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Woods v. Superior Court of Tulare County

149 Cal. App. 3d 931 (1983)

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Woods v. Superior Court of Tulare County

California Court of Appeal

149 Cal. App. 3d 931 (1983)

Facts

In 1983, Darleen Woods (plaintiff) filed for divorce from her husband, Thomas Woods in the Superior Court of Tulare County (defendant). Thomas retained Arthur C. Kralowec to represent his interests in the divorce. Kralowec had served as the corporate attorney for the Woodses’ family business since 1975. Darleen motioned to disqualify Kralowec from representing Thomas in the divorce proceedings. Darleen argued that Kralowec, in his role as attorney for the family business, represented the interests of both Darleen and Thomas and therefore could not represent either one of them in a divorce action. Darleen argued that this was particularly true because the division of the family business was a focus of the divorce proceedings. In Darleen’s declaration to support the motion, she alleged that she had confided in Kralowec during Thomas’s affair and that statements she had made both about her personal situation and the business would disadvantage her in the divorce proceedings. Darleen also alleged that Kralowec had told her that he would not represent her in the divorce proceeding because it would be a conflict of interest. Kralowec denied that he had ever discussed the representation matter and that Darleen had ever personally confided in him about the extramarital affair. The trial court then denied the motion on the ground that Darleen was unable to show that Kralowec had acquired knowledge which would be injurious to her. The matter was appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Zenovich, J.)

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