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Is there any case law (particularly in Wyoming) that defines

the boundary between an attorney's...
Is there any case law (particularly in Wyoming) that defines the boundary between an attorney's obligations to their client and to their obligations as an officer of the Court?
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10/11/2013
Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
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Hello friend. My name is XXXXX XXXXX welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice, and, (2) there may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies.

This depends on what you mean by "obligations." As in, telling the Court a possible criminal act that their client did, for example? Can you please be more specific with the example?
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Customer reply replied 4 years ago

Well in my case, the District Court Judge in Court testimony classified my ex-wife's behavior as having engaged in Parental Alienation. Her attorney then filed a frivolous appeal to the Wyoming Supreme Court. My former attorney and I agree it will be a simple matter to demonstrate the appeal was frivolous.


 


I want to make an argument that the attorney, by filing a frivolous appeal to perpetuate the alienating behavior, has violated his obligations as an officer of the court.


 


There is plenty of case law around a parent engaging in alienating behavior, what is less clear is where is the line between an attorney's obligations to their client and their obligations to the court when filing frivolous appeals.


 


Additionally the attorney includes numerous mistakes in the required Statement of Facts, and violates a number of the Courts Rules for filing an appeal, and brief.

Thank you.

The attorney is charged with zealous representation of their client. There is a lot of discussion (in and out of court) about the ethics of how far that is to go, but in all honesty, zealous representation almost always wins out as opposed to "court officer."

The primary ethical obligations are under "Rules of Professional Conduct for Attorneys at Law." Specifically, Rule 1.3 states:

"A lawyer should pursue a matter on behalf of a client despite opposition, obstruction or personal inconvenience to the lawyer, and take whatever lawful and ethical measures are required to vindicate a client's cause or endeavor. A lawyer must also act with commitment and dedication to the interests of the client and with zeal in advocacy upon the client's behalf. A lawyer is not bound, however, to press for every advantage that might be realized for a client. For example, a lawyer may have authority to exercise professional discretion in determining the means by which a matter should be pursued. ... The lawyer's duty to act with reasonable diligence does not require the use of offensive tactics or preclude the treating of all persons involved in the legal process with courtesy and respect."

Now, one can make an complaint to the Bar that the attorney did not do this and acted improperly. See here.

However, if the filing was frivolous, one's best option may be to pursue against their CLIENT for MALICIOUS PROSECUTION once the appeal is denied.

Malicious prosecution is a cause of action wherein it is seen:
(1) That the Defendant initiated, caused or procured the arrest or prosecution of the Plaintiff;

"(2) That the criminal proceeding against the Plaintiff terminated in his favor;

"(3) That the Defendant acted without probable cause in initiating or procuring the arrest or prosecution of the Plaintiff;

"(4) That the Defendant acted with malice; and

"(5) That the Plaintiff suffered injury or damage."

Cates v. Eddy, 669 P. 2d 912 - Wyo: Supreme Court 1983 (jury instructions).

And, seek punitive damages.

Please note: I aim to give you genuine information and not necessarily to tell you only what you wish to hear. Please, rate me on the quality of my information and do not punish me for my honesty. I understand that hearing things less than optimal is not easy, and I empathize.

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R,

To clarify; the malicious prosecution may be for a civil or criminal action - the example I provided above had jury instructions from a criminal action that was the cause for the malicious prosecution, but a civil one is very similar.
Ely
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Customer reply replied 4 years ago

I'm sorry, but you're not really answering my question. I understand I could pursue a malicious prosecution action against my ex-wife, but I would prefer to ask the court to sanction the attorney, it would have a broader application to parents in my situation. Relying on the Bar or a prosecutor becomes a CYA on their part. It took 10 years and 5 cases before the Bar would initiate an action against an attorney, mine was one of the cases, to sanction an attorney for suborning perjury.


 


I wanted to take a different tact. If you're saying there is no case law that helps define the line between zealious representation and obligations to the court, OK just tell me so.

R,

Okay.

There is no law that helps to define the line between zealous representation and obligations to the court by the attorney in Wyoming. Nothing concrete that can be used.
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