The Dangers of Not Following Your Lawyers Advice
As with any situation where you have asked for advice and then decide not to follow it, there will usually be consequences. The effect of not following your lawyer’s advice, however, can really make a difference in the desired outcome of your case. Here are some likely consequences that may occur:
Probably first and foremost is the fact that by not following your lawyer’s advice, you significantly harm the lawyer-client relationship. Your lawyer is working hard for you, and when you decide to no longer pay attention or listen to his or her advice, you give the impression you no longer trust that your lawyer has your best interest at heart.Any person who no longer feels the trust of another will be hurt and any relationship there has been will be damaged.
It is also true that the lawyer is a professional, trained, and educated to know the laws and guidelines of the state he or she is practicing in. The advice given under such circumstances is almost always proper information for the situation being attended to. It is highly unlikely you will know more than your lawyer when it comes to legal matters so by not following your lawyer’s advice you will likely cause damage to the processing of your case. Inappropriate Information could be leaked to the other party;information could be misunderstood by you; evidence could be tainted in such a way as to make the evidence unacceptable in court; witness could be prejudiced; a lot of time and money could be wasted as your lawyer tries to undo any damage you may have created.
To give you an idea of how essential it is to follow your lawyer’s advice, here are some examples of how not following your lawyer’s advice could be dangerous:
- Your lawyer tells you to be very careful when posting emails. You think this is silly and continue to talk about your case on email. A friend of your soon-to-be-ex is on the list of people to receive your emails and forwards the helpful case information to your ex. Your ex then gives the information to his/her lawyer, and now your lawyer has lost some critical leverage in gaining the best settlement for you.
- Since you have already entered into another romantic relationship, your lawyer advises you to keep a low profile, avoid posting information or pictures on social media, and not to include that person when spending time with your minor children. Again, you think this is silly and not only post compromising pictures, including your stay at a very expensive hotel but pictures of bringing your new friend along with you when visiting your minor children. Even if you live in a no-fault state like Florida where it doesn’t matter why you want a divorce a judge will take into account your spending excessive amounts of money on a paramour and likely give a higher amount of alimony or settlement money to the other party. You can also be admonished for not considering your minor children’s best interests, and a judge may find subtle ways to impose consequences on time spent with them.
- Your lawyer advises you to always tell him or her the truth about your situation, and that includes your finances. When it comes time to submit the mandatory financial disclosure required of both parties you decide to fudge on or not include certain disclosures. The other party has positive proof you were not aware of regarding certain aspects of your tainted financial disclosure. You have now lied,and omitted facts and a judge will take this into serious consideration when determining how to divide marital assets and liabilities.This is particularly true in states like Florida where marital assets and liabilities are not divided evenly but equitably. The other party will benefit and profit from you not following your lawyer’s advice.
A lawyer is hired to help his or her client achieve the very best outcome possible concerning the client’s needs. By not following the advice given by a lawyer, the client is only hurting him or herself. There is little point in spending money for advice meant to help if you don’t plan to follow it.