Family Litigation

October 1, 2009 · 1 comment

I am a trial lawyer, and I have been for the last ten years. The last five years have been spent prosecuting criminals. To prepare me for this profession, I went to four years of college (it actually took six years to complete a four year degree), and then three years of law school. I am trained in the art of direct examination, and more importantly, the science of cross examination. If a witness takes the stand and lies, fibs, fudges the truth, stretches the truth, or simply looks at me funny, I will expose and exploit that opening in their story, and destroy their credibility. In the last three years I have done over 70 trial against all types of criminals from petty theives to rapists. And all of these attributes are of ABSOLUTELY NO USE TO ME WHEN I ARGUE WITH MY WIFE!!!!!

Maybe she doesn’t realize this about me, and if so, I am giving away any tactical advantages that I may have in future debates. But to be honest, when we have a disagreement, I am about as effective at getting my point across Helen Keller was as an Auctioneer. And to be even more honest, I really don’t know why that is, except to say that it’s probably because the rules that I play by in the courtroom do not apply in the living room.

I am pretty good when the roles of Judge, Jury and Opposing Counsel are filled by separate people. When I am in court, I really don’t care if the other attorney agrees with me. I only care about what the Judge (the gate keeper of the evidence) thinks, and what the Jury thinks about that evidence. But when my wife and I disagree, I have to deal with the Opposing Counsel, Judge, and Jury all rolled into one. Plus, I am pretty sure she’s the Executioner as well. That’s a pretty tough row to hoe. (No Dear, I did not call you a “Ho” and I am not suggesting that “Rowing” you is difficult.)

But there are other difficulties as well. Take “hearsay” for example. In court its inadmissible. At home? Well its usually the foundation of the case I am opposing. (“Well Susan said that she heard from Marcia that Allison told the teacher at school that . . . .”) I could object, but I’m usually overruled.

Impeachment: If you were convicted of theft 5 years ago and you try to testify at trial, I am going to use that conviction to make you look like a liar, cheat, and of course, a thief. But at home, if I try to bring up anything that happened more than 5 days ago, it’s generally inadmissible. (“But Dear, when we were dating you used to like . . .” “Don’t you talk about when we were dating, that’s ancient history!”) Unless of course, it’s something I did wrong, in which case even experiences I may have had in a prior life are admissible dating back to the dawn of time.

(Speaking of Dawn, if you are living with someone named “Dawn” and you want to wake up early one morning, you might get a good laugh out of using the phrase “I want to wake up at the crack of Dawn.” Of course, if you are living with someone named “Don”, you may want to pick another phrase. But I digress.)

So, my point is this, if you ever see me failing miserably in a debate with my wife, another family member, or friend, please know that I am not as incompetent in court as I may appear.



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