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Tag: client

Do family law divorce attorneys of the opposite side stalk and harass their client’s opposition if the client pays for it?

Some do (if you can imagine an attorney doing something like that, it’s probably already been done), but they’re outliers, and they are violating both the law and the rules governing fitness to practice law if and when they do so.

If an attorney is actually (actually) violating the law or violating the rules governing the practice of law, you are not obligated to suffer it. Notify your attorney and bring the misconduct to the attention of the court, the police, and the bar.

That stated, one cannot simply and subjectively brand an attorney of being a stalker or of engaging in harassing behavior and thus establish the attorney as a stalker or harasser. It’s common for sore losers to make false accusations of harassment against an opposing party and his/her attorney. Why? Because it’s a cheap, risk-free way to cast aspersions and demonize and neutralize (if the accusations stick to any degree) the opposing party and/or his/her attorney. Don’t be that guy/gal. If you think you may feel “stalked” and/or “harassed,” before your start accusing, be honest with yourself and ask whether you’re truly being stalked and harassed or just feeling defeated, hurt, angry, anxious, and afraid and wanting to lash out.

Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277

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Why Your Lawyer Might Drop Your Case By Braxton Mounteer

So, you have gotten news that your attorney has quit. Your attorney wrote you an email informing you that he or she your counsel either will soon withdraw as your counsel or has filed and served a notice of withdrawal of counsel. What does this mean? How does this work?
Did you not pay your lawyer? Were you not cooperating with your lawyer? Were you disregarding your lawyer’s advice? Actively working against your lawyer? Sabotaging your own case?

Was the case just too much for your lawyer? Did your lawyer get sick or did an emergency arise that requires all of his/her attention? Could your lawyer sense that you were disappointed in your lawyer’s performance and didn’t want to stick around?

Regardless of what the reason was, you no longer have or will soon not have legal counsel. You will need to find another lawyer to represent you.

You may believe that you could do better than your legal counsel. You wouldn’t be the first to think that way. You are likely frightfully mistaken.  Unless you are a genius who can learn in weeks what it take others years to master, you will not get a good enough handle on the legal system in time. Even if you did master the law, that doesn’t mean you can succeed as well as a lawyer could.
The law on the books is not always the law handed down in court. Insiders have, and will always have, an advantage over those who aren’t legal professionals.
And the legal profession is not kind to those who “did not pay their dues” in law school and by taking the bar exam. Pro se litigants (i.e., people who represent themselves in court cases) who are the equals of lawyers in their writing and oral arguments make most lawyers feel inferior and threatened (and that includes the former lawyers who are now judges). When pro se litigants are so “presumptuous” as to think they will be taken as seriously as the lawyers, the system tends to discriminate against the pro se litigants. So even if your lawyer is nothing more than a useful prop, get one.
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Law from a legal assistant’s point of view, week 47: The Healer’s Art

By Quinton Lister, legal assistant  

One thing my boss, attorney Eric Johnson, has told me that has had an impact on my view of law is the idea that law was traditionally supposed to be a healing profession. I myself will be starting law school soon and will be learning more comprehensively the ins and outs of the legal profession, and I think that the best lawyers that I have seen seek to bring their clients healing. 

There is an important distinction I need to make here. I am afraid that there are some out there who would think that what I am saying is that good lawyers get their clients what they want or avoid conflict. That is not what healing is in my opinion. You would not want a doctor who only performs you the procedure that you want at the expense of the procedure that you need. To truly bring about justice and appropriate mercy, a good lawyer must uphold the law, and that means not just giving the client what the client wants. It also means not running from conflict every time it arises because conflict is part of life (and some conflicts can be resolved only by confronting and overcoming them, not avoiding or compromising them). The healing comes from doing what is right by your client but also what is fair to the opposing party. Healing comes at times through conflict, but keeping an eye on what the absolute truth of any given situation is, at least when it comes to the law. 

Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277 

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Does a judge contact a client if a law firm is filing to remove themselves from a case?

Does a judge contact a client if a law firm is filing to remove themselves from a case?

No.

A judge is not allowed to communicate with a represented party privately with that party or even with that party’s attorney. So if that represented party’s attorney(s) move(s), to withdraw as that party’s counsel, that party is still represented until the motion for permission to withdraw is granted. That fact prevents the judge from communicating with that party or that party’s attorney directly.

Generally speaking, if a party is proceeding pro se (i.e., representing himself/herself and is not being represented by a lawyer), a judge can communicate with that party, but not without ensuring that the other party (or other party’s attorney, if the party is represented by an attorney) is at least notified of the communication or preferably taking part in the communication at the same time with the judge and the party with whom the judge initiated communication.

Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277

https://www.quora.com/Does-a-judge-contact-a-client-if-a-law-firm-is-filing-to-remove-themselves-from-a-case/answer/Eric-Johnson-311

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Do lawyers ever regret helping a client or obtaining a particular judgment?

Do lawyers ever regret helping a client or obtaining a particular judgment? 

Yes, yes, of course. 

We all know that there are plenty of lawyers who will prostitute their professional skills for money and litigate any case as long as the price is right. Clearly, those lawyers should be regretting taking such cases, but don’t, or more accurately, if they do regret taking the case it’s usually because it ended up being more trouble than it was worth to them, i.e., not profitable. 

But there are other lawyers who are good and decent people, people who want to see justice done and want to be a part of that process. I consider myself one of these kind of attorneys.  

Even these attorneys, who try as best they can to represent clients whose cause they believe is just, can be duped. And I am no exception. 

Good and earnest attorneys can be fooled by people with a good sob story or even a meticulously crafted cover. When these good and earnest attorneys are exploited by such people, these decent attorneys regret it. It reflects badly on their reputations and most of all, it upsets them to know that they were used and exploited to achieve unjust ends, the very thing they got into the profession to fight and prevent. 

Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277  

https://www.quora.com/Do-lawyers-ever-regret-defending-a-client-or-a-verdict-they-received/answer/Eric-Johnson-311?prompt_topic_bio=1  

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An Honest Day’s Wages for an Honest Day’s Pay

An Honest Day’s Wages for an Honest Day’s Pay

Many professionals are encouraged to raise rates to the level that clients are willing to bear (and told this is the right thing to do), rather than charging what makes the professional’s services a true value for the client. It’s morally wrong and ultimately bad business to charge as much as the market will bear (it is not wrong to charge what your work/service is worth), but many professionals charge as much as they can get away with without even questioning why they do. If you are such a professional, ask yourself why you do that. Then repent and change.
Here’s an example of such a recommendation from a business consultant for attorneys. He’s not even trying to nuance or spin the idea:

Don’t Be Afraid to Raise Your Legal Fees

Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277

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When a lawyer drops a client, is the reason shared with the judge and/or opposing counsel (i.e., the client refused to be reasonable, etc.)?

When a lawyer drops a client, is the reason shared with the judge and/or opposing counsel (i.e., the client refused to be reasonable, etc.)?

In Utah, where I practice divorce and family law, the answer is: no.

When a lawyer drops a client/stops representing a client (known as “withdrawing as counsel” for that client), the lawyer is not permitted to inform the judge or opposing counsel as to the reasons why. This is due to the attorney’s duties to keep confidential 1) the communications between attorney and client and 2) the information relating to the representation of the client. See Utah Supreme Court Rules of Professional Conduct:

Rule 1.16(d):

(d) Upon termination of representation, a lawyer shall take steps to the extent reasonably practicable to protect a client’s interests[.]”

Rule 1.6. Confidentiality of Information.

(a) A lawyer shall not reveal information relating to the representation of a client unless the client gives informed consent, the disclosure is impliedly authorized in order to carry out the representation or the disclosure is permitted by paragraph (b).

(b) A lawyer may reveal information relating to the representation of a client to the extent the lawyer reasonably believes necessary:

(b)(1) to prevent reasonably certain death or substantial bodily harm;

(b)(2) to prevent the client from committing a crime or fraud that is reasonably certain to result in substantial injury to the financial interests or property of another and in furtherance of which the client has used or is using the lawyer’s services;

(b)(3) to prevent, mitigate or rectify substantial injury to the financial interests or property of another that is reasonably certain to result or has resulted from the client’s commission of a crime or fraud in furtherance of which the client has used the lawyer’s services;

(b)(4) to secure legal advice about the lawyer’s compliance with these Rules;

(b)(5) to establish a claim or defense on behalf of the lawyer in a controversy between the lawyer and the client, to establish a defense to a criminal charge or civil claim against the lawyer based upon conduct in which the client was involved, or to respond to allegations in any proceeding concerning the lawyer’s representation of the client;

(b)(6) to comply with other law or a court order; or

(b)(7) to detect and resolve conflicts of interest arising from the lawyer’s change of employment or from changes in the composition or ownership of a firm, but only if the revealed information would not compromise the attorney-client privilege or otherwise prejudice the client.

(c) A lawyer shall make reasonable efforts to prevent the inadvertent or unauthorized disclosure of, or unauthorized access to, information relating to the representation of a client.

Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277

https://www.quora.com/When-a-lawyer-drops-a-client-is-the-reason-shared-with-the-judge-and-or-opposing-counsel-I-e-the-client-refused-to-be-reasonable-etc/answer/Eric-Johnson-311

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When a lawyer drops a client, is the reason shared with the judge and/or opposing counsel (i.e., the client refused to be reasonable, etc.)?

When a lawyer drops a client, is the reason shared with the judge and/or opposing counsel (i.e., the client refused to be reasonable, etc.)?

In Utah, where I practice divorce and family law, the answer is: no.

When a lawyer drops a client/stops representing a client (known as “withdrawing as counsel” for that client), the lawyer is not permitted to inform the judge or opposing counsel as to the reasons why. This is due to the attorney’s duties to keep confidential 1) the communications between attorney and client and 2) the information relating to the representation of the client. See Utah Supreme Court Rules of Professional Conduct:

Rule 1.16(d):

(d) Upon termination of representation, a lawyer shall take steps to the extent reasonably practicable to protect a client’s interests[.]”

Rule 1.6. Confidentiality of Information.

(a) A lawyer shall not reveal information relating to the representation of a client unless the client gives informed consent, the disclosure is impliedly authorized in order to carry out the representation or the disclosure is permitted by paragraph (b).

(b) A lawyer may reveal information relating to the representation of a client to the extent the lawyer reasonably believes necessary:

(b)(1) to prevent reasonably certain death or substantial bodily harm;

(b)(2) to prevent the client from committing a crime or fraud that is reasonably certain to result in substantial injury to the financial interests or property of another and in furtherance of which the client has used or is using the lawyer’s services;

(b)(3) to prevent, mitigate or rectify substantial injury to the financial interests or property of another that is reasonably certain to result or has resulted from the client’s commission of a crime or fraud in furtherance of which the client has used the lawyer’s services;

(b)(4) to secure legal advice about the lawyer’s compliance with these Rules;

(b)(5) to establish a claim or defense on behalf of the lawyer in a controversy between the lawyer and the client, to establish a defense to a criminal charge or civil claim against the lawyer based upon conduct in which the client was involved, or to respond to allegations in any proceeding concerning the lawyer’s representation of the client;

(b)(6) to comply with other law or a court order; or

(b)(7) to detect and resolve conflicts of interest arising from the lawyer’s change of employment or from changes in the composition or ownership of a firm, but only if the revealed information would not compromise the attorney-client privilege or otherwise prejudice the client.

(c) A lawyer shall make reasonable efforts to prevent the inadvertent or unauthorized disclosure of, or unauthorized access to, information relating to the representation of a client.

Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277

https://www.quora.com/When-a-lawyer-drops-a-client-is-the-reason-shared-with-the-judge-and-or-opposing-counsel-I-e-the-client-refused-to-be-reasonable-etc/answer/Eric-Johnson-311

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Why do lawyers refer to their clients as “my client” instead of by name?

Because, in my opinion, much of the time lawyers are too conceited to think of or see their clients as anything other than “my client,” which is why they prefer to refer to them as such.

Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277

https://www.quora.com/Why-do-lawyers-always-refer-to-their-clients-as-my-client-in-trials-instead-of-using-their-names/answer/Eric-Johnson-311

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Is it common for lawyers to rarely contact clients about the case?

Yes, it is common with many attorneys, but it shouldn’t be.

While it is true that in many cases there may not be regularly occurring developments or changes that your attorney has to tell you about as your case unfolds (in most lawsuits weeks, even months can pass with nothing happening or changing in the case), unless you are experienced with litigation as a client, you don’t know that.

This is why your attorney and/or his/her staff should be checking in with you at reasonably regular intervals, if for no other reason than to let you know that there is nothing to report, so that you are not left in suspense. But don’t be surprised if that’s not happening at your attorney’s end. So you should never be made to feel as though you’re imposing on your attorney or on his/her staff when you call or email requesting an occasional update on the status of your case. If you are made to feel that way, get a new lawyer. Failure on the part of your attorney to communicate with his/her client is usually symptomatic of deeper and more serious problems with you attorney and his/her handling (or neglect) of your case.

Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277

https://www.quora.com/Is-it-common-for-lawyers-to-rarely-contact-you-about-your-case/answer/Eric-Johnson-311

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Can you fire your divorce lawyer? Yes!

Fire your lawyer?

What can you do if you think your lawyer is doing a bad job representing you? Can you fire your lawyer? Your question is really two questions, and they’re both good questions:

1. If you think your lawyer is doing a bad job representing you, are you thinking correctly?

Not necessarily. Especially in divorce cases.

Divorce law is not rocket science, and so the odds your divorce lawyer is incompetent could be higher than among attorneys in other, more complex fields of practice. Do not misunderstand me: not every divorce attorney is incompetent, but many of them are.

Second, you’re only hurting yourself if your lawyer is competent and you’re just being unreasonable. Candidly, many otherwise intelligent and rational people develop incredibly unrealistic viewpoints and expectations once they become divorce clients. A common mistake many divorce clients make is equating what they want with they deserve. These clients then become enraged when their lawyers tell them that what they want is not what the law allows or what a judge would consider fair and equitable. I am amazed at the number of clients who believe, or who say they believe, that my job is to get them whatever they want. It’s not. It’s not up to your lawyer. If it were, lawyers would be even more expensive than they are now. Your fate in divorce is in the hands of your judge. A good lawyer will help you make your best case to the judge and do his/her best to persuade the judge to rule in your favor. The best way to do that is to make reasonable arguments based upon reasonable claims.

2. If you know your lawyer is doing a bad job representing you can you fire your lawyer?

Yes, period. You are under no obligation to continue to employ an attorney who is doing a bad job for you. Not only can you fire an incompetent attorney, you should fire an incompetent attorney, and immediately, as soon as you discover that your attorney is doing a bad job. Keeping a bad attorney on the job will only cause your case to go from bad to worse. When it comes to getting good legal representation, hire slowly (meaning do your homework and be very careful and selective in choosing who your attorney will be— and remember that you get what you pay for; cheap divorce lawyers are expensive, if you get my drift), fire fast (keeping a mediocre and incompetent attorney on the job one day longer than necessary is a risk you simply need not take—cut’em loose as soon as you can).

Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277

https://www.quora.com/What-can-you-do-if-you-think-your-lawyer-is-doing-a-bad-job-representing-you-Can-you-break-up-with-your-lawyer/answer/Eric-Johnson-311

Have you ever told a client he/she would be better off settling a case, only for the client to take the case to trial anyway?

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