Whitnum-Baker v. Court of Probate for the District of Darien-New Canaan
An attorney can represent a party in a dissolution of marriage and also serve as the party's court-appointed conservator. The parties married on March 3, 2012 and separated three months later, on June 6. The Probate Court appointed Attorney David Hoyle to serve as the husband's conservator, and Attorney Hoyle also represented the husband in the dissolution of marriage. The plaintiff wife moved to disqualify the husband's divorce attorney, apparently arguing that he did not represent her husband's interests competently and that he was "biased," "hostile" and a "destructive player." Public policy favors permitting a client to select his attorney of choice. "The disqualification of a party's chosen counsel is a harsh sanction, and an extraordinary remedy," pursuant to Mettler v. Mettler, a 2007 decision of the Connecticut Superior Court. The Probate Court has appointed Attorney Hoyle to serve in 30 matters, which is a good recommendation. The Connecticut Superior Court did not find any evidence in the record that Attorney Hoyle was not competent or that he was biased, hostile or destructive, as alleged. The court denied the wife's motion to disqualify the husband's attorney.