Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Representing the Mistreat-ee!

Tonight's blog entry comes to you from the "pen" of Jeremy Abernathy.


Needless to say, in family law, there are very few times where both parties agree to the same version of facts. There exists “his side,” her side, and, somewhere in there, the truth. Occasionally, however, we see facts where there is no denying that one party has terribly treated the other party. Representing the “mistreatee” presents unique dynamics.

Representing the mistreatee requires the lawyer to not overdo it. It is providential to argue less, and simply let the facts do their own talking. They reveal the monster for who he or she is.

If the mistreater has frustrated visitation rights, prop your feet up and enjoy the spectacle of opposing party trying to explain him or herself. If the mistreater has not followed a court order, stand back and let the Court “take the wheel” in enforcing its order.

Opposing counsels can take the wheel too. Opposing counsels are effective when they communicate to their clients why certain facts are ugly and unfavorable. This facilitates favorable settlement agreements for the mistreatee.

Does this mean that as lawyer for the mistreatee that you can shift gears into “easy mode.” Absolutely not.
It means you must prepare, and organize your case so it is readily apparent, with little embelishment by you, to Opposing Counsel and the Judge, that the mistreatee has been....mistreated.

As has oft been said, "The truth will out!"

Jeremy Abernathy

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