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 Lucy, Esq. Your Own Question
Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 29797
Experience:  Attorney with experience in family law.
Type Your Family Law Question Here...
Lucy, Esq. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

FOR LUCY Hello Lucy: You gave me excellent information

This answer was rated:


Hello Lucy:

You gave me excellent information last week regarding Arms Length Transactions. I have learned much about it and I thank you.

I have no reason to be hopeful that the mediation process scheduled this week will be productive and I anticipate going to trial mid July.

On the Consolidated PreTrial Order, her attorney listed her, my wife the Petitioner, as a person who would be “present”.

She is a mental case, certified with Dementia 13 years ago. I intend to try to expose her condition to the court in today’s frame of reference, arguing that she was not competent to enter into a contract with her attorney, and make a motion to the court to have her undergo a mental competency exam prior to continuing I know it’s a long shot, however, if I get her on the stand, she is likely to behave in such an emotional manner the court may be convinced.

My concern is: Her attorney will present his case regarding her claims of separate property, etc. by introducing documents and attempting to avoid putting her on the stand. Another reason I want to question her is to establish that I was her extensive and exclusive caregiver for the 20 yr. term of the marriage.

If her attorney does not put her on to testify, do I still get to question her and if I do am I allowed to subject her to direct examination as well as cross? Just concerned if I will have full access to her. If not, do I need to subpoena her to ensure I do?

(Georgia is an Equitable Division state rather than Joint as in California so
establishing my position on all issues, which will be in direct conflict with her outrageous claims is very important.)

Thank You


Yes, you can call her as a witness even if her attorney does not. An attorney cannot testify instead of the client. Her attorney can't just describe things that she's seen or done - that's hearsay. She has to take the stand herself to testify to that stuff.

An attorney can introduce evidence that is self-authenticating, such as court documents. But if she wants to introduce other evidence, there has to be a witness to explain what it is and lay a foundation. You'll be able to object if the attorney just starts handing in exhibits with no witness on the stand. He may intend to call you as a witness and try to introduce exhibits through you, though.

You have the ability to list the other party as a witness on your witness list. It's usually not necessary to subpoena the other party - you're both expected to be there. If you're worried that she may try not to show up, you can ask the judge to order her to attend, if there are any hearings between now and the trial. If there aren't, there is the option of issuing a subpoena, even if it shouldn't be necessary.

Basically, when a person calls an adverse party as a witness, he can ask about anything relevant to the case. He can also treat the person as a hostile witness (which means asking leading questions, similar to on cross-examination). If the person appears to be lying, the other party can ask questions designed to show that.

If you have any questions or concerns about what I've written, please reply so that I may address them. It's important to me that you are 100% satisfied with the service I provide. Otherwise, please rate my service positively so that I get credit for answering your question. Thank you.
Lucy, Esq. and 4 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.


I did not list her on my witness list on the Consolidated Pretrial Order. I believe that is a done deal and I cannot amend it. Correct me if I am wrong.

There is a possibility she will not show up as she has multiple sclerosis, is agoraphobic, passive aggressive, and uses her MS as an excuse to no-show. (She canceled the last mediation date the morning it was scheduled).


The Consolidated Scheduling Order states: " This case will/may be specially set by the Court some time after July 16." So I assume there will be no further opportunity to ask the Judge anything regarding her appearance.


Considering; do you feel not issuing a subpoena would be a mistake on my part? (Hope my question is not too specific)




It sounds like the other options won't work, so issuing a subpoena would be the only remaining way of trying to ensure her presence at the trial.
Lucy, Esq. and 4 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you