Ethics for Divorce Lawyers


Pasadena divorce attorneys, like all members of the legal profession, have a code of ethics by which they must abide. If you're thinking about filing for divorce in Pasadena, it's helpful to be aware of what is considered proper behavior for an attorney.

First, it is imperative that lawyers avoid a conflict of interest. This is why a lawyer can't represent both spouses in a divorce hearing. It would also be a potential conflict of interest, for example, if your lawyer was representing your ex in an unrelated legal matter. A less common conflict of interest, but one that is still problematic, occurs when a lawyer is having a sexual relationship with a client or a person directly involved in the case. This includes members of the opposing counsel as well as judicial officers.

When hiring an attorney, you should always ask about his education and experience with cases with similar circumstances to yours. If your attorney does not answer your questions truthfully, this would be an ethics violation. Attorneys are not allowed to misrepresent their level of legal knowledge and experience in order to gain new clients.

The legal code of ethics requires your lawyer to provide you with all of the necessary information regarding your case. This would include any settlement offers made by your spouse's legal team.

Financial violations by a lawyer could include things such as improper billing proceedings, misplacing funds, or refusing to pay money that is owed to a client.

If you believe your Pasadena divorce lawyer has acted unethically, you may file a complaint with the State Bar of California. Anonymity in complaints is not guaranteed, however. You will be required to provide evidence supporting your claim of misconduct and the lawyer will be given an opportunity to defend himself against the charges. Penalties for violations vary, with the severest penalty being disbarment.