In re Marriage of Murchison

Ordinarily, a movant has no standing to seek disqualification of another party’s attorney unless the movant had a prior attorney-client, confidential, or fiduciary relationship with that attorney.  Husband does not have standing to seek disqualification of wife’s counsel in a marital dissolution proceeding. Husband sought disqualification on the ground that counsel had purchased the couple’s former residence from wife to whom the court had awarded the property, directing her to sell it to discharge the community debt on the property. Ordinarily, a movant has no standing to seek disqualification of another party’s attorney unless the movant had a prior attorney-client, confidential or fiduciary relationship with that attorney. Without such a prior relationship, the movant will generally not be able to show the required invasion of a legally cognizable interest of his. Here, husband had no interest in enforcing ethical rules governing business transactions between attorney and client when husband was not involved in the transaction or in the attorney-client relationship. Moreover, his disqualification motion would interfere with wife’s choice of her own attorney.

California Court of Appeal, Second District, Division 1 (Lui, J.); March 17, 2016; 2016 WL 1056587

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