Taking everything you’ve said at face value (and that relies on taking what your friend is telling you to be true and unbiased, and it might not be) what I think to be the most likely scenario here on the wife’s side of things is that the wife lied to her attorney when he prepared the filing and tried to get the other person to go along with it to back her up. It is not uncommon that clients fail to tell their lawyers everything and even lie to their lawyers fearing that if they tell the lawyer the whole truth the lawyer won’t be able to help them. He took his client’s word as to what happened and filed the complaint for the protection order. He later then finds out that what his client told him may have been untrue. He would need to discuss what he found with his client, and who knows what she told him. Let’s suppose, though, that confronted with what the friend told her lawyer she admits that incident didn’t happen, at least not the way she said it did. That puts the lawyer in an awful bind. He cannot come right out in court and say that his client lied, as that may expose his client to sanctions or other legal problems. That would violate his duty to protect his client’s interests. But the lawyer also cannot perpetuate fraud on the court. At the very least, the lawyer cannot further repeat the wrongful statements that were made in the complaint to the court in subsequent filings or in evidence presented at a hearing.I know I probably went into too much detail but I tried to keep it brief. When the order was filed, the court only heard evidence from the wife and her attorney. The wife listed a statement from this third party on line 4, sec b of the order pertaining to the "most serious incident that causes her to ask for a civil protection order". Her lawyer had not yet contacted the third party and did not yet know she had never made any such statement at the time of filing the order. Her attorney found out about this false statement 3 days prior to the motion to make permanent the order, 11 days after filing the order and never brought this up to his attorney or the court. We found out about this one day after the motion was made permanent when his attorney allowed him to contact the third party, who is a very good friend of his.
Super short version..... 8/14/17 Motion for civil protection order is granted. 8/25/17 her attorney contacts the third party to verify the statement. Her attorney finds out there is a problem with the statement made by the wife concerning what the third party did or did not say. 8/28/17 We all arrive in court and her attorney says nothing about the problem of credibility concerning the third party. Motion to make permanent is granted with what we know now to be a false statement. Incedently, my friend has instructed his attorney to share all aspects of his case with me.
Thanks for your input!
So now we get to the hearing on whether to make the order permanent. Her lawyer now has reason to know the wife’s story on that one incident is false. The wife is the only one to testify. The key question I have here is this: did the wife’s attorney ask her questions that prompted her to repeat the fabricated story at that hearing? Or, put another way, was he able to dance around that issue to avoid her repeating that story and instead simply get her testimony on the parts that presumably were not known to be fabricated?
The reason this matters is because it is only the evidence that is presented at the hearing that the judge is to take into account in deciding whether to grant the permanent order. What is written in the complaint is not evidence and thus not to be taken into account at the hearing. So if the attorney managed to keep out that fabricated story, he effectively threads his way through the tight spot his client put him in. He has not further advanced the false story and, since what is in the complaint is not supposed to be relied upon by the judge in making the ruling, there is no need to explicitly retract the statement she made in the complaint. If the judge was sharp he or she would have noticed the omission of that story from the testimony and figured out that the attorney purposefully left it, which is a signal to the judge (and the opposing lawyer) that there may have been some problem with that statement. If the story was not repeated in her testimony, there was also then nothing that the opposing lawyer (your friend’s lawyer) had to do about it. The story wasn’t entered into evidence so there was no need to rebut it.
On the other hand, if the wife’s lawyer put her on the stand and asked questions to bring out testimony he knew to be false, that would be a serious breach of the rules of conduct. That's the sort of thing that leads to suspension or disbarment.