney, who has appeared for a defendant in an action, when his client disappears, and all of the attorney’s efforts to communicate with his client prove futile, the attorney has no means of procuring any compensation, nor any knowledge for adequate preparation of the defense, and the plaintiff’s attorney insists upon pressing the issues for trial?
Answer. Assuming, as it does, that the attorney has made reasonable effort to communicate with his client, the Committee is of the opinion that, unless for some reason known to the attorney such course is not advisable, he should make effort to secure a postponement until his client can be properly protected, and, failing therein, he should not permit the trial to proceed without stating the situation and requesting the Court to make such disposition of the case as may properly protect the client’s rights; but whether the lawyer, on the refusal of a postponement of the trial, should, in order to prevent as far as possible injustice to his client, then participate in the trial would depend upon the circumstances of the particular case to be determined by the judgment of the lawyer. The Committee is not of the opinion that the failure of the lawyer’s compensation should deter him from taking the steps above indicated.