Can an attorney I talked to for advice represent my ex in a divorce? 28 Answers as of May 31, 2013

Can an attorney or firm I paid for advice but not representation later represent my ex in post divorce filings?

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Law Office of William L Spern | William Spern
They should not represent the ex-wife if they gained any information from you that would be of a benefit to your ex-wife.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 12/12/2011
Gregory T. Buckley, Attorney at Law
Gregory T. Buckley, Attorney at Law | Gregory T. Buckley
Generally, this would be considered a conflict of interest and that particular attorney should not be allowed to represent your wife, assuming that youwere discussing a divorce withthat attorney.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 12/5/2011
Beaulier Law Office
Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
The answer depends on the nature of the discussions. If the discussion related to specifics of your case, then the attorney would have a conflict of interest and could be disqualified from representation of the opposing spouse.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 12/5/2011
Law Office of Michael W. Bugni
Law Office of Michael W. Bugni | Jay W. Neff
Probably not. Once you paid them for advise, various rules apply regarding conflicts and representation. So, they are probably barred from representing the other side now.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 12/3/2011
Law Office of Lenore Tsakanikas, PLLC
Law Office of Lenore Tsakanikas, PLLC | Lenore Tsakanikas
Only if you waive a conflict of interest.
Answer Applies to: Arizona
Replied: 12/3/2011
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
    It depends on one fact. What did you discuss with this firm? If the advice you got involved information that the attorney/firm would want, need, or use in the post divorce proceedings, the answer is no. If however, you spoke to the firm for advice on setting up a corporation, or something completely unrelated, then yes, they can represent your ex spouse. Attorney-Client Privilege is the client's privilege. An Attorney cannot waive it, only the client can and if you sought legal advice, you are the client. Money does not even have to exchange hands, if you sought advice and the lawyer gave it, Attorney-Client Privilege attaches to that conversation.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 12/2/2011
    Dunnings Law Firm
    Dunnings Law Firm | Steven Dunnings
    There does exist a potential conflict of interest claim.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 12/2/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    Possibly depending on details you did not give us.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 12/2/2011
    Goldberg Jones
    Goldberg Jones | Zephyr Hill
    They should not be allowed to work against you. You can file a motion to relieve them as counsel.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/1/2011
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller | Jody A. Miller
    This generally would be a conflict of interest. You are correct - an attorney you talked to should not be representing your ex. However, whether that attorney would be disqualified depends on whether the information you shared with that attorney was about the same subject or issues (such as your marriage). It's up to the judge as to whether the attorney you talked to should be disqualified from representing your ex. But it's certainly an issue I would raise.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 12/1/2011
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
    If you consulted the attorney about any matter relating to your marriage or post-divorce matter, you could probably get that attorney disqualified from representing your ex-spouse in the post-divorce case for a conflict of interest. If the advice you sought (or things you disclosed to the attorney) had no relevance to your post-divorce matter, you may not be able to get that attorney disqualified.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/1/2011
    Law Office of Margaret D. Wilson
    Law Office of Margaret D. Wilson | Margaret Wilson
    In California if an attorney gave you advise regarding your divorce they cannot represent your spouse in the same matter unless you sign a waiver.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/1/2011
    Peyton and Associates | Barbara Peyton
    Technically, yes. Morally and ethically, No. It really depends on how much information that attorney has about you and whether he/she knows there is a potential conflict of interest.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/1/2011
    Wolfstone, Panchot & Bloch, P.S., Inc.
    Wolfstone, Panchot & Bloch, P.S., Inc. | Mark Brown
    No. It is a Conflict of Interest and violates the Rules of Professional Conduct. You should object to the attorney/firm. If they do not withdraw, file an objection with the court and request to have them removed from the case.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 12/1/2011
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    That depends on exactly what was involved in your talking to him; it may or may not be ethically bad. But, most attorneys won't do it because they don't want to get into defending themselves. If you discussed anything with him that was confidential, he probably should not be considering representing your husband.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 12/1/2011
    Thomas P. Carnes, Attorney & Mediator | Thomas P. Carnes
    The answer depends upon whether the advice was concerning things that will be at issue in the divorce. If so, he or she should be disqualified. If not, he or she would not be legally conflicted out. However, most attorneys err on the side of caution when it comes to conflicts. My expectation is that if the call is even a close one the attorney would not undertake the representation.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 12/1/2011
    Law Office of James Lentz
    Law Office of James Lentz | James Lentz
    It sounds like a conflict of interest to me. No, I do not think they should.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 12/2/2011
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC | Vincent J. Bernabei
    Yes, unless the issues you spoke to the attorney about related to your divorce issues.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 12/2/2011
    Lewis, Pfanstiel & Williams, PCLO
    Lewis, Pfanstiel & Williams, PCLO | Ryan J. Lewis
    No. It is a conflict.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 12/2/2011
    Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A.
    Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A. | Joanna Mitchell
    No, that is a conflict of interest. If that has occurred, it needs to be pointed out to the attorney (it could just be an oversight) and that attorney should voluntarily withdraw. If they don't, then you should file a motion to remove the attorney due to the conflict of interest. Alternatively, you can give your consent in writing to the attorney continuing as your ex's attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 12/2/2011
    Michael Apicella
    Michael Apicella | Apicella Law and Mediation
    The info you stated indicates that there may be a conflict, that would prohibit the attorney who provided you with a consult from representing your ex. Was the prior consult related to your divorce? If so, then there would be a conflict. You should write a letter to that lawyer informing him/her of the conflict and that you do not consent to his/her representation of your ex. If such lawyer does not voluntarily withdraw, you could file a motion to have that lawyer removed from the case. You could also report that lawyer to the CA State Bar Assoc.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/2/2011
    Odin, Feldman & Pittleman, P.C.
    Odin, Feldman & Pittleman, P.C. | Richard A. Gray
    As a general rule, not unless you agree to sign a waiver of conflict of interest. You can contat the Virginis State Bar ethics hotline for a more specific answer to your individual situation by providing the State Bar with additional facts.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 12/2/2011
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    Probably not; but it depends what that attorney represented you on. Call the Washington State Bar Association.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 12/2/2011
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