Comprehensive Issue Spotting:
A Tool for Civil Attorneys Representing
Victims of Domestic & Dating Violence,
Sexual Assault & Stalking
What Is is Tool?
is is a client-centered tool for civil attorneys new to representing victims of
domestic and dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking to provide comprehensive
representation and advocacy for their clients. is tool is not an intake sheet or a
broad referral list, but should be used in conjunction with those items to facilitate
eective and holistic client centered representation. is tool does not comprehensively
address the specic needs of tribal communities.
How To Use is Tool
To maximize its usefulness, complete the Referral sections of this tool before using
it with your clients. Completion of the referral sections requires individual attorneys
to develop relationships with other local service providers in order to facilitate eective
service delivery. Doing this well once will save time in the future!
Go through each topic heading with your clients. Each question under the dierent
headings is designed to allow the attorney and their clients to identify other areas that
their clients may need assistance with, even though it may be outside the scope of the
attorney’s area of representation and to encourage their clients to think about their
lives holistically. Once you have identied areas for which your clients need assistance
outside of your expertise, provide them with the knowledge and information to make
informed decisions regarding accessing additional resources.
Ethical Responsibilities in Making Referrals: When referring your clients for legal
services, please keep in mind your ethical duties and responsibilities. Many states have
specic guidance regarding lawyers providing referrals. For this reason, we encourage
you to refer clients to organizations rather than individuals.
Victim Privacy Note: Being a victim of a crime raises complex issues related to victim
privacy, condentiality and privilege. It is important for the attorney to understand the
intersection of these issues in order to properly inform clients about how to protect their
privacy and how to authorize any releases of private information. Similarly, clients need
assistance in understanding how to provide informed consent when releasing private
information in order to maintain control over their personal information.