How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Zoey, JD Your Own Question

Zoey, JD
Zoey, JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 17382
Experience:  Active member of the NYS bar since 1989
18321761
Type Your Legal Question Here...
Zoey, JD is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

What constitutes a conflict of interest in a public defender

Resolved Question:

What constitutes a "conflict of interest" in a public defender? I had a public defender assigned to my children as their attorney?? by my ex-husband's lawyer on false accusation of abuse -
My current lawyer uses the same public defender, and is defending her as being a "good" person more than defending me as I have questions about things she has said to my son - Can I report a "conflict of interest" in this case? How do I clear my name in false accusations from an autistic son that actually has assaulted me five times?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 3 years ago.
Jacustomer,

I don't see a conflict of interest here. Public defenders are not appointed by attorneys. They are appointed by the court. Yours was assigned by the court to represent the interest of your child in a family court matter. This is standard. The role of the guardian ad litem is to safeguard the child's rights, and what's in the best interest of the child may not always be what either you or your husband would wish.

If your lawyer is defending her, it's likely because people who practice in a certain field of law and in a specific county all get to know each other well. Doesn't mean they are friends, but it does mean that they have dealt with each other before. If your lawyer tells you that the GAL is a good one, that's not a conflict. That's a stroke of luck, because it means he believes he can deal with her well and ultimately that may be to your advantage.

Conflict of interests can certainly occur, but on the facts that you've presented I don't see anything to indicate there is one here.

Edited by FranL on 2/1/2011 at 5:25 AM EST
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
What if the public defender is always with the ex-husband's lawyer, and actually acted in visiting both boys while visiting their dad for vacation and not allowed to talk to me as their mother - They wondered where I was - My first lawyer didn't speak up for me, and let the other lawyer present false evidence about me that caused a public defender. I still think she is a conflict of interest in the other lawyer defending her over myself or my son. My lawyer can't defend me correctly. What is a conflict of interest?
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 3 years ago.
Jacustomer,

A conflict of interest is when the lawyer involved may not be handling his client's matter correctly because he has a personal or professional interest in someone on the other side of the case that affects his opinion.

If you told me that the public defender had a social relationship with your ex-husband, for example, and thus was making recommendations that went against you, that would be potential conflict of interest for sure. But the fact that she knows your ex's lawyer doesn't have to mean anything. Your lawyer thinks she's doing what she should be doing.

If you don't like your lawyer, or don't trust your lawyer, or think that your lawyer is not working hard enough on your behalf, you can certainly get yourself a new lawyer. I'm not suggesting at all that your lawyer is representing you well. I have no idea about that. It's not the job of the GAL to be on your side or your ex's side. But if you're sure that she's biased against you and colluding somehow with the other side, your lawyer can bring that to the judge's attention and try to get another one appointed.
Zoey, JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 17382
Experience: Active member of the NYS bar since 1989
Zoey, JD and 3 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
< Last | Next >
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
  • It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem. Tony Apopka, FL
  • Not only did he answer my Michigan divorce question but was also able to help me out with it, too. I have since won my legal case on this matter and thank you so much for it. Lee Michigan
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Tina

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    8436
    JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MU/multistatelaw/2011-11-27_173951_Tinaglamourshotworkglow102011.64x64.jpg Tina's Avatar

    Tina

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    8436
    JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RA/ratioscripta/2012-6-13_2955_foto3.64x64.jpg Ely's Avatar

    Ely

    Counselor at Law

    Satisfied Customers:

    19941
    Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/FL/FLAandNYLawyer/2012-1-27_14349_3Fotolia25855429M.64x64.jpg FiveStarLaw's Avatar

    FiveStarLaw

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    8189
    25 years of experience helping people like you.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/jespoag/2008-12-17_222355_jessepic.jpg JPEsq's Avatar

    JPEsq

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    2132
    Experience as general attorney, in house counsel, SSDI, Family Law attorney, and law professor
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/gsenmartin/2008-04-22_214950_me1.jpg Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.'s Avatar

    Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    110
    7+ years of experience handling various legal matters.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PA/PaulmoJD/2013-10-10_195858_JAImage.64x64.jpg Law Educator, Esq.'s Avatar

    Law Educator, Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    31621
    JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/dkaplun/2009-05-17_173121_headshot_1_2.jpg Dimitry K., Esq.'s Avatar

    Dimitry K., Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    15975
    Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.
 
 
 

Related Legal Questions

Chat Now With A Lawyer
Zoey, JD
Zoey, JD
1669 Satisfied Customers
Active member of the NYS bar since 1989