Ethical Issues in Representing Domestic Violence Survivors
Created on March 06, 2017
Civil representation of domestic violence survivors plays a critical role in helping survivors navigate the many challenges they face. That representation also raises multiple ethical issues with which attorneys must grapple. These include competent knowledge of the law, competent knowledge of the dynamics of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking, culturally competent representation, effective communication, client safety, and defining the scope of representation. Attorneys must also be sensitive to the ways that the effects of trauma can manifest, and remain respectful of client autonomy and client capacity.
Julie Goldscheid, Professor of Law at CUNY Law School, and Lenina Trinidad, senior staff attorney at Manhattan Legal Services, address these issues through review of the applicable rules of professional responsibility, pertinent caselaw, and commentary. They also use hypothetical examples to explore challenging issues that arise in this kind of practice.
Identify the applicable rules of professional responsibility that inform challenges in working with domestic violence survivors
Utilize tools for balancing tensions between client wishes and legal advice
Understand tools for assessing client capacity for decision making
Identify additional resources to access when engaged in representation
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