Attorneys practice law under the authority of the states in which they are licensed to practice. Each state has adopted an ethical code that attorneys are required to follow. In Pennsylvania and New Jersey, where I practice, the ethical codes are referred to as the Rules of Professional Conduct.
One of the Rules of Professional Conduct that is not often discussed is Rule 2.1. That Rule provides that a lawyer is an advisor to his clients. In dispatching the duties of an advisor, each lawyer is required to exercise independent professional judgment and render candid advice.
This is very important. It means that a lawyer’s duty is not to cover his butt, or hedge his bets, or pass off tough decisions to his client. Rendering candid advice is sometimes hard. It means taking responsibility. It often means having difficult conversations with a client when it would be so much easier to just say “yes.” But it is what good lawyers do. If you are not receiving candid advice from your lawyer, your lawyer is not doing his job properly, and you are not getting what you deserve.