The waiting room was packed with soon-to-be grandparents as they mixed and mingled, dined on vending machine snacks and mindlessly occupied themselves during the long hours that oftentimes is labor.
People who once upon a time loved each other call us when they don't anymore. I get that. It certainly goes with the territory. But the people who require the services of a family law attorney still span the spectrum from having empathy or sympathy or at least a desire to do as little harm as possible to their once-partner, to out and out loathing, spitefulness and hatefulness that can chill you to the bone.
The Manely Firm has been helping families for 30 years. All of those years our first consultations have been free. Over the course of 30 years we have helped thousands upon thousands of clients in family law. Over the course of 30 years we have consulted with, provided critical information to tens of thousands of potential clients in divorce, modification, contempt and every other facet of family law.
You hear a million stories in my chair. How people sometimes treat one another can be saddening, infuriating, depressing.
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."