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,
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.