I've been practicing family law for three decades now. That is a long time. When I started practicing, the massacre at Tiananmen Square had just happened, the Berlin Wall hadn't yet fallen, and the world didn't yet have the world wide web.
Every year at this time, the Georgia Family Law Bar comes together to study how to improve our practice. Usually, we cover substantive topics such as child custody and alimony and child support and Qualified Domestic Relations Orders and 401ks. This is good. This is necessary because it makes us all better lawyers at the substance of our practice.
We had the honor, privilege and pleasure of spending a splendid evening this past weekend with Atlanta's Consular Corp, the Consul Generals and Honorary Consul Generals of some 50 countries who handle their countries' diplomatic demands for the south eastern United States. And they are stationed here, in Atlanta.
It was now well into the wee hours of the morning. For far too long now the argument had been little more than, "yes it is" and "no it isn't." They weren't getting anywhere. They weren't going to.
"Just write a letter," she told me. "Tell him what to do so he'll do it," she explained. "How much could a letter cost?"
"Smart mouth bitch," her momma screamed at her. "You've backed talked me for the last time."
She had loved him madly, desperately, longingly, lovingly. She loved him from their first date in high school. She followed him into college. She married him as soon as they graduated. She had borne him children.
You are finally getting a divorce. Years of trying to manage with her drug addiction, her erratic behavior, her severe mood swings, her on again, off again job status are coming to a close. She walked away and disappeared one time too many. You never knew your camel could carry so many straws but she finally placed the one too many.
Family Law attorneys charge for their services under three, very different billing models: Unbundled, Flat Fee and Full Service. Each offers advantages. Each offers disadvantages. So, which one is better for you?
The phone is ringing. It rings so long you are sure it's going to voice mail. At what seems like the last second, she picks up. "Hello." You are beaming from ear to ear, better settled just to hear the sound of her voice. You engage in idle chatter for the next few minutes about your day, the weather, your immediate plans. Then it's time to ring off.