A local attorney recently boasted on Linked in that she is experienced
in International Family Law and Hague Convention International Child Abduction cases.
I know this attorney well enough to know that she has observed two international
depositions and sat through one international hearing ever. Now she is
advertising to the unsuspecting public that she is experienced in International
The State Bar of Georgia's ethics rules are quite clear. Attorneys
may not falsely advertise their experience and competence. Lying to the
public is severely frowned upon.
So what can parents do when searching for an International Family Law attorney?
If someone tells you they have experience, check them out.
1) Ask them how many International Family Law cases in which they have
been lead counsel. Young attorneys often tag along with a seasoned expert
to watch them work. The key is being the lead counsel, not the tag along.
2) Ask them how often they have appeared in Federal Court on International
Family Law matters. These cases can also be tried in State Court, but
the vast majority take place in Federal Court.
3) Search them up in Federal case reporter databases. How many, if any,
of their cases have been reported?
4) Search how often their cases have been cited by other cases.
5) How far up the Federal Court system have they gone with their cases?
Do you find reported cases on the appellate level.
Now to the rarefied air:
6) Are they admitted to the United States Supreme Court?
7) Have they ever filed a Petition for Certiorari or defended one?
8) Has their Petition ever been accepted by the United States Supreme Court?
9) Have they
argued before the United States Supreme Court?
and all but impossible to find:
10) Have they won a unanimous decision on an International Family Law case
before the United States Supreme Court? (This one is kind of unfair because
I am the only living attorney to have done so.)
So you get where I'm coming from about posers. International Family
Law and Hague Convention International Child Abduction cases are not easy
and the parents involved in those cases deserve someone extremely competent
and experienced, not someone who is so desperate for work that they will
lie about their expertise in the hope of landing a a quick retainer.
Don't settle for a poser. Your case is too important for that.
Michael practices in all of our offices: Marietta, Atlanta, Lawrenceville,
Canton, Gainesville and Savannah and practices
International Family Law and Hague Convention International Child Abduction throughout the Southeastern
United States, all around the world and yes, even before the United States