Trashing Opposing Counsel for the Client’s Benefit in a Divorce or Family Law Matter

When I meet with divorce clients for the first time, there is a healthy majority of clients who want “aggressive representation” for the sake of being aggressive. Here at the Divorce and Family Law Center, I try cases based on the facts of the case and the current law and attempt to achieve what’s in my client’s best interests overall and in the long run. Short term aggressive representation might make one feel good in the beginning, but in the long run it just costs more money and creates a lot of ill will with the court and your soon to be ex spouse. If there are children involved, ill will with the ex is never a good way to start a post divorce life.

There is a fine line between aggressive representation and zealous representation. Take the case of a Florida attorney who was suspended for two years by the Florida Supreme Court for rude conduct. This lawyer apparently accused the judge of being at the “beck and call” of the opposition, yelled in court, and disparaged and humiliated opposing counsel in court. angry-seller-facebook-stalker

Specifically, the Florida Supreme Court noted as follows: “Competent, zealous representation is required when working on a case for a client. There are proper types of behavior and methods to utilize when aggressively representing a client. Screaming at judges and opposing counsel, and personally attacking opposing counsel by disparaging him and attempting to humiliate him, are not among the types of acceptable conduct but are entirely unacceptable. One can be professional and aggressive without being obnoxious. Attorneys should focus on the substance of their cases, treating judges and opposing counsel with civility, rather than trying to prevail by being insolent toward judges and purposefully offensive toward opposing counsel. …”

Well said.