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When the party is self represented, can the court award attorney fee for consultation with an attorney who is not on record?

San Jose, CA |

The other party to the divorce seems unreasonable and i may have to file a motion. I would like to consult with an attorney to prepare the paperwork etc. Will the court be able to order attorney fee to this consulting attorney who is not on record, but helped me with the motion, if i can prove that the other party has been unreasonable causing me to file the motion?

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Attorney answers 2


What you are requesting I have never seen accomplished in my career of over thirty years. Acting as a professor, in legal theory, I believe it may be a possibility, but practically, I think the judges are going to give you thumbs down. There are quite a number of experienced, qualified attorneys who freely give away 30-60 minutes of their time. You interview clients and respond to their questions. This also serves as part of the feeling out process for the attorneys to decide if he or she wants to represent the client. The judges are all well aware of this.

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There is no definitive law on this, but I believe that you could make a pitch that you need to consult with counsel, but not retain them.

So, yes, if you can meet the requirements of FC 271 (or FC 2030, or ...) then you might get a fee award.

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