Ethics Matters

Mark Dubois: Self-Represented Parties And Their Histrionic Agendas

, The Connecticut Law Tribune

   | 33 Comments

Imagine Mr. Macy (or Mr. Bloomingdale, or Sam Walton) faced with a gang of nutty customers who show up at their stores unprepared to shop for what they need, walk up the down escalators, shop for men's clothes in garden supplies and for children's clothes in automotive, and who confuse underwear and cookware.

What's being said

  • P. Szymonik

    On April 25t, the State Senate passed the state‘s first GAL Reform bill by a vote of 35-0. The House then voted 129-0 in favor as well. Each and every legislator who spoke about the bill commented that there is more to come and how their offices have been flooded with complaints about our state‘s broken "family" courts. So much for this issue only being one impacting "a small number of disgruntled t-shirt wearing Pro Se litigants." I believe an apology is in order.

  • not available

    Thank you Connecticut Law Tribune for giving this gentleman an opportunity to out himself. His cynicism and antipathy towards the general public should lead to his immediate dismissal from any influential position within the bar. The public needs problem solvers and team builders not bridge burners.

    Shopping in a department store has nothing to do with the consumption of legal services. This is an irrelevant analogy. It is unlikely that any pro se litigant has showed up in the wrong courtroom looking for the wrong item (i.e. juvenile deliquent court to look for alimony).

    It is also unlikely that Mr. Mark-Dubois has been a clerk in a department store and waited on customers. Perhaps, he should have some retail experience before he maligns anyone else.

    He is not a board certified psychiatrist and has no certified skills to conduct a psychiatric examination or render a diagnosis, and should not casually throw around words like narcisstic or histrionic.

    Starting at shared parenting without the financial incentives of child support beyond the actual cost of raising the child woudl do far more to keep parents out of the legal system than this "breadwinner always loses because of those Federal matching funds and VAWA and the Bradley Amendment and the least capable spouse is made the winner".

  • not available

    Custody battles are mostly a waste. At some point the kids figure out all the adults involved are idiots, stop listening to either parent and then just do what they want.

  • not available

    Perhaps if Mr. DuBois were forced to liquidate the entirety of his retirements accounts or his children‘s college funds in an instant and under the threat of imprisonment, funds which took years for hard working "t-shirt wearing" parents to amass - all gone in an instant to pay GALs who did no work of any kind and provide no benefit of any kind to them or their children, perhaps he would be understand the "histrionics" and would also be meeting with legislators and wearing a t-shirt.

  • not available

    Mr. DuBois should be congratulated for once again illustrating how completely out of touch with reality he, the Judiciary, and the CT Bar Association are when it comes to this critical issue. Mr. DuBois seems to have forgotten that "t-shirt wearing" parents and business people he insulted are taxpayers paying for our court system, and the clients who can no longer pay our bills because of how bad our family courts have become. As a young family law attorney, I am ashamed of what our Bar Association is promoting and how it has responded to this crisis. One need to only look to other states, to see how quickly and far better their Bar Associations responded - and in a far more ethical and responsible manner. Mr. DuBois, does not speak for me or thousands of legal professionals in this state trying to do better for the people whose interests we are supposed to be representing.

  • not available

    Self-represented parties and credulous legislators are the cornerstones of a democracy.

  • not available

    With statistics showing that 85 percent of people involved in family law litigation are representing themselves, you should stop your whining and ask yourself the very valid question, "WHY." Connecticut is well known as the most corrupt, and defunct probate and family law system in the country. Don‘t you profit from the histrionics regardless?

  • not available

    Would Mr. DuBois also argue that the "t-shirt wearing Ukrainians" had no right to challenge or question the take over of their lands by Mr. Putin? GALs assigning themselves judicial authority and taking over a parent‘s right to be one for their child - is the same thing.

  • not available

    "That is pretty much what is happening with regard to the flood of self-reps into our family courts. There is a cohort of these people who appear fundamentally unable to deal with systems and rules."



    I am very curious as to when Mr. DuBois picked up the phone and actually spoke with one of the parents, business leaders, attorneys or other highly educated people who represent those he speaks of above. He might find that our Number One compliant with our family court system is the exact opposite of what he portrays - and that we rules and the laws followed. That we are angry and frustrated that we often have to educate family law attorneys and GALs and judges on what the law is in this state. They are we are angry and frustrated because laws are not followed and court orders are not enforced. THAT sir, is why we are demanding reforms. Because you and your industry - are the ones playing God and not following the laws of this state, not us.

  • not available

    To answer Mr. DuBois, states like Kansas and Nebraska have established Offices of the Guardians, which oversee the operations of not just child guardians, but elder guardians. In an independent, structured, accountable, and cost effective manner. This is not rocket science Mr. DuBois - it is responsibility and accountability around people working with the most vulnerable members of our society - who are today preyed on and taken advantage of by far too many unethical and greedy attorneys.

  • not available

    Mr. DuBois may also pay attention to the fact the NY State Bar, unlike the CT Bar, commissioned their own study into what was wrong with their family court system. Instead of attacking the people who PAY FOR legal services, the NY State Bar actually came back with some really good recommendations on how improve the CITIZEN‘S experiences in the family court system. Mr. DuBois may also note that the Chief State Justice of New York recommended that their family courts be made open to video and audio recording to help "eliminate the atmosphere of corruption." The same recommendation made by a Task Force in Delaware. Maybe then we wouldn‘t need court watchers and legislators watching judges violate due process and basic civil and parental rights as a matter of standard practice and family court policy.

  • not available

    Why is it that dozens of other states have already figured out what to do -and have ACTED by reforming their family court and family laws, - but the legal profession in Connecticut is keeping its head in the sand as Rome burns down around them? Mr. DuBois would do well to read what is being promoted by the Chief Justice of Canada - who described their family courts as "beyond the point of simple repair" and is pushing a new agenda of PLACE THE PUBLIC FIRST. I highly recommend what Mr. DuBois educate himself on what this means before he ever again attacks a Pro Se parent.

  • not available

    Given Mr. DuBois highly caustic opinions and attitudes towards Pro Se parties, it is no surprise that during his tenure as Chief State Disciplinary counsel - not a single AMC or GAL was every found at fault for anything, no matter how egregious the offense. Perfect example of the legal profession and the judiciary being unable to police themselves and why citizens and taxpayers are approaching the legislature for relief. Many attorneys, have expressed extreme displeasure than Mr. DuBois is assuming leadership of the CT Bar Association. What‘s needed and is new and modern viewpoints - not more of the same that has so very much harmed the legal profession in this state over the past ten years.

  • not available

    Ethically and intellectually challenged Rep. Minnie Gonzalez is not a pillar of anything, but I guess since she sides with angry self-reps, she‘s their heroine. Still, this is troubling;
    http://articles.courant.com/2010-05-29/news/hc-lender-column-ethics-0530-20100529_1_state-ethics-ethics-agency-fine

  • not available

    Imagine Mr. Macy (or Mr. Bloomingdale or Sam Walton) faced with a gang of construction workers who were hired to redesign their store, only to have the construction workers bulldoze it. Imagine if these construction workers demanded that their contract be forced for the rebuilding of the property and put doors in the ceiling and windows in the floor and then asked for more and more money to fix their mistakes. Imagine if you went to court to get out of the contract with these inept construction workers and the court said that if you don’t pay them for their terrible work you’ll go to jail.

    This is exactly what some Guardian ad Litems do. When these inept Guardian ad Litems, predictably, find themselves mucking up families, they blame the parents, call them crazy and demand more money to fix the parents with family therapists, parenting coordinators and supervision centers. The least these Guardian ad Litems can do is accept responsibility for their mistakes instead of blaming the parents.

  • not available

    Imagine Mr. Macy (or Mr. Bloomingdale or Sam Walton) faced with a gang of construction workers who were hired to redesign their store, only to have the construction workers bulldoze it. Imagine if these construction workers demanded that their contract be forced for the rebuilding of the property and put doors in the ceiling and windows in the floor and then asked for more and more money to fix their mistakes. Imagine if you went to court to get out of the contract with these inept construction workers and the court said that if you don’t pay them for their terrible work you’ll go to jail.

    This is exactly what some Guardian ad Litems do. When these inept Guardian ad Litems, predictably, find themselves mucking up families, they blame the parents, call them crazy and demand more money to fix the parents with family therapists, parenting coordinators and supervision centers. The least these Guardian ad Litems can do is accept responsibility for their mistakes instead of blaming the parents.

  • not available

    Testify! While this does not apply to all self-represented parties, it certainly does to many of the most vocal in this recent attack on the courts and GALs. Ironically, if you asked me to name the top five family court judges in the state, they would be the ones constantly called out by name in these comments. These judges are given the hardest cases and make the most difficult decisions. Thank you for bringing some perspective to this matter!

  • not available

    Atty. Dubois seems to have hit a nerve with the self-reps about which he speaks, and they‘re now resorting to their MO: blaming everyone but themselves.
    Of course, these same malcontents are the first ones to seek the free attorney advice offered by pro bono lawyers in the volunteer programs.
    The conclusion here is that there is simply no reasoning with the unreasonable.

  • not available

    http://psychcentral.com/disorders/narcissistic-personality-disorder-symptoms/

    Well, Mr. Dubious please refer to above article.

  • not available

    Mark puts the ‘fu‘ in dysfunctional family courts. All about money for lame lawyers who practice at little firms with no real legal work. Just vultures on the unknowing. Norm Pattis says family court is inbred. Sen. Len Fasano says family court lawyers is a good ole boy game. There is no law, there is no concern for the children, just get the money. Play the game till all the money is gone. Kickback the judges share and go on to the next victim. Legal profession.....so so sad.

  • not available

    Well if Mr. DuBois is suffering from some personality disorder, then he surely belongs in the Family Court in front of fellow asylum escapees like Bozzuto and Olear. Misfits tend to gather together for protection or to protect their masters of the ring.

  • not available

    The history of the legal profession in Connecticut has been replete with corruption and dissatisfaction back to colonial days. Some things never change. At one point in the 1850‘s the legislature outlawed lawyers from soliciting fee for hire. Appears Marky boy is descended from this line of mutated DNA. He too will pass. It does not take long for errors to be eliminated once illuminated.

  • not available

    Why to Connecticut Judges allow GAL‘s to collect $400/hr when Virginia judges only allow $55/hr? Same country, same federal Constitution. What is the racket in Corrupticut? Crooked judges and crooked lawyers? At least Macy‘s keeps pricing honest.

  • not available

    With Judges like Holly Wetstone, Lynda Munro, Gerrard Adelman, why have a lawyer? The lawyer is not working for you, but for the judge. They run their own services brokerage business right out of the state courthouses. Rather go to Macy‘s.

  • not available

    Don‘t bother commenting. Narcissists like attention.

  • not available

    Dubois? Isn‘t that the lunatic who worked at Macy‘s and tried to get Santa Claus fired?
    Just more witless prose from some one protecting their interests, doing what inept attorneys and unethical judges do: call litigants mental health into question. Perhaps people would find better legal help in the aisles of Walmart after all if this guy is any indication. No wonder why people represent themselves: the greeters aren‘t doing that well.

  • not available

    Why do Connecticut judges allow GAL‘s to collect $400/hr when Virginia judges only allow them $55/hr?

  • not available

    Mr. Dubois:
    I think you need to check this out:
    http://psychcentral.com/disorders/narcissistic-personality-disorder-symptoms/

  • not available

    The reader comments below only serve to bolster and support what Atty. Dubois is saying: this vocal group of unemployed self-reps who would sooner rip their teeth out than put their children first and their egos aside cannot be allowed to hijack the court system and judicial independence.
    Telling Atty. Dubois to ‘retract‘ or ‘rethink‘ his opinion, that many self-reps in high conflict cases are whining narcissists, or be fined by the DOJ for making a claim about people with disabilities? Have you really lost all sense of reality? Many divorcing people go through the system with ease because they don‘t litigate needlessly and endlessly, like the vocal micro-minority who attack judges, lawyers, and other professionals. In other words, supporters of that fool, Minnie Gonzalez, a proven ethically-challenged nitwit who cannot even string together a cohesive sentence. Shame on the legislators who are too lazy to do their own research on the people complaining.
    Mine voted against Judge O‘Lear & I will be voting against him next year, because if he‘s too stupid to do his homework, he‘s too dumb to serve in the leg.

  • not available

    Bravo . About time someone said it.

  • not available

    William H Macy didn‘t pick customers pockets. Pro se litigants on the average know more about the law than any judge or lawyer. Why don‘t they settle? Because they were abused somehow and deserve redress. They wait years to have motions heard, through years of bench denials, despite it is the right to have grievances before judge.
    Have you ever been to court room marly mark and watch your funky bunch make a toilet of the constitution? Stop by one, with a long case detail, and observe. Oh and Marky Mark, calling people names like histrionic is a title III violation of the ADA. 66$ fine, you said it twice, now it‘s 120$ you may owe the feds. You want to retract that insult or have it go to the DOJ who have been in the judicial system for months. Obviously something the parents said compelled some federal investigations.
    Since I am a pro-se, you are saying that you perceive self-represented parties as histrionic- in DSMV, I am understanding you are making an outlandish statement of bias based on what? Your perception and not facts. Get the facts then let your hands taps the drivel afterwards. How would you expect people to act after plundering, children destroyed by conflicts created by the people who are supposed to resolve them.
    Might want to think about that retraction. Seriously

  • not available

    The writings as above are exactly why self-represented parties like myself want a total reform of family court. We do not want to be treated like Mark Dubois treats self-repesented parties in this article. We want to work with helpful productive professionals that we choose to work with. We do not want to be court-ordered to spend our life chained to the inside of Macy‘s and forced to spend all of our money there and not given any other options but to shop there. If you lost your freedom of choice over your children you would be driven to walk up a down escalator out of protest of being trapped without your children in a no-way out Macy‘s. Your article is as ludicrous as the system and professionals you defend. I hope the editors find someone with productive ideas to replace this hogwash writer‘s rants.

  • not available

    I agree. He clearly doesn‘t get it.

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