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Legal Perspective - Samuel Ingham Should be Disbarred


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Angry The Cw GIF

As a practicing attorney and a human being capable of empathy, I. AM. INFURIATED by Ingham's actions/inactions. I have so much to say about what went down today as a fan of Britney, but we all knew Jamie was an abusive hick. We all knew her management was taking advantage of her. However, the one person who was supposed to be Team Britney all the way, and LEGALLY obligated to speak for Britney and act on her behalf, failed her in the worst possible way. This is shameful, disgusting, and contributes to a perspective that lawyers are money-hungry vultures who sleep well knowing they're becoming wealthy at the expense of the vulnerable individuals who they took a duty to protect in the eyes of the law. 

Becoming a member of the bar is not something to take lightly. Just as doctors take an oath to do no harm, lawyers are supposed to act in the best interests of their clients at all times. When a breakdown occurs in an attorney-client relationship, the attorney has to file a motion that needs to be approved by the court explaining why continued representation is not in anybody's best interests.

Sorry to bury the lead, but the fact that Ingham never explained to Britney that she could terminate the conservatorship should be reported to the disciplinary board. But the fact that his representation was court-ordered and that he explicitly failed to explain all of the options to his client, who was determined by the court to be so mentally incapacitated that she was incapable of hiring her own counsel for fear that she would choose someone who would take advantage of her, is grounds for disbarment

There are times when I have to explain to one of my clients that they have options available to them that may not be in their best interests, such as proceeding to trial and rejecting a settlement offer on a case where it is likely they will walk away with nothing, or advising that the amount of treatment they receive may hurt or help their case. However, at the end of the day, I cannot do anything without explicit approval from the client after explaining WHAT the options are and WHY they should ultimately choose one over the other. I AM LEGALLY BOUND TO DO WHAT MY CLIENT ASKS unless I can prove it will unequivocally hurt my client or someone else. In that case, the last resort is to tell the judge I need to withdraw because I cannot in good conscience continue the representation if I am diametrically opposed to what the client wants.

For Ingham to have not explained to Britney THE MOST BASIC ASPECT OF HER CONSERVATORSHIP, which is that she could petition to end it any time, even with the knowledge of the abuse Britney was enduring, shows that not only was he was not acting in her best interests, but that Britney was actively being harmed by Ingham's representation. This is one of the most heinous acts a lawyer can commit, and once Ingham faces the music, there needs to be an accounting about the judge who appointed him. Why was he appointed? What were his credentials? Did he have experience in probate/conservatorships? Has he ever been sanctioned/disciplined? 

I really think the day of reckoning is coming for everyone who contributed to this incredibly manifest abuse of power, and today was just the beginning. 

Fed Up Fire GIF

File a Complaint: https://apps.calbar.ca.gov/complaint/standard/index 

California Rules of Professional Conduct: https://www.calbar.ca.gov/Attorneys/Conduct-Discipline/Rules/Rules-of-Professional-Conduct/Current-Rules

 

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1 minute ago, Steel Magnolia said:

Once he participated in the events of the first week of the conservatorship they had him.

What they've been operating is a racket...RICO Act violations...Those are federal crimes.

These folks are like the mob...Even if Ingham wanted to help her, he wouldn't be able to because of what they held over him.

So why aren’t the feds investigating?

  • Like 2
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4 minutes ago, Onyxgirl17 said:

Thank you for your insight. It is deeply appreciated. Can we have him investigated again with these new facts? Can we help? 

I edited my post to include the link to file a complaint against a CA attorney. For ease of reference, these are the California Rules of Professional Conduct for one to cite in a complaint: https://www.calbar.ca.gov/Portals/0/documents/rules/Rules-of-Professional-Conduct-1.pdf. Here are a few that apply to Ingham (see the ones in bold specifically):

Rule 1.1 Competence

(a)  A lawyer shall not intentionally, recklessly, with gross negligence, or repeatedly fail to perform legal services with competence.

(b)  For purposes of this rule, “competence” in any legal service shall mean to apply the (i) learning and skill, and (ii) mental, emotional, and physical ability reasonably* necessary for the performance of such service.

(c)  If a lawyer does not have sufficient learning and skill when the legal services are undertaken, the lawyer nonetheless may provide competent representation by (i) associating with or, where appropriate, professionally consulting another lawyer whom the lawyer reasonably believes* to be competent, (ii) acquiring sufficient learning and skill before performance is required, or (iii) referring the matter to another lawyer whom the lawyer reasonably believes* to be competent.

(d)  In an emergency a lawyer may give advice or assistance in a matter in which the lawyer does not have the skill ordinarily required if referral to, or association or consultation with, another lawyer would be impractical. Assistance in an emergency must be limited to that reasonably* necessary in the circumstances.

Comment

[1] The duties set forth in this rule include the duty to keep abreast of the changes in the law and its practice, including the benefits and risks associated with relevant technology.

[2] This rule addresses only a lawyer’s responsibility for his or her own professional competence. See rules 5.1 and 5.3 with respect to a lawyer’s disciplinary responsibility for supervising subordinate lawyers and nonlawyers.

[3] See rule 1.3 with respect to a lawyer’s duty to act with reasonable* diligence.

Rule 1.2 Scope of Representation and Allocation of Authority

(a) Subject to rule 1.2.1, a lawyer shall abide by a client’s decisions concerning the objectives of representation and, as required by rule 1.4, shall reasonably* consult with the client as to the means by which they are to be pursued. Subject to Business and Professions Code section 6068, subdivision (e)(1) and rule 1.6, a lawyer may take such action on behalf of the client as is impliedly authorized to carry out the representation. A lawyer shall abide by a client’s decision whether to settle a matter. Except as otherwise provided by law in a criminal case, the lawyer shall abide by the client’s decision, after consultation with the lawyer, as to a plea to be entered, whether to waive jury trial and whether the client will testify.

Comment

Allocation of Authority between Client and Lawyer

[1] Paragraph (a) confers upon the client the ultimate authority to determine the purposes to be served by legal representation, within the limits imposed by law and the lawyer’s professional obligations. (See, e.g., Cal. Const., art. I, § 16; Pen. Code, § 1018.) A lawyer retained to represent a client is authorized to act on behalf of the client, such as in procedural matters and in making certain tactical decisions. A lawyer is not authorized merely by virtue of the lawyer’s retention to impair the client’s substantive rights or the client’s claim itself. (Blanton v. Womancare, Inc. (1985) 38 Cal.3d 396, 404 [212 Cal.Rptr. 151, 156].)

[2] At the outset of, or during a representation, the client may authorize the lawyer to take specific action on the client’s behalf without further consultation. Absent a material change in circumstances and subject to rule 1.4, a lawyer may rely on such an advance authorization. The client may revoke such authority at any time.

Independence from Client’s Views or Activities

[3] A lawyer’s representation of a client, including representation by appointment, does not constitute an endorsement of the client’s political, economic, social or moral views or activities.

Agreements Limiting Scope of Representation

[4] All agreements concerning a lawyer’s representation of a client must accord with the Rules of Professional Conduct and other law. (See, e.g., rules 1.1, 1.8.1, 5.6; see also Cal. Rules of Court, rules 3.35-3.37 [limited scope rules applicable in civil matters generally], 5.425 [limited scope rule applicable in family law matters].)

Rule 1.2.1 Advising or Assisting the Violation of Law

(b)  Notwithstanding paragraph (a), a lawyer may:

(1)  discuss the legal consequences of any proposed course of conduct with a client; and

(2)  counsel or assist a client to make a good faith effort to determine the validity, scope, meaning, or application of a law, rule, or ruling of a tribunal.*

Rule 1.3 Diligence

(a)  A lawyer shall not intentionally, repeatedly, recklessly or with gross negligence fail to act with reasonable diligence in representing a client.

(b)  For purposes of this rule, “reasonable diligence” shall mean that a lawyer acts with commitment and dedication to the interests of the client and does not neglect or disregard, or unduly delay a legal matter entrusted to the lawyer.

3

Comment

RULES OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT Chapter 1. Lawyer-Client Relationship (Rules 1.1 – 1.18)

[1] This rule addresses only a lawyer’s responsibility for his or her own professional diligence. See rules 5.1 and 5.3 with respect to a lawyer’s disciplinary responsibility for supervising subordinate lawyers and nonlawyers.

[2] See rule 1.1 with respect to a lawyer’s duty to perform legal services with competence.

Rule 1.4 Communication with Clients

(a)  A lawyer shall:

(1)  promptly inform the client of any decision or circumstance with respect to which disclosure or the client’s informed consent* is required by these rules or the State Bar Act;

(2)  reasonably* consult with the client about the means by which to accomplish the client’s objectives in the representation;

(3)  keep the client reasonably* informed about significant developments relating to the representation, including promptly complying with reasonable* requests for information and copies of significant documents when necessary to keep the client so informed; and

(4)  advise the client about any relevant limitation on the lawyer’s conduct when the lawyer knows* that the client expects assistance not permitted by the Rules of Professional Conduct or other law.

(b)  A lawyer shall explain a matter to the extent reasonably* necessary to permit the client to make informed decisions regarding the representation.

(c)  A lawyer may delay transmission of information to a client if the lawyer reasonably believes* that the client would be likely to react in a way that may cause imminent harm to the client or others.

(d)  A lawyer’s obligation under this rule to provide information and documents is subject to any applicable protective order, non-disclosure agreement, or limitation under statutory or decisional law.

Comment

[1] A lawyer will not be subject to discipline under paragraph (a)(3) of this rule for failing to communicate insignificant or irrelevant information. (See Bus. & Prof. Code, § 6068, subd. (m).) Whether a particular development is significant will generally depend on the surrounding facts and circumstances.

4

RULES OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT Chapter 1. Lawyer-Client Relationship (Rules 1.1 – 1.18)

[2] A lawyer may comply with paragraph (a)(3) by providing to the client copies of significant documents by electronic or other means. This rule does not prohibit a lawyer from seeking recovery of the lawyer’s expense in any subsequent legal proceeding.

[3] Paragraph (c) applies during a representation and does not alter the obligations applicable at termination of a representation. (See rule 1.16(e)(1).)

[4] This rule is not intended to create, augment, diminish, or eliminate any application of the work product rule. The obligation of the lawyer to provide work product to the client shall be governed by relevant statutory and decisional law.

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7 minutes ago, Steel Magnolia said:

Once he participated in the events of the first week of the conservatorship they had him.

What they've been operating is a racket...RICO Act violations...Those are federal crimes.

These folks are like the mob...Even if Ingham wanted to help her, he wouldn't be able to because of what they held over him.

Ingham had a duty of candor with not only his client but also the court. Unless he was in some kind of serious danger, he is obligated to inform the court:

Rule 8.4 Misconduct

It is professional misconduct for a lawyer to:

(a)  violate these rules or the State Bar Act, knowingly* assist, solicit, or induce another to do so, or do so through the acts of another;

(b)  commit a criminal act that reflects adversely on the lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as a lawyer in other respects;

(c)  engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud,* deceit, or reckless or intentional misrepresentation;

(d)  engage in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice;

[2] Paragraph (a) does not prohibit a lawyer from advising a client concerning action the client is legally entitled to take.

[3] A lawyer may be disciplined for criminal acts as set forth in Business and Professions Code sections 6101 et seq., or if the criminal act constitutes “other misconduct warranting discipline” as defined by California Supreme Court case law. (See In re Kelley (1990) 52 Cal.3d 487 [276 Cal.Rptr. 375].)

[4] A lawyer may be disciplined under Business and Professions Code section 6106 for acts involving moral turpitude, dishonesty, or corruption, whether intentional, reckless, or grossly negligent.

[5] Paragraph (c) does not apply where a lawyer advises clients or others about, or supervises, lawful covert activity in the investigation of violations of civil or criminal law or constitutional rights, provided the lawyer’s conduct is otherwise in compliance with these rules and the State Bar Act.

[6] This rule does not prohibit those activities of a particular lawyer that are protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution or by Article I, section 2 of the California Constitution.

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7 minutes ago, britneyluv said:

Ingham had a duty of candor with not only his client but also the court. Unless he was in some kind of serious danger, he is obligated to inform the court:

Rule 8.4 Misconduct

It is professional misconduct for a lawyer to:

(a)  violate these rules or the State Bar Act, knowingly* assist, solicit, or induce another to do so, or do so through the acts of another;

(b)  commit a criminal act that reflects adversely on the lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as a lawyer in other respects;

(c)  engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud,* deceit, or reckless or intentional misrepresentation;

(d)  engage in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice;

[2] Paragraph (a) does not prohibit a lawyer from advising a client concerning action the client is legally entitled to take.

[3] A lawyer may be disciplined for criminal acts as set forth in Business and Professions Code sections 6101 et seq., or if the criminal act constitutes “other misconduct warranting discipline” as defined by California Supreme Court case law. (See In re Kelley (1990) 52 Cal.3d 487 [276 Cal.Rptr. 375].)

[4] A lawyer may be disciplined under Business and Professions Code section 6106 for acts involving moral turpitude, dishonesty, or corruption, whether intentional, reckless, or grossly negligent.

[5] Paragraph (c) does not apply where a lawyer advises clients or others about, or supervises, lawful covert activity in the investigation of violations of civil or criminal law or constitutional rights, provided the lawyer’s conduct is otherwise in compliance with these rules and the State Bar Act.

[6] This rule does not prohibit those activities of a particular lawyer that are protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution or by Article I, section 2 of the California Constitution.


I think he's weighed his options, and chose to comply with Team CON.

I wouldn't be surprised if they've issued threats against him in the past.

We've heard of a number of people who have been intimidated by them...And we'll hear about more as the truth starts to leak out.

  • Like 2
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29 minutes ago, britneyluv said:

Angry The Cw GIF

As a practicing attorney and a human being capable of empathy, I. AM. INFURIATED by Ingham's actions/inactions. I have so much to say about what went down today as a fan of Britney, but we all knew Jamie was an abusive hick. We all knew her management was taking advantage of her. However, the one person who was supposed to be Team Britney all the way, and LEGALLY obligated to speak for Britney and act on her behalf, failed her in the worst possible way. This is shameful, disgusting, and contributes to a perspective that lawyers are money-hungry vultures who sleep well knowing they're becoming wealthy at the expense of the vulnerable individuals who they took a duty to protect in the eyes of the law. 

Becoming a member of the bar is not something to take lightly. Just as doctors take an oath to do no harm, lawyers are supposed to act in the best interests of their clients at all times. When a breakdown occurs in an attorney-client relationship, the attorney has to file a motion that needs to be approved by the court explaining why continued representation is not in anybody's best interests.

Sorry to bury the lead, but the fact that Ingham never explained to Britney that she could terminate the conservatorship should be reported to the disciplinary board. But the fact that his representation was court-ordered and that he explicitly failed to explain all of the options to his client, who was determined by the court to be so mentally incapacitated that she was incapable of hiring her own counsel for fear that she would choose someone who would take advantage of her, is grounds for disbarment

There are times when I have to explain to one of my clients that they have options available to them that may not be in their best interests, such as proceeding to trial and rejecting a settlement offer on a case where it is likely they will walk away with nothing, or advising that the amount of treatment they receive may hurt or help their case. However, at the end of the day, I cannot do anything without explicit approval from the client after explaining WHAT the options are and WHY they should ultimately choose one over the other. I AM LEGALLY BOUND TO DO WHAT MY CLIENT ASKS unless I can prove it will unequivocally hurt my client or someone else. In that case, the last resort is to tell the judge I need to withdraw because I cannot in good conscience continue the representation if I am diametrically opposed to what the client wants.

For Ingham to have not explained to Britney THE MOST BASIC ASPECT OF HER CONSERVATORSHIP, which is that she could petition to end it any time, even with the knowledge of the abuse Britney was enduring, shows that not only was he was not acting in her best interests, but that Britney was actively being harmed by Ingham's representation. This is one of the most heinous acts a lawyer can commit, and once Ingham faces the music, there needs to be an accounting about the judge who appointed him. Why was he appointed? What were his credentials? Did he have experience in probate/conservatorships? Has he ever been sanctioned/disciplined? 

I really think the day of reckoning is coming for everyone who contributed to this incredibly manifest abuse of power, and today was just the beginning. 

Fed Up Fire GIF

File a Complaint: https://apps.calbar.ca.gov/complaint/standard/index 

California Rules of Professional Conduct: https://www.calbar.ca.gov/Attorneys/Conduct-Discipline/Rules/Rules-of-Professional-Conduct/Current-Rules

 

Thank you for this information and, as a practicing attorney, sharing your perspective of Ingham's violation of the law/conduct.

If members of the public (obviously not involved in the case) can file a complaint against Ingham, do you think you could draft a template complaint letter/statement that fans and members of the public can utilize?

I wonder if we can attach Britney's full testimony as copied in Variety, as well as any documents that Meaner03 or other folks have found that may further suggest Ingham's violations/incompetence...

This Twitter thread is hinting at his violation of oath/conduct as well:

 

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On 6/23/2021 at 11:27 PM, Callie4610 said:

As an aspiring attorney I am ashamed at Ingam’s conduct and behavior throughout the proceedings. He cares so much about attorney- client privilege because he doesn’t want it revealed how incompetent he is!   

Good luck with becoming an attorney! :awyeah_britney_yes_yas: The profession needs fewer Ingham's and more people who genuinely care for the wellbeing of their clients.

Attorney-client privilege wouldn't even apply here. It's meant to protect communications between a client and their attorney in order to promote a candid relationship where the client can trust that they can be open with their attorney to ensure they will be given the best advice and representation. The only time an attorney can break it is if they genuinely believe their client is going to hurt themselves or others or commit a criminal act.

Britney could waive this privilege at any time because it's meant to protect her, not her slimy "attorney". 

Mad Real Housewives GIF

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