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Can a lawyer refuse to take your case?

Baltimore, MD |

I want full custody of my child. Father and I are not married. I want to hire his business attorney's wife who is in family law and is a bulldog. All 3 have been friends for years. Can she refuse to represent me?

Attorney Answers 2

Posted

Yes, a lawyer can refuse to take on any client they don't want to. Not only that, but lawyers are required to refuse to take on some clients. One reason that a lawyer would not be allowed to take a client would be that the lawyer has previously represented someone who would be adverse to the new client - or that they have a close personal connection to someone who did. Your child's father's attorney's wife is a prime example. She may not be able to represent you fairly, given her relationship to the father's lawyer. I certainly wouldn't take your case, if I were her - nothing against you; it's just ethically problematic. Good attorneys are scrupulous in their respect for these ethical rules. You should find another attorney who has never worked with your child's father (or been married to someone who has done so).

Please read the following notice: <br> <br> Jay Bodzin is licensed to practice law in the State of Oregon and the Federal District of Oregon, and cannot give advice about the laws of other jurisdictions. All comments on this site are intended for informational purposes only, and do not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. No posts or comments on this site are in any way confidential. Each case is unique. You are advised to have counsel at all stages of any legal proceeding, and to speak with your own lawyer in private to get advice about your specific situation. <br> <br> Jay Bodzin, Northwest Law Office, 2075 SW First Avenue, Suite 2J, Portland, OR 97201 | Telephone: 503-227-0965 | Facsimile: 503-345-0926 | Email: jay@northwestlawoffice.com | Online: www.northwestlawoffice.com

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1 lawyer agrees

Posted

Absolutely, an attorney has the right and free will to refuse to represent anyone. There are many reasons an attorney might decide not to represent someone: lack of money, conflict of interest, conflict of personalities, the attorney might not believe in the case or might not trust the client, etc., etc. Why would you want to hire the wife of your husband's attorney? That makes no sense at all. Perhaps you remember the 1949 Hollywood film, Adam's Rib, in which Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburne once played roles of husband and wife, both of them were attorneys, and then one day they found themselves in the same case on opposing sides of the case. Only in Hollywood, right?

This is NOT legal advice, is GENERAL INFORMATION ONLY, does NOT establish Attorney/Client Relationship because you have not retained me and because you have not provided me with a COMPLETE set of all the FACTS in your legal situation. Therefore my answer cannot address your specific legal situation and you should not rely upon my answer in your legal matter. This answer is merely provided to assist you in beginning your own research or in finding an attorney to represent you. I am an attorney licensed in Maryland and California. A Consultation, Retainer and a fully signed and dated Legal Services Agreement (a contract) will be required if you would like to obtain my representation. Office: (410) 381-1656. David Mahood, Esq.

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David Raymond Mahood

David Raymond Mahood

Posted

Typo correction: it should read, Katharine Hepburn.