What are considered unethical practice by an opposing attorney? - Criminal Law Questions and Answers- LawQA.com

Free Answers to your Legal Questions by Lawyers.
ask »


What are considered unethical practice by an opposing attorney?

If an attorney threatens me or anyone I am associated with is this considered unethical? If an attorney fails to inform me of a court date, that they set up, is it considered unethical?

Answer By Lacy Fields
Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC
Contact this Attorney Now

Very generally: yes to the first and no to the second. But it depends in very large part on the specific facts. It is not worth it to most attorneys to do something unethical against you personally that could get the attorney in troubleespecially when you are 1 of 100 clients. Why risk getting in trouble when there are so many more fish in the sea, know what I mean? Most of us just walk away when we get fed up with a client.

Answer Applies to: Missouri
Replied: 6/14/2011

Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
Contact this Attorney Now

Threatening a witness or a party is against the law. Failure to give notice is against the constitution.

Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/10/2011

Law Office of Phillip Weiser
Contact this Attorney Now

An attorney should communicate all court dates with you and work in your best interest. If there is not a good working relationship between you and him, you should consider replacing him. If you believe you have received unethical treatment, you could file a complaint with the state disciplinary office.

Answer Applies to: Kansas
Replied: 6/9/2011

Harris Law Firm
Contact this Attorney Now

Questions regarding ethics should be directed at your local state bar association. They will be able to advise you properly. If opposing counsel on a civil or family matter failed to advise you of a court date they scheduled, that could very well be an ethics violation.

Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 6/9/2011

Answer By Thomas J. Tomko
Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law
Contact this Attorney Now

Your question is somewhat general, however, the opposing attorney does not have an attorney client relationship with you. Therefore, claims that the opposing attorney did threatened trial or to file a motion or to seek to take certain property or the like are not viewed as breaches in the duties to you, since the other attorney does not have such duties to you. Your attorney can address all of these things. In any case, the opposing side needs to provide notice for most Court proceedings. There are exceptions, however, this is the general rule. You should address all of these concerns to your attorney for more detailed explanations.

Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 6/8/2011

Law Office of Richard Williams
Contact this Attorney Now

There are rules governing the professional conduct of lawyers.The rules of Professional Conduct can be found in The Alabama Rules of Court and a copy can be found at any county law library in the county courthouse.

Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 6/7/2011

Answer By Terry Nelson
Nelson & Lawless
Contact this Attorney Now

Threats of violence or extortion would be improper, and grounds for Complain to the State Bar, if you can prove it with witnesses or documents. However, threats of kicking your butt in court, or telling you he is going to stick it to you and enforce all the rules and procedures against you, is NOT an improper threat, but vigorous representation, merely playing hard ball. That's what he is paid to do - oppose your claims and make your life miserable. It may be ungentlemanly and unfriendly, but nobody said litigation had to be friendly. Pro Pers generally don't know about the rules and what they are supposed to do, and think they are going to get a break and sympathy from the court and attorneys because of their ignorance, and don't want to be told to learn and do it or else. If that is what you are considering threats, then toughen up and deal with the case better. If it is more than that, then you can contact the State Bar office to discuss your allegations. Failure to provide proper notice of hearings or other actions is wrong and grounds for serious complaint, if you can prove it. I suggest to you that he probably has filed Proof of Service forms signed by his staff showing you were served required documents and notices; the court requires that before any hearing or ruling. If none are in the court file, or you can somehow show they are falsified, then your complaint may have merit. If that lack of notice you claim resulted in some adverse action in a hearing or ruling, then you could file motions requesting rehearings or reconsideration based upon lack. The burdens of proof and procedures are upon you.

Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/7/2011

Komanapalli Massey LLP
Contact this Attorney Now

You have provided too little information to allow me to state an answer unequivocally. However, your attorney owes you a duty of loyalty, a duty to keep you informed about your case, and other duties. This does not mean he may never firmly direct you down a course in which it is your best interests to follow. As for dates, if his failure to inform you caused you harm or jeopardized the likely success of your case, he may have violated ethical or other duties to you.

Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/7/2011

Harden Law Offices
Contact this Attorney Now

Opposing counsel should not contact you if you are represented. In terms of notice re court, the court should notify you or your attorney. I have to believe a lawyer must tell his client of a court date.

Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
Replied: 6/7/2011

Law Office of Jonathan T. Sarre
Contact this Attorney Now

The answer is going to depend in the nature of the threat, or really if the threat is really a threat. What I mean is that if this "opposing counsel" is a prosecutor and he or she is threatening with say, sending you to jail for longer than the plea offer or charging you with a heretofore uncharged crime or threatens to charge your witnesses with perjury and he or she can back up those threats either by force of law (in other words by doing something the law allows him or her to do), then it's not really a threat, its more like negotiating (albeit hardball negotiating). Now if he or she threatens to murder your grandmother, well that's going to cross the line... As far as your second question, failing to inform you of a court date is not unethical per se. It may be a lapse or just incompetence. It probably doesn't reach the ethics realm until or unless the attorney lies about it. That's usually when ethics (or lack thereof) kick in.

Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 6/7/2011

© 2017 MH Sub I, LLC. All rights reserved.
Terms & Conditions | Privacy Policy | IB Cookie Policy