WHAT GOOD ARE RULES OR LAW IF THEY’RE OFTEN IGNORED OR NOT FOLLOWED?
What good are rules, code or law if NO ONE enforces them?
Rule 8.4: Misconduct
Maintaining The Integrity Of The Profession
It is professional misconduct for a lawyer to:
(a) violate or attempt to violate the Rules of Professional Conduct, knowingly assist or induce another to do so, or do so through the acts of another;
(b) commit a criminal act that reflects adversely on the lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer in other respects;
(c) engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation;
(d) engage in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice;
(e) state or imply an ability to influence improperly a government agency or official or to achieve results by means that violate the Rules of Professional Conduct or other law;
(f) knowingly assist a judge or judicial officer in conduct that is a violation of applicable rules of judicial conduct or other law; or
(g) engage in conduct that the lawyer knows or reasonably should know is harassment or discrimination on the basis of race, sex, religion, national origin, ethnicity, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status or socioeconomic status in conduct related to the practice of law. This paragraph does not limit the ability of a lawyer to accept, decline or withdraw from a representation in accordance with Rule 1.16. This paragraph does not preclude legitimate advice or advocacy consistent with these Rules.
Rule 4.1: Truthfulness in Statements to Others
Transactions With Persons Other Than Clients
In the course of representing a client a lawyer shall not knowingly:
(a) make a false statement of material fact or law to a third person; or
(b) fail to disclose a material fact to a third person when disclosure is necessary to avoid assisting a criminal or fraudulent act by a client, unless disclosure is prohibited by Rule 1.6.
What is Legal Abuse?
Legal abuse can take on several forms, but for the context of this blog, it refers to the abuser’s wrongful use of the court system to file frivolous actions against their victims, which will inevitably drag out the already abusive situation.
Abusers can file frivolous actions against the victim. This can include false allegations, filing a motion to delay a hearing, and purposely filing court applications incorrectly so that they’d have to delay a particular hearing. They might file paperwork at a different court in an attempt to overturn a previous decision.
Abusers can threaten legal action, too. This is solely with the purpose of getting the victim to comply with their demands.
Despite escaping abusive situations, many survivors still feel fear when it comes to the legal system. This fear is very real and can exacerbate the situation because the abuser will use the courts to maintain contact with the victim.
This is why it is so vital for survivors to continue to speak out and speak the truth – in hopes that one day, the abusers will be seen for what they are. Speak up. More people need to be aware that legal abuse exists, especially those in the legal system! The more that victims speak up, the more they will be believed and the abusers will be held accountable.