Ethics Matters

A Lawyer Can Do It Better

, The Connecticut Law Tribune


I read somewhere that some lawyers are suggesting that the courts or the legislature develop standard guidelines for alimony. We had better be careful with this; we might put ourselves out of business.

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What's being said

  • Terrance Power

    "We had better be careful with this; we might put ourselves out of business."

    Shame on you, Mr. Dubois! How about focusing on families in crisis instead of the wallets of attorneys? You're obviously part of the problem, not part of the solution in Family Court.

    Support family court reforms as recommended by the American Academy of Matrimonial Attorneys in 2007 to provide courts with formal guidelines regarding alimony.

    It's time to start thinking about the client, not the predatory litigating family law attorneys and their cronies.

    Terry Power
    Family Law Reform

  • Alan Frisher, CDFA

    Mr Dubois:

    While your analogy of family law to defibrillators is interesting, I think you are missing the mark. When a judge can rule differently given the same set of facts simply because he/she woke up on the wrong side of the bed, then the law must change to prevent such incongruity. Law is meant to be predictable and consistent with exceptions when appropriate. That is why we need a certain amount of judicial discretion. Also, our citizens are forced to pay exorbitant retainer fees to Attorneys for filing motions for modifications that typically never occur in a judicial system of arbitrary and unbridled discretion. This feeding frenzy from our litigating family lawyers causes more damage to an already emotionally devastating situation for divorcing spouses and their children. What is wrong with simplifying the law to the point of making it more predictable and consistent to allow for the average citizen to have their day in court? I could be wrong, but isn't that what our founding fathers wanted for the citizens of our great nation?

  • FSteinCPA

    Mr. Dubois,

    I must say that this is a very disconcerting thought process you are presenting. I am a CPA and have both been through divorce and have assisted from a tax standpoint many clients going through divorces.

    As it is now, many lawyers in divorce cases are simply about the money, their money. I have seen where lawyers have used guerrilla tactics simply to win. Has nothing to do with right and wrong, but whether we can browbeat the opponent to victory. Whether it is preying on the emotion of one party to give in simply because they want it done or dragging things out simply so the other party can no longer afford a lawyer. So many despicable things come out of that profession and it is part of the process that helps destroy, rather than fix families.

    Rather than counseling working together for the sake of the children, lawyers add in turmoil and create hatred among the parties because of the tactics they suggest. Don't get me wrong, there are some very many great lawyers out there, those that will discuss that the children should be thought of first and how it's better to just make it an orderly amicable ending to a failed partnership so that the offspring can learn that even if parents marriage ends, they can learn to get along. Bad lawyers do not do that, good lawyers do. It's not about the fees, but the client.

    Bemoaning something that can and should be standardized and in the process you lose a valuable billing product is again, despicable. In fact, as lawyers, you should hope that we can get our world to such a place where litigating within your profession is eliminated. It's like a food pantry hoping for a more devastating economy so there are more starving families out there. When, in fact, the food pantry and divorce lawyers should hope that that portion of their business can cease to exist. Lawyers create rifts, they don't help heal them.

    As I said, I am a CPA and I own a tax practice. While I agree with you that many things should be done by a professional, as in the young lady and the bar admission, simple things can and should be a DIYer deal. If Congress simplified the tax code and forced me out of business, guess what, I would be ecstatic. I would refocus my skill set into a different avenue and would be fine.

    But sir, to simply argue against something becoming rule based over who has the better leverage or attorney is abhorrent and you should be ashamed. My daughter is a 3rd year law student and I certainly hope her thinking becomes nothing at all like your own.

    Absolutely disgusting comments sir.


    Fred Stein, CPA

  • birdey

    I like the defibrillator analogy -- nothing could be better for both EMTs and cardiologists than to allow uneducated lay people to defibrillate. Instead of dying from sudden cardiac death, the victim will now live, possibly for years. So instead of an ambulance to the ER and pronouncement of death the victim is shipped live to the ER, admitted to the CCU, has a bunch of expensive tests, and is discharged. The victim now sees the cardiologist on a regular basis, takes cholesterol and blood pressure lowering medication, has an annual stress test and has an ER visit anytime he/she does not feel quite right. Allowing a lay person to defibrillate generates lots and lots of business for the ER and cardiologist. Instead of a dead body, you have a live patient.
    Same for divorce -- if you make divorce a catastrophic event for the breadwinner - no one of means will get married or get married again. Just look at the marriage rates of the younger generation. Those of us who were brought up to believe in the sacrament of marriage are getting older and fewer. Once we all pass on or get dumped by the lesser earning spouse - the divorce lawyers are out of victims to exploit.
    You can't get divorced if you never marry.

  • Mike

    The defribillator analogy is illogical - the layperson using the device is providing live, survivng patients to the doctor and emt, and is not cheating a skill-based professional out of a fee. I doubt the survivng victim will return to the gym for future medical treatment. It suggests to me that the author does not expect any future business from his divorce clients, which is indeed unfortunate. The article also overlooks that fact that judges are attoneys, too. If outcomes are different with differing judges, courts, regions, etc,. The attorney's "skills" would therefore seem important, (except in the case of incompetence), but not of penultimate importance. The system therefore screams for guidlines in a matter that apparently affects as many as of one-half of marriages. Many states are recognizing this and acting. And, alimony for life must end - thank you for reading my remarks.

  • David

    "I read somewhere that some lawyers are suggesting that the courts or the legislature develop standard guidelines for alimony. We had better be careful with this; we might put ourselves out of business."
    This is why we need to change the laws, because of this unbridled pursuit of profit at the expense and suffering of this state's citizens!
    Shame on you!

  • ctalimonyreform

    By using the defibrillator analogy you suggest that the family law is a practice similar to medicine. But from our experience nothing could be further from the truth. In the real world your so called professionals help create more strife between couples going through difficult times. Rather than help heal wounds encourage them to fester as long as possible, in many cases until the death of one of the patients.
    A Lawyer Can Do It Better than this.

    Connecticut Alimony Reform was organized because the professionals have failed us. We believe that the lawyers of Connecticut should help couples move on with their independent lives after divorce without creating unending litigation and abuse.

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