NUMBER 301 1932

Question. Is there any impropriety in an attorney bringing an action to recover for personal injuries upon facts of the truth of which he is convinced, when he has a well-founded belief that his client has sought to defraud an insurance company by falsely claiming a second accident of a later date and different place for the purpose of obtaining an additional and fraudulent settlement for the same injuries?

Answer. The facts stated indicate that the client is corrupt and that his testimony, and information derived from him, may not be reliable. While this tends to destroy the desirable confidence between attorney and client, nevertheless it should not necessarily deprive the client of the lawyer’s services in a meritorious cause of action, if one exists and can be proved by credible testimony. If the facts actually ascertainable demonstrate the merits of the cause, and satisfy the attorney that he can maintain the proper relations with his client and the Court, he may accept the employment.


But this answer is upon the assumption that the fraudulent attempt has been unsuccessful or abandoned. If not, the lawyer should refuse the employment unless the attempt be abandoned, and he should endeavor to prevent the accomplishment of the fraud, (See Committee’s Opinions 9, 84, 181, 215, 283.)