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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 41221
Experience:  I provide family and divorce law advice to my clients in my firm.
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Consider this question is new but related to the question I asked you 6/1/13 in the area of family law...I appreciate the answer and guidance you gave in your answer...after receiving your answer I looked up the Louisiana Rules of Professional Conduct ( printed out ) 31 pages and certainly makes for some informative reading. My original questions was after more than two years of a very unpleasant ordeal of divorce & attempt to divide community property .It was discovered that the X-wife's attorney was in violation of Rule 1.9 of professional conduct ( duties to former client )...I stated my attorney when realizing this filed a motion , including much detail and citing Louisiana cases and law to support the motion to the court for the judge to rule on this discovered violation...on the day to appear in court , there was a pre-conference held in the judge's two attorneys the X-wife's attorney and the Judge. In the discussion on this matter in the judge's private ..the decision was made to go into court, and allow the attorney to voluntarily with draw...My question in the Rules of Louisiana Professional Conduct ( rule 8.3 Reporting Professional Misconduct ) (a) A lawyer who knows that another lawyer has committed a violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct that raises a question as to the lawyer's honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer in other respects, shall inform the office of Disciplinary Counsel. Including the judge , you have four Louisiana attorneys present and involved in that discussion....even if agreed to let the attorney voluntarily with draw...should not for ethical reasons based on that rule 8.3 one or all of the attorneys present inform of the violation of professional misconduct to the Office of Disciplinary Counsel......I ask this question because the two years with this attorney representing the X-wife created a very negative financial burden on me....The X-wife's attorney was not and has not been reported, and this is over 8 months ago.....Nick R.

Thank you for your question and thank you again for requesting me, Nick. Glad to assist you again if I can.

This is very much the crux of the issue and one that many attorneys struggle with in obtaining the right answer. The rules of professional conduct require the attorneys to use their own judgment and the language also gives attorneys so wiggle room. "Shall be reported' is not the same as "must be reported", and similarly the attorney has to believe that the violation affects their competency or trustworthiness allows other attorneys to claim that they did not deem this violation to rise to such level. I realize that this is splitting hairs, but attorneys tend to make calls to their respective disciplinary boards fairly often to obtain clarity (I personally made such calls in the past about very similar issues and also to obtain guidance as to whether I should or should not report), and there is also this element of professional courtesy that disfavors attorneys reporting each other. I am not stating that it is right, but this is why many attorneys do not want to file complaints against judges (as they would likely see those judges again), or other attorneys since the profession is very interconnected. The best person here to report is the spouse who can most definitely seek her own damages, but with attorneys there is more flexibility in choosing to not pursue this by claiming that it was not quite as serious as expected.

Good luck.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank You Very much for your answer...I agree with your viewpoint, and do realize , in essence....The Rules of Professional Conduct has been written, in such a manner as to allow that wiggle room....but that does not make it right, it just allows and attorney to take the easy way out, and not necessarily, do what may be difficult and unpleasant, demand the highest level of professional service and behavior from their peers, unfortunately its usually the clients that have to suffer the consequences of poor representation, and they are the ones who have entrusted to their attorney's , their confidence that the attorney will provide the best possible service and representation....Nick


I do agree with you, but at the same time it is very much as with any profession, be attorneys, doctors, police officers, accountants, and the like--there is some measure of professional courtesy afforded. The language is also not so clearcut as to demand reporting since a judgment is still left to the reporting attorney. At the same time the client does still have the ability to pursue via disciplinary reporting or a malpractice suit, or both.

Good luck.

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