Going Underground: The Ethics of Advising a Battered Woman Fleeing an Abusive Relationship

26 Pages Posted: 4 Dec 2007 Last revised: 19 May 2008

Leigh Goodmark

University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law

Abstract

Using the story of Fran Benedetto, the protagonist of Anna Quindlen's novel BLACK AND BLUE, the article considers how an attorney might address the myriad legal questions posed by a battered woman's decision to go underground and the ethical issues that those questions might raise. The article then focuses on a larger ethical issue for those who represent battered women considering using the legal system as an alternative to going underground: can we continue to counsel women to use a system that cannot necessarily promise protection and sometimes does them great harm? And if we express our doubts about that system, are we violating the ethical rules that govern our conduct as attorneys?

Keywords: women, domestic violence

Suggested Citation

Goodmark, Leigh, Going Underground: The Ethics of Advising a Battered Woman Fleeing an Abusive Relationship. University of Missouri-Kansas City Law Review, Vol. 75, No. 4, 2007; University of Baltimore School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2008-01. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1019081

Leigh Goodmark (Contact Author)

University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law ( email )

500 West Baltimore Street
Baltimore, MD 21201-1786
United States

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