Are you wondering what creates a conflict of interest for a divorce attorney? When you contact Burke & Domercq to schedule your initial divorce consultation we will first need to make sure our firm doesn’t have any conflict of interest in your case. What types of issues could create a conflict of interest for our attorneys or firm in a divorce case?
California law prohibits an attorney or law firm to represent both parties in the same divorce case, even if the matter is uncontested. You may be in complete agreement about every potential issue in your divorce case, but California law recognizes the inherent opposing interests each party has regarding all aspects of a divorce case. These include a variety of interests from child custody and parenting time to property division and matters of support.
Obviously, Burke & Domercq cannot represent you if one of our Certified Family Law Specialists or experienced divorce attorneys is representing your former spouse.
Once we have consulted with one of the parties to a divorce, we are no longer eligible to represent their spouse. This is true even if the person our firm consulted with did not ultimately retain us.
Our attorneys cannot be involved in any business or enter into any new professional or business relationship which would reveal confidential information about our client’s spouse.
Why does a conflict of interest for a divorce attorney even matter? The State of California and our State and National Bar Associations have established rules regarding conflict of interest issues for attorneys. The reason is simple: to ensure a fair trial or outcome in each case.
The failure to comply with the laws of California or the rules of the Bar would cause an attorney to potentially forfeit any fees associated with the case. An attorney who has knowingly entered into a conflict of interest will face disciplinary action before the Bar, as well as the potential for suspension from the practice of law. In serious offenses, the attorney can be disbarred (permanently expelled and no longer able to practice as a lawyer).