Open Letter To Students
Who Need Legal Advice
or an Attorney



Dear Student,

I am sorry you are having legal problems.  Unfortunately, I will be unable to assist you during this difficult time.  My college office hours are reserved for students who need assistance with their law studies.

WHY I DO NOT GIVE LEGAL ADVICE

The law is very complex.  It is impossible to give good legal advice without a thorough examination of the facts in the case.  Your seeking legal advice by asking a quick question after class, in an email, on the phone or in my office puts me in an impossible position.  Under these circumstances, I usually do not get the entire story or all the facts surrounding the problem.  The courts have held that even if an attorney is not retained or paid for legal services, he or she is still responsible for the quality of the legal advice given the individual.

Because I now only practice law representing family members and close friends, I do not carry malpractice insurance.  There have been several disturbing cases filed against attorneys who were simply assisting people with legal problems.  This is one of several reasons why I have made this decision.  I do not want to have financial exposure if something goes wrong in your case.  If you were in my situation, I am sure you would make the same decision.

Finally, I am your professor not your lawyer.  In a regular attorney client relationship, the client is the principal or boss of the relationship.  I am here to teach you not represent you.  It is important that we maintain that type of relationship.

WHY I DO NOT REFER STUDENTS TO ANOTHER ATTORNEY

There have been numerous cases where the client who suffered financial losses from legal malpractice also sued the referring attorney.  The court found the referring attorney was also liable for the damages caused by the legal malpractice in spite of the fact he or she did not have any control over the handling of the case.  As previously mentioned, I do not want any financial exposure.

If you need an attorney, I suggest you contact the Orange County Bar Association for a referral to an attorney in your area.  This is better than using the internet or phone book.  The association will make sure that the attorney it refers to you is qualified to do the type of legal work you need and he or she is fully insured.

Good luck with your legal issue.  I hope you are able to resolve it to your benefit.

My kindest personal regards,

    Patrizia Goldberg