Last night I did some serious complaining about
hateful people, identifying a significant problem that we have in family law. Tonight,
I'd like to follow the sage advice of advocating for a solution to
When patients go to the doctor with their ailments, the doctor rarely throws
his hands in the air and histrionically decries some great injustice that
requires he, the vanquisher of injustice, to fight against the evil powers.
Instead, I expect that the patient hears rational diagnoses, viable alternatives
and realistic outcomes. No drama, just the facts.
There are a number of attorneys in family law, perhaps even a slight majority,
who shoot straight, who see their role as not only their client's
advocate but as the professional problem solver, the adult in the room,
given their client's disadvantaged position.
Let's presume that a client comes in with vitriol and blame and aspersion.
The adult in the room attorney can hear this angst for what it is and
where it comes from. It is very normal. It is usually quite temporary.
It is almost always a bad strategy to a case.
The adult in the room attorney can help the client understand a long term
approach to the issues and a strategy that does not break the client's
bank account nor cause them to annihilate their integrity or reduce their
soul to microscopic proportions.
The adult in the room attorney can communicate with the opposing counsel,
the other adult in the room, to discuss, objectively, the common core
facts and evaluate differences in interpretation of fact and policy.
This approach reduces acrimony. This approach reduces cost. This approach
reduces the time it takes to resolve the case so that the parties can
move on with their lives.
This approach is followed, adopted, espoused by a slight majority of the
family law bar. It is the superior approach.
And anyone who practices otherwise has a suspect agenda.
There, that's my soap box tonight. Not that I have an opinion on this.
But I do.
Michael Manely and all the attorneys of The Manely Firm strive to always
be the adult in the room whether they practice from Marietta, Atlanta,
Lawrenceville, Gainesville, Canton or Savannah.