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Archive for July, 2012

Late Breaking News

OK, there IS a God. The litigated case is no longer litigated. As of Friday the “Mandatory Settlement Conference”–the last step in  a run-up to trial–is off calendar. Not delayed, not hanging over everyone’s head (as it has been since the beginning of the year)… GONE. The motion for sanctions–so badly written and so ill founded–is no longer awaiting the monet battle will be joined and more dirty laundry aired in court. (Which, in this state, is PUBLIC, by the way.)

The formerly married spouses are not fighting. They are talking. Given the multiple decades they manages to stay married, I am betting they can keep talking.

I learned the hard way, in a really nasty case in 2005-2006 that I can’t a;ways calm things down and bring peace and justice to the forefront. Not in this county– and not when  there are long standing patterns of behavior I cannot change. That clent (as in this current one) was born in another country, and the things that shaped that dad were so  far removed from the  experiences of those who sat in judgment of that singular (if imperfect) human being that the entire mess was a travesty. I still bear the scars of that experience. I had my my head handed to me in a big way. Dad ended up  LITERALLY bankrupt and his BK attorney (to whom I had referred him) ripped him off too. It became clear tome that as many good qualities as that dad had he was also bound and determined to trip himself up at every step of the way. So I bowed out.

Yep,  I learned a lot–not the least.  the limits of my ability. So when this most recent scenario came back around was ambitious/hopeful  enough to give it a shot, but I was ny no means sure the muddy waters could be cleared. (See Lao Tse: “Muddy water, let stand, becomes clear.”)

Easier it is to stir up water then to let it become clear. (As Yoda would put it.) There was plenty of mud here. Tens of thousands of dollars in attorneys fees. Bad blood and so many changes of attorneys I have lost count–three I know of for Husband, three I know of for Wife. Fees owed and unpaid. Now– attorneys suing clients. (That was unheard of not so long ago.)

So, did I “do” this? One thing I know is, it can ONLY happen if BOTH client and attorney are truly focused on the same goal. I made that clear at the outset. I was also willing to do this for a flat fee as long as I did not have to make any court appearances. So, in part, yes, I did do this. I was able to bring my very strong intention  to bear on a nasty situation–and I was also willing to make justice more important than maximizing  my income. So far so good.

marriages

marriages (Photo credit: carrollUSA)

There are still a few fires to put out, and I am still amazed at the things my colleagues will do that simply do not serve their  clients. Opposing counsel  telling me I have such and such a motion and “I will win”. Every attorney knows every court appearance is  crap shoot. (And in family law why be combative anyway?) I am 99% sure than motion would so not have won–and I was just irritated enough with this particular pronouncement at that particular time to flatly contradict it… never really a wining strategy. Sigh.

But some progress has been made. Hallelujah.

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