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Divorce & Family Law This forum is for discussing any of the legal issues involved in your divorce.

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Old 11-09-2016, 10:52 PM
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Default Conflict of interest

If you spoke with opposing counsels law office, I.e., assistant and shared information about your case but did not meet with the lawyer, but your ex hired that lawyer after The fact, is that a conflict of interest?

One feedback I have got is that a lawyers assistant is ultimately the lawyer when it comes to any communications- they take notes and share that information with the lawyer.

What is chance of success on motion to remove OC ? I do have cell records showing calls to and from the law office.


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Old 11-10-2016, 10:55 AM
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I don't think so. Conflict of interest is all about financial (or personal) incentives. Lawyers should only be operating with incentives for the client's success, not for the success of other people. If you didn't hire this lawyer (pay them money to work for you), they don't have a financial interest in ensuring that you win your case, and so they don't have a conflict if your ex hires them. Just talking to people in their office doesn't count.

My ex ended up using a lawyer that I had already spoken to (but ended up choosing a different lawyer to represent me) - no conflict.

If you gave the office assistant lots of information about your case that you were hoping to keep confidential, you might have a problem, but I doubt you did that.
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Old 11-10-2016, 11:45 AM
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Quote:
If you spoke with opposing counsels law office, I.e., assistant and shared information about your case but did not meet with the lawyer, but your ex hired that lawyer after The fact, is that a conflict of interest?
It would depend on:
- What information did you give them? Would they have the information anyways?
- Do you have a reasonable expectation that the lawyer would be loyal to you (ie, not act against you)?
- When did the call occur, and how long has the lawyer acted? If you called them a year ago and they have acted for your ex for 11 months you would need to justify why it is only brought up now.
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Old 11-10-2016, 12:34 PM
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If you have shared personal information about your case from your perspective to that lawyer, even if you don't hire them, then they cannot represent the other side.

My lawyer told me it's a common dirty tactic for someone to go around to all the best lawyers in town, have a consultation in which they divulge privileged information, and then not retain them, thus preventing their ex from being able to get one of these good lawyers.

And yet it's a good practice to consult with several lawyers to find a good fit.

However, I do not know if speaking to the assistant and not the lawyer in question is sufficient to prevent your ex from hiring that lawyer. Do you have reason to believe the information you shared with the office is being used against you? Are you questioning your ex's choice of lawyer, or did you have previous opportunities to do so but didn't, and so tacitly approved?
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Old 11-10-2016, 07:22 PM
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It has been to my understanding that the assistant is ultimately the lawyer when it comes to communications, especially for sole practitioners. .

It was a long conversation by phone and I told them basically everything, my motives, etc.

Did she take notes? Very likely. Did she discuss with the counsel? Very likely.

It has been over 12 months since OP retained OC and it has been approx 2 years since I had this conversation with OC assistant
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Old 11-10-2016, 07:41 PM
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Who in the hell discusses, in such great depth, their "motives" with lawyer's hired help/stranger over the telephone?

I would never have a such a discussion with anyone other than the individual who would represent me in court.

Don't you have a friend to talk to.... a bartender....rabbi/priest?

If I were the lawyer in question I'd be wondering why my staff member was spending so much of his/her time on the telephone with non-clients.

Lawyer is a member of the law association, not the secretary. Good luck making anything out of this.
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Old 11-10-2016, 07:57 PM
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If its been a year it's a bit late to be crying conflict of interest now...?
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Old 11-10-2016, 07:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trinton View Post
It has been over 12 months since OP retained OC and it has been approx 2 years since I had this conversation with OC assistant
Unfortunately, the time to object would have been immediately after she notified you who her lawyer was. "You can't use that guy! I told him stuff!" Since a year has passed in which you had no comment, you have clearly acquiesced to her choice of lawyer. You can't turn around now and say you have issues with it.

The exception would be if something arises that makes you believe the lawyer is using the information his assistant obtained from you against you. The lawyer would clearly be in violation of your expectation of confidentiality upon first consulting his office. This is the reason lawyers are so careful about not taking on a client when they have already had dealings with the other side - to avoid accidentally using information they should not.
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Old 11-10-2016, 10:28 PM
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okay so the conversation was 2 years ago and your ex has had the lawyer for a year now? I am thinking the same as Arabian, no one tells their entire case to the assistant when there are paying clients trying to call etc. The assistant would of asked you to set up an appointment with the lawyer. They wouldn't waste their time on the phone when there are paying clients calling or coming into the office.

I have a feeling that you are not liking the way your case is going and are trying all the angles .
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Old 11-10-2016, 10:58 PM
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Originally Posted by standing on the sidelines View Post
okay so the conversation was 2 years ago and your ex has had the lawyer for a year now? I am thinking the same as Arabian, no one tells their entire case to the assistant when there are paying clients trying to call etc. The assistant would of asked you to set up an appointment with the lawyer. They wouldn't waste their time on the phone when there are paying clients calling or coming into the office.

I have a feeling that you are not liking the way your case is going and are trying all the angles .
At an average of 350.00/hr I suppose someone might think they can save some money by sucking up to a receptionist. Problem is, this person didn't go to law school. It would be like taking advice from a receptionist in a medicentre instead of seeing the doctor... yeah she/he can "talk the talk" but do you really think they are qualified to give out advice?

Anyhow, I digress. You are grasping at straws. Focus on the issues and put away the wacky-tobaccy for a while.... same goes for the conspiracy theories. Get a good lawyer... pay your lawyer... shut up and listen to your lawyer? LOL If you were my client I would direct my staff NOT to talk to you.
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