Lawyers and judges should be the vanguard of those working to end domestic violence and mitigate its effects, yet they are not. This article is an attempt to change that. It strives to shed some light on the profound effect domestic violence has on law and law practice, as well as the profound effect lawyers and the legal system can have on domestic violence. Part II of this article demonstrates the extent and pervasiveness of domestic violence. Part III describes how domestic violence will affect a lawyer's practice. Part IV provides guidance on what a lawyer should do to determine if a prospective client or a current client is involved in domestic violence, and, if so, how the lawyer should assist the prospective client or client in taking measures to protect against future violence. Finally, Part V addresses a lawyer's duty to warn non-clients of possible domestic violence by a client. This article is, in sum, about what a reasonable lawyer should know about domestic violence and what that reasonable lawyer should do with that knowledge.
John M. Burman,
Lawyers and Domestic Violence: Raising the Standard of Practice,
Mich. J. Gender & L.
Available at: http://repository.law.umich.edu/mjgl/vol9/iss2/1