Has your spouse threatened to hire a lawyer with a reputation for being hyper aggressive or even unethical to try to win a case? We understand the stress that this sort of threat can cause those who are unfamiliar with the judicial system. We can also tell you after years of practicing family law, that judges and lawyers alike prefer working with lawyers who are ethical, honest, and will present your case in a professional manner. The good lawyers aren’t just familiar with the law and the judges, we also know and have professional relationships with all of our opponents.
In a perfect world, all family law attorneys would be reasonable people who have their client’s best interest in mind and the goal of a fair and swift resolution of the family law case. Unfortunately, there are unreasonable and overly aggressive lawyers who practice family law and prey on people who are seeking revenge and punishment instead of fairness and peace.
Fortunately, we’ve been working with the lawyers of Indian River, St. Lucie, and Okeechobee counties for years. We know from experience who the bad players are, and how to handle them. This gives our family law clients a distinct advantage during the course of the divorce case as we’re not only able to educate our clients on the law and strategy, but we’re also able to help them understand the kind of attorney that represents their spouse and what our client can reasonably expect to see and hear.
There are a number of categories of family law attorneys that attempt to cause problems, and here are the ways that we handle cases against them.
The unreasonable, “fee churning”, family law attorneys
This is the most common type of “bad” family law attorney. These are attorneys who have a reputation of caring very little for their clients or the family as a whole, but instead create more problems than almost any other type of divorce lawyer in order to create more work. They tend to have low case numbers and excessive time to spend on the clients they do have. These attorneys will often file unnecessary and often frivolous motions and other various requests with the court, take tenuous or extreme positions that any competent lawyer would know the family law judge would likely not grant, and, all the while, bill (and overbill) their clients incessantly until the client either fires them or the attorney quits because he or she is not being paid.
We know who these lawyers and law firms are and when we take on a case that has this type of opponent, we create a careful strategy to make sure that we expose the attorney or law firm’s client to sanctions for this type of conduct. It is somewhat rare that a court will actually order sanctions against another lawyer, however, getting the attention of the adverse client that their attorney is using them as a piggy bank will often wake up that person and show them that their attorney is doing them a tremendous disservice in the case.
We are proud to say that we take the position that a lawyer’s services should be an added value to the client. The very worst types of cases to be involved in are cases where the only “winners” are the lawyers. We work diligently to take on strategies that will be the most cost effective and reasonable for our client’s needs.
The emotional family law attorneys
This type of lawyer generally adopts the emotions of their client. They will literally “become” their clients; taking on their bad behavior, the bitterness, anger, or frustration that is sometimes apparent between spouses going through a divorce, and they justify this by putting on an emotional show for the client. The biggest problem with attorneys like this is that they are generally ineffective; they enable the client’s bad behavior and are therefore unable to give their client objective advice based on the facts, the law, and common sense as opposed to illogical and emotion driven choices.
Divorce can be a very emotional task to be sure. We take great strides to practice in an emotion-free environment as much as possible, so that we are sure to make clear and proper decisions when representing our clients. We have had tremendous success representing husbands and wives whose spouses were very emotionally driven by bringing a sense of peace and calm to the case despite the other spouse’s highs and lows and that of their family law lawyer. Many of the decisions that need to be made are truly business decisions, and a clear head is always the best bet in dealing with these lawyers.
The dishonest family law attorneys
Lawyers are duty bound not to lie. Unfortunately, a very small percentage of family law attorneys have little regard for their reputation and are willing to misrepresent facts and sometimes even the law to gain an advantage.
These types of tactics do not work against a law firm like ours, and thankfully this is the easiest type of conduct to correct. If we know that someone is taking a position that is dishonest or we know the attorney to have that reputation, we ensure that any communication we have with that attorney is in writing or, if it is a verbal indication, is confirmed in writing. Bluntly, dishonest attorneys are the easiest lawyers to go up against because the games rarely, if ever, gain them any advantage, and often cost them in front of the family law judge, especially experienced ones, always to the extreme detriment of their own client.
The reasonable and experienced family law attorneys
Thankfully, we live in an area with a close-knit legal community. Normally the “threat’ of hiring an attorney is actually a benefit, and can be a substantial help in settling a case quickly and at a very affordable price for both spouses. Reasonable, experienced, and knowledgeable family law attorneys do not put up fights over non-sensible issues, do not create unreasonable expectations for their own client, or take issues to court that they know they have little chance of winning. These lawyers will cooperate in narrowing the issues that are in dispute, identifying the issues that can settle quickly, and, if there are family law issues that the parties reasonably cannot agree on, present those issues to the family law judge assigned to the case at either a settlement conference or a trial. When both lawyers are professional and reasonable, family law cases can be resolved from beginning to end in a significantly shorter period of time and at an affordable cost.
We are an experienced, knowledgeable, and honest divorce and family law team who care for our clients and work hard to achieve for every one of our clients, big or small, results that are consistent with the law and within a budget that each client can afford. If you find yourself in a situation where you may need a family law attorney, we hope to hear from you. We offer an affordable initial consultation to discuss your case, and together we will put together a strategy and budget that makes sense for you and get you started on the right track.