Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Lawyers and Parental Alienation

The more I have learned about the law and its practice within the Family Court setting, the more I am struck by how most (not all) Family Lawyers can be found in two groups. The first group are the lawyers who obviously did well in law school, clearly know the law, and understand the rules and their application. These lawyers are the ones who are most often flabbergasted by how the practice of Family Law is littered with violations of the rules and even statutes. It is like this group of lawyers are offended by the violations of the sacred rules, but have difficulty getting past that, saying often, "that was not supposed to happen," and then leaving the courthouse in disgust.

The second group of lawyers are composed of those who probably took the Bar Exam more than once, did not finish at the top of their classes and probably utilized all of the study guide short cuts (legal and illegal) available to them. These lawyers are not so troubled by the Rules of Evidence and Procedural Law, and are very comfortable in their abasement. These lawyers see such rules more as guidelines than rules and act accordingly. These lawyers will draft Motions and Pleading that do not follow the proper formulas, and lean instead towards hyperbole and accusations about the other party, albeit without any factual basis. This does not seem to trouble them either. This second group of lawyers can be a serious problem in cases where Parental Alienation are present. These lawyers will violate their ethical code as officers of the court and allege incidents that they know did not occur. They will lie freely and without compunction. I believe that they got this way because they get away with it more often than not. While these lawyers are devoid of ethical foundation, they are sometimes very good story tellers. Within the context of Family Court, this storytelling skill is very important and can create great difficulty when used improperly.

The rare find is the lawyer who belongs to the first group, but who also understands that the other side will violate every rule imaginable if allowed. These lawyers see it as being part of their job to prevent the other lawyer as well as the Judge from violating the Rules and the Law. These lawyers will take on the other lawyer in terms of their improper conduct as well as will then take on a Judge who is not doing their job. These lawyers understand that part of their role is to be a watchdog, keeping an eye on both the other lawyer as well as the Judge. They are willing to be perceived and difficult in order to represent their client's interest In the social reality of the Family Court culture, this is however, the rare lawyer. The other quality that they have they share with their more lazy and slovenly colleagues in the second group. That is, they are good at telling succinct stories, quickly and with conviction. These lawyers realize that their job is to get the Judge to identify with their client's situation. These lawyers realize that it is their job to get the Judge to feel what it feels like to be falsely accused and have your children taken from you. Finally, these lawyers prepare and give great thought to their presentations. They work at length with their clients and witnesses regarding their testimony and think about such things as the order of testimony and the unfolding of the story.

So here is is. These are the ingredients of the lawyer you are looking for:
1. The lawyer must know the law and the rules and be willing to fight for their enforcement.
2. They prepare excessively, and include the client in all of this preparation.
3. Finally, they are good story tellers, and they understand the importance of the story.

Good Luck!


Anonymous said...

How can you tell what kind of a lawyer someone is when interviewing perspective lawyers?

Steven Burda said...

Good points!

- Steven Burda

alienated father said...

There is another type of lawyer and that is the one who believes it's no use for men to fight parental alienation. Since, men in society are automatically viewed as the aggressor due to the higher percentage of men that physically abuse women. Thus, they push emotionally abused, vulnerable men to give up early and often without a fight. They use the fact that the fight will be too expensive against an avalanche of negative opinion against men and the fact PAS is not a recognized personality disorder as the excuse. With no chance to win, how do we as men even fight to see our children?

alienated father said...

There is another type of lawyer and that is the one who appears competent but nudges you to not fight. The reason is that men are up against society's view that we are not as capable of nurturing children as well as women. Or against the fact that most physical violence occurs by a man towards a woman and thus we are automatically seen as the aggressor. These views are shared by CAS, police services, lawyers, judges, etc... It is very easy for a woman to make false allegations of abuse against a man causing irreparable damage to him. Up against a plethora of advocacy for women the man has no chance considering he has virtually no assistance. It is also very easy for a woman to alienate young children against their father under these circumstances. And very difficult for a father to try and have a normal relationship with his children after so much damage has been done by their mother. With virtually no support systems for men in place in our society they are forced to hire private psychologists to help them through. That is if they can afford one after the child support payments have been payed.