How do we make decisions? How do we come to our judgments? Do we gather evidence? Do we actively attempt to be aware of and hopefully free from bias? Do we use analysis? Do we use reason? Do we weigh all the options, evaluate the probabilities? Is our goal to be accurate, to render a true judgment? Or is our goal to just be right, because, after all, we are always right?
You read that right! David Purvis, Savannah family law attorney extraordinaire, Professor of Family Law at the Savannah College of Law and long friend and trusted partner at The Manely Firm was sworn in today as a Judge!
A while back, I was consulting with a guy about an appeal who had been absolutely railroaded by the trial judge. The guy had filed a contempt against his ex for frustrating his visitation rights and had asked the judge to modify those rights to expand them a little more. At the end of his case, the judge denied the guy's contempt and restricted his visitation rights a bit further. It seemed that family law was being anything but just to this poor soul.
One of my most favorite quotes about parenting is the quote by Robert Fulghum: "Don't worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you". Another quote I stand by is that "it takes a village to raise a child". In custody cases, many people are watching you. And that village (the judge) is going to decide who gets custody of your children, if you leave it up to them.
Judges get to make decisions. Oftentimes those decisions have some discretion to them such as, who is telling the truth. However, discretion never goes so far as to decide to ignore the law. Tonight's post is two cases studies of when judges decided that they had the discretion to blow off the law in favor of what they wanted to do.
Tonight's post on Appeals was written by our Lawrenceville and Gainesville family law attorney, Jennifer McCall.
Our divorce serial continues. Tonight, our first hearing. To read part III(a), click here.
Tonight's post about a very peculiar aspect of Trial Practice was written by our Savannah divorce attorney, David Purvis.
Judges are as diverse as the people they serve. Some are brilliant, committed jurists who deeply care about law and doing right. Some have elevators that don't quite reach the top floor. And some are very, very bad people.
Tonight's post on our Family Law Conference was written by our Wills, Trusts and Estates Guru, Steve Worrall.