Oasis West Realty, LLC v. Goldman

Supreme Court of California

250 P.3d 1115 (Cal. 2011)

Once an attorney-client relationship has ended, an attorney is prohibited from disclosing any of the client’s confidential information and cannot use that information against the client.

Relevant Facts

From 2004 to 2006, Kenneth Goldman (the defendant) was an attorney representing Oasis West Realty (the plaintiff) in a matter in which the plaintiff successfully obtained city council approval of a development project. In 2008, the defendant was publicly involved in community efforts to overturn the city council’s approval of the development project by collecting signatures for a referendum petition opposing the project. Additionally, the defendant openly supported the opposition group. As a result, the opposition group collected enough signatures to have the measure to overturn the development’s approval placed in the local ballot. After learning of the defendant’s conduct, the plaintiff hired another attorney to investigate the defendant’s conduct and demanded the defendant to adhere to his fiduciary duties.

The plaintiff then sued the defendant for breach of a fiduciary duty, professional misconduct, and for breach of contract. At trial, the defendant argued that he never revealed any confidential information that he had learned from his time representing the defendant in his efforts to oppose the development project. However, the defendant did admit that he did publicly and actively work in opposition to the project after his representation of the defendant had ended.

Issue

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Holding & Reasoning

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Concurrence

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Dissent

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Last updated:

December 23, 2020

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Procedural History

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Citations

250 P.3d 1115 (Cal. 2011)