Q My Wife just filed for divorce and had me served. We have two children, a house, plus retirement, bank, and investment accounts none of which are extravagant. There are no affairs, no mal-treatment on either side – we are just two different people who seem to now want different things.
So far I called eleven different so-called good divorce lawyers. All of them said they had a conflict. I believe my Wife called to make be sure they’d be disqualified from representing me.
Is that a common tactic?
A Stuff happens. And, you may never know if the calling was her idea or that of the lawyer she hired.
You need to make a list of and then call those 11 lawyers again. Tell each lawyer that you called eleven lawyers, each of whom said there was a conflict because your wife had already called them. Then ask each lawyer: (1) Did you actually meet with my wife; (2) Or did you talk with her via telephone; (3) Was there more than one conversation? (4) How long was each conversation? (5) Did you ask for a fee? And if so, do you charge and, if so, did she pay a consultation fee? (6) Did she provide general or specific oral information to you or a secretary or paralegal? (7) Did she provide a detailed written narrative or other documents?
In order for a judge to find an attorney-client relationship was formed, your wife must prove three things. First, she called each lawyer in order to establish an attorney-client relationship – which means the judge has to be convinced she didn’t call just to disqualify those lawyers. Second, she called mainly to obtain advice and assistance from each of those divorce. Third, each attorney has to agree that legal advice and assistance was provided to your wife.
So if your wife merely spoke with and left her name and number and some basic information with the lawyer’s secretary or paralegal, or with the attorney, no attorney-client relationship was formed.
If you hire one of those lawyers, you wife probably will file a motion to disqualify your lawyer. You’ll provide your list of all eleven-lawyers (actually 12 when adding in her own lawyer) and your other information when opposing her motion to disqualify. The judge has to conclude no attorney-client relationship was formed or that she maliciously talked with those lawyers to get them disqualified.
But do you want to spend $5,000 or more to keep the lawyer your wife is trying to disqualify? You can keep calling good lawyers until you find one your wife did not call. One thing is for sure: she didn’t call all the “Super” divorce-lawyers because, I, for one, never talked to her!