How does a client benefit in a divorce case when the lawyers are continually fighting with each other?
There is a time and a place for everything.
Contemporary TV culture informs us that the best lawyers are the “aggressive” lawyers. These are the TV lawyers who yell and say mean things to opposing counsel. Might makes right is the conventional wisdom on TV.
The reality is entirely different.
Why do people hire lawyers in the first place? Most obviously they need counsel to help them navigate a complicated justice system. They also need counsel regarding their rights and legal options. Finally, they need an advocate in court, someone who can articulately and persuasively argue their case to a decision maker, be it a Judge or Jury.
In divorce law emotions run high. Sometimes lawyers allow themselves to get entangled in the emotional aspects of the case along with their client. When this happens a client has lost their advocate and gained a cheerleader. They have also lost their opportunity to have an objective professional on their side.
Inexperienced or unethical lawyers will simply tell their clients what they want to hear and engage in useless and petty bickering with the other side. They will cheerlead for their client and collect large fees because the client feels vindicated. What has really happened, however, is that the client has lost all chance of getting an objective understanding of their legal predicament.
One of the hardest things I ever have to do is tell a client what they don’t want to hear. Lawyers are paid to be advocates, and to also give sound, objective, legal advice. This means sometimes telling a client what they may not want to hear and risk losing business. The only true way that a lawyer can effectively be aggressive is to provide their client with objective counsel, make realistic demands based on the known facts of the case, and respectfully and forcefully advocate the legal merits of their client’s case.
It really comes down to Buyer Beware. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!