Skip to main content

Can an attorney whose area(s) of Practice are Business, Insurance, Real Estate, Tenant/Landlord, & Wills, practice Divorce law?

Stafford, VA |

My best friends lawyer took her divorce case claiming that he was a "Divorce" lawyer even though his online profile / website claims he is everything but a Divorce lawyer. He swears he has done many divorces, yet his knowledge, skills and abilities in this area seems to be very limited. The case has drawn on for two years and it appears that he his losing big time at the expense of my friends welfare. What can she do? The court date is less than a month away and at this point all hope seems lost.

+ Read More

Attorney answers 5

Best Answer
Posted

Yes, it is permitted and happens frequently. If a competent litigator takes the time to know his/her judge, courtroom and local procedure and the law and facts and facts of the case, there is no reason a competent litigator cannot try a case in the area not of his/her "expertise".

If he/she is not competent, then doing nothing but divorce won't remedy the situation.

The above is general legal and business analysis. It is not "legal advice" but analysis, and different lawyers may analyse this matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in the question. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. I am only licensed in California. See also avvo.com terms and conditions item 9, incorporated as if it was reprinted here.

Posted

If you are referring to his Avvo profile, this is something attorneys prepare themselves, it is not any kind of official listing of certifications. I believe Avvo limits practice areas to five, so it is entirely conceivable that this attorney practices in more than five areas of law--most do, in fact. That being said, if your friend is not happy with her attorney, she can certainly select another attorney.

By the very nature of Avvo, you have only provided limited facts and no documentation, therefore, our response to your question is treated only as a hypothetical, and as such it is merely general in nature. You should not rely on this response in taking or forgoing action in your circumstances without discussing this matter with an attorney. If we had the opportunity to ask you sufficient questions and review relevant documents so that we were satisfied we had all of the relevant facts and circumstances, our response might differ significantly. Without the opportunity to ask you questions, and review all relevant documents and memoranda, we are simply unable to provide any form of legal advice. Our response to your question does not create any attorney-client relationship between us, and we are not acting as your attorney. We reserve the right to decline representation in any case. By answering your question, we are under no obligation to answer further questions. There are very specific deadlines for filing a lawsuit, replying to a lawsuit filed against you, or taking other action in order to preserve your legal rights. You should contact an attorney immediately in order to be fully advised of your rights, and so that you are aware of those deadlines. If you fail to act within the required time frame, you might be forever barred from asserting your rights or defending your position. The attorney answering this question is licensed in Illinois and Iowa only.

Asker

Posted

Even with a court date being less than a month away, is it still possible to change attorney's? Wouldn't this post pone the proceedings?

Thomas O. Moens

Thomas O. Moens

Posted

It is almost always possible to change attorneys. Whether it would postpone anything depends on the case. But it would seem that postponing would be preferable to "losing big time."

Posted

Great question. Attorneys can practice in whatever areas they would like to practice in. Even though your friend's attorney may not describe himself as a divorce attorney, he may indeed have experience handling divorce cases. That being said, if you're sensing his knowledge of the area is limited, you should research experienced divorce attorneys in your area. Attorneys who specialize in divorce are often very knowledgeable about this particular area of the law. Please see the link below for tips on finding the right attorney. Good luck.

Posted

L

NOT LEGAL ADVICE. FOR EDUCATION AND INFORMATION ONLY. Mr. Rafter is licensed to practice in the Commonwealth of Virginia and the US Federal Courts in Virginia. There is no implied or actual attorney-client relationship arising from this education exchange. You should speak with an attorney licensed in your state, to whom you have provided all the facts before you take steps that may impact your legal rights. Mr. Rafter is under no obligation to answer subsequent emails or phone calls related to this matter.

Rixon Charles Rafter III

Rixon Charles Rafter III

Posted

Not sure hiw you are able to accurately assess your friend's, lawyer's KSA's or how you know your friend is 'losing big time' as your knowledge of events is at best second-hand, that said, any attorney can practice family law in VA, a state which recognizes no legal certified sub-specialities.

Asker

Posted

I have spent many years in law enforcement and many years in the court room, my assessment of his KSA's are based on what he has told her and claims to be VA divorce law, yet a simple search of the facts has proven otherwise. Once presented with the evidence, he changes his initial reasoning or excuse. As for losing, when the husband of my friend can walk up to her in court and laugh at her while telling her openly that her lawyer is an idiot, I think she isn't quite winning this race. ... Signed Second Hand Harry

Rixon Charles Rafter III

Rixon Charles Rafter III

Posted

Well, if that's good enough for you....

Posted

Yes to answer the question. What to do? Simple answer, stick with counsel as you have it or you may elect to seek other counsel and ask for a continuance. Allowing a continuance is always in the discretion of the Court.

We wish your friend the best in her endeavors.

I provide this information in general terms for information purposes only and as a courtesy regarding the law of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Neither I nor my firm are your lawyers until you sign a legal retainer agreement and pay us an advanced legal fee. You may not rely upon our advice and we are not your lawyers by offering this general information. Cases are complex both factually and legally, and we recommend that everyone consult counsel of their choosing if anything other than general information is needed.