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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 6/26/2002 8:24:05 PM EDT
My Co-worker is engaged to a guy that is in a fairly bitter custody dispute with his Ex. The Ex's lawyer has contacted the court appointed Counselor and made the following claims against my Co-Worker: 1. Her Brother is a Drug Dealer. 2. The environment at the house is unsafe, and the kids are unsupervised. Along with several other nasty accusations. According to a conversation between my Co-Worker, her Fiancee, and the Counselor, the Ex's attorney is making the accusations without the Ex's knowledge. None of these accusations are true. Her Brother is a veteran, currently employed, and has NEVER been in trouble with the law. All the other accusations are also groundless. The "Drug Dealer" (mentioned by name--the name is NOT the same as my Co-Worker's Brother and not even of the same ethnic background) was a neighbor of my Co-Worker for a brief period. The Ex's Attorney has apparently been accessing police records (directly or through a friend) trying to find information about my Co-Worker or her family. The Attorney has WRITTEN a letter to the court appointed Counselor with these allegations spelled out (even the claim that my Co-Worker's Brother is a drug dealer). I am aware of the dirty tricks that occur during custody disputes, etc., but I would venture to guess that documentably false accusations go beyond what is acceptable in normal practice. My suggestion to my Co-Worker was to file a formal complaint with the Indiana Bar Association against the Attorney rather than try to file a slander/libel suit (or have her Brother do so). I was also under the impression that accessing police records (especially by a private attorney) is illegal. Any ideas??
Link Posted: 6/26/2002 9:22:59 PM EDT
Of the three, I would say slander, but I'm no lawyer.
Link Posted: 6/28/2002 11:51:39 AM EDT
Police records are in fact "public record". This is however, convictions, NOT arrests. I would say this lawyer is guilty of Felony Stupid & will have his ass soundly whipped in court. Stupid lawyers rarely win.
Link Posted: 6/28/2002 12:00:04 PM EDT
And every time I see my Dad he asks why I haven't married yet.
Link Posted: 6/28/2002 12:12:46 PM EDT
Its slander toward the guy. Its malpractice to the woman. There is almost NOTHING that can be done about it unless the woman who hired the attorney takes part in the action against him...At that point, she can write the BAR about his actions, which would be malpractice. If she was to go along with the false accusations in court it would be purgery.
Link Posted: 6/28/2002 12:16:17 PM EDT
"Slander" is the spoken word. "Libel" is written, so unless the attorney has been publicly, verbally telling people about the alleged drug dealing, you would be looking at libel. There are a lot of other considerations, too. For example, the lawyer only represents a person, similar to being an agent. I'm not a lawyer, but it may be possible to charge the ex directly with libel. OTOH, this is a relatively minor beef & any libel suit would probably not see the light of day in court. My guess is that "malpractice" is closer to the actual fact, but face it, the attorney just sees the ex as a money machine. If she is stupid enough to let the attorney pursue all of this when it is patently untrue she is a victim of her own stupidity. Probably the best & cheapest advice is to have his attorney tell the opposing attorney the facts and/or make them find a way to prove that he is actually a drug dealer. I bet that a call to the IN State Bar wouldn't hurt & neither would some research into previous cases that this attorney has handled. Maybe this is a pattern for this attorney.
Link Posted: 6/28/2002 12:20:48 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/28/2002 12:21:02 PM EDT by CITADELGRAD87]
THIS IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE>PAY A LAWYER TO TELL YOU THE LAW IN YOUR JURISDICTION. However, NOBODY can sue a lawyer for "malpractice" except THAT lawyer's client. The other guy's lawyer owes no duty to YOU or anyone but his or her client. Second, many states have a broad litigation immunity provision, meaning DURING a lawsuit, participants, including the attornies, are immune from slander or libel suits. Flase statements in court documents or in open court, however, can have repurcussions.
Link Posted: 6/28/2002 2:54:08 PM EDT
Originally Posted By CITADELGRAD87: Second, many states have a broad litigation immunity provision, meaning DURING a lawsuit, participants, including the attornies, are immune from slander or libel suits. Flase statements in court documents or in open court, however, can have repurcussions.
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ditto! in most places there is an absolute litigation privilege! However, a letter to the state bar is a good idea.
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