Most clients hire their lawyers for the lawyers expertise and experience.  There is an expectation that the lawyer will guide the client through the process, given them the strategic options, and counsel them regarding settlement positions and opportunities.  Sometimes, client’s hire lawyers that they think they can control, who will do their bidding whether or

Credibility is key when it comes to matrimonial litigation – from your initial filing through the last day of trial. In our practice, we can often make educated guesses of the range for equitable distribution and alimony from the initial consultation based upon the many statutory factors that a court has to consider and some

Recently, I was involved in a negotiation that seemed, for the first time, to be moving in the right direction. However, at one point when it was getting toward the end of the negotiation, the next counter proposal started, "you have to get rid of your dogs and sell the house …"

I did not need

This week, I was told by an adversary that her client was taking what clearly is an unrealistic position as to custody and parenting time, "on principle."  I have another matter where a spouse is delaying the matter on principle, because he doesn’t want his spouse to move on with the new significant other.  I tried a case earlier this year, clearly over principle, because the wife wanted permanent alimony in a marriage that clearly warranted a term of years and over her demand for 50% of the value of his medical practice, when a lesser percentage was appropriate.  Another client wanted us to file a motion, on principle, over a minor violation of a parenting time agreement during the hurricane.  In another case, a party is seeking virtually all of the equity in the marital home, clearly on principle, though the law would not suggest she is entitled to anything more than 50% under the facts. 

All of these recent examples remind me of a blog post that I did in 2009 entitled "Musings on Principle vs. Litigation."  The examples, however, suggest at least two different classes of standing on principle.  In the first, someone has a meritorious claim or position, but the cost of litigation exceeds the amount at issue, and/or though right, they are fighting a fight that they don’t need to fight, just to win.  As I recently told a family member who was getting divorced, sometimes it is very expensive to be right. 

The second class of "principle" is the crazy principle where you think you are right, but you really aren’t right.  Not only that, you aren’t listening to your lawyers, mediators, settlement panelists, judges, friends, etc. who are telling you that your position isn’t right.  Rather, these people are embarking on a holy crusade, either to punish the other party or for some other improper reason.


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Having just experienced several months of "interesting", to say the least, negotiations on several matters, it got me thinking about creating a list of things to do if you really don’t want to settle your case.  Hey, every body is entitled to their day in court if they want it. So what if there is

Oftentimes, a less economically able party is faced with a spouse or former spouse who insists on litigating time and again simply because they can, hoping that the “war of attrition” will force the other party to give them what they want to avoid further motion practice.  We as family practitioners know that while the