Harvey Specter, Divorce Attorney?

Gabriel Macht, actor who portrays Harvey Specter on Suits

Would You Hire Harvey Specter to Handle Your Divorce?

Confession time – my wife made me watch last year’s royal wedding (Meghan Markle & Prince Harry), and I was curious enough about the Duchess of Sussex to join my wife in binge-watching Suits from the very beginning on Amazon Prime.

For those unfamiliar with the show, it’s a legal comedy/drama set at a corporate law firm in New York City. Its star “closer” is Harvey Specter, a determined lawyer who will do almost anything to win, including at times tactics which are ethically dubious. Harvey is ruthless and cold, and is a sharp dresser (presumably the origin of the title of the series).

In a season 5 episode, No Puedo Hacerlo, Harvey is asked to represent Esther Edelstein, the sister of fellow partner Louis Litt, in her divorce. Esther wanted Harvey because he was the “best lawyer in the city”. Harvey’s first instinct was to decline the case, telling Louis “I’m not a divorce attorney.”

Louis baited him, responding: “When has a sh—y detail like that ever stopped you before?” When indeed? After all, Harvey is a corporate attorney who has never litigated a divorce case – what could go wrong? Harvey should have trusted his instinct. In the end, he took the case. And got an okay settlement, then slept with his client as soon as the case was over.

Competence to Handle Family Law

But I digress. Was it a good idea for Harvey to take the case? While I’m not a New York attorney, let’s look at Rule 1.1: Competence, of the ABA’s Model Rules of Professional Conduct, which reads:

“A lawyer shall provide competent representation to a client. Competent representation requires the legal knowledge, skill, thoroughness and preparation reasonably necessary for the representation.”

The problem is that Harvey, a $1000/hr lawyer, has never practiced family law, doesn’t know the laws, domestic relations judges, nor how to counsel his client about realistic expectations. Is he smart enough to muddle through it? Sure, but does a client really want to pay top dollar for someone to “wing it” in their divorce?

Divorce Attorneys Are Specialists

Most family law attorneys have encountered on the other side a corporate attorney who is representing a long-time business client in a dissolution matter as a “courtesy” to the client. And more frequently, we come across attorneys who “dabble” in family law, and practice it part-time, as just one of their practice areas, along with bankruptcy, criminal defense, and maybe even personal injury. In both situations, the lawyers tend to do okay jobs, but not knowing the law costs their clients.

Hiring an attorney who does not know family law is a mistake – for both the lawyer, who risks violating Rule 1.1, as well as for the client, who pays for inferior service from someone who may well be a superior attorney, in another field of law. There are lots of advantages to hiring a family law specialist, and hiring a smart lawyer who does not know family law is invariably a mistake, as that lawyer will not be able to identify issues important to you, or how best to litigate your case.

Just being a lawyer is not good enough – like most professionals, we specialize. While having Harvey Specter negotiate a divorce case makes for good drama on TV, it is lousy lawyering. Oh, and so is sleeping with a client while the ink is still wet on the decree!

Award-Winning Family Law Attorney In Colorado Springs

U.S. News & World Report calls Graham.Law one of the Best Law Firms in America, and our managing partner is a Colorado Super Lawyer. Our family law attorneys have years of experience helping clients navigate the Colorado legal system. We know Colorado divorce & family law inside and out, from complex multi-million dollar property or child custody cases to basic child support modifications.

For more information about our top-rated El Paso County family law firm, contact us by filling out the form on the right or calling us at (719) 630-1123 to set up a free consult, or click on:

Colorado Family Law. Period.

Testimonials

  • Excellent discussion; fully answered all my questions with examples I could clearly understand

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    Jane Rohr
    3/26/2020
  • Carl Graham is by far the best divorce attorney I have used and would highly recommend him to anyone who is looking for an ethical, knowledgable, fair attorney. My case was not your normal circumstanc... read more

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    Gary Oldguy
    3/17/2020
  • As a former military spouse trying to collect my share of my ex's military retirement from California when the divorce decree and all the supporting documents were filed in Colorado i was apprehensive... read more

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    Janine Pandher
    3/01/2020
  • Where do I begin? Well AFTER have a consultation with another attorney ( who made me feel as though i was undeserving of his expertise) I was extremely apprehensive when coming to Graham Law. This was... read more

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    Chris Whitfield
    2/07/2020
  • Mr. Carl Graham, Cindi (his paralegal), and the rest of his office staff helped us with a military divorce. Mr. Graham is very knowledgeable about military ways and processes. I appreciated the fact... read more

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    Shelle Dier
    1/08/2020
  • If you are searching for a divorce lawyer, first I would like to say I’m sorry you are going through this. It isn’t and easy road. I know sometimes things just don’t work out to save your marriage. Ho... read more

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    Trevor Lisby
    11/26/2019
  • If you are searching for a divorce lawyer, first I would like to say I’m sorry you are going through this. It isn’t and easy road. I know sometimes things just don’t work out to save your marriage. Ho... read more

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    Trevor Lisby
    10/30/2019
  • I called Graham law firm to schedule a consultation and spoke with Corinna. When beginning your search for information with any family matters there are many questions and a sense of anxiety of the u... read more

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    8/26/2019
  • I was divorced in CO but moved to TX & had issues with my divorce decree from a previous attorney- after referrals from several other firms in CO regarding the best military law firm I went with Graha... read more

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    Sarah DeLorean
    8/26/2019
  • Very helpful initial meeting.

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    Steven Babbitt
    6/26/2019
  • Carl and his team are awesome and super easy to work with. His knowledge is tremendous and he quickly handled my case despite me being across the country. I would do business with his team again and... read more

    Michael Brooks Avatar
    Michael Brooks
    5/26/2019
  • I was impressed by Graham Law in general but most impressed with Brian Boney. Brian is an excellent family law attorney. Attentive, detail-oriented, and hard-working, Brian surpassed my expectations f... read more

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    Robert Weeks
    5/26/2019
  • Mr. Grahm was professional, knowledgable and very prepared. He was also kind and understanding. He knew his military in's and outs. Because of this is got exactly what I was asking for... a swift a... read more

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    MAMCO STAFF
    4/26/2019
  • I had the unpleasant task of taking my ex back to court. Carl was the person for the job. His attention to detail and professionalism got me the result I needed. Sincere thanks to Carl and his great s... read more

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    Lisa Bruinsma
    4/26/2019
  • This firm is quite wonderful....very family and military oriented. Compassionate and patient, very understanding and will go to bat for you!!!!! Give them a call!!!!!

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    Teresa Wilkie
    4/26/2019
  • Brian did an amazing job helping me with a personal matter! Its not the first time I ask Brian for help, and every time he exceeds my expectations! Thank you for your kindness, understanding and suppo... read more

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    Iryna Volynets
    4/26/2019
  • Divorce is never easy, but Carl and his warm team helped me navigate this very difficult time. This was a military divorce, so Carl's expertise helped me understand exactly what my options were as a f... read more

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    4/26/2019
  • I have had two occasions that I have needed Carl Graham's assistance with child support issues and both times Mr. Graham and his team were amazing. Mr. Graham is straight forward and honest. I highly ... read more

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    4/26/2019
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    4/26/2019
  • Very professional and extremely supportive throughout my needs.

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    4/26/2019

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