You are a junior solicitor working in a local law firm – You are assigned to work with the firm’s Partner in Family Law. Your firm has been retained to act on behalf of Amanda Jones. Mrs Jones was married to her former partner, Tom Jones, for 10 years and they have two young sons; David who is 8 and Martin who is 5 years old. Mrs Jones and Mr Jones had been somewhat unhappy for a period of time, but only formally separated 3 months ago. Since the separation Amanda has fallen in love with a former crush
from high school, Hank Handsome. She wants to get divorced and marry Hank as soon as
possible. Amanda wants to keep full custody of the children. Amanda’s family is wealthy and she has a secret bank account in Western Australia with approximately 5 million dollars in it.
In an interview at the firm’s office Amanda states the following;
1. “I want to run away and get married to Hank. Twelve months’ separation is too long
to wait. Can’t we just put in my affidavit that we separated 12 month ago?”
2. “Tom was always a terrible father to the children. He didn’t ever make them feel
special on their birthdays, he would only buy them ordinary toys and didn’t even take
them on big trips. He was lazy. He only coached the football team and not the hockey
team. He was violent and abusive. He called the boys idiots and grounded them
when they stole the family car and almost drove it into a tree. I don’t want him to be
involved in their lives. Make sure he never gets to see them!”
3. “The bank account that has the money in it was set up by my parents for me and not
for Tom. He never knew about it then and he doesn’t need to know about it now.”
In view of the instructions received from Mrs Amanda Jones, the partner for whom you
work has asked you to prepare a detailed memorandum identifying the professional
ethical issues arising from the information supplied by Mrs Jones, an assessment of
the relevant and applicable legal rules, and your assessment of how the firm should
respond to the ethical issues which have arisen. In your answer include all relevant
legislation, case law and secondary legal sources (eg references to books and journal
This assessment tests students’ knowledge and understanding of the professional ethical responsibilities of legal practitioners in the practice of family law where ethical issues arise frequently and sometimes in an acute form. The problem assessment will raise a range of ethical issues for resolution in a family law scenario, including lawyers’ duty to the court, the use of affidavit evidence drafted by clients, and claims of unlawful behaviour by clients.
Method of submission:
Word Limit: 1400 words
Criteria of assessment:
Students will be assessed on the following criteria:
1. Knowledge of ethical professional responsibilities of lawyers
working in family law
2. Reflective and critical capacity to identify ethical issues in
family law contexts.
3. Legal problem solving skills in family law
4. Effective written communication skills in a legal problem solving context.
You must submit your answer with a full bibliography and case list and it must conform
to AGLC4 style