When you’re a family court attorney, you’re dealing with a situation that has a much different dynamic than say, estate planning or taxes. You’re dealing with people’s children. The litigants in the situation are more than likely stressed, confused, sad, depressed, angry—a long with a whole host of other emotions. I understand that you’re paid to vigorously defend your client, but there is a fine line between defending your client and unecessarily damaging the other parent. I’ve heard lawyers rip into mothers, call them names, denigrate their parenting skills and tear them down, only to say “I’m just doing my job.” If your job is to destroy other people’s sense of self worth, then you need to find a new line of work.
My ex’s attorney is the perfect example of this. I can’t name her name because if there’s anything lawyers are good at, it’s suing people. And I don’t want her to sue me.
There was one court appearance where I had told my attorney to talk to her about having a settlement conference, where we could sit down and come to a resolution on our case. I was sitting nearby and could overhear the conversation. His lawyer actually said,
“We don’t need to settle anything. We’re going to destroy her. We’ll bury her.”
Now I’m sure she didn’t mean “bury” in the literal sense. I’m sure she meant “bury” legally. However, when you are dealing with grieving parents, you have an obligation to be cognizant of the words you use to describe them.
I will admit, I’ve said some mean things to people. And everytime I made mean statements against someone, it was my full intention to be hurtful. It’s just one of the tools in my arsenal. I used to take price in my ability to cut into the core of someone and never use a single curse word or raise my voice. However, given the number of parents who are destroyed by the court process, it is irresponsible of attorneys to engage in unprofessional name calling and abusive statements.
My ex’s attorney suggested that I did not attend the college that I attended. She said someone to the effect of “she went to an online college.”
Never mind the fact that I started college at Eastern Michigan University on a full ride scholarship, then transferred to St. John’s University, where I was on the Dean’s list and carried a 4.0 average, but I digress. Just another lawyer tactic to try to get under my skin. Highly unprofessional and shows your lack of research.
I have never had so much disdain for the practice of law then when I had to deal with the family court.