I believe that it’s important for a family lawyer to be ethical in everything he or she does. We think of ethics as important in all things, and when someone selects a family lawyer to take on a divorce, the sense of a lawyer being ethical is certainly important. But how does it affect a case?
I believe that ethics have a direct relationship to the expediency and efficiency with which your case is handled. I’ve been in situations where the opposing party’s counsel isn’t as ethical, where dilatory behavior results in slowing down and needlessly complicating a divorce.
Sometimes, it’s coming from the opposing party wanting to frustrate my client–with an attorney who is only too happy to oblige–and sometimes, it comes directly from the attorney. It can manifest as a specific set of legal maneuvers that don’t help move the case forward, or might bog it down purposefully. It can also happen when opposing counsel chooses not to respond to requests I make on behalf on my client to move things forward.
Obviously, when that happens, it makes a divorce more expensive and more frustrating. If the other side isn’t cooperating, we can certainly file motions to get the divorce back on track, but that makes it more expensive and more cumbersome than I’d prefer.
To me, communication with a client is a big part of handling a divorce case ethically. Communication is about quality as well as quantity. It’s important to me that my client understands what’s going on. One of the first things I like to do in a case is introduce my client to the whole team. There are times where it’s most appropriate for a paralegal, another attorney, or a financial neutral to be in contact with a client. If I handled every item on a divorce checklist for a client, it would make the divorce more expensive. A client should know when a paralegal’s calling that this is an important part of the team calling, and the paralegal’s involvement is keeping that final cost down.
That’s important in any family law situation, but especially in a divorce, which has the potential to cost time, money, or energy. If you’re looking for a lawyer to help you with a family law case in Bexar County or the surrounding counties, all of us at the Law Office of Lisa Vance are happy to talk to you about your case and what we can bring to it. I can tell you that ethics are important to all of us, and we are committed to representing you with the respect and consideration you deserve.