I have heard, read, and otherwise witnessed a surprising number of comments from prospective clients, litigants, and others, who seem truly to believe that the family law system is a corrupt, criminal enterprise. The comment below is a representative sample of that misguided belief. Following that is my response to the anonymous comment.
Anonymous said...Steven Ballard said...
Reprint of blog on Boston Business Journal website in response to Lisa Van der Pool's article 9/18/09
"BBA BACKS BILL TO CAP ALIMONY" Take note. Senate bill 1616 seeks to do one thing and one thing only. That is, to keep the power to control your life, determine your future, and keep you under the jurisdiction of the courts until they feel they are done with you. Family law is a masterful scam not unlike TV wrestling. The lawyers and judges put on a great act in their pretend roles. But, the truth is they all belong to the same organization and they will never act on their own to stifle their own power to run the scam. Any legislator who doesn't act to stop it is an accessory to organized judicial crime. The Bar by seeking to give judges the power to determine alimony duration, knows that 1616 will rely on the honor of "his honor" who in the past has proven that he has no honor in the family court ring. They are all winking at each other because they know how easy it has been to pull the wool over the public's eye in the past. But when it comes to family law, "the emperor has no clothes".
Anonymous- most posts like yours I do not allow here. Since you make an ad hominem attack on all lawyers and judges in the family law system, rather than upon any single individual, I have allowed it to be published here, but only because it is representative of the response of so many who - though justified in being outraged - go over the top in their paranoia.
While there are very real biases and vested interests, family law is not a masterful scam or a criminal enterprise. People who are divorcing and fighting each other need to take responsibility for their own mistakes rather than simply blaming their lawyers and the system, and subscribing to inane, ridiculous conspiracy theories about lawyers and judges who are supposedly getting rich at their clients' expense.
Those who are in the legal system -especially including those within the most profitable, big law firms, firms which in fact do not even have family law sections, even as loss leaders, because they would be insufficiently lucrative -find comments such as yours to be laughable.
It's sad many people are so bitter that they actually believe this kind of conspiratorial crap. Many hate lawyers and judges so much that they can't even think straight, or examine basic facts.
One of those facts is that there are many very good people who work as divorce and family law practitioners and judges. Most of them in fact work very hard in a very difficult profession, dealing with very difficult people in contentious cases, and many of them also perform important pro bono work and public service in their communities, while generally earning modest incomes relative to others in the legal profession.
Change the law, improve the system, yes. But in your own individual cases, you should always take a good hard look in the mirror before assessing blame for problems in your own home.
For information about Massachusetts divorce and family law, see the divorce and family law page of my law firm website.