It is human nature to want to trust someone coming forward on behalf of your X offering to help resolve problems which have vexed you for some time. When that person is her lawyer be careful not to fall into one of two possible situations:
- The lawyer may seem to be a really good, polite, conscientious lawyer eager to seek a reasonable settlement of their client’s case.
- Or they might be totally combative, launching a scotched earth policy, coming on like you have no rights whatsoever.
If it is the former, return courtesy with courtesy. But never forget that person is being paid to get what their client is asking for. Now is the time to foster a healthy but modest paranoia. Don’t blindly accept anything that lawyer may say. Get any and all undertakings or commitments in writing.
If it is the latter, the cardinal rule on dealing with the lawyer is not to personalize the fight or turn the lawyer into the villain. Her lawyer may in fact be an arrogant self-righteous prick or bitch, or a bent gender biased feminist. The lawyer may be deserving of condemnation or a report to their governing body . At all costs you must resist the urge to turn your energy, frustration and even anger at the lawyer. Not only does it do no good what-so-ever, it can become very counterproductive if not debilitating to your case. To say nothing of adding more gray hair or lesions on your ulcer. Keep your eye on the ball, not the lawyer.
I have seen fathers become totally obsessed over the mother’s lawyer. Even the most innocent and reasonable proposal is rejected out of hand without even a cursory thought given to it merely because it comes from “ that deceiving manipulating money hungry lawyer who is trying to put me in bankruptcy so I will never see my kids again!”
If this is you, I highly recommend counselling to get beyond this psychic log jam.
If you are right in your complaints about the lawyer’s professional behavior, stuff it for the moment. After the trial, report the lawyer for malpractice to their governing body. Who knows – you may not be the first to expose the person. Having said that, should you feel the lawyer has seriously breached proper behavior or practice in some personal way, consult with an experienced family lawyer. If that lawyer agrees, then by all means report her lawyer right away. In reality such situations are rare but not unheard of. Normally the opposing lawyer is just doing their job in their particular way. They are allowed to be nasty. But not dishonest.
Which leads to this issue: lawyers are experts at exaggeration to nail a point. They aren’t “liars” in doing that. It is up to you to correct the record when it is your turn to speak. Lawyers can make false statements, mostly because they were given that info by their client, or they knowingly know it is false. Again, just correct the record, If the false statements become a habit, object to the judge clearly, rationally and patiently.
Try never to lose your cool. Emotion is okay when talking about your children.