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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 30365
Experience:  Attorney with experience in family law.
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I was wandering if my lawyer was under the influence during

Customer Question

i was wandering if my lawyer was under the influence during my entire custody case as well as my divorce is any work she did valid? More importantly she was also a mediator during a mediation in which she also represented me in at the same time and she was the notary on all of the documents
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 2 years ago.

My name is ***** ***** I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear that this happened.
An attorney owes clients a duty of competence. Showing up for court under the influence, or being drunk/on drugs while working on the case is a violation of that duty, and you have the ability to file a Complaint with the Bar Association.
You may also have grounds for a legal malpractice suit - typically, in a divorce case, your damages would be the cost of paying another lawyer to fix the situation (or a refund of fees paid).
It is also a violation for the lawyer of one of the parties to act as a mediator without them giving informed consent. That is something else that can be reported to the Bar Association, and you may be able to ask the judge to throw out the mediation agreement if your lawyer used confidential information in reaching the decision.
That doesn't automatically mean that every thing that happened in the case is void, unless the other party was plying your lawyer with alcohol. But you may be able to file to re-open the judgment on the grounds of excusable neglect by your lawyer. Any local family law attorney should be able to review the case file and go over the options with you.
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