Archive

Archive for June, 2012

The Thrill of the Quest for Truth, redux

No, I didn’t die. Or give up my quixotic quest to track my ascent to the heights of  lawyerdom– oh wait–I was never that high up. Oh well.

I did have a lot less time since –GASP– a client hired me. So I am doing what I do best– look at the Big Picture. In previous posts I never got to the part where it used to drive me batty that I could not get the various counsel in multi-party cases to look at the “scene of the crime”– the place where the accident happened. (Trust me– you have to SEE the scene to understand what happened.) But It did drive me batty. One Plaintiff’s lawyer who understood this persuade me to look at the curb where her client stepped off and broke an ankle.She was right– seeing it make a world of difference. I recommended settling after seeing it. That lucky lady had a good lawyer.

These are few. Sadly.

So–my point–and I do have one…. What your mental picture of the scene is is not accurate. Summit taught me that. (What feels right usually isn’t, either– see “On Being Certain”.) In any case,  I always checked, and I always  looked for more of the picture,  and I usually saw it then– and  I still do. Which brings me to this current case.

I was involved in this case in 2009 on a  limited basis. It was complicated then. When the client came to me last month I told him things didn’t look  good. (Several hundred documents had been filed and over 20 hearings held all told. EEK!)  The client is self-employed which is always complicated. It is assumed by courts (and spouses) that all self employed entrepreneurs are hiding income. To prove it up, expensive accountants are employed–usually by both sides, which gets real expensive real fast.

So despite my dire assessment. he and I agreed I would do another limited job. BUT–to do that I had to make sense of all those 200 documents and 20-plus hearings, so I could make it clear to the court. And at my hourly rate ($350 an hour–yes really) I knew that  could add up fast too. So we are a team– he does some of the work.

So far so good… we MAY have made some progress… but the other party has a “full bore”  attorney–the latest in a string of them–who told me in so many words that he does not care about the bigger picture of this marriage and this case. The problem is THAT IS HIS JOB! The entire history of a long marriage has a bearing on a case. That is the law. That is counsel’s fiduciary duty.

I have come to the conclusion that the only honest practitioners in Orange County have gone to collaborative law (having realized how unproductive all this fighting is)… .and guess what remains. (DANG I am cynical these days!)

And you know what else is funny?  If Mr. Opposing Counsel googled me he’d know a very great deal about me–and he might even see this blog. But I am pretty sure he isn’t that interested in what he might find. I am- I just found out he spent most of his career as “GC”– General Counsel in the corporate world. NOT Family Law folks. So, I have been at this far longer than he has. And I see the big picture… and he does not and will not.

I wish he WOULD read this. I’d far rather work with someone who has a clue. We might find real solutions.

I miss when that was the norm!

Advertisements
Categories: Uncategorized