Are Lawyers Allowed to Represent Family Members

Your immediate family members are most likely among the very last people you’ve ever thought about representing. However, in the event that members of your immediate or extended family find themselves in a circumstance in which they want legal aid, there is a considerable likelihood that they will seek you for direction. Before you provide your assistance to a family member or friend in a legal proceeding, there are a few considerations you need to give careful thought to. 

Can A Lawyer Represent Relatives in a Court of Law? 

Legally speaking, a Houston injury attorney can represent anyone, including a member of their own family, and this is perfectly acceptable. However, the answer to this issue may be hidden behind a mountain of fine print and gray areas depending on the state in which you practice law and the sort of case you need to handle. This is because of the gray regions and small print. Do your research before moving on with the process because this is a unique concern that arises in the context of divorce and other problems pertaining to the end of life. 

What are Some Advantages of Working With Family Members? 

There are a number of different benefits that may be gained by representing a family member in court, should you make the decision to do so. 

  • If the person you’re representing didn’t trust you very much, they probably wouldn’t have sought your assistance in the first place. It’s probable that they have a lot of faith in you. 
  • Building up your clientele by representing members of your own family might be beneficial. In the process of expanding your profession, this might lend you credibility and self-assurance. 
  • As your relative’s attorney, you have the choice of either taking their case on a pro gratis basis or providing a discounted fee of service, depending on the nature of their financial circumstances. 

However, just so you are aware, certain members of your family may assume that you would cover all of their legal costs simply because they are a member of your family. Therefore, you will want to build that understanding and make it apparent to them right from the beginning of the process. 

In spite of the fact that representing your family members comes with a number of benefits, there are, without a doubt, also some possible drawbacks to doing so. You need to maintain the lines of communication open and make sure that every side, at every stage of the journey, understands what is going on in order to assist mitigate the repercussions of any potentially unfavorable results. If you decide to represent a family member in a legal matter, you owe it to them to be honest about the chances of winning. Tell them the truth regarding the likelihood that their case will be resolved favorably, as well as the potential outcomes, should the case not be resolved favorably. 

If you defend a member of your family and they wind up losing their case, you may find that the rest of your family may not look favorably upon you for a considerable amount of time. In addition, one’s emotions are likely to run high throughout a challenging court case that involves a close family member or friend. Could the fact that you have links to this specific individual have an impact on the way you normally go about your business? You need to examine the situation rationally and decide whether the negatives of representing your family exceed the potential benefits of doing so. 

Questions of Morality

Although there is nothing inherently immoral about representing members of your family, doing so does put you in a position where you might be accused of navigating morally ambiguous waters. For instance, if you were to give legal advice over a family gathering or dinner, you may find yourself inadvertently entering into a client-attorney relationship. If you have a family member who is adamant that you advise them on whether or not their employees or landlord can do x or y, you should redirect the conversation to a scheduled consultation in your office during business hours.

First and foremost, you need to ensure that your professional representation of your family members is honest and open to scrutiny at all times. It is possible that you will need to decline the chance to represent a member of your family if you believe that you will be unable to fulfill both of these obligations. Your immediate and most concerned family members will undoubtedly comprehend the significance of your adhering to the finest possible professional standards on behalf of your company.