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LegalGems, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 9407
Experience:  Experienced Family Law Attorney
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I am in litigation with my sister regarding my Mothers

Customer Question

I am in litigation with my sister regarding my Mothers death. My sister took my Mother with no one's knowledge from her nursing home to a poorly run one up North, She died within 3 weeks from neglect. Then my sister hid the body from us and would not tell us where she was buried. We were not notified or invited to funeral which by the way was not the burial place choice of her choosing.I finally found out from coroner where her body was and cause of death. She had a massive untreated infection and died within hours of admittance to hospital.
Anyway I have been upset and have sent several emails to my sisters lawyer instead of going through my lawyer. I did not threaten him but i did say I thought my sister was unbalanced (for abducting my Mom and hiding her whereabouts etc)and needed help. I also said he had mishandled my brothers trust ,,, another issue. I said I could charge him with misconduct. He has also accused (falsely) my niece of forging checks on my moms account. That is a total fabrication to discredit my niece. So anyway I have been sending these emails but have stopped now. Am I in any legal trouble for writing them? I am really worried as my sister has a history of litigation and retaliation. She also belongs to weird religious cult. I am sort of scared of her. Can lawyer charge me with harassment????Im very worried about repercussions of my emails. Other family members have written also. I am very upset. Thank you
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  LegalGems replied 9 months ago.

I am very sorry to hear this and that is very sad about your mother.

If an individual has a valid complaint/concern, one can address that to the opposing side's attorney; normally the proper procedure is to have one's attorney make the presentation. The opposing attorney is not allowed to make contact unless the attorney authorizes direct contact (which is rare).

Here is the relevant professional rule:

Rule 2-100 Communication With a Represented Party

(A) While representing a client, a member shall not communicate directly or indirectly about the subject of the representation with a party the member knows to be represented by another lawyer in the matter, unless the member has the consent of the other lawyer.

(B) For purposes of this rule, a "party" includes:

(1) An officer, director, or managing agent of a corporation or association, and a partner or managing agent of a partnership; or

(2) An association member or an employee of an association, corporation, or partnership, if the subject of the communication is any act or omission of such person in connection with the matter which may be binding upon or imputed to the organization for purposes of civil or criminal liability or whose statement may constitute an admission on the part of the organization.

    (C) This rule shall not prohibit:

    (1) Communications with a public officer, board, committee, or body; or

    (2) Communications initiated by a party seeking advice or representation from an independent lawyer of the party's choice; or

    (3) Communications otherwise authorized by law.


      Rule 2-100 is intended to control communications between a member and persons the member knows to be represented by counsel unless a statutory scheme or case law will override the rule. There are a number of express statutory schemes which authorize communications between a member and person who would otherwise be subject to this rule. These statutes protect a variety of other rights such as the right of employees to organize and to engage in collective bargaining, employee health and safety, or equal employment opportunity. Other applicable law also includes the authority of government prosecutors and investigators to conduct criminal investigations, as limited by the relevant decisional law.

      Rule 2-100 is not intended to prevent the parties themselves from communicating with respect to the subject matter of the representation, and nothing in the rule prevents a member from advising the client that such communication can be made. Moreover, the rule does not prohibit a member who is also a party to a legal matter from directly or indirectly communicating on his or her own behalf with a represented party. Such a member has independent rights as a party which should not be abrogated because of his or her professional status. To prevent any possible abuse in such situations, the counsel for the opposing party may advise that party (1) about the risks and benefits of communications with a lawyer-party, and (2) not to accept or engage in communications with the lawyer-party.

      Rule 2-100 also addresses the situation in which member A is contacted by an opposing party who is represented and, because of dissatisfaction with that party's counsel, seeks A's independent advice. Since A is employed by the opposition, the member cannot give independent advice.

      Here is the code that addresses harassment - it requires a person to be placed in fear of harm -

      646.9. (a) Any person who willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly
      follows or willfully and maliciously harasses another person and who
      makes a credible threat with the intent to place that person in
      reasonable fear for his or her safety, or the safety of his or her
      immediate family is guilty of the crime of stalking, punishable by
      imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year, or by a
      fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both that
      fine and imprisonment, or by imprisonment in the state prison.

      So any future communication should be through one's lawyer, as a matter of protocol; for past communications, harassment elements are not met.

      Further questions? Please post here to continue the chat. Satisfied? Kindly rate positively so I receive credit for assisting you. I hope that you feel I have earned5 stars *****as I strive to provide my customers with great service.(no additional charges are incurred). Information provided is for educational purposes only. Consultation with a personal attorney is always recommended so your particular facts may be considered. Thank you and take care.
      Expert:  LegalGems replied 9 months ago.

      That code is here:

      Customer: replied 9 months ago.
      you don't think he has grounds to file charges against me? Also I mentioned I was afraid of my sister because she has guns and gave one to my Mom who was senile to protect herself. They are very crazy and I am so afraid. But I never threatened anyone was just angry with situation and abduction of my Mom and gun situation. They believe in Armageddon or such events so have guns and house has wood burning stove and is equipped to run without electricity or water. I also asked the lawyer how he slept at night (knowing he represented such a terrible person). I said my sister was mentally ill ... can she sue me for slander even though she is very sick.
      Customer: replied 9 months ago.
      Did this message go through?
      Customer: replied 9 months ago.
      I'm afraid she is going to sue me for slander or for saying something about her religion. I am just sick over this. I have not seen my sister since 1989 and not talked to her since 2005.
      Customer: replied 9 months ago.
      In 2005 my died died and she did similar thing. Would not let ayone see or talk to him
      Customer: replied 9 months ago.
      The judge in the conservatorship hearing said she had serious concerns about my sister and imposed sanctions on her. She was not to be present or on premises if I visited my Mo in the new nursing home and she could not be present during amy family phone calls. Just made her install private line so we could apways reach my Mom because nursing staff was refusing all cals from family except Sharon (my sister)
      Expert:  LegalGems replied 9 months ago.

      If one stated a statement as a fact, and it is false, that can be slanderous; but generally statements made to an attorney during litigation are not pursued because most judges will not consider there to be the requisite damage- ie it was made to one's attorney, so it was not "published" to the public.

      If the judge had concerns re: one's mental health, and only an opinion was offered, that is not slanderous.

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