By training and trade I are an attorney. That’s fancy talk for a lawyer. That’s a nice word for a “scummy, lying, used car selling, dirtbag.” Sorry, my lawyering friends, we all know it’s true.
More specifically, I am (or was) (or still kinda am) a litigation attorney. That means a lawyer who specializes in lying in court. I am proud to say that I never ever lied to any court or anyone else I dealt with intentionally. The problem is that attorneys have clients for whom they work. And, occasionally, such a client will lie to his attorney. The hapless attorney, believing in his lying client’s veracity, will repeat the lie(s) to others – the other “side,” the judge, etc. The attorney usually becomes aware of the lie when it is exposed in Court when someone identifies it as a lie and proceeds to use the lie as a basis to destroy the hapless attorney’s case. At this point the attorney feels like mud.
Why do I write this, you ask? This is common knowledge to everyone except attorneys fresh from law school and perhaps some of the professors they left behind. Jesus admonished us to simply let what we say be the truth, echoing His Father’s ninth commandment. If everyone would follow this simple rule, the world would be a better place. Obviously though, people have a hard time with simple instructions. My point is coming soon I think…
The attorney repeating the lie scenario unfolds in all types of cases: criminal, civil, administrative, and family law. It seems to me family law litigants are a little more prone to this self-defeating propensity. Or, it could be that I feel that way because I disliked family law more than other type of practice. I think that was my point.
Anyway, what is family law? It occurs to me that some folks are lucky enough to have lived their lives without resort to “domestic” litigation. Blessed they are. “Family law” merely means that branch of our sacred profession which deals with the family unit or what’s left of it. You may be more familiar with the individual case types: divorce, child custody, adoption, etc. Of all these, adoptions are the happiest occasions for an honest attorney. This is mainly due to the fact that rather than destroying a family, an adoption enlarges and enriches a family. Absent very unusual circumstances, everyone leaves an adoption final hearing happy.
As a law clerk I was in charge of the adoption docket for my judge (Frank C. Mills was probably the best trial judge in Georgia until he retired). It was my job to make sure each case was within the somewhat rigorous statutory guidelines. Every once in a while I had to inform the adopting party that they needed to modify something. Then the case sailed smoothly through. Out of dozens or scores of these cases I only remember one or two that were contested for any reason. I especially loved cases involving the adoption of one or more small babies. Everyone loves babies. It was great to think I played a part in making a child’s life a little happier.
This joyous feeling carried over into my private general practice. Sadly, I only had the honor of presenting a few such harmonious cases. I recall several clients I had to inform that they did not have standing to bring an adoption. Those were rare and odd cases. Somehow, my practice degenerated into one of mostly rare, odd cases. What did come my way in large volume were the other types of “family law.”
At some point I began to refer to these cases as “anti-family law.” The reason being that in almost all of them, a family was destroyed. As a libertarian who really wants to be a full blown anachist (or visa versa) I do not think the government has any business meddling in family affairs – no marriage licences, no court divorces, no government interference of any kind. According to the Catholic Church and some protesting denominations, marriage is a sacrament and not merely a right or a privilege. Thus, domestic affairs are divine in nature and transcend the authority of any earthly power to regulate (in theory). People began marrying (and divorcing) many millenia before any of the 50 states came into being let alone when they suddenly decided to commence issuing licenses for the procedure. The history of this state-i-fication is as nefarious as any other state scheme.
My statist-minded detractors counter that without government ordination and oversight family affairs would soon fall into pure chaos. Most of these clovers have obviously never practiced anti-family law. The remainder must be hardened divorce attorneys whose livelihoods depends on the destruction of other people’s lives. WE HAVE PURE, MISERABLE CHAOS NOW!!!!!!!!!!!
Where was I, my blood pressure spiked and I lost my train of thought… Oh yes, I wrote a post yesterday which partly addressed the safety of children. I suppose this drew the attention of About the Children, LLC, an advocacy center dedicated to improving family relations ( and child welfare) post divorce. I was pleased they liked my mad ramblings and so I commented positively on their website. I am a generously reciprocal rambler.
Such advocacy groups are desperately needed given the chaos of the modern Amerikan family. I suppose you, the well educated reader, do not need to be bombarded with the statistics about divorce, out of wedlock births, deadbeat everyones, etc. Someone must stand up for the innocent in these cases – usually minor children. Children are the biggest losers in anti-family law cases and, sadly, there are no winners.
I only ever had one “uncontested” divorce case which actually was. The young happy couple came in hand in hand. I thought they wanted a will or something. In less than two hours a divorce petition was off to court. Thirty days later they were happily divorced best friends. I had never seen such. And, it did not last. It turns out one of them had an ulterior motive and the friendship was lost. I think the blame fell on their hapless attorney.
As my best case ended poorly I decided that I was not suited for anti-family law. I did not decide after that case but after many, many more less-than-best scenarios unfolded. Lying in court and the general shenanigans which go with these cases are far from the worst problems I saw. People in these situations get very irrational and I remember more than a few death threats flying around. Fortunately, none were carried out. Several suicides were though. Children who are not otherwise scarred for life thanks to their parents selfish stupidity don’t seem to do well in the aftermath of the death of one of those parents. One suicide sometimes leads to another.
I had enough of the madness and bowed out, sad for the part I played in the system. I supposed I did some service for a few folks. Some people need to be divorced. Sometimes children are better off with only one parent. And, so on. I still have some of the mud on me. What suggestions do I offer to correct this insane abuse of human rights and dignity. None. Except that I urge all who read these words to use a little more common sense (free from emotion and greed) in dealing with their spouse, baby-daddy, children, or whoever. Even in my ideal, government-free paradise I suspect these problems would still exist. History says they always have existed. I ask you, dear readers, to be the change for a brighter future.