How far can an Attorney go when it comes to demeaning me and insulting me during court?

Asked over 1 year ago - Hanford, CA

I represent myself as I have no money. I have done this for quite some time, and it works for me (as best as it can, I suppose). However, his attorney is a mean (evil you could say) man who many times I feel crosses the line. In 2011 I expressed to the Commissioner that I did not appreciate the way I was being talked to by Mr. So-in-so. She told him something along the lines of, "Mr. So-in-so, please be aware of how you address Ms. So-in-so" or something along those lines.

In short, we have a court date next week. I have moved out of state and will be appearing by phone, but I need to know what to say and when to say it. He tries to be very intimidating, which I understand, but he crosses the line, and I'd like to know "legally" or "ethically" what that line is.

Thank you.

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Michael Charles Doland

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . The judge in the courtroom is your ally and will will determine what is over the line.

    The above is general legal and business analysis. It is not "legal advice" but analysis, and different lawyers may... more
  2. Adrienne Patricia Allen

    Contributor Level 15
    Best Answer
    chosen by asker

    Answered . Even attorneys have to deal with overly zealous attorneys at times. It does not sound like this attorney is doing anything unethical or at least you won't be able to prove it. He owes you no duties, as if he were your own attorney. I agree that you can stand up to him, or just ignore what the attorney is saying and have confidence in your own position and skills. Good luck.

    I am licensed in California only and my answers on Avvo assume California law. The above answer is for general... more
  3. John Joseph Westerhaus

    Contributor Level 13


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . This is a fairly loaded/biased question, but the short answer is that what you call "demeaning" or "bullying" another lawyer may consider "zealous advocacy." While those sorts of determinations are up to the arbiter of your dispute (and, ultimately, an ethics board if you file a complaint), understand that very few legal issues have bright line, black-letter rules, including this one, so it's impossible for me (or any other lawyer) to tell you exactly where the line is. (Not to mention, there's an infinite number of things any person could say, so to run through all the iterations is an exercise in futility).

    The simple answer is say something to him. Bullies don't like people who stand up for themselves. If that doesn't work, send a golden rule letter to him, certified mail. If that doesn't work, say something to the judge, and if that doesn't work, file an ethics complaint. Do all of this in writing. I think you'll find that following the process generally works.

    I can be reached at (913) 735-9320. These answers do not constitute legal advice, because legal advice is paid for.... more

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