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Divorce & Family Law This forum is for discussing any of the legal issues involved in your divorce.

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Old 05-14-2017, 10:14 PM
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Default Gaslighting by judges and lawyers

How do other people deal with gaslighting by judges and their own lawyers?
What I mean is that both judges and lawyers will say one thing then the next time they say the polar opposite thing. It's driving me crazy and making it extremely difficult to make any concrete decisions moving forward.

For example: At two prior conferences the judge tells my ex not to even go there (crying alienation at trial). Because there is no evidence and he has no expert reports to back it up. Next conference same judge chews out my ex for his behaviour then turns to me and starts accusing me of being an alienator!? Nothing has changed in the meantime except another report but this one states the children are justifiably estranged from him and even during the marriage had a poor relationship with him. Ex is shaking his head and so am I.

Another example is a different judge who made an order that STBX could not remove certain items from the marital home. He does it anyway so at the next case conference she changes her order to allow it !?

Lawyers. I've had 5. This last one on and off for 6 years now.
I like him as a person and he's a brilliant lawyer. Knows his stuff...but...
For instance. He convinces me to do .....because he says that our file has been going on for way too long and because children are involved we are a priority. He says if I do .... with the kids then we will definitely go to trial at the next sittings.
Trial sittings come and go. We are NOT on the list. I never ever ever would have done ... had I known we were not going go to trial and that was 4 trial sittings ago!!!!!

The lawyer has manipulated me like this several times into doing something I did not want to do by promising if I did then we would go to trial.

I have no faith in the family court system. It's not even logical and makes no sense whatsoever. Good, co-operative behaviour by parents is not rewarded. It really doesn't get you anywhere. On the same token, bad behaviour is not punished and the one behaving badly often gets away with it which encourages more misbehaviour. The lawyers and judges talk out of both sides of their mouths at the same time. The rules are interpreted differently by the exact same judge a month later in court!? The judges also bend the rules or don't adhere to them at all ( for example the rule that your case conference judge is not supposed to be your motion judge).

How on earth are we mere mortals supposed to make these momentous life altering decisions when the rules are written in quicksand and you can't trust the judges or even your own lawyer?
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Old 05-14-2017, 11:39 PM
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1. Judges discretion.
Lawyers forget to tell us all about this when we first retain them. Unless the judges err in law then there is nothing you can do about them changing their minds.

2. Money.
In a post the other day you mentioned that you have substantial equity/financial holdings in trust.
Lawyers are merely trying to extract maximum $$

3. Accountability.
You need to have your lawyer put pen to paper and address your concerns.

In the end, you can have your lawyer's bill assessed and hire another lawyer. Hopefully you have insisted on detailed monthly invoices from your lawyer throughout the past 6 years.

IMO everything always comes down to money in family law.
Your lawyer is not your friend. He is a professional retained by you to take you through the divorce process. Keep your communication with him on a professional basis (preferably in writing).

Last edited by arabian; 05-14-2017 at 11:43 PM.
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Old 05-15-2017, 01:51 AM
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Welcome to the family law circus my friend. The judges are the monkeys and the lawyers are the zoo keepers. It's not really a circus, but the judges can be like clowns.

I completely hear you. One court date judge will be in a good mood and completely on your side, the next, in a bad mood, rolling her eyes and completely against you even though they know you are right, that they are wrong and are just ranting. That's when your lawyer set's the clowns heads straight. Don't forget 2 judges may rule one thing and a 3rd rule will rule completely opposite. Don't let the judges or your lawyer pressure you into what you think is wrong. You have a right to appeal.

As far as lawyers, I agree with Arabian, they are in it for the money and WILL extract as much money as they possibly can from the family. Lawyer's docket systems were invented to scam people IMO.

When you have a good lawyer however, it is worth it. It's nice to know things are getting accomplished. Don't be afraid to go to trial. At a trial, a complete through investigation takes place and the judge will need to give reasons for their decision. It's not like these discussion meetings where a judge just pulls something out of their ass based on 1 or 2 things said without having the complete picture.

If you don't trust your lawyer, then find a new one. But if you have already burned through 5 lawyers, good luck finding a new lawyer. Lawyers and judges have a tendency to quickly believe that YOU are the problem person if you had to go through so many lawyers. Most judges were lawyers themselves and will think you're just another difficult client. A difficult client is generally an excuse a lawyer uses to describe a client who they neglected, ripped off, or screwed over. Also when lawyers screw up, they will create problems and then turn it around against you and then label you as a problem client.

My last lawyer was "good" but my new lawyer is even better. My old lawyer tried to paint me off as a difficult and unreasonable lawyer but when I met my new lawyer, he told how unreasonable and difficult my old lawyer was. I agreed with him. He has an even better reputation with the courts and now it's so obvious what a crap shoot and how useless my old lawyer was. I got more done with my new lawyer in 6 month then I did with my last lawyer in over 2 YEARS ! Within 2 weeks of hiring my new lawyer we resolved the issue of Christmas schedule meanwhile my last lawyer was still running around trying to find her godamn sucks 2 YEARS later telling me to agree to not have our child for half of the Christmas and further to not have any access on Christmas eve.day or new years/day - fuking ridiculous !!. This is of course only 1 of many issues that my new lawyer has been able to resolve. My new lawyer simply knows how to get shit done. I really don't have anything good to say about my last lawyer. Most useless and biggest waste of money and excuse for an "experienced professional" that anyone could ever run across into - I honestly fell she didn't know her own head from her own ass sometimes.

Also switching lawyers just before a trial can't be anything beneficial. Trust your lawyer and don't be afraid to tell him what you want. if he doesn't listen to you or let you speak and is rude to you like my last lawyer was, fire him immediately. That being said, listen to what your lawyer has to say or tells you very carefully.

Last edited by trinton; 05-15-2017 at 02:23 AM.
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Old 05-15-2017, 01:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stillbreathing View Post
... At two prior conferences ...
This is the problem. You are stuck in mediation at conferences. You want something done go to motion.
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