As we were sitting in the Courthouse waiting for a hearing with the Court, a client once said to me, "you are too nice" after I had said "good morning" to our adversary. I guess from the perspective of a litigant, it seems odd that their attorney would actually have an amicable relationship with the "enemy". However, litigants need to understand that the conduct of their attorneys can impact the outcome of their case– being unfriendly and belligerent certainly does not score points for the Judge and fighting for the sake of fighting totally detracts from what should be the most important focus of the divorce, the Litigant and the Litigant’ s rights and needs.

I had an adversary several years ago who was extremely belligerent both in and out of the courtroom. While initially, this attorney’s client believed that the attorney was "protecting his interest" and was being very "aggressive", as the case progressed, the client learned (the hard way) that such an approach did nothing but to deter from the real issues in the case while increasing the cost of the litigation.  Each case is supposed to be about the litigant and the important issues impacting the litigant’s family and not about the "battle". Divorce litigants should hire attorneys for two reasons (1) the attorney knows the law and (2) the attorney will be objective.  If objectivity is lost, the other side will surely find benefit.

 

In short, your interests aren’t being protected if the focus of your case is the fight.  "The best victory is when the opponent surrenders of its own accord before there are any actual hostilities… It is best to win without fighting." The Art of War, Sun Tzu 600 B.C

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