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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 07-20-2008, 11:34 AM
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Default Self represented and my story to date

I have been in litigation now from January 05. I initially had a lawyer for the first year and half. I never had a good feeling about him but after my ex became a self rep and he charged me another $8k to hold her at bay, I simply joined the party and became a self rep myself. I assessed his bill and settled for an amount off this bill via mediation.

I found at a Settlement conference that she actually had a lawyer in reserve but never put him on record. He showed up at the conference and argued for her. I was terrified but survived. She let him go after that and then hired another lawyer who notified me of a trial date and a trial management conference. He did not reply to me and did not prepare and serve me for conference. I filed a confirmation and showed up. At that time she had two lawyers present and did not show herself. She had introduced an additional civil suit against me and the Judge ended up combining the two cases to be tried together. I ended up with another couple of court orders because they were not familiar with the case as I was and her disclosure was not complete. I was able to get a trial date for the later part of that year.

She was not happy with that family law lawyer and fired him and hired yet another lawyer which brought her total to four. I actually ended up hiring a lawyer and used him for coaching and advise and brought him into a examination for discovery on her civil action. I did not notify the other two lawyers until just prior to my examination. With the assistance of the lawyer we settled the civil action. I had to put him on record for a short period of time and removed him quite quickly after the examination for discovery. I discussed this with him so that there was no surprises. He has been very good to me but I cannot afford to pay and will not agree to write his fees into the settlement on our assets.

My ex's new lawyer threaten to bring a motion unless I conceded to adjourning the trial date. We could have gotten a new date but I found out that it was to be an agreed date to be determined at a later time. After another 8 months of battling with him over this date I was forced to bring yet another Trial Management date at which time he served me with an incomplete 17E and 13.1. Prior to the case conference I visited his office and he refused to give me the missing pages. He left me no other alternative but to ask the Judge the content of the pages. This made him look very foolish. He then proceeded to lie and say that I should have asked for it at our meeting prior to the conference. We had a short debate and he still did not comply until the next day. We ended up having another case conference and I was able to set some issues down for trial and got another date towards the end of this year. To his credit he was able to waste another year of both our lives and a sizable amount of legal fees to his credit.

The legal fees that my ex has expended are amazing. She raised this at the conference. I have attempted to assist her with this by trying to develop the statement of agreed facts between us. She agreed to discuss this with me and then later on informed me that her lawyer had already completed them. Trial is going to be very expensive and all I am asking for is that our marriage contract be executed according to its content. This contract I had revised 3 times and the third time it was completely redone. So far the courts have accepted this as a reasonable position.

I am probably looking at a total of 5 years total and the only basis for that is that she will have exhausted all her funds at that time. When you ask a lawyer how much it will cost and he asks you how much do you have, he is not kidding. There is a direct co-relation to those two issues.

I have two kids and it has been tough on them but I have managed to maintain a relationship with them. They have been drawn into the battle but they really were given no choice. It really is the kids that suffer in this the most. I have found the judges to be very sympathetic to their situation and have attempted to assist me in pointing this out to my ex as well as providing me access. From the onset in that they are teenagers I conceded custody and only asked for liberal access.

I am currently trying to obtain a CDFA, Certified Divorce Financial Analyst, as I have a financial background and this I have noticed is severely lacking in the court system. Lawyers know law, and I have seen comments jokingly made about lawyer math during trials. Where I work is close to the courts so I sit in regularly on motions and trials and have learned immensely from that exercise. Only one percent of these cases ever go to trial so where a lawyer who has been practicing for 15 or more years it is feasible that he has never gone to trial. Good question to ask your lawyer but people rarely do. "Have you ever taken a case to trial before"

I apologize for the length of this post but as you can imagine I have become quite passionate about this issue over the years.
  #12 (permalink)  
Old 07-20-2008, 07:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by selfrep
I have been in litigation now from January 05. I initially had a lawyer for the first year and half. I never had a good feeling about him but after my ex became a self rep and he charged me another $8k to hold her at bay, I simply joined the party and became a self rep myself. I assessed his bill and settled for an amount off this bill via mediation.

I found at a Settlement conference that she actually had a lawyer in reserve but never put him on record. He showed up at the conference and argued for her. I was terrified but survived. She let him go after that and then hired another lawyer who notified me of a trial date and a trial management conference. He did not reply to me and did not prepare and serve me for conference. I filed a confirmation and showed up. At that time she had two lawyers present and did not show herself. She had introduced an additional civil suit against me and the Judge ended up combining the two cases to be tried together. I ended up with another couple of court orders because they were not familiar with the case as I was and her disclosure was not complete. I was able to get a trial date for the later part of that year.

She was not happy with that family law lawyer and fired him and hired yet another lawyer which brought her total to four. I actually ended up hiring a lawyer and used him for coaching and advise and brought him into a examination for discovery on her civil action. I did not notify the other two lawyers until just prior to my examination. With the assistance of the lawyer we settled the civil action. I had to put him on record for a short period of time and removed him quite quickly after the examination for discovery. I discussed this with him so that there was no surprises. He has been very good to me but I cannot afford to pay and will not agree to write his fees into the settlement on our assets.

My ex's new lawyer threaten to bring a motion unless I conceded to adjourning the trial date. We could have gotten a new date but I found out that it was to be an agreed date to be determined at a later time. After another 8 months of battling with him over this date I was forced to bring yet another Trial Management date at which time he served me with an incomplete 17E and 13.1. Prior to the case conference I visited his office and he refused to give me the missing pages. He left me no other alternative but to ask the Judge the content of the pages. This made him look very foolish. He then proceeded to lie and say that I should have asked for it at our meeting prior to the conference. We had a short debate and he still did not comply until the next day. We ended up having another case conference and I was able to set some issues down for trial and got another date towards the end of this year. To his credit he was able to waste another year of both our lives and a sizable amount of legal fees to his credit.

The legal fees that my ex has expended are amazing. She raised this at the conference. I have attempted to assist her with this by trying to develop the statement of agreed facts between us. She agreed to discuss this with me and then later on informed me that her lawyer had already completed them. Trial is going to be very expensive and all I am asking for is that our marriage contract be executed according to its content. This contract I had revised 3 times and the third time it was completely redone. So far the courts have accepted this as a reasonable position.

I am probably looking at a total of 5 years total and the only basis for that is that she will have exhausted all her funds at that time. When you ask a lawyer how much it will cost and he asks you how much do you have, he is not kidding. There is a direct co-relation to those two issues.

I have two kids and it has been tough on them but I have managed to maintain a relationship with them. They have been drawn into the battle but they really were given no choice. It really is the kids that suffer in this the most. I have found the judges to be very sympathetic to their situation and have attempted to assist me in pointing this out to my ex as well as providing me access. From the onset in that they are teenagers I conceded custody and only asked for liberal access.

I am currently trying to obtain a CDFA, Certified Divorce Financial Analyst, as I have a financial background and this I have noticed is severely lacking in the court system. Lawyers know law, and I have seen comments jokingly made about lawyer math during trials. Where I work is close to the courts so I sit in regularly on motions and trials and have learned immensely from that exercise. Only one percent of these cases ever go to trial so where a lawyer who has been practicing for 15 or more years it is feasible that he has never gone to trial. Good question to ask your lawyer but people rarely do. "Have you ever taken a case to trial before"

I apologize for the length of this post but as you can imagine I have become quite passionate about this issue over the years.

It appears you have a real circus on your hands...
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