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December 4, 2012

Family Law Ethics - Hypotheticals:

  1. You have a personal matter in front of a judge – they are presiding over your divorce, and by virtue the usage of preemptory challenges by the parties,  your client’s case is now in front of the same judge.  What is the extent of the information that you must provide to your client about the conflicts, if any of having that judge sit on your client’s case? Is it  a violation of professional rules 1.7, 1.8 or 1.10 not to divulge this personal fact to your client?

  2. Your client has obtained a domestic violence restraining order against  the husband in the divorce proceeding.    You are concerned that one of the parties might take extreme action (the wife might commit suicide with the children, the husband might get violent, based on the history of violence) what is your duty report these concerns? Is it ethical to have a conversation with the wife’s psychologist (assuming she has signed a release)? As a practitioner, what steps should you take?

  3. You know the wife on the other side of your case has been an extreme face book poster to a particular group of people that you expect to call as witnesses at some point in the proceeding. But she immediately deletes postings on the insta chat feature.   You know this information, because  your client has guessed her password and has been monitoring the conversations with spying software. What is your duty to divulge this to opposing counsel?  Are any ethical rules being breached?

  4. Twitter accounts were, at one point, being processed by the Library of Congress. You think that this is a trove of information to prove your client’s  ex husband’s infidelity and draining of the marital estate so he could buy lavish gifts for his mistress.  What are the best practices recommended by the Bar Association for ethically obtaining electronic communications?

  5. One of the parents in your case has been engaging in extreme parental alienation with the children, by constantly being verbally abusive about the father in front of the children. As a result, the children do not want  to go to their visitation with their father, your client.  You  have found out that your client has been instructing the children to tape the  conversations, thereby placing the children in the middle of the conflict, in violation of the court’s order.  What are your duties to divulge this information to the court? If you do, you know it may hurt your client’s position, but if you don’t the children are going to continue to get hurt.

  6. The husband in one of your cases has been  viewing extreme pornography, and based on your conversations, you are concerned that he has obtained child pornography pictures. He has not shown you pictures per se of what he is viewing, but he has told you, in the course of the working relationship,  that he likes teen nude photographic art clubs, and goes to particular sites that are of concern. What are your duties to report  your client to the authorities?

September 4, 2012

Basic Child support Calculations Primer/Refresher:

April 3, 2012

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November 15, 2011

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November 2, 2010

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