unethical behavior of an attorney
hello, we are in a custody battle for my son. my ex's
attorney lied to a judge to get temp custody. he bad
mouths me to my attorney every chance he gets. he is
a realestate attorney but took my ex's case because
they are friends. he is putting my 13 yr old son in
the middle. my ex and i pretty much agree on an
arrangement, but his attorney is against it. is there
legally anything i can do to file a complaint against
this attorney and keep him from doing any
psychological damage to my son? thank you
1 Answer from Attorneys
Re: unethical behavior of an attorney
You have several questions to be addressed. First, regarding the "lies to the judge"... an attorney can not make misrepresentations to the court (judge). A lie to the court is a ground for a Bar complaint. Contact the OK Bar Assoc. for an investigation. However, in granting the temporary custody, the judge can not hear or rely on testimony of an attorney. The judge makes a decision based on the witnesses' testimony. So, I doubt that the Temp Custody was granted based on the lie.
Secondly, the bad mouthing part...your attorney should put an end to that. Your attorney's job is to protect you. Perhaps, your attorney realizes that the statements are indicative of the other attorney's immaturity and does not wish to lower him/herself to the level of responding to the comments. However, he/she would do the two of you a favor by setting the other attorney straight on proper conduct between attorneys. If the atty is just saying all of this only to your atty, it may not rise to the level of slander due to the litigational nature of the situation. However, it is possible that his conduct could rise to the level of slander. If so, you could sue him.
Thirdly, your ex is his client and he must listen to her instructions on end results. If she wants her divorce to be a certain way, then that's how he has to do it. The atty is responsible for making procedural decisions. The client is to make end result decisions (ie. she wants to give you joint custody, certain visitation schedules, etc.) However, the client's decision must be in compliance with the law. For example, it is difficult to significantly deviate from the child support guidelines. If your ex is dissatisfied with his representation, then she has every right to fire him.
There may be other remedies, but these are my immediate thoughts off the top of my head, so to speak.