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  #1  
Old 11-23-2021, 09:46 AM
IwoJima IwoJima is offline
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Default Case conf: how to quickly address lies in her brief

Hi - I have a case conference next week. Outstanding issues are disclosure (she's self-employed and dragging out disclosure over 18 months), spousal support (28 year marriage), child support and equalization.

Her behavior has been consistently bad - financial malfeasance, denying me access to the home, trying to alienate me from the children with malicious lies, etc. Although my Case Conference Brief is focused on the issues, she has decided to attack my character. My behavior has been consistently good, so her case conference brief is full of lies and distortions.

My question is, has anyone found an efficient way to dispel this kind of mud-slinging? I understand judges don't want to hear it, and that (at best) they will assume there's bad behavior on both sides. But I'm portrayed as a violent, irresponsible monster who never paid proper support (I always have) and is using the process to abuse my ex.

She's made a number of crisp statements that are easily disproven, so that's a starting point for the opening statement. But what's an effective way to speak to the rest of the anecdotes, each of which is either false or completely distorted?

I just want to get business with the case conference but I feel disadvantaged having been tarred with this stuff, especially since I chose not to discuss her bad behaviour myself.
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Old 11-23-2021, 10:17 AM
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Tayken Tayken is offline
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Originally Posted by IwoJima View Post
Hi - I have a case conference next week. Outstanding issues are disclosure (she's self-employed and dragging out disclosure over 18 months), spousal support (28 year marriage), child support and equalization.

Her behavior has been consistently bad - financial malfeasance, denying me access to the home, trying to alienate me from the children with malicious lies, etc. Although my Case Conference Brief is focused on the issues, she has decided to attack my character. My behavior has been consistently good, so her case conference brief is full of lies and distortions.

My question is, has anyone found an efficient way to dispel this kind of mud-slinging? I understand judges don't want to hear it, and that (at best) they will assume there's bad behavior on both sides. But I'm portrayed as a violent, irresponsible monster who never paid proper support (I always have) and is using the process to abuse my ex.

She's made a number of crisp statements that are easily disproven, so that's a starting point for the opening statement. But what's an effective way to speak to the rest of the anecdotes, each of which is either false or completely distorted?

I just want to get business with the case conference but I feel disadvantaged having been tarred with this stuff, especially since I chose not to discuss her bad behaviour myself.
Read all the content on this site about Case Conferences:

Your lawyer should have explained to you that:

1. Case Conference briefs and the content does not form part of the continuing record (meaning your briefs are returned to you at the end and not put in your file);

2. Case Conference judges cannot make any substantial orders other than procedural. They are there to canvas settlement and narrow the issues that need to be heard at motion or at a trail. SS cannot be ordered at a CC unless both parties consent to a settlement. If you don't agree to something in a CC don't CONSENT to it being made into an order;

2.2 Case Conference judges cannot hear a motion or be your trial judge;

2.3 You can put that the moon is made of BBQ Spare ribs into a brief. They are not sworn affidavits to "the truth" and nothing in Family Law is "the truth". (Search "the truth" and find my post about Justice Mossip's wise words on this.);

2.4 Briefs should be brief... 1-3 pages at most; and

3. Case Conferences are the biggest waste of time in the dispute resolution process. Very little happens at them other than lawyers getting paid.

A good lawyer should have told you all this basic information that can be found by searching on this forum or the internet.
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Old 11-24-2021, 12:23 AM
IwoJima IwoJima is offline
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Thanks very much Tayken - I've been lurking here for a while and I really appreciate your input. I understand a case conference is of limited practical importance. However my ex is a textbook narcissist and her lawyer a textbook negative advocate (another lawyer said of him "He's the most unreasonable lawyer I've ever dealt with, and he will only settle on the eve of trial.")

In other words, she largely believes her lies are true, and her lawyer doesn't care one way or the other. I think it might take the wind out of her sails if the judge were to scold her for misleading the court.

I should mention - two or three of her crisp, unequivocal false statements are actually contained in an Affidavit she swore in August. And I can quickly, pointedly prove them false. My hope is that the judge will call her out on it and maybe rattle her blinding confidence a bit. I'm just looking to accomplish that without opening up a he said-she said debate.

By the way I did look up Justice Mossip's writing on "the truth," thank you for that. I understand that the "truth" is a slippery thing and I don't expect the courts to entertain me with a bone to pick.

That said, I will remind myself not to hope for anything other than an ending.
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Old 11-24-2021, 09:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IwoJima View Post
Thanks very much Tayken - I've been lurking here for a while and I really appreciate your input. I understand a case conference is of limited practical importance. However my ex is a textbook narcissist and her lawyer a textbook negative advocate (another lawyer said of him "He's the most unreasonable lawyer I've ever dealt with, and he will only settle on the eve of trial.")

In other words, she largely believes her lies are true, and her lawyer doesn't care one way or the other. I think it might take the wind out of her sails if the judge were to scold her for misleading the court.

I should mention - two or three of her crisp, unequivocal false statements are actually contained in an Affidavit she swore in August. And I can quickly, pointedly prove them false. My hope is that the judge will call her out on it and maybe rattle her blinding confidence a bit. I'm just looking to accomplish that without opening up a he said-she said debate.

By the way I did look up Justice Mossip's writing on "the truth," thank you for that. I understand that the "truth" is a slippery thing and I don't expect the courts to entertain me with a bone to pick.

That said, I will remind myself not to hope for anything other than an ending.

My husband wanted to respond to every single one of his exs ridiculous claims in her affidavits and his lawyer would talk him down reminding him none of it was relevant. It wasnt until they were at a motion date (for disclosure) where a judge actually blasted her for the better part of two hours on her unnecessary and irrelevant statements. Even going so far as to tell her what he would ask if he was opposing counsel at trial.

Let her fill her stuff with ridiculous claims, you put the relevant info and ignore the rest.
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Old 11-24-2021, 09:46 AM
Stillbreathing Stillbreathing is offline
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The quickest, easiest and most efficient thing to do in response to all the lies is to simply deny all allegations contained in her brief then move on with business. Do not respond to each allegation individually. Do not counter by trying to prove her allegations false. Do not engage in a battle of wits with an unarmed person! A blanket statement that you deny all allegations is short, quick snd to the point.

The lies are a tactic encouraged by a negative advocate lawyer to engage you in warfare, escalate the conflict and drive up the billable hours. Refuting the lies is something you save for trial. That is when you bring out your evidence and make fools of them, not now.

For example, I have video evidence and an eyewitness of my ex destroying marital property which has been disclosed to my ex and his lawyers on multiple occasions over the years. Now that we are on the eve of trial he has suddenly put in his briefs that I was the one that destroyed this property. I’m telling you, I can’t wait for trial to see their faces when we play the video and bring out our witness!
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Old 11-24-2021, 10:59 AM
Brampton33 Brampton33 is offline
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Originally Posted by IwoJima View Post
I understand a case conference is of limited practical importance.... My hope is that the judge will call her out on it and maybe rattle her blinding confidence a bit.
You are correct, a case conference is simply procedural. The judge will say, "ok, looks like we have a case here where there is a disagreement on X....by the looks of the materials, it appears to be high conflict. The court is bogged down and has no time for this crap....I encourage you to both roll up your sleeves and hammer out a settlement. See you in 9 months for a settlement conference." Don't expect much...you are literally herded through like cattle in overpacked courts.

Even if the judge gets irate with your ex and/or her lawyer, it means nothing. The judge yelled at the top of her lungs at my ex (and her lawyer) for filing a ridiculously long brief, suggesting it was done on purpose to drive up my legal costs. She threatened to order costs, but didn't. Did that deter them? Heck no! They just shrugged it off. For every subsequent court appearance, they purposefully filed ridiculously long briefs, driving up my costs. Judge just kept reminding them to slim it down. Nothing more.

Your ex and ex's lawyer have a strategy. It is either to drag this thing out, drive up your costs so you give in or give in for less, or both. The fact that the lawyer is renowned for settling on the eve of trial means that they will act like unreasonable buffoons throughout the process and then insist on settling at very end with no cost repercussions. If you know this to be the case, take action accordingly. File motions to get stuff in place now while you are in for a long haul. Make fair offers to settle that preserve your ability to seek costs, and try to expedite getting to the finish line.

Last edited by Brampton33; 11-24-2021 at 11:02 AM.
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Old 11-24-2021, 01:46 PM
rockscan rockscan is offline
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You can also direct your lawyer to not put much effort into these things. Make an offer to settle, file your paperwork and then sit through the useless conference and dont argue or respond to bullshit. If you invest multiple hours going back and forth with your lawyer and then letting your lawyer go back and forth with them, you waste the money yourself. Have your lawyer tell the other one that you will only entertain serious consideration of the offer you provide and/or meaningful discussion on the issues.
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Old 11-24-2021, 02:16 PM
IwoJima IwoJima is offline
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Good advice, thanks everybody.

Update: just received an offer from her. It's absurd, designed to be rejected. Deep breath. Eyes on the prize.
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Old 11-24-2021, 02:54 PM
Brampton33 Brampton33 is offline
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Update: just received an offer from her. It's absurd, designed to be rejected. Deep breath. Eyes on the prize.
The old "ask for the moon offer"....a family law classic.

Where you get kids 5% of parenting time. They propose that your time with kids for Christmas is between 5pm-8pm on December 28, and it is suggested you can celebrate easter dinner on easter mondays just fine. Its proposed you get 5 holidays days with kids during summer, yet they get the rest. No March breaks. They get sole custody and "say" they will consult with you.

We love family law. Like I said, its either they are purposefully dragging things out, trying to bankrupt you so you settle for less, or both.

When you get to your Settlement Conference, the opposing lawyer will try to fool judge by saying that offers to settle have been exchanged and both sides are working with the material. This is a delay tactic. Their lawyer will never describe how far apart you are or how unreasonable the offer is, but rather that stuff is in the works. This is just to get you out of the court appearance asap and for another settlement conference to scheduled for 9-12 months down the road. Be prepared for them to try to repeat this cycle.
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Old 11-24-2021, 04:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tayken View Post
3. Case Conferences are the biggest waste of time in the dispute resolution process. Very little happens at them other than lawyers getting paid.
... and litigants being robbed by their lawyers and screwed by the corrupted system.

Sounds like this #3 was not complete.
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