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Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Adversaries

Civil and otherwise.

I've been at my new job going on about three months now. After not working in a law office for over three years, I nearly forgot about the workings of adversarial relationships.

This is easier to think or say out loud, than to write. So, bear with me while I try to stumble through my thoughts here.

Family law can spawn some of the most adversarial situations. These cases are about the dissolution of the bonds of marriage, property, support, child issues, etc. It should go without saying that this is a very emotional time for the parties involved.

A good advocate goes to battle on behalf of his client.

As for lawyers that practice in family law, most everyone I know stays within the bounds of decency (for lack of a better word). That is, stick to the issues and facts and you can get as mean as need be.

At the end of the day, everyone shakes hands and goes about their lives. To some, this may look like a "good old boy network." But, I never thought of it that way. It's just being civilized, sort of. At least, this has been my experience and observation.

Again, this is the lawyers, and not the actual parties, who somehow can become blinded to anything resembling civility.

To go beyond the bounds of civility does a disservice to the client. Really. It can and probably will backfire. Unfortunately, the backfire usually happens to the client and not the attorney.

What prompted me to write about this was something that happened today. I won't get into specifics. But, a lawyer went beyond the bounds of civility. He crossed the line. And, now, someone who I previously had a modicum of respect for has lost all respect in my book. Just for the record, this wasn't my boss.

Posted by Marie at May 16, 2006 8:49 PM