I think I'm in trouble now... UPDATE 18, 61 **82** - Mothering Forums

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Old 12-04-2007, 08:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have court on Monday. It turns out that my attorney can not be there (Her daughter died unexpectedly). My ex's nasty attorney denied a continuance, so now I may have to go it alone. I have spoken with many attorneys but I have not found anyone who can see me this late in the game. We are filing with the court to try to get an emergency delay, but the court may not even see our file until it's too late.

I am SO panicked. He is suing for primary custody on the basis that I am unfit (interesting that he thinks that since he's not even here to see my parenting). I can not go in there without representation. I can not believe his attorney did this to us... I mean, we weren't trying to delay; there was a death in the family!

I just don't know what to do. I can't believe that he is doing this to us.
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Old 12-04-2007, 08:50 PM
 
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If you have to...

You walk in the court and explain the situation to the judge. You make it clear to the judge that this is too important for you to proceed without your lawyer and that you feel it was not compassionate for the other lawyer to reject the continuance when your lawyer was faced with the death of their child.

Make it clear to the judge that you are wanting this to move forward quickly and easily, but you feel it is necessary to have a little time to get proper legal representation.
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Old 12-04-2007, 09:14 PM
 
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Stand up in there and say exactly what MsChatsAlot told you to say. No judge will allow you to be in court without an attorney like that. AND it will look really crappy for your x's attorney. Family court is not a good place to play hardball, unless you absolutely have to.
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Old 12-04-2007, 09:48 PM
 
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Yes, do exactly as MCA and BB have counselled. Hopefully you'll have the same judge when you return to court and they will remember the other attorney's actions.
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Old 12-04-2007, 11:01 PM
 
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I am an attorney, and that shows a complete lack of professional courtesy. I just can't imagine doing that to a colleague. I hope the judge reams him a new one. Any judge I've every been before would. Make sure the judge knows that you asked for a continuance and the other lawyer refused. Please keep us posted. I'll be thinking of you.
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Old 12-04-2007, 11:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you everyone. His attorney has been really vicious and unwilling to communicate with us at all throughout this process. They are playing nasty, but I didn't imagine it would go so far as to disrespect my attorney during such a horrible time. For a long time I was thinking "they must be really good and have a strategy for this" because they were really dragging me through the mud. After this, I am sure that they aren't actually good, they are stupid. Communication is the key to co-parenting, and the court wants us to co-parent. So they are screwing up big time.

If worse comes to worse, I will go to court with the letter we wrote to his attorney and explain the situation. I can't believe how disrespectful they have been.
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Old 12-05-2007, 02:09 AM
 
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Originally Posted by MsChatsAlot View Post
If you have to...

You walk in the court and explain the situation to the judge. You make it clear to the judge that this is too important for you to proceed without your lawyer and that you feel it was not compassionate for the other lawyer to reject the continuance when your lawyer was faced with the death of their child.

Make it clear to the judge that you are wanting this to move forward quickly and easily, but you feel it is necessary to have a little time to get proper legal representation.
ditto

Erika, wife to Eric, Mom to Son's, Mathias, Colin and Bonus Baby Girl Salem ::
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Old 12-05-2007, 02:37 AM
 
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I'll be thinking about you and sending you energy.
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Old 12-05-2007, 10:23 AM
 
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Ditto SIlly. I'll be sending some good positive karmic forces your way. And I'm willing to bet you'll get your continuance. If not, the DCA (District COurt of Appeals) would probably reverse and remand any ruling made in which your counsel couldn't be present due to a death in the immediate family. After it's all said and done, I think I'd look into putting a bug in your state bar's ear....Might not be illegal, but it could be considered highly improper to deny a continuance in such a situation. Play their game...Attorney's hate dealing with bar issues...even if it can't cause them permanent issues...its still a PITB when someone complains.
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Old 12-05-2007, 11:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Ditto SIlly. I'll be sending some good positive karmic forces your way. And I'm willing to bet you'll get your continuance. If not, the DCA (District COurt of Appeals) would probably reverse and remand any ruling made in which your counsel couldn't be present due to a death in the immediate family. After it's all said and done, I think I'd look into putting a bug in your state bar's ear....Might not be illegal, but it could be considered highly improper to deny a continuance in such a situation. Play their game...Attorney's hate dealing with bar issues...even if it can't cause them permanent issues...its still a PITB when someone complains.
How would I alert the state bar? Just call and ask how they handle these things?
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Old 12-05-2007, 09:06 PM
 
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Basically. I know that people can cause trouble for lots of nonsensical reasons, and this is certainly not nonsensical...this is real and unnecessary. Just google _____ state bar association. It should give you the name and address and phone numbers
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Old 12-05-2007, 10:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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His attorney apparently called my attorney's office today to apologize. She wanted to accept our continuance and he said no. She said she had no choice but to object on his behalf. Still seems rather snakey to me.
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Old 12-05-2007, 11:26 PM
 
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Yes, it is. Lawyers do not let clients micromanage the case. She needs to get him in hand, and let him know she's going to be reamed if he's objecting for no earthly reason, and it's going to affect him too. Whatever. Still bring it up to the judge that she refused a continuance, and let her say that it was her client's fault. I almost wish I could be there to see how that goes over.
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Old 12-06-2007, 12:34 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm glad you all feel so confident about this, because I was thinking that I was overreacting to their objections. I hate the thought of walking in there alone; I know I'm going to feel totally unprotected.

My paralegal said that every single other case she has, the attorneys were totally understanding and willing to accommodate the schedule change. Even the worst divorces were not objecting to the delays. She said that this was the most horrible response she's seen in her career.
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Old 12-06-2007, 02:57 PM
 
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Are you sure we don't have the same ex? My ex's second attorney effectively fired him when he stopped her from moving forward on an action he had initiated. I forget all the terminology, but she was allowed to be removed from the case because he had in effect tied her hands. This also put him in a postition where I was able to force his hand and move the case forward after all his stop-start stalling actions.
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Old 12-06-2007, 07:51 PM
 
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Ugh that's disgusting.
And I can't help but think it shows he has far more selfishness and anger than understanding about how much children matter.
I hope it goes well for you and the judge postpones things until your lawyer can be there. I'd be surprised if she/he doesn't postpone.
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Old 12-06-2007, 08:45 PM
 
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I am an attorney, and that shows a complete lack of professional courtesy. I just can't imagine doing that to a colleague. I hope the judge reams him a new one. Any judge I've every been before would. Make sure the judge knows that you asked for a continuance and the other lawyer refused. Please keep us posted. I'll be thinking of you.
: i cannot believe he did that and thought the judge would be that callous. ewwww...

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Old 12-07-2007, 02:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The court denied our request for a continuance. I think I'm pretty screwed. There's no way I can find an attorney to cover me on such short notice, and if I could, they wouldn't be able to get up to speed by Monday morning. I don't know what to do. I can't believe this is happening.
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Old 12-07-2007, 02:49 PM
 
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The court denied our request for a continuance. I think I'm pretty screwed. There's no way I can find an attorney to cover me on such short notice, and if I could, they wouldn't be able to get up to speed by Monday morning. I don't know what to do. I can't believe this is happening.
oh mama, i'm so, so sorry! i wish i had some advice for you, but i don't. i'll be thinking about you and wishing you all the best.
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Old 12-07-2007, 02:49 PM
 
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The court denied our request for a continuance. I think I'm pretty screwed. There's no way I can find an attorney to cover me on such short notice, and if I could, they wouldn't be able to get up to speed by Monday morning. I don't know what to do. I can't believe this is happening.
I am so shocked and sorry to hear this! Good grief, how can this be happening???
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Old 12-07-2007, 02:50 PM
 
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What???? I cannot understand this at ALL. There must be some mistake? Either that or there is no justice in this world... geez.
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Old 12-07-2007, 03:04 PM
 
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The court denied our request for a continuance. I think I'm pretty screwed. There's no way I can find an attorney to cover me on such short notice, and if I could, they wouldn't be able to get up to speed by Monday morning. I don't know what to do. I can't believe this is happening.
I'm sorry this is happening to you and I know your lawyer must be going through hell but doesn't she have someone who can fill in for her?? It seems unprofessional that she wouldn't.

Ally
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Old 12-07-2007, 03:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm sorry this is happening to you and I know your lawyer must be going through hell but doesn't she have someone who can fill in for her?? It seems unprofessional that she wouldn't.

Ally
There are two other attorney's in the firm, both of whom are in other trials at that time. The other problem is that neither of them really understand my issues with his father. They have both told me that worst-case is that my son who is 10 months will go across country twice a month for visits (my son does not know his father and his father has absolutely no bond with my son). NO other attorney has suggested that as an option and I am not confident that they are going to adequately represent my needs.

I am so shocked. He is coming to visit tomorrow and I don't know how I am going to look at him. I just want to throw up.
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Old 12-07-2007, 03:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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On the upside, I have lost 15 pounds.
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Old 12-07-2007, 04:10 PM
 
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WHAT????? i'm an attorney as well and can't believe the court denied the continuance -- what did they say? what state are you in?

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Old 12-07-2007, 04:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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WHAT????? i'm an attorney as well and can't believe the court denied the continuance -- what did they say? what state are you in?
PM'd you!
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Old 12-07-2007, 04:55 PM
 
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On the upside, I have lost 15 pounds.

Aren't custody battles THE BEST diets?
I'm just here to send positive vibes for you. This really seems unimaginably absurd. How on EARTH could they deny your continuance???!!!
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Old 12-07-2007, 05:00 PM
 
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I can't believe it was denied and am livid on your behalf! I hope the attorney mamas here can help you negotiate this.
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Old 12-07-2007, 06:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, one attorney in my firm said "no" to handling my case! She's even available that day! The attorney who is in court and can not be there with me is going to file another motion because there is no reason why the courts should force me to go in there without counsel. It's not like I'm just delaying for the hell of it, you know? It seems unethical for them to not grant me a continuance when my lawyer is not available to me.
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Old 12-07-2007, 06:44 PM
 
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Well, one attorney in my firm said "no" to handling my case! She's even available that day! The attorney who is in court and can not be there with me is going to file another motion because there is no reason why the courts should force me to go in there without counsel. It's not like I'm just delaying for the hell of it, you know? It seems unethical for them to not grant me a continuance when my lawyer is not available to me.
What on earth is going on that another lawyer in her firm WITH availability is refusing to help? Can you go to the partner's in the law firm and complain that they need to get someone to help you?

If this judge refuses continuance again and you have to go to court alone, you need to file a formal complaint against this judge. There is no excuse for not continuing this case a few weeks for such a valid excuse from an attorney. And no reason to punish you for the fact that your attorney had an emergency. Family court is just so dicey. Little dictators these judges are!
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