The new client walks in the door, obviously nervous about his or her case being the subject of a public trial in the county courthouse.

The first thing I tell them is that most third parties are not interested in their divorce case.

The second thing I say is that most of the cases I handle resolve without the need for substantial litigation, although there may be a hearing or two along the way.

However, most recently I have found that I am trying a few more cases than usual, and I’m winning.  I’m not saying that so that readers will think: I’ve got to have Charlie Meyer as my lawyer.  My real point is that, while I have written in the past on the importance of professionalism and civility in the practice of law, especially in domestic relations practice, I now am finding that lawyers are taking positions they cannot possibly defend and upon which they cannot prevail.

I am reminded of the time when, as a young lawyer, I met with an "experienced" (read "older") lawyer in his storefront office to discuss a support matter.  It obviously was a case which would be decided under the Guidelines.  But to my surprise, his position was that "he didn’t use ‘those’ guidelines".  Needless to say, we went to court, and the guidelines were applied.

This story is illustrative of what I am finding more and more in my practice.


Continue Reading Not Just Civility, But Reasonableness in Practice