Should counsel serve as a champion to ensure that the family’s or children’s best interests are served, or should counsel be a champion to further the goals of his client, even if this may cause damage to other family members?
The appropriate role of a counsel in divorce and custody matters is to do what is in the best interest of your client. Counsel should zealously advocate the interest of your client. To do this, counsel need to first, identify what does your client want and what is in his/her interest. Then advise your client of all of the options available to them, and the pros and cons of such options, allowing them to make an informed decision. It is the courts job to determine what is in the child’s best interest, it is not the counselor’s job to do so.
2.) You are engaged by W to pursue divorce against her husband. She has paid you $1000 as an initial retainer, but as you proceed in the case you realize that she and her husband will not come to an agreement regarding the issues of property division and custody. W has no cash reserve with which to pay you enough money to finance a full trial on these issues. However, there is a large amount of equity in the marital home, which she proposes to sell as part of the divorce. So, she offers to grant you a mortgage on the marital home in order to secure future legal fees. What is your response? Explain.
Modern rules of professional conduct Rule 1.8 (i) states, “A lawyer may accept property in payment for services, such as an ownership interest in an enterprise, providing this does not involve acquisition of a proprietary interest in the cause of action or subject matter of the litigation c...
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...n the line to represent either party. A lawyer in a Maine case, Board Of Overseers of The Bar v. Dineen, 500 A.2d 262 (1985), was sanctioned and suspended from practicing law in Main, for a period of six months. Attorney Dineen represented a husband and wife in a divorce proceeding, and then subsequently representing the wife in a civil OUI case, in which the husband was a witness. The court found that the lawyer violated Maine’s Rule 3.4(b), among many other rules.
That rule states: Conflict of Interest. A lawyer shall not accept employment if the exercise of his independent professional judgment in behalf of a client will be, or is likely to be, adversely affected by the acceptance of such employment, or if it would be likely to involve him in representing differing interests, except to the extent such employment is permitted by subdivision (d) of this rule.
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