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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.
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I have a question. Are there any rules, according to the

Customer Question

I have a question.

Are there any rules, according to the American bar association, conflicts of interest, involving an elected official, or judge, representing another elected official, in a civil matter?
Ex.
Current Mayor, or mayor pro-tem, or council members, retaining as legal council, the municipal judge, of the same city?

I'm hoping I have clearly asked my question. I'm trying to understand rule 1.11 "Special conflicts of interest, for current and former government officers and employees"
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 10 months ago.
Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.

This is a fairly broad question. Do you have specific examples that I could help you evaluate that you believe may or may not violate the current regulations? There are definitely rules in place but perhaps it may be easier for me to answer with specific examples. Please advise.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Specifically, I'm currently involved in an impending divorce, where my spouse, changed the locks to our home, shortly after announcing for divorce, and giving no reasons as to why.

Wife is, and has been an elected official for our city for 8 years at least.
I called the police, to file a complaint, after discovering my wife changed the locks to our home, failing to provide me with a key. She responded to the filing of the report, with a protective order, which was granted, barring me from the home for 1 year.

After completing the 12 month order, though initially, in court she admitted u had never been violent( and my testimony, that i had no desire to, with respect to her), I discovered the she has retained the judge of our city, as her legal representation in our legal proceedings.
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 10 months ago.

Andrew,

Thank you for your follow-up. I am sorry that you are going through such a fractious divorce. I am likewise assuming that you wish to challenge the judge as somehow invalid due to a potential conflict of interest. So far I do not quite see one although there may be a conflict.

1. If a judge is a registered attorney, and the representation does not in any way cause the case to appear in the same judge's court, there is no inherent conflict. For example if a judge acts as a social security judge, representing someone in a family law matter is permitted UNLESS the court system expressly had rules and conditions in lace that forbid such 'moonlighting'. Please review the Georgia Code of Judicial Conduct:
http://www.georgiacourts.org/files/GEORGIA%20CODE%20OF%20JUDICIAL%20CONDUCT%20-%2009_23_11.pdf

2. In terms of Rule 1.11, the rules essentially bars the judge or any pblic legal professional from contacting or being contacted by parties who they have in front of them in court and being offered employment. That is what would create the majority of conflicts in this instance. A judge likewise cannot act in a matter that he heard in the past or was a part of. Here is the statute that would govern, specifically rule 1.12:

RULE 1.12 FORMER JUDGE OR ARBITRATOR

Ethics & Discipline / Current Rules / Part IV (After January 1 / 2001) - Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct (also includes Disciplinary Proceedings and Advisory Opinion rules) / CHAPTER 1 GEORGIA RULES OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT AND ENFORCEMENT THEREOF
  1. Except as stated in paragraph (d), a lawyer shall not represent anyone in connection with a matter in which the lawyer participated personally and substantially as a judge or other adjudicative officer, arbitrator or law clerk to such a person, unless all parties to the proceeding give informed consent.
  2. A lawyer shall not negotiate for employment with any person who is involved as a party or as lawyer for a party in a matter in which the lawyer is participating personally and substantially as a judge or other adjudicative officer or arbitrator. A lawyer serving as a law clerk to a judge, other adjudicative officer or arbitrator may negotiate for employment with a party or lawyer involved in a matter in which the clerk is participating personally and substantially, but only after the lawyer has notified the judge, other adjudicative officer or arbitrator. In addition, the law clerk shall promptly provide written notice of acceptance of employment to all counsel of record in all such matters in which the prospective employer is involved.
  3. If a lawyer is disqualified by paragraph (a), no lawyer in a firm with which that lawyer is associated may knowingly undertake or continue representation in the matter unless:
    1. the disqualified lawyer is screened from any participation in the matter and is apportioned no part of the fee therefrom; and
    2. written notice is promptly given to the appropriate tribunal to enable it to ascertain compliance with the provisions of this Rule.
  4. An arbitrator selected as a partisan of a party in a multimember arbitration panel is not prohibited from subsequently representing that party.

The maximum penalty for a violation of this Rule is a public reprimand.

 

 

 

Good luck.

Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 37036
Experience: Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.
Dimitry K., Esq. and 15 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Thank you sir, it was heartbreaking enough, to hear the announcement of the divorce, after being with her since high school, and it rolled downhill from the announcement.

I just have to research further, as I believe the judge for the city, also acts as county judge, where the divorce will be concluded. I don't know, I'm foreign to legal matters, as the most I've ever had in my life, was speeding tickets.

Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 10 months ago.
Andrew,

Thank you for your follow-up. You are most welcome, and should you need any further assistance I will be happy to help if I can. I am genuinely sorry that you have to deal with this situation. Find out from the city if they permit moonlighting as some expressly require under contract that judge ONLY act as judges so as to avoid laims of conflict of interest or impartiality.

Good luck and please take care.

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