Do Not Assume No One at the Court Reads the Record

From a footnote in a tentative opinion from 4/2 (not directed at this office): We pause here to remind counsel for XXXXX of her duties as an officer of the court, which include a duty of candor. (Bus & Prof. Code, [sec] 6068, subd. (d); Rules Prof. Conduct, rule 5-200.) When counsel writes that the court "never mentioned [the child's] best interests," and then cites to a page of the reporter's transcript where the court explicitly considers the child's best interests ("[T]he decision for [the child's] current placement is appropriate, and it's not in her best interest to change it") . . .counsel breaches the duty of candor. Similarly, when counsel writes "there is no evidence that [the child] 'loved' [her prospective adoptive parents] or that the 'loved' her, , , counsel simply misstates the record, as the social worker explicitly noted that the child "states that she loves [the prospective adoptive parents] and wishes to be adopted by them," and that the prospective adopted parents were focused on "providing a stable, loving home where [the child] can feel valued and safe." . .. Counsel would be well advised to adhere strictly to her professional duties, including the duty of candor, in any further proceedings before this court. Be careful zealous advocacy does not cross the line, departing from reality, which in appeal land is found within the four corners of the record. Someone at the Court is going to read that record, and you don't want to be called out for flights of fancy.