Answers to today's legal questions through blogs and articles

Hiring an attorney

What is a Collaborative Divorce?

A divorce is never an easy situation to find oneself in; and many times proceedings can seem like they continue forever before they come to an end. A NJ family attorney can help couples file a collaborative divorce which is a new alternative to the traditional process. Collaborative divorce law allows the spouses to work with attorneys who will help them negotiate the terms of a divorce in a much friendlier and peaceful environment. Each spouse will hire a collaborative attorney who will assist them and advise them in negotiating the terms of a settlement agreement. After the two spouses meet with their individual attorneys, the four parties will meet together to discuss the terms of the divorce and try to reach an agreement. If a collaborative divorce cannot be reached the proceedings must go on to the court system. In these cases the collaborative attorney cannot represent their client in the court proceedings. The goal of a collaborative divorce is to peacefully settle all the terms of the divorce through a series of negotiations. A successful collaborative divorce will end with both parties agreeing on all the aspects of the divorce.

What is an Indemnity Agreement?

indemnity agreement
Man Signing Agreement

A NJ attorney can help companies draw up an indemnity agreement. When an indemnity agreement is set in place, financial responsibility is decided.  Indemnification according to Black’s Law Dictionary, is “a duty to make good any loss, damage or liability incurred by another.” In general it means to “hold harmless” such that one party will hold another harmless in the case of damage or loss. Therefore, indemnification is the act of not being held liable, or of being protected from costs associated with damages. The costs are shifted to another party who is held liable and will have to pay for any such losses. Indemnity also comes with the understanding that when a party is injured, they have a right to claim compensation or reimbursement for any loss or damages. It can also refer to being compensated for damages or loss that occurs because of the action of a separate party. Or it can be described as a sort of legal exemption from having to pay any type of loss or damage in cases where an indemnity clause is included in a contract.

Commercial Collection Law

What is Attorney Attorney Confidentiality?

Confidential
Folder that is Confidential

Many times all that is discussed is the lawyer-client relationship as it relates to confidentiality. However, attorney-attorney confidentiality is just as important. A NJ attorney has the ethical duty of not disclosing information that is related to the representation of his client. Confidentiality is in effect at all times for the attorney, not just when they are facing legal demands for client information.

What is RPC Rule 1.4?


Verbal Communication
Two Cartoons Communicating

It is imperative in any professional position that clear communication be established, but even more so for the attorney. If a NJ Attorney desires to have a successful practice good communication skills are essential. They must be able to effectively communicate on many levels with associates, other legal professionals, vendors, staff, partners and of course with their clientele. When a lawyer can communicate effectively they will demonstrate more confidence which can lead to increased clientele. In order to build a rapport between the client and lawyer good communication is essential. Rule 1.4 of the Rules of Professional Conduct pertains to communication which occurs between the client and the lawyer.

What is RPC Rule 1.1?

Lawyer running away
Lawyer Running

The Rules of Professional Conduct cover many different topics as they pertain to lawyers and how they handle their profession. Section 1.1 deals with the lawyer’s competency. The two sections contained under competency explain that lawyers must handle legal matters ethically; they cannot neglect a matter which has been entrusted to them in any way that constitutes gross negligence. Lawyers must be competent in their handling of legal matters in general such that they do not show evidence of patterns of neglect.

What is RPC Rule 7.3?

Lawyer agreement
Lawyer and a Client Shaking hands

Every New Jersey attorney is required to handle all their professional legal matters according to the Rules of Professional Conduct. The RPC outlines how lawyers are to conduct themselves in an ethical manner. Following these rules of conduct can help protect clients from lawyer’s unethical practices but they are also in place to provide protection for lawyers. Rule 7.3 offers the guidelines by which lawyers should handle personal contact with their clients or prospective clients. Lawyers must be allowed to initiate contact with clients but only for obtaining employment, however, there are certain requirements which must be met. An attorney cannot accept a client if they know that the individual is trying to obtain the lawyer’s services in a way that is prohibited by RPC Rule 7.3.

What is RPC Rule 1.16?

Common Law
Judges's Gavel

New Jersey has established the Rules of Professional Conduct for attorneys. Rule 1.16 of the Rules of Professional Conduct deals with the termination of professional services. It is possible for a NJ attorney to withdraw from any case when a client requests that the attorney engage in behavior that he fundamentally disagrees with. RPC Rule 1.16 deals with the specifics of how and when a NJ attorney can withdraw from representation.

What is RPC Rule 8.3?

Rules Sign
Know the Rules Stamp

Every NJ attorney is compelled to be responsible to maintain the integrity of the legal profession. Every lawyer is bound by a set of legal ethics and they must adhere to them in order to protect the integrity of the profession. Many people have often asked what an attorney should do if they are aware of unethical actions committed on the part of another attorney or legal professional. Are they bound by the law to report these types of actions, or are they exempt? Whenever an attorney becomes aware of unethical actions committed by another legal professional they are required to report the professional misconduct to the ethics committee in New Jersey. Every NJ attorney is required to follow the Rules of Professional Conduct (RPC) including Rule 8.3 which states that a lawyer must report unethical behaviors.

What is an RPC Violation?

Ethics Word
Ethics and Values

The NJ attorney is bound by the Rules of Professional Conduct as they are outlined to provide protection for both the client and the legal professional. Lawyers must conduct all of their business in an ethical and honest way. Some of the rules contain wording which states either “shall” or “shall not”; while other portions use the kinder terms, “may” or “may not.” The rules which state a lawyer “may” or “may not” participate in a specific action are largely left up to the attorney’s professional and personal discretion. However, those Rules of Professional Conduct which state specifically that a lawyer “shall” or “shall not” participate in a specified action or activity can bear repercussions for the lawyer if they are not followed.

How to Choose a Family Law Attorney

Mediation
Mediation Meeting

Choosing a family law attorney can be a difficult task that we all must face at one time or another. However, it is important to remember that a family law attorney does much more than help with divorce proceedings. They may assist setting up a trust fund, a living will or help get any number of legal documents in order. NJ family law attorneys help protect both families and assets. Even though selecting one seems like an arduous task, there are some areas to think about which can help individuals select the right one for their particular set of circumstances. Hiring a family law attorney does not have to be so difficult if you consider the following topics. Choosing the best attorney can help reduce the hassles that many times accompany legal cases.