We have preconceptions about lawyers that are only there when we need to get out of a legal situation or to provide legal assistance. But a question arises: Can a Lawyer Represent a Family Member?
Can a Lawyer Represent a Family Member?
The cautious yes would be the answer to this question because there are many circumstances where this answer might change. We often think having a lawyer as a family member helps a lot but that does mean handling legal cases could result in suffering relations depending on the severity of the cases.
The court never meddles when it comes to a family litigant’s ability to pick the attorney of their choice the same way they don’t get involved with people who represent themselves in court.
But as every coin has two faces, a court might never show objection to the choice of attorneys. Still, a lawyer representing a family member might feel responsible for being loyal to the relative.
Let’s know more about Lawyer Representing Family Member
The experts state that representing a family member entails several dangers because one’s existing connection may affect one’s capacity to provide unbiased facts and honest, knowledgeable legal advice. They must never forget that they owe the legal profession a duty of devotion.
Many regulators do not technically forbid lawyers from giving legal advice to relatives, family members, or friends. Still, they stress that attorneys must be competent enough and should prevent carelessness.
Then another problem arises of the potential conflicts of interest. Whenever family or relatives are addressed, it will deal with the general concerns of actual and apparent conflicts of interest since the relationship may conflict with the lawyer’s obligation to give clients objective and impartial advice. Under these circumstances, providing honest and open advice to clients becomes tricky.
When a person is close, it becomes difficult to discuss compensation. They might be expecting a discount and you might be expecting total compensation, so here things can ruin the relationship. Due to the intimacy, there might be a lot more informality and the case would not go in the required direction. The level of diligence might be different compared to the clients who are paying the total price.
More often, experts have stated that if the connection is intimate and the subject is contentious, the lawyer may not be able to remain professional and neutral. In such instances, the lawyer shouldn’t function as counsel. A close personal relationship might impair the attorney’s judgment.
Another problem is the severity of the case. If the case is complex, it might ruin relationships as you have to be unbiased enough to disclose sensitive pieces of information so if you are ready to handle the risks, go for it.
What to keep in mind while representing an Attorney as a Family Member?
Here are a few pointers to keep in mind if a lawyer is representing family members:
- Always maintain professional decorum by setting up a meeting to clear things out.
- Always uphold your customary conduct no matter how close your relations are.
- Try to make sure there are no apparent conflicts of interest.
- Always inform the people of the case’s progress and try to take their input as well.
- Do not hesitate to mention the cost; mention them upfront. You can offer discounts as suitable to you.
- Even if following every precautionary measure, things start to go south, consult another attorney.
- Make sure the relationship is formalized before representing your family members.
Can a lawyer represent a family member?
Yes, they can but it is preferable not to do so to avoid further problems arising in the relationships and avoid conflicts of interest.
Is it essential to pay fees to the lawyer who might be a family member?
The lawyer might be working pro bono if there are some financial problems. Still, a discount proposal can lead to diligence depreciation in other cases.
What if the lawyer has to represent a child or a minor?
As long as the lawyer has the consent of the parents or legal guardian, the case can proceed.
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When representing family members, the professional boundary might collapse with personal limitations. You might decline or refer them to other lawyers for assistance to prevent this hassle. You can hire attorneys for their independence and neutrality in addition to their knowledge and expertise so that the lawyer can also deliver unprecedented news.
Always remember that emotional intimacy can hinder judgment due to the lack of the exact professional boundaries as you have with other clients. Try to maintain the edge between professional and personal relationships.
I hope this article has helped you in solving the query of Can an Attorney represent a family member? If you have any doubts related to Law or Attorney then please post them in the comments area below.