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March 2012

An Uncontested RI Divorce Tip for those who want to avoid Attorneys Looking to Line their Pockets!

Here's a simple tip that adversarial lawyers sometimes use to get your business. They tell you they are on your side and that they are more than agreeable but that it is the other attorney that your spouse may already have that is very difficult to work with and therefore if things seem drawn out it is because of the other lawyer.

Usually the situation is the contrary.  Recently an attorney was hired by a client.  I have it on good authority that the attorney told the prospective client that I was a very difficult to deal with and that it was almost impossible to reach an agreement with me.

Frankly, this is a fabrication.  I am about as easy to deal with as they get as long as you aren't trying to back my client into a corner or believe that you have some sort of entitlement to more than half the marital estate for reasons that don't support your belief.

When I received the attorney's Complaint for Divorce against my client, it asked literally for everything... short of the kitchen sink.  

Wouldn't it make sense that the RI divorce attorney who is disagreeable or is "nearly impossible to reach an agreement with" would be the attorney who asked for EVERYTHING?  It's just common sense.  Yet most client's miss it.  They disregard what they have said and sometimes get caught up in their own misrepresentations. 

Ultimately, what may happen is that the attorney may well prolong a divorce, make promises he or she can't delivery on and should not be promising under an attorney's Rules of Professional Conduct.

The end result could well be that the particular attorney prolongs the matter to get more money out of you, destroys your family, hurts your children and ends up wasting your time and money in a longer Rhode Island Divorce matter that was unnecessary all because that lawyer needed to send his or her child to a private school or to fund the attorney's 3rd vacation for the year in Greece, etc...

People don't deserve to be used.  As a person, a client, a paralegal, a divorce lawyer and a professional I don't appreciate colleagues who do this.  They lose my respect and they disrespect our profession and do their own clients an injustice.

Don't be a victim of your own Rhode Island Divorce Attorney!  Keep your eyes and ears open.  If you hear and/or see inconsistencies that don't make logical sense then be sure to pay attention to that little warning bell in your head.

I cannot reasonably identify the client or attorney in the case I am talking about here, but the warning signs are clear and while a slick lawyer can explain them away as normal or part of a template, or simply to trust the attorney because this is the way things are done but if you are looking for an amicable divorce that leaves your life and your children substantially unharmed and you hear your lawyer blaming the other lawyer but drafting a Complaint that asks for literally EVERYTHING then use your common sense.  

The attorney you hired is most likely adversarial and based upon his or her own financial gains and not your best interests.  I've seen too much of this and too many families destroyed by these destructive attorneys.  Don't let yours be the next one!  Be aware of what your RI Divorce Attorney says and does!  Common Sense tells you the rest!

All my Best to All Who Go Before the Rhode Island Family Court,

I am Attorney Christopher A. Pearsall and I am "The Rhode Island Divorce Coach."

Some Want Rhode Island Divorce Lawyers as a Noble Profession Once Again!

I'm a lawyer and I exclusively practice Rhode Island Divorce.  Frankly, I've been disappointed since my first day of practice in this field.

No, let me be more honest than that.  I have been disgusted.  What I see Rhode Island Divorce lawyers do in what was once and honorable and noble profession turns my stomach.

I will not go into detail but I can tell you that our Professional Code of Conduct is about as far from what one might consider morally ethical as having a donut at Dunkin Donuts is from having filet mignon at the Capitol Grill in Providence, RI.

I still believe lawyers to be an honorable profession but I believe that many of us have a long way to go before we reach an acceptable level of conduct.  

So how do we get back lawyering back to noble?  Well, I will speak here only as it relates to family law attorneys.

Three (3) Problems Rhode Island Divorce Lawyers Can Conquer

1)  Problem:
 I understand that each of us needs to survive.  We have student loans, law practice overhead, malpractice insurance, accounting, payroll services, billing services, computer equipment, office rent, utilities and many other expenses to cover.  

Solution:  Address these things and budget them.  Be practical and shop around.  Get the best price you can and stick to the fundamentals.  Tons of bells and whistles may make you feel great but it doesn't do anything for your bottom line except bring your income down and your fees and expenses up.  Work your practice within your means.

2)  Problem:
 Rhode Island family law lawyers often don't control their debt and expenses so their practice rules their lives.  Many Rhode Island lawyers want to make money faster and remove the financial stress from their personal lives.

Solution:  Budget your life as you would your law practice.  LIve within your means.  Don't overextend yourself on credit and get into loans and payment structures that you don't have the income to cover right from the moment you enter into them.  If you live in a more streamlined and meager fashion and bargain shop in your home life and in your law practice then your practice is more likely to reach fruition faster than if you spread yourself too thin.

3)  Problem:
 Don't think of clients as paychecks.  

Solution:  As a Rhode Island lawyer when you practice family law you need to have a mindset shift.  You have a person who is coming to you not with a collection matter but with a matter involving their personal life and something that impacts him or her as a family member.  The client is  entrusting you with a part of his or her life.  The person is not a paycheck.  


Do you need to be paid?  Absolutely, but keep in mind the economic times we are in.  You are not the only lawyer in town and another attorney down the road may be willing to care about their case, respond to them promptly and get the same result or perhaps a better result for 1/2 the price.  

We are in a client-centric economy!  If you treat clients as paychecks, they are going to know it and not only are you not going to not get any referrals from that client but you could easily damage your practice by abusing your relationship with a client who has some influence in the community you work in.

* * * SUMMARY * * * 

In short, we need to raise the bar for our own conduct.  Our Professional Code of Conduct is the strict guide we are bound by, but when the almighty dollar controls our acceptance of clients and how we proceed for them as opposed to a reasonable standard of morality, then we cheapen our profession.  

Streamline your practice and live within your own personal needs and you will accelerate the growth of your practice and gain respect with prospective clients

Don't be afraid to tell your clients the benefits they get as a result of your sacrifices and that you make the sacrifice so they can have that benefit.

Let's get back to Serving the People in an honorable manner with a level of morality befitting our position as lawyers serving our clients.  Though there may be differences in arguments as to morality, those differences will be understandable to honorable practitioners.

However, those Rhode Island lawyers who accept divorces and other family law cases knowing that the intentions of their client is the malicious destruction of another person or may result in emotional damage to one or more children in a family unit should take the time to re-evaluate priorities.  

Why are you taking the case?  Is the money factor your motivator?  Is your compensation more important to you than the possible results of your client's proposed actions and the damage you may cause?  If so, you may wish to consider whether you are doing our profession a disservice?  Are you doing something to contribute to the nobility of our legal profession and that of your family law colleagues?  Or are you just a lawyer for hire to do what it takes to make money?  If you find that it is the latter, and you don't care . . . .well, congratulations for pulling another nail in the coffin of our once noble profession.

Let's work together to bring back the nobility of family law lawyering in Rhode Island.  Equitable and amicable resolutions are not difficult between reasonable lawyers who are realistic with their clients.  We can help families and preserve many family units as we restore the nobility of our profession or those who choose to can destroy the remainder of our noble profession one dollar at a time.

Each of us has a choice!  Choose wisely... your practice and your reputation may depend upon it!

Success is not all about money you know!

My Best to all Who Go Before the Rhode Island Family Court System,

I am Attorney Christopher A. Pearsall and

I am "The Rhode Island Divorce Coach."

Text messages have a way of emerging in divorce court!

[Pre-Article Commentary:  This is one of the best divorce tips I could possibly give to my potential Rhode Island Divorce clients whether I represent them or coach them.  Though I didn't write this I'm glad it is being brought to the public's attention.  Think before you act. - Attorney Christopher A. Pearsall]


Article By: Patricia Reaney 
REUTERS Saturday February 25, 2012 9:37 AM

NEW YORK — Couples who might be headed for a nasty breakup should be careful about texting, which could end up as evidence against them in divorce court.

More than 90 percent of the top divorce lawyers in the United States say they have seen a spike in the number of cases using evidence from smartphones during the past three years, according to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.

The rise in texting evidence follows a similar trend of two years ago, when the academy — a professional group of 1,600 members who handle prenuptial agreements, legal separations, annulments, custody battles, property divisions and the rights of unmarried couples — noticed a surge in evidence from Facebook pages.

“With emails, you can think about and rewrite them. There is a window of opportunity to rethink what you are saying,” academy President Ken Altshuler said. “But text messaging is immediate. We get a lot of text messages that people send out without thinking.”

He described texts as “spontaneous venting” that sometimes haunts people because the words provide written records of thoughts, actions and intentions. Even text messages seen over a shoulder, he said, sometimes cause problems in hearings.

“I have used text messaging for cross-examination,” said Altshuler, who has also submitted texts as evidence. “I would say in the last six months there have been a lot of text messages involved in litigation. For whatever reason, people are texting more and not thinking about what they are texting.”

Text messaging was the most common form of divorce evidence taken from smartphones, according to the academy’s poll, followed by emails, phone numbers, call histories, and GPS and Internet-search histories.

Altshuler thinks part of the reason for the surge in text evidence is that people think text messaging is safe because it isn’t easy to print.

“Not everybody can print out a text message. You have to know how to do it,” he said.

He advises clients not to use Facebook, which was the main source of divorce evidence from social media in a previous poll — but only about half follow his recommendation.

He is equally cautious about other emailing.

“Anything that is in writing, you have to assume that someday a judge is going to see it. So, if it is not something that you want a judge to see, don’t write it down.”

Especially text messages.

“You can erase yours,” he said, “but it doesn’t mean they erase theirs.”


Read this and other great articles at The Columbia Dispatch


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