Family Law Not Immune to Pandemic
There is no aspect of my life left unchanged in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic. I can’t eat at a restaurant without experiencing hesitancy. I order more delivery food than ever before. Southeastern Conference football started late. The important aspects of my life, limited as I now realize they are, are fundamentally different than they were in February 2020. Family law matters are not immune.
The backlog of cases pending before our Courts is immense, leading to an unfortunate and inescapable delay in matters proceeding to resolution. In-person proceedings are only just resuming in certain counties and even then on a limited basis and with substantial safety measures; the vast majority of proceedings continue to be conducted via electronic means. Litigants find themselves in the position of both wanting their matters resolved on a timeline certain and understanding that their desired timeline is subject to circumstances beyond their control. However, litigants do have the power and the authority to resolve their litigation on agreeable terms and on their own timeline.
Georgia attorneys are subject to the provisions contained within the Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct. Rule 1.2(a) provides that
a lawyer shall abide by a client’s decisions concerning the scope and objectives of representation and […] shall consult with the client as to the means by which they are to be pursued. A lawyer may take such action on behalf of the client as is impliedly authorized to carry out the representation. A lawyer shall abide by a client’s decision whether to settle a matter.
Rule 1.2(d) limits the scope of Rule 1.2(a) insofar as an attorney “shall not counsel a client to engage in conduct that the lawyer knows is criminal or fraudulent, nor knowingly assist a client in such conduct.” If you want to settle a case, and your terms for settling a case are neither criminal nor fraudulent, your attorney is obligated to act on your behalf to act in the manner which you dictate.
You should never feel you lack control in family law litigation. This is your case, your life, and your family’s future. If you have any reason to feel your attorney does not “hear” you, you should express that to your attorney in no uncertain terms.
The attorneys of Hedgepeth Heredia pride ourselves on listening to you – listening to your goals and desired outcomes – and doing what we can to make those desires a reality. You deserve no less.