I am an efficiency junky. As a family law attorney in Mississippi, this can be frustrating because we operate in such an inefficient legal system. I tell people all the time that I am a fullback, not a tailback. I run a few trick plays and juke and jive a little, but most of the time I like to hit the hole and run right at you.
Yesterday, a couple of board members of 200 Million Flowers and I hitched a ride with my friend, fellow board member and financial advisor Chris Tipton, who has been able to expand his practice all over the Southeast because of his passion for flying. He leases a small airplane and travels weekly to visit clients from Raleigh to Kansas City and all sorts of places in between. We had to go to Tupelo for a meeting, and since Chris was going anyway, we were able to turn 6.5 hours in a car to 1.5 hours in the air. It was great –by far the best way to visit Elvis’s birthplace.
One of the reasons you can get places so much faster in an airplane (other than the fact that you are traveling 3 times the speed), is that you travel from point A to point B in a straight line. Lawyers do not do this, and it creates a good bit of confusion, inefficiency and frustration.
I was in a town I practice in a good bit on Monday. In high conflict families, what each side wants can evolve and change and grow as raw emotion and lost love converge with the legal system and lawyers and money (and sometimes guns). In this particular case, it was relatively clear what each side wants, but this lawyer filed a Motion to Dismiss my pleadings saying that I had used the wrong wording (he was wrong, of course) even though if he were right, I would have been able to amend my pleadings to create the right wording and everything was going to be superseded by a pre-trial order anyway. In other words, he made a maneuver because he could, not because it would help move the case toward a resolution.
Some lawyers would call this type of legal choreography “job security”, but I call it –well I shouldn’t say what I call it on the Internet. It is a suspension of common sense, which seems to happen a great deal in family legal disputes by lawyers and the parties. I am blessed to have enough to do without creating more work for me and my clients –increasing the bullets flying between the parents of real-life kids who love the people that are shooting at each other and need the people shooting at each other to pour into their life in a positive way. Can I get an Amen?
Granted if you try to go through the legal stuff without recognizing the emotional component you end up in orbit, but when working with your family law attorney, begin with a clear definition of your goal –deal with the emotional stuff with a trained counselor, and only take legal steps that further your goal.