WHEN YOUR SPOUSE HIRES AN ATTORNEY THAT YOU PREVIOUSLY TALKED TO, THE KIND OF INFORMATION THAT WAS DISCUSSED WILL DETERMINE WHETHER YOUR SPOUSE’S ATTORNEY WILL BE DISQUALIFIED BY THE COURT
DIVORCE LAWYER Nassau County, NY
H. Michael Stern, Esq., a New York matrimonial and family law attorney, and mediator
with over 34 years of experience suggests that when interviewing attorneys to handle your divorce case, it is important to keep a record of the topics discussed during the meeting.
In a recent case decided by the Appellate Division, First Judicial Department, the Court was presented with a situation where the wife had met with and had follow up calls with an attorney. Apparently, the wife provided that attorney with financial information. That same attorney was a partner in a firm hired as co-counsel to represent the husband a few years later. This presents an issue of a potential conflict of interest on the part of the firm acting as co-counsel which could result in the disqualification of the firm. The Appellate Court determined that there was no basis to disqualify co-counsel for the
husband based upon a conflict of interest as there was no proof that the information was significantly harmful to the wife. The Court found that the financial information that the wife gave to the attorney in question was subject to discovery in the divorce case. Discovery is a process where information and documents are exchanged by the parties in a divorce case. The Court also found that the financial information was already known by the husband.
The question is whether the result would have been different in that case if the wife had imparted information concerning issues such as marital fault, domestic violence, or custody and visitation issues. These issues are not subject to discovery in parts of the State of New York. In the First Department, none of these issues would be subject to discovery. That is why it makes sense to keep a record of the subject matter discussed during an attorney consultation, as that same attorney could be hired by your spouse. These issues arise from time to time and no litigant wants to be in a position of having to assess whether the attorney on the other side possesses significantly harmful information that can adversely impact his or her case.
I have been litigating divorce cases for more than three decades. Recent results can be found within the TESTIMONIALS page on this website. Focusing on the needs of the client and the results sought have always been a hallmark of my Long Island practice over the past 32 years.
Feel free to contact me, H. Michael Stern, Esq. a Long Island divorce and family law attorney, if you are interested in discussing your matrimonial, divorce or family by phone at 516-747-2290.
I am conducting telephone and in person consultations during the pandemic, by appointment. My Long Island office is conveniently located adjacent to the Roosevelt Field Mall Ring Road at 666 Old Country Road, Suite 555, in Garden City, New York.
Written by, H. Michael Stern, Divorce Lawyer, Nassau County NY