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- 6. The Lawyer-Client Relationship
- Top 10 Things Clients of a Divorce Lawyer Should Know | Hatcher Law
Some expectations are appropriate; others are not.
MORE IN Divorce
Here is an overview of what you can and cannot expect of your lawyer. Having the assistance of a skilled lawyer during your divorce gives you the security of having someone on your side who knows what to do. Furthermore, you will have someone you can talk to in confidence about your situation and how best to deal with it. Lawyers provide a variety of specific services for clients going through a divorce.
The lawyer you have hired to represent you in your divorce will not usually represent you in other matters unrelated to your divorce, unless the two of you specifically agree otherwise. For example, if you need legal assistance in selling your home, preparing your will, or defending against a civil lawsuit, it will be necessary to make specific arrangements with your lawyer, or to hire another lawyer, possibly in the same firm, with the appropriate specialization or expertise.
The eventual outcome of your divorce depends on the facts, the law, how the judge views your case, and other factors. Every case is different. Although your lawyer may express an opinion on possible or probable outcomes, nobody can be sure of the result until it happens.
6. The Lawyer-Client Relationship
Lawyers work under very strict legal and ethical codes and take them very seriously. If you ask your lawyer to do anything unethical or illegal, your lawyer will refuse. And while most states do have such laws today, they are pretty watered down. By comparison, the rules of professional ethics for doctors are far more stringent.
Top 10 Things Clients of a Divorce Lawyer Should Know | Hatcher Law
A difficult judgement to make with your knickers on the ground. And at least one state, Georgia, considered a bill to criminalize attorney-client sexual contact. Alaska and Pennsylvania have issued ethics opinions advising that the relationship is unethical.
While this list may not be entirely up-to-date, the clear trend among states is toward specifically prohibiting consensual attorney-client sexual contact during representation. If your former husband suspects that you're having an affair with your attorney, he can actually subpoena your attorney and put him on the witness stand to testify against you about the affair. Having your attorney testify about the intimate details of your private life would obviously be embarrassing, but it can also mean strategic suicide for your court case.
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Nonetheless, this kind of thing happens every day. How common is it? It's so common today that there are actually law review articles with titles like " The Legal Profession's Dirty Little Secret "!
Up until , not a single state had a law that explicitly prohibited attorneys from sleeping with their clients. And while most states do have such laws today, they are pretty watered down. By comparison, the rules of professional ethics for doctors are far more stringent. The Hippocratic Oath , written about 2, years ago, forbids physicians from having sexual relations with any patients or even family members of patients: This permits one of two conclusions: What do you think?