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ZachJPayne
05-14-2014, 09:12 AM
I have a feeling that this is an exceptionally stupid question. I've tried looking this up, but all I've gotten is a bunch of articles about legal ethics that don't exactly answer my question, so:

I have a lawyer's daughter, who ends up getting attacked (maybe a couple cracked ribs, but nothing life-threatening).

Now, I imagine that her parents couldn't represent her. Would one of her parents's partners be able to represent her, or would it have to be someone from another firm? It probably won't go to a proper trial. I'm not sure, but the guy'll either take a plea bargain, or nolo.

cornflake
05-14-2014, 09:24 AM
I have a feeling that this is an exceptionally stupid question. I've tried looking this up, but all I've gotten is a bunch of articles about legal ethics that don't exactly answer my question, so:

I have a lawyer's daughter, who ends up getting attacked (maybe a couple cracked ribs, but nothing life-threatening).

Now, I imagine that her parents couldn't represent her. Would one of her parents's partners be able to represent her, or would it have to be someone from another firm? It probably won't go to a proper trial. I'm not sure, but the guy'll either take a plea bargain, or nolo.

I'm confused - what does she need a lawyer for? Is there a civil suit?

Moriar
05-14-2014, 02:46 PM
Usually, lawyers are discouraged from representing family members or people they are close to. There is no law that states that it cannot be done, but it is not advised because of the risk of not being objective (and other things). So you have to ask: would a partner in the law firm be considered objective enough to deal with this case? it depends on what type of lawyers they are as well. If they are not specialised in these types of cases, it would be best to ask the best lawyer they can find (maybe a friend of the parents, working in another firm etc).

Bing Z
05-14-2014, 03:42 PM
There are many kinds of lawyers. Some specialize in criminal defense, some in commercial or real estate transactions, some in estate and trusts, some in matrimonial laws, some in environment protection laws, some make a lush living by bringing up class lawsuits against big corporations...

Make the law firm a divorce specialist, for example, and bingo, Dad has to hire another firm! That is, unless you've already made the dad a partner of Baker & McKenzie or something that has thousands of lawyers specializing in most everything.

King Neptune
05-14-2014, 04:22 PM
"A lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client." That can be extended to family members. As has been pointed out it has to do with objectivity. From what I have seen lawyers usually hire whoever they think would be best on that case whether friend, partner, enemy, or known only by reputation.

Myrealana
05-14-2014, 04:36 PM
There's nothing in the law or code of ethics that would specifically prevent a lawyer from representing a partner's family member.

But, if she's the victim of a crime, she doesn't need a lawyer.

MarkEsq
05-14-2014, 05:15 PM
There's nothing in the law or code of ethics that would specifically prevent a lawyer from representing a partner's family member.

But, if she's the victim of a crime, she doesn't need a lawyer.

Agree with this. The interests of a victim of crime are usually represented by the prosecuting attorney, who these days will also have the victim work with a victim counselor. Unless there's a civil suit, the victim needs no attorney.

ElaineA
05-14-2014, 05:34 PM
Zach, people have covered it. Just thought I'd give you the questions you'll need to consider for the plotting:
Why does she need a lawyer?
A. If it's criminal, the prosecutor will handle the case. BUT, if her family is worried, sometimes people hire outside counsel to follow along with the case to make sure nothing goes awry. You see this in cases where the attacker is prominent and the victim wants to preserve grounds for a civil suit (ie: avoiding a not-guilty verdict). It's rare, but it happens.
B. If they are suing the attacker personally (civilly), the parent COULD handle the case but it's emotionally grueling, so not common. (When our dogs were mauled by a neighboring dog, my hubs didn't even handle that case. We had a another lawyer in the firm do it.) Ask:
a. What kind of lawyer is dad?
b. What kind of law firm is he in?
c. Is there a story-reason for him to handle the case? (ie: serious vengeance subplot)

Good Luck, Zach!

Ketzel
05-14-2014, 06:55 PM
"A lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client."
To which many lawyers would respond, "I'd rather have a fool for a client than a fool for a lawyer," and go on to represent themselves. It's not prohibited, it may be inadvisable and in the OP's case, as has been said, it's probably unnecessary, unless she is also being charged with assault on the other party/ies to the fight.

NateSean
05-16-2014, 03:22 PM
When I saw the title "Lawyer needs a lawyer" my mind flashed to The Street Lawyer by John Grisham. It's not what you're looking for, but it does involve a lawyer who later needs a lawyer to represent him. Incidentally so is The Associate but that's a different story entirely.


But, if she's the victim of a crime, she doesn't need a lawyer.

Maybe the attacker claims she seduced him and that she got violent when he refused to be intimate with her. Playing the victim himself so she's forced to defend herself with legal counsel? Just a thought. That's an old story with the burglar suing the home owners, but it could work in a story.

WeaselFire
05-17-2014, 05:04 AM
I have a feeling that this is an exceptionally stupid question.
Not stupid, just really confusing.

Victims don't hire a lawyer to handle the criminal case against the attacker. So your answer is "None of the above."

Jeff

ZachJPayne
05-20-2014, 10:00 PM
Thank you all! (And sorry for the delay in getting back to you).

Basically, both the mom and dad of the victim are both criminal defense lawyers.

So what I understand now, one (or both) of them would stand behind the Prosecutor to make sure that everything goes straightforward. They end up deciding on charging the attacker with Assault with a Deadly Weapon.

Of course, Attacker's dad turns out to be a lawyer, as well. (This is set in a California beach town, so I don't imagine this would be too out of place). So his dad files some kind of lawsuit against the victim and her family. (Slander, probably, maybe wrongful arrest, or something in that vain-- maybe the dad's even deluded enough to accuse them of conspiring against his son, or fabricating a case -- I'll have to do more research and thinking on that front).

Ketzel
05-20-2014, 11:19 PM
So what I understand now, one (or both) of them would stand behind the Prosecutor to make sure that everything goes straightforward. They end up deciding on charging the attacker with Assault with a Deadly Weapon.

If by "they" you mean the lawyer-parents and the prosecutor, then that's not a realistic set-up. No prosecutor is going to include the victim's parents in the decision on what to charge, even if (maybe even especially if) they are criminal defense lawyers.