When people decide to get a divorce, they often speak to several divorce attorneys before hiring one. These discussions are “consultations” and can occur in person, on the phone, by email, or even on a computer chat program. Those who talk to attorneys under these circumstances are considered “prospective clients.”
During consultations, prospective clients may tell the attorney sensitive information about facts of the divorce case, such as information about minor children, assets and liabilities, and other personal information. The lawyer is listening to determine whether he/she is willing to represent the prospective client.
Often times the prospective client does not retain the attorney who provided the consultation. But the attorney who gave the consultation may have a conflict of interest if the spouse of the prospective client retains him/her in the same divorce case. Under certain circumstances, the attorney who gave the consultation and all the attorneys in his/her law firm will be disqualified from representing the spouse because of this conflict of interest.
For an attorney and law firm to be disqualified under this scenario, the lawyer must have received information during the consultation that could be “significantly harmful” to the prospective client in the divorce case. If this occurred, then the attorney will be disqualified unless the prospective client and the spouse consented to the representation. The law firm will be disqualified unless one of the following occurs:
The prospective client and the spouse consented to the representation; OR
The lawyer giving the consultation tried to limit the “significantly harmful” information received, the lawyer is “screened” from the case so that he/she cannot participate in the case, and the lawyer does receive any of the fee from the case.
It is important that people looking for a divorce lawyer consult with as many attorneys as necessary until they find the lawyer who is the right fit. During this process they should rest assured that whatever is said in these consultations will not be used later against them in their case. The Botti Law Firm, P.C. has been serving DuPage and Cook County residents for nearly 50 years. We have vast experience handling cases involving divorce. If you would like to speak to one of our experienced attorneys, please email us or call (630) 573-8585 to schedule a free consultation.
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The Botti Law Firm, P.C., conveniently located in Oak Brook and Wheaton, is a full service law firm that offers comprehensive legal representation to individuals, families, businesses and professionals from the Chicago area, including Cook, Kane, DuPage, Lake, Will and Kendall Counties, to the rest of the United States. Our experienced trial attorneys are dedicated to obtaining successful results for our clients, in both state and federal courts.
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