Dirty Tactics of Dirty Lawyers

Written by: Print This Article Print This Article   
Use of Our Content (Reposting and Quoting)
January 1st, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

If you’re involved in a court case and seem to be getting shafted with injustice repeatedly, here are some things to watch out for in opposing counsel.  In high-conflict litigation, it appears to be more common for the plaintiff’s lawyer to be “ethically challenged”, although certainly not all are.  (It is certainly possible for the defendant’s attorney to be unethical, also.)  If you are represented by counsel, point out behaviors like those below to your attorney as you may be able to better recognize them with your one case (or few cases, for some unlucky folks) than an attorney who may be handling dozens of cases for dozens of clients at the same time.

If you are self-represented (Pro Se or Pro Per), you have to be particularly on the lookout for these behaviors and bring the judge’s attention to them if you are to have any chance of getting them to stop.

Examples of Dirty Tactics in Litigation

  1. Failing to serve papers on opposing parties before hearings
  2. Repeatedly mailing important court documents to the wrong addresses
  3. After mailing papers to a wrong address to avoid service, then lying in court claiming postal regulations changed to explain away misconduct
  4. Misusing ex-parte hearings for non-emergency situations to gain a tactical advantage
  5. Repeating client’s lies even though the attorney should know something is amiss (unless of course he or she does not know they are lies, in which case perhaps the attorney is more careless and/or stupid than unethical)
  6. Lying in court about information known first-hand to attorney
  7. Discriminating against Pro Per (self-represented) opponents by refusing to communicate via means typically used with other attorneys
  8. Refusing to discuss issues (“meet and confer”), even after documents were personally served on him or her
  9. Falsely portraying Pro Per litigant’s attempts to civilly resolve issues via letters, email, or conversations as “harassment”
  10. Misleading the judge about opponent’s level of cooperation, especially by using lies and exaggerations
  11. Refusing to discuss client’s court order violations to get them corrected without having to go back to court
  12. Writing inaccurate court orders, especially when biased to client’s position
  13. Spinning and distorting opposing side’s unwillingness to agree to inaccurate and biased court orders
  14. Acting as if he or she doesn’t know the rules, possibly to cover for his or her client’s misdeeds or himself or herself breaking the rules
  15. Stating that he or she has not seen documents that were personally served on the attorney plenty of time before a hearing
  16. Making a big deal out of something and then failing to include related exhibits in court filings even when they are mentioned in the text
  17. Can’t keep basic facts straight in verbal statements in Court, resulting in Court being misled and judge making poor decisions
  18. Lying to court clerks, claiming he or she was not properly noticed a hearing and then refusing to attend

Judges are often even more incapable than the litigants and attorneys of seeing these dirty tactics, so you must point them out or else they will continue to be used to your disadvantage.  If you cannot get the attorney to stop these behaviors, push for sanctions against the attorney.  Fines and reprimands from the court may motivate an unethical attorney to stop victimizing you.

Some attorneys have trouble dealing with other attorneys who are so unethical.  In such a situation, you may be well-advised to change attorneys as you will be at a major disadvantage if an unethical attorney is given free reign to lie, distort, manipulate, and break the rules.

  1. Sharon
    January 30th, 2011 at 03:14 | #1

    This is exactly what two lawyers pulled on us in a divorce hearing. They used the abuse that caused the divorce against both parties. Keeping the wife afraid of the husband, putting a 5 year restraining order on him so she thinks he is trying to hurt her. Turning facts into scary details, using fear to keep wife silent. After so many things going on the wife started watching but was afraid to speak out. Divorce drug on for so long, and wife had no support, so she was so willing to get it over with she didn’t know what to do. Fear, pain, and hardship was so brutal that both parties became unable to function. They were too afraid to speak to the other, fear tactics as in making the wife think her husband and his family are stalking her, but the stalking was being done by someone more familure with her fear… someone she trusted, and confided in… as a result, she was taken advantage of and put in positions that she didn’t know how to get out of. By the time divorce happened, the attorneys’ involved had both parties begging for it to be over, even at the expence of loosing everything they had, and now needing to file bankruptcy… this was told to the wife as they were entering divorce court.
    She was taken to another part of the court house, away from hearing her husband disputing his lawyers actions. At which point the husband left the court house. When he returned to the court house, and both parties were in court, both attorneys, then asked the couple if they were happy with the attorney’s performance… neither client was aware that the other was not, both tired and not understanding how the other could be so dirty… and just needing to rest from all the stress, both parties answered yes, just to be released from the pain of divorce. Dirty is not the name for this, it’s down right criminal… and then you rest and back to court you go, but it isn’t easy to correct what has happened… No lawyer wants to represent you against another lawyer… so you have to do it yourself… and now you are so afraid of the law, you don’t know what to do… This did happen, and I am in the process of trying to fight it… I was stalked, blackmailed and now being punished to go away, by lack of concern for my safety or my well being… support is being held up, lawyers are lieing for each other, and all I wanted was to get my husband help for his illness, and to get away from the abuse it was causing. wish I had been of clear mind to see what was going on, but I wasn’t. I suffered beyond belief…Stress caused heart problems, and medical bills, but attorney made jokes of the hardship… cancellation after cancellation… even delaying the filing after, and no way of getting in touch with him for 3 months after divorce… neither lawyer wanted to talk to either client… just go away now, and be happy with your good deal! Yeah that’s what they want… don’t doubt this happened, it could be you, and there is no where to get help… I have read every article I can read, I never sleep, and I write and study to find a way to justify the wrongs of two greedy lawyers… Justice for all my ass…

  2. March 11th, 2011 at 20:05 | #2

    I am currently trying to find a way to end my divorce that has been going on for more than 2 years. I was recently discharged from the military last month and I have been with my current attorney Daniel J. Martin of 50/50 law in San Diego, Ca. I have NO children with the person I am trying to get divorced from. In the beginning my lawyer told me that I could get divorce in a couple of months. Throughout these 2 years I find myself over $7,000.00 in debt to my lawyer, paid spousal support for about 6 months because my lawyer claims it’s a 12 year marriage and was garnished from my pay while I was on active duty (defending the nation). My soon to be ex (I hope) hired Bernard Shoeps out of Torrance, Ca. I have no longer a house I owned, paid spousal support, had my wages garnished for spousal support, and I am stuck with the bill for her lawyer, while she is still working and I am now unemployed. Can anyone help me out there. This is causing post traumatic stress on me. All I want is my divorce without having to pay her spousal support, since no ties bind us other than the house I used to own with her. One last thing, her lawyer backdoored me on my retirement funds that I was saving, but I will not be able to retire from the military, so now I have to give her 1/2 of my savings (retirement) and will get penalized for early withdrawal from the institution.

  3. sharon
    March 16th, 2011 at 13:57 | #3

    you need to get informed… read your states laws, and fire attorney. Talk to your government and see where you stand. I am not a lawyer, nor would I want to be… I just know that you have a right to hire and fire anyone for service… do your own research. Educate yourself… don’t in trust your life to a actor. Time is of the essence, you are in charge if you think your being done wrong. I am not giving legal advise, just stating what I would do..

  4. Jim
    May 17th, 2012 at 15:08 | #4

    In Massachusetts these behaviors are tolerated and encouraged … it promotes adversary and keeps the $$ flowing in to the legal system. i.e. lawyars, courts, judges, court personnel, etc. As another person wrote, it is criminal and, in Mass., the judges, attorneys and court personnel are criminals, they break the law everyday. State government is also criminal because they refuse to act to ensure laws are upheld. Why do they do this? It keeps the federal dollars rolling in. The courts are not concerned about the “best interest of the children” or the parties, only the money. 🙁

  5. Uncle Freddy
    May 18th, 2012 at 16:19 | #5

    @L. Ali
    Fight fire with fire.
    Drop out.
    Take the PTSD and run with it.
    I’d play with my own poop in public, urinate on myself all the time, meanwhile, go to school to get skills to GET AN UNDER THE TABLE JOB!.
    You have no kids, so custody is not an issue, therefore, you have no fear being labeled unfit. I’d take every last cent, sell everything, find a place to hide the cash, stage a fake trip to Vegas, or go there, say I spent the whole thing on booze, drugs, hookers. So now I can’t pay my lawyer or ex-wife etc.
    Do not let them destroy you!

  6. Janice
    May 26th, 2012 at 13:46 | #6

    I wish I had your email. for this article.
    you would think we had identical divorce situations.
    I am so frustrated – that 2 greedy attorneys can get away with severe manipulation.
    I have lost my home, but his lien will be paid for work that he didn’t do . And severe
    things he did to manipulate the system. And the judge will never know.
    I wish we could all find help to stop bad lawyers from destroying peoples lives.
    Divorce is bad enough – but being taken advantage by your divorce attorney compounds the abuse. The malpractice in my situation – view by other attorneys, paralegals and forsenic accountants is severe. But the attorney has drained me of every cent I have
    so you can’t fight them and they know that.

  7. levon melvin
    November 16th, 2012 at 03:00 | #7

    Hello my name is Levon Ishmael Melvin. I am writing you to ask for your assistance in a very serious matter that seems to be almost forgotten. In the year 2008 there was a story that was in all the newspapers and the TV news. The story was about a lawyer that got his client out of jail for a murder that he was convicted of in 1994. The lawyer was to supposed to had a tape of someone else admitting to the murder that his client was in jail for. The person that they accused of this heinous crime was me. The lawyer and a private investigator paid a drug addicted to make a fraudulent tape ,acting like it was my voice on the tape. .. They paid him to make this tape and to testify under oath to it’s authority. When I found out what was going on thru the newspapers I contacted a lawyer. I explained to the lawyer that I was being accused of something that I didn’t do. I told him that it all over the news paper. He got in touch with the D.A’s office and explained that I didn’t have anything to do with this crime. The DA told the lawyer that he need to meet with me. I met with the DA and he listen to my voice. He compared my voice with the voice that was on the fraudulent tape. He said that it was not my voice on the fraudulent tape. He ask me about the guy Michael Green who made the tape. I explained to him that Michael Green had work for me before in my cleaning business. The DA ask me why did I think he would do that to me. I told him I reality didn’t know. I told the DA that I had to fire him. And that he is also a drug addict that will do anything for money. Other than that I didn’t know why he would do something like that to me. The same day that I was meeting with the DA, the judge was over turning the guy name Kareem Bellamy murder conviction . The judge name is Joel Blumenfeild. Judge Blumenfeild stated in his written decision that the fraudulent tape was the reason why he over turn Kareem Bellamy murder conviction. A couple of days after I left the DA office they bought Michael Green in to see why he lied. Michael Green admitted to the DA that I Levon Ishmael Melvin Had nothing to do with this crime. He also told the DA that he had a cab driver make the fake tape acting like he was me. Michael Green told the DA that the lawyer paid him a lot of money to do what he did. He also said that the lawyer and the private investigator told him what to say on the stand and what to put on the fraudulent tape. The DA knew that it was true because of the things that was said on the tape. The DA also pick up the cad driver that help Green make the tape. The cab driver told the DA that green paid him to help make the fake recording. The DA believe him because how would he know what to say on the tape if green didn’t tell him, And how would Green know what to say about the case if the lawyers and the P.I. didn’t tell him. The DA told the Judge that the lawyers had perpetrated a fraud on the court and Michael Green perjury his self at the hearing that the Bellamy murder conviction was over turn. The DA made the judge hold another hearing to expose the fraud that was perpetrated on the court. At that hearing Judge Blumenfeild told Kareem’s lawyer to step down off the case. And he order another hearing. At that hearing I testified that it was not me on the fraudulent tape. I also testified that I never had anything to do with the murder. Michael Green testified that he had lied on the stand. He also testified that they paid him more money that was disclosed at the first hearing. The P.I perjury him self at that second hearing. At the first hearing the P.I was ask was that my voice on the fraudulent tape. He said he could not swear by it because he hadn’t spoke to me in over two years. At the second hearing they show him me and his phone records. It had four phone call from me to him. These phone calls were a couple of week before he was under oath and said he hadn’t spoke to me in over two hears. After all of this the judge still rule to keep Kareem murder conviction over turn. The judge didn’t want to put Kareem Bellamy back in jail because he would had to say that he made a mistake. The judge didn’t want to say that the P.I. lied on the stand and perjury himself. He also didn’t want to say that this lawyer perpetrated a fraud on the court. So in his final decision after all this he still ruled in the lawyers faver.
    The DA knows that I didn’t have anything to do with this case. Please help me in any way you can. Back in 2009 three Columbia student was investigating this case. There names was Jonah Engle, Danielle Friedman , Vergat Sriniviasan they wrote a three part report in a newspaper called The Rockaway Wave. They got in touch with me and I told them the true story that I didn’t have anything to do with that case, We spoke over the phone for about two hours. They told me that they wish that they had spoke to me alot sooner because they was finish with there three page report and they was getting ready to graduate. I have all the court reports. I have all the testimony from the hearing If you googol these name that I am going to give you this case will come up. (Kareem Bellamy) (Michael Green) (Levon Ishmael Melvin) (Judge Joel Blumenfeld) (ADA Brad Leventhal) .This case goes back in front of this same Judge in June of 2011. This guy Kareem Bellamy is still in the street a free man The Judge is letting a convicted murder go. This judge has a history of doing this.
    My Email is [email protected] Phone 973-573-8227
    PS please help me

  8. November 16th, 2012 at 23:02 | #8

    Anyone here who wants to talk to me about civil and family law, please go to my site fixfamilycourtnow.org. I am working with 9 other states to change the system and legislation to get back what was stolen during legal fights,. noone should have to be out money becuase of their attorney or an unethical judge. i am in San Diego

  9. janet taylor
    May 20th, 2013 at 22:29 | #9

    I no my husband paid off my lawyer to force me to sign off. My husband makes two hundred thousand a year. I was a part time waitress. We were married only five years due to his mental mostly n physical abuse. I am now on disability. I have no car, on geared to income housing. There is so much papers here I never signed, nor would I have EVER would have signed. It went from me, n my lawyer asking for his financial information, which I never received, child support for my child, spousal support, and everything else due to me, to him telling me if I donot agree to his offer, I would get nothing. I had an advocate helping me, n going to all meetings, but was told not to bring her to that one because I was just there for minutes to sign some papers. I only saw a judge once. Not on that day I was forced to sign. I live in Ontario , Canada , is there anything I can do???

    June 8th, 2013 at 22:30 | #10


  11. Cole Stuart
    June 16th, 2013 at 20:03 | #11

    All: I invite you to review the recently filed Petition for Certiorari in the U.S. Supreme Court by Dr. Tadros against the State Bar of California and family law attorney Robert Lesh (below). The website also has many useful tips for parents in dealing with custody evaluators, mediators, and family court.

    Best of luck parents–stay clear of family court. The website uptoparents.org is an excellent free resource to save headaches, money, and your and your children’s future.

    God Bless.


  12. November 7th, 2014 at 16:49 | #12

    we are trying to get custody of our grandchild, we have had her for 14 months of her 18 month life.. the mother of the baby has never took care of her.. we file for custody.. the family court shifted it to circurt because we filed for abuse and neglect, she would always leave her and when she did have her next door. she would sleep all day because she stays up all night and sleep all day,.. she would come get the baby sometimes and say she was going to spend some tme with her .. ok… come to find out she was taking her and giving the baby medicine to make her sleep… thats when we filed… the mother went to south carolina with her boyfriend for 2 weeks, then came back, and brought the police and said we wouldn’t give her the baby.. that was a lie…. she told the police … that she droped the baby off with us a week ago. to find them a place to stay in s.c. they put us in jail for child concealment, they let us out on a p.r. bond untill court date… she lied to get the warrant, it was a false arrest, false imprisonment ,.. they dismissed our case.. now we go to court on the 17th of nov. the legal aid lawyer sail their going to give her the baby because we didn’t file anything with the c.p.s. before hand.. all were going to get is vistation for three hours and we have to drive 6 hours to do that.. as we understand it.. the new law is .. that their not going to take ANY child out from there biological parent, they say their only going to work with them in the home…. somebody’s passing the buck… we would like to help change the grandparent laws in this state also. so what in the hell do we do ? my phone is 304-583-6912— sheldon

  13. Lawrence
    August 31st, 2015 at 18:55 | #13

    My friends and coworkers all left the auto shop we work at to open our own . Shortly after the new shop owner received a letter from the previous shops son who happens to be a business attorney. None of the employees had signed a anti compete clause . Now there are suits being filed based on solicitation of customers saying any past old shop customers or potential new customers are theft . The old shop owner has also stated that he closed due to employee theft . I understand it is not illegal but unethical to practice on behalf of a family member . Are his threats of a suit valid or just threats . Can he be punished if found unethical ? And our legal fees paid ?

  14. Liz
    May 13th, 2016 at 23:33 | #14

    Please, please, PLEASE! What can one do if these tactics work, even though the Judge recognized them? I probably just lost my home/future business/retirement fund. HELP!
    I have approached the Law Society, but their process takes so long, it will probably be too late!

  15. Dee
    October 26th, 2016 at 18:31 | #15

    the defense lawyer failed to provide evidence to my lawyers. my case is a employment civil case. the defense lawyer stated he did not receive my meeical records because the courier got in a car accident however, this same lawyer has comstanly delayed the depos, evidence, arbitration and now closing briefs. my case involves failure to accomodate, harassment, retaliation and discrimination. one of the doc of evidence was relating to domestic violence i had survived. somehow i had forgotten most of what had occured over ten years ago. he made me read line by line the reports and stop me after each line to ask if that happenned. the defendants smirked as i begged to stop but the arbitrator made me continue. my attorneys argued that the info was not relevant to the case but the arbitrator overruled. he said that i brought the suit against the defendant so my life was a open book. then the defense was being queationed about their wages because the defense attorney refused to provide the info prior to the arbitration. the defense attorney argued that the info was personal. the arbitrator substained the request. the defendant had provided my attorney with a flash drive that was supposed to have all documemts pretaining to me. one doc he tried to use as evidence we argued was not on the flash drive. the arbitrator made us delay the arbitration for 4 hours. once the defense attorney said he found the doc it did not match the one he provided into evidence. he did this three times. the defense attorney addressed me as superstar. but when my lawyers questioned his client he opjected stating my attorney was be sassy. the fact was the defendants seemed to not remember anything even with their emails were in front of them. the defense attorney asked me if i had told previous employer that a wore a see thru shirt and made the excuse i was blind in one eye. i said never. he said he didnt read my medical records because he didnt want to hear about my bowel movements. the 5 day he called my ex employer and she said i wore a see thru shirt and blamed it on my blindness. my attorney asked if she had discussed the case to anyone prior to testifying and she said no. my attorney than asked if this was the first time she ever spoke about the shirt and she said yes. the defense attorney had all wittnesses skype and provided them with only certain docs to jog the memory of the wittnesses as he has dragged this case for 3 years now. there was then a delay pf over two months to finish the arbitrationbecause the defense lawyer said his client wasnt available. two of the smployees in the suit left the company. the defense threatened me to drop my case or they were going to sue me. i know that we have strong evidence and have to fight against this unethical fortune 500 companies with a certain mr bush on the board. not sure how much longer they will drag this case on. the arbitrator has given the defense 1 month to provide is closing brief. now the aribitrator an additional 2 weeks for the brief. my attornies acted ethical the whole time but were constanly shot down. the arbitrator had denied the state drs reports which imdicated my employer was at fault. so medical records for the current time period is not relevant but my domestic violence was? luckily, my attorney pointed out that we wasted 4 hours on the thumb drive and so the arbitrator agreed to let it in. i was forced into arbitration because i signed that i had received the employee handbook and the handbook had the arbitration info in it. however, my employer failed to follow the steps leading up to arbitration. so big business can follow which ever procedure they want and can slander an employee and continue to torture them when they call them out for not following the law. arbitration has not been quicker or cheaper. my attorney bill is over 300k. i dont feel comfortable letting a company that is contract with my employer to make a fair and justified award but we will see (maybe in another 3 years)

  16. catherine
    August 18th, 2017 at 00:58 | #16

    Suzanne, Please get in contact with me [email protected] ASAP, Sincerely, Catherine

  17. robert robinson
    December 26th, 2017 at 02:54 | #17

    This sounds like a playbook right out of my current divorce case…same dirty tactics and other side is milking my wife and refusing to talk to me.

    A real bad current situation

  18. robert robinson
    December 26th, 2017 at 02:56 | #18

    I will fight Pro See or Pro Per and will start calling this bastards office daily for several weeks and then file a RFO in court sand State Bar against this Bastard

  19. Tuesday
    February 13th, 2019 at 04:40 | #19

    My niece was a witness against me but the case is not true so she nof longer wishes to go to court against me even though she’s been suhpinnaed ando it’s a fun kind misdemeanor but because of my priority I’m liable to go back to prison over a lie so the dirty assume D.A. told her she will go to jail as a scam tactic to keep her from not appearing but I know that she won’t go to jail because my case is not a damn murder it’s so petty it will be moved for dismissal if she don’t kum how do I prove to her that Sacramento is not going to waist that much money just to put her in jail for not showing up or they’ll win the case I am in trial to get off of me otherwise l. But I didn’t do anything at all. I’m charged with a misdemeanor 247 and I was actually the one assaulted but being that more people were willing to say other wise I was taken to jail without even being allowed to prove my innocence

  20. Sharon
    September 23rd, 2019 at 05:41 | #20

    Stewart used every single lawsuit he could muster to money us out. Even though we were innocent, we could not defend ourselves against 7 fraudulent lawsuits.

  1. July 7th, 2009 at 05:08 | #1
  2. April 22nd, 2010 at 03:13 | #2

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *