The Power of Team in Family Law

The Power of Team in Family Law

Posted By Michael Manely, International Family Lawyer || 10-Jul-2016

Last week, I found myself deep in the heart of Tennessee, trying an international divorce case. There is no one else who actually handles international family law and divorce cases full time in the south eastern United States. A lot of attorneys would like to, and they might occasionaly touch a case or two, but at best, their claims to practicing international family law is merely wishful thinking. Besides, me, to find the next attorney who spends nearly 100% of his practice in international family law on the eastern seaboard you have to travel to Washington, DC. Beyond that, it is New York. Moving westward you have to look as far as Los Angeles.

Consequently, I travel the south east a good bit, trying international family law and divorce cases. Whenever I do, I have local counsel because, while I know international law and issues that arise in that arena, they know local law, local custom and which way the waters run.

So there I was in a Tennessee court room last week. Our two local counsel were top of the line, excellent in their craft and really good people. Their approach was smooth, above the fray and objective. Our Opposing Counsel were competent enough, but they employed the age old tactic of "the opposing party is evil and our client walks on water." This is almost never true so right off the bat the Judge knew better than to trust them.

They were also suggesting nefarious intent and action on our local counsels' part. This is another really bad idea. Not only had they no proof, but their argument was illogical on this issue and really distracted from the meat of what could have otherwise been a very good argument with decent facts on both sides.

Finally, they made a claim about our client's posture in the case that was about as far removed from the truth as it could be. But, like all stupid lies, it opened up a huge window for us. I hadn't anticipated Opposing Counsel to go so far with their misstatements so I had not prepared in advance the nuts and bolts of the argument she just handed me. I reached for my IPad, linked to our Firm's server. In a heartbeat I was connected to all of our attorneys and all of our paralegals.

I put out the query to my team back home in all of our offices. I laid out how I wanted to shut Opposing Counsel down and what research I rapidly needed to do it. Rapidly because the argument was happening in real time, right then.

Within three minutes, I had my answers, and from several of the attorneys and paralegals. Within four minutes we were making the argument to the Judge. I wasn't watching Opposing Counsel at this moment but I'm told they turned beet red and their heads nearly exploded.

At the end, after the Judge told them "no", they stormed out of the Court room.

It is wonderful beyond measure to have a huge, capable and committed team of attorneys and paralegals from Marietta to Atlanta to Savannah to Lawrenceville to Gainesville to Canton, always at the ready. Whether we are trying a case in Tennessee or Taiwan, we are ready to go. We slay dragons world-wide.

So, a shout out to my attorneys and my paralegals, my dragon slayers!

May they serve you well, too.

Michael Manely

Categories: Family Law

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