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Exposed: What to Do When Your Ex Leaves You Lawyer-Less in Your Divorce Case!



Exposed: What to Do When Your Ex Leaves You Lawyer-Less in Your Divorce Case!

9 May 2023
Exposed: What to Do When Your Ex Leaves You Lawyer-Less in Your Divorce Case!

Deciding to divorce is never easy. In fact, it will probably be one of the most difficult decisions you ever make. Complex divorce cases encompass intricate matters such as custody, identification, and division of the couple’s assets and debts, business valuation, spousal support (also known as alimony), and child support. It is essential for attorneys to possess expertise in all of these areas and possess a thorough comprehension of brand, media, and public image. As divorce complexities increase, the number of attorneys equipped with relevant experience and skills diminishes, resulting in a limited pool of the most qualified candidates for couples to consider.

That’s why it can be frustrating if, once you’ve decided to divorce, you can’t seem to find an attorney who doesn’t have a “conflict of interest.” In 2012, supermodel Heidi Klum and musician Seal made headlines with their high-profile divorce. Media outlets reported that Heidi Klum made the rounds of many of the top divorce attorneys in Los Angeles before choosing her lawyers, and many people speculated whether she did this to prevent Seal from hiring a top lawyer, creating a “conflict of interest” for these attorneys. The tactic has also been portrayed in films and shows such as “Dirty John: The Betty Broderick Story” and “Marriage Story.”

Massachusetts Ethical Rules for Lawyers

In Massachusetts, all attorneys are governed by the Rules of Professional Conduct. These rules guide lawyers and promote ethical conduct, ultimately protecting clients. Under Rule 1.7, an attorney can’t represent a client if it involves a concurrent conflict of interest. There is a conflict of interest if “the representation of one client will be directly adverse to another client.” A divorce can involve confidential and complex financial and personal interests. In a consultation with an attorney, you will inevitably share confidential information, and that attorney is now prohibited from discussing this with anyone else. The conflict rules are important to protect clients, including you and your spouse. But sometimes, people abuse the rules intentionally.

Typically, when a couple decides to divorce, one spouse seeks out an attorney first. The attorneys that the first spouse contacts cannot represent the other spouse, even if they later seek legal representation. To exploit this rule, the first spouse may make appointments with top law firms to prevent the other spouse from retaining them. The first spouse could also hire an attorney who could then conflict out other notable firms.

Using this strategy can severely limit the options for legal representation for the other spouse and is a very dirty trick to play. Especially in specialized and complex cases, there may be only a handful of attorneys in a city with the requisite skills and experience to handle the matter. Once one spouse has conflicted out most attorneys and law firms, it becomes challenging for the other spouse to find competent legal representation.

Solving the “Conflicted Out” Problem

Unfortunately, there’s no real way to solve the conflict-of-interest problem for an attorney. In some cases, you may be able to show a court that your spouse intentionally conflicted you out of many local attorneys. But to get to that point, you need a lawyer first. The good news is that there are plenty of good divorce attorneys in Middlesex and Essex counties. Look for a firm specializing in family law, not just a recognizable name on the office door.

Experienced Massachusetts Family Law Attorneys

At Wright Family Law Group, we focus on family law and financial issues, working to empower our clients through difficult times. We serve clients in Middlesex and Essex counties and are centrally located in Tewksbury and Danvers near Route 495, Route 95 and Route 93. Contact us today to schedule your consultation.

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