Trauma victims present a number of characteristics that result from their trauma. This includes PTSD with all its plethora of symptoms, as well as the effects of gaslighting and trauma bonding. Understanding these characteristics is critical to understanding how victims view the world and interact with others, including their lawyers. It is also important because victims of trauma will present cognitive, logistical, and communication challenges. However, as attorney Maria-Vittoria Carminati notes in this important program, ignoring, not understanding, or mishandling these issues can result in lawyers failing in their duty of competence.
A lawyer has a duty of competence, at all times and regardless of who the client is. If the lawyer does not fully comprehend why the client-victim is behaving in certain ways, they may fail in their duty of competence. Ways to do this would be to be impatient, impose too onerous burdens, or failing to accommodate the client’s well-grounded needs. Communication can also pose a challenge because of trauma victims’ various behaviors. Although victims of trauma can be challenging clients, they are also among the most deserving of legal services and most in need of strong advocates who will compassionately and fiercely stand up for them. As a result, lawyers should endeavor to learn how to be better lawyers for them and help them in their times of need.
Examine the duty of competence as defined by ABA Model Rule 1.1
Review recent revisions to the ABA Model Rules, particularly Rules 1.1 (Competence), 1.4 (Communication), 1.6 (Confidentiality), 4.4 (Unintentional Disclosure), 5.1 (Supervising Junior Lawyers), and 5.3 (Supervising Staff and Vendors)
Address the way that trauma affects a victim’s interactions with the legal system and the victim’s lawyer, and how those interactions can pose a challenge to competent representation
Identify best practices for recognizing domestic violence and truly understanding your case
Develop techniques to address the many challenges of representing victims of domestic violence, while showing adequate sensitivity to the victim’s state of mind and pathology
Explore how to navigate common ethical challenges through the use of practical scenarios that attorneys are likely to face in this area of law
Giugi Carminati is a litigator and intersectional feminist advocate. She is a human and civil rights attorney at NDH, LLC. She practices in state and federal courts and is licensed in Texas, New York, DC, and Colorado. She brings firm but compassionate legal advocacy for her clients. She speaks French, English, Italian and Spanish.
Excellent presentation. One of the best I have watched on Lawline.
Fantastic presentation, full of information
What an incredible and demanding area of practice - bless you!
excellent presentation. thank you.
Very good presentation.
The program and content should be required for all attorneys everywhere. I look at national politics from a different perspective. Fantastic job!
Speaker very informative! Information was much needed and necessary for understanding from the DV victim's perspective.
Best course I've taken on Lawline.
Excellent course and presentation.
Brilliant and enlightening presentation. Keep having Ms. Carminati present these kinds of lectures. She's truly excellent.
This was an amazing CLE
This presentation is one of the best presentations I have seen on practicing trauma informed law. The presenter did an amazing job in providing information on the nature of how trauma rears its ugly head in the course of representation and how lawyers can work with a clients trauma to effectively represent them. It was a very effective course, particularly given that it was only an hour in length
Thank you for a superb program -- both in content and clear presentation.
The woman who made this presented was simply outstanding. I especially appreciate the way she was able to me understand the psychology of the domestic abuse victim.
An hour very well spent.
As a prosecutor, I found this incredibly informative in understanding how to deal with domestic violence victims. I would love it if Ms. Carminati would consider doing a CLE in addressing how to deal with the domestic violence victim as witness as opposed to as a client, as well because I believe a lot of the information is transferrable, the roles are different and I'd like to know her thoughts.
Very informative and well-presented.
great presenter, very informative on an important topic
Excellent content and very well presented.
It was excellent
Great resource, well presented.
Excellent presenter and excellent material
One of the best courses on Lawline
good handle on DV
This CLE was great and the speaker was very knowledgeable. I hope she provides a follow up class.
Excellent CLE... learned a lot. Thank you!
This course is also very beneficial to prosecutors.
Presenter is highly knowledgeable and competent on issues of domestic violence and intimate partner abuse. Presentation is strong and thorough.
This should be mandatory information for all attorneys!
Very interesting and practical advice. Great speaker!
Interesting information pertaining to the thoughts and mind set of victims of domestic violence.
Great program. The faulty was very knowledgeable and delivered the information in a clear and organized fashion. A+
I really enjoyed this, although the subject matter was (obviously) a bit dark. She did a very good job of being matter of fact and set a good tone throughout. Highly recommend!
Very compelling. I never knew the origin of "gas lighting" before; the instructor provides a very well organized and detailed lesson on an extremely disturbing area of legal practice. Highly recommended!
I really enjoyed this presentation, particularly her excellent explanations of the impact of trauma and tips for addressing it in representation. Great work!
Outstanding treatment of difficult issues. Very practical, compassionate, and attuned to responsible representation.
Excellent presenter. Tough topic, and she made it very compelling.
She was fantastic!!
This is a great program! All attorneys should hear it!
Excellent treatment of a difficult subject!
solid lecturer. good info.
Very good speaker
very knowledgeable and she seems genuinely tuned in to her clients.
Really interesting and practical talk on aspects of working with trauma victims that I would not have considered.
The instructor was great!
Giugi! Best CLE I have ever experienced. Well explained and well researched. Fantastic.
This was the best--most informative, clear, organized, well-0presented and helpful CLE class I have ever taken
So much better than I expected.
Excellent program - well prepared and delivered.
Well presented and informative.
Very well done!!!
This presentation handled difficult issues extremely well. Great information and advice.
very helpful; thank you
EXCELLENT PRESENTATION -
Not my area of law, but very informative and educational.
Presenter was excellent. This was the best course offered by Lawline.
Excellent presentation, a worthwhile/valuable video for every lawyer
outstanding presenter and presentation. excellent investment of time. will look for her again in courses.
This was not a topic I thought I'd find the least bit interesting and yet it was one of the most interesting ones -- it gave me a whole new perspective about issues some clients deal with and it was VERY practical
This was such a helpful program. Well done.
Great information that I will definitely use
Excellent Program - thank you.
very good engaging and knew the material
Good information; helpful tips; nice speaking voice and presentation
Very well done: clear, informative and practical.
Very informative program!
Excellent presentation of important and difficult area of family law.
Very informative. I've gained a new perspective.
Ms. Carminati was an excellent presenter. The program was very informative.
Instructor did an amazing job teaching a difficult but important topic!
Great presentation and very informative
Great presenter! Would love to hear her go through some case studies in more detail in a future CLE.
Loved the speaker! She rocked!
Thought she was very knowledgeable and enjoyed her presentation.
The presenter was wonderful - knowledgeable and empathetic (which was helpful given the topic)
The presenter was very very good and informative.
One of the best CLE courses in years.
I do policy work and although I do not have clients, this was very informative and I liked going through the statutory definitions.
Extremely well presented, helpful and most informmative
Giuigi's presentation was one of the best I have seen!
Excellent presentation. Great insight.
Dear Ms. Carminati, I just wanted to reach out to say thank you for your excellent CLE on Lawline on the topic of representing victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. We represent many domestic violence victims in our family law practice here in Mississippi. Although I hope that we already follow much of your practical advice at our firm, it was very powerful and useful hearing you lay out best practices for competently representing domestic violence victims. I certainly have experienced with my clients many of the client behaviors that make working in this space so challenging. Again, thanks for making such a terrific CLE. All lawyers who practice family law should watch it.
Speaker was extremely knowledgeable and passionate about the topic.
Very interesting topic. Excellent presentation.
This was excellent. One of the best courses I've taken.
Excellent presentation. Thank you.
Great program, very informative, I really enjoyed it!
Excellent speaker with great advice.
Well done. I’m glad I selected this course.
This was one of the most powerful and helpful CLEs that I have experienced in 25 years.
Very knowledgeable presenter who offered insights into a world I hadn't understood.
Very knowledgeable and compassionate advocate. Well done!
Very thoughtful and useful presentation.