Bloomberg Law
Oct. 30, 2019, 6:55 PM

New York Lawyers Must Let Clients Nix Guilty Plea After Advice

Melissa Heelan Stanzione
Melissa Heelan Stanzione

Lawyers must respect a client’s wish to withdraw a guilty plea after having explained the risks in doing so, even if the withdrawal would result in a harsher sentence, according to the New York State Bar Association’s ethics committee.

“Having explained to the client the advantages and disadvantages of a particular objective the client desires, the lawyer has satisfied the lawyer’s obligations” under professional ethics rules, the committee said.

These state rules include Rule 1.2, dealing with scope of representation and allocation of authority between client and lawyer, and Rule 1.4 regarding communication.

A New York attorney had asked the ...

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