Children need. . . THIS?
CUSTODY EVALUATORS: IN THEIR OWN WORDS
The routine broad involvement of these expert witnesses must be recognized by the legal profession as the egregious misjudgment it is, as well as fostering ethical violations that must be addressed by state bar ethics rules.
Lawyers' unacknowledged conflicts are destroying the quality of family law representation.
One of the problems
with the rise of therapeutic jurisprudence and the placement of non-legal
systems into the courts is the subtle denigration of long-established precepts
of lawyer independence and due process. One of the multiple ways this happens
in the family courts is through the common development of multidisciplinary
collegial relationships and business referral.
Lawyers in these
positions will be tempted to rationalize to themselves, as well as maintain
the posture in the community at large, that the expert's opinions, even
when they are adverse to his client, are scientifically valid -- even when
they may not be, even if they are deeply flawed or completely bogus. These
lawyers may rationalize to themselves that the validity of the science
is not their responsibility because, after all, lawyers are not "scientists".
The lawyer who naively
or purposefully steps down the path of multidisciplinary practice, regularly
exchanging referrals and engaging in other close associations with nonlawyer
case participants (a practice that is encouraged by mixed-discipline organizations
such as the AFCC under the Orwellian assumption that this somehow fosters
justice and works to "improve" the courts) in fact has sold his
professional soul to the devil -- literally
The conflict of interestRead more at www.thelizlibrary.org
problems are inherent in the nature of the association. They exist even
when there is no explicit association or referral relationship. They are
not the same as having a professional relationship with another lawyer
who regularly may be on the opposing side of a case, because unlike the
lawyer colleague, these individuals are case participants -- witnesses
or even parties. They are not akin to neutral judges or magistrates, the
bailiffs or other courthouse personnel. None of these truly neutral courthouse
persons advocates for a position in a case, testifies as a witness, or
participates as a party proper (as do some GALs).