humor law


By Mark Patt, Esq.

Divorce cases are often filled with incidents that reflect how low one spouse can act toward the other. It is hard to believe that these incidents could occur between two spouses who once loved each other, but believe it, they happen.

While the divorce case was pending, both husband and wife remained in the residence. Neither one wanted to move, and because there was no violence between the parties, neither one could go to court to force the other party to leave. The parties did have an arrangement whereby each one had exclusive use of a particular bedroom and bathroom.

Both husband and wife were Jewish, but only the husband maintained kosher dietary standards. While the divorce case was pending, the wife, with the clear intent to annoy and harass the husband, bought bacon and put it in the refrigerator. She did not do this because she wanted to eat the bacon; it was done with the clear and simple intent of causing distress to the husband. Needless to say, the wife succeeded. However, in the end her tactics failed since the husband was later able to go to court to obtain an order giving him exclusive use of the refrigerator as well as obtaining a restraining order against the wife for harassment.

Thus, while it is generally good to have a spouse who "brings home the bacon", in some situations this can produce an undesired result.

Mark Patt, Esq. is the managing partner of Trope & Trope, the largest family law practice in Los Angeles, California.

Mr. Patt has practiced family law for more than 20 years and has lectured for more than ten years.

Sorrel Trope Esq., the founder of the firm, is renowned as the "father of family law" in California where divorces are a bigger business than the movies.

However, the most important contribution that Mr. Patt and Mr. Trope have made is that they saved my life in my own dirty divorce. I cannot imagine greater expertise or better results from any other legal source.

Mark Patt has generously agreed to offer divorce vignettes from his practice as an ongoing contribution to our site and has agreed to receive email from readers seeking counsel in the Los Angeles area.

The law offices of Trope and Trope are located at
12121 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 801
Los Angeles, California 90025

Please contact Mr. Patt at:



by Lawyer X

"Getting a divorce? Want to win? Then you need to know all those things that your lawyer is not allowed to tell you. But I will tell you. I'm Lawyer X. I think the legal system sucks, and I know how to beat it. If your lawyer asks, you never heard of me."

1st Installment - Lying to Your Lawyer

A lawyer will only take your case if he* thinks he can win with it. Your lawyer is not your friend, and he could care less whether he believes in you - which is the opposite of your approach. You're looking for an ally, someone who thinks you're in the right; but your lawyer's just looking for case facts that will lead to another notch on his trial belt.

Understand this, and do not forget it: the facts of your case that are most emotionally relevant to you are absolutely meaningless in court. Ninety-nine percent of the things you tell your lawyer about your ex and your life are irrelevant to the legal system.

But, the things you tell your lawyer can lead or mislead your lawyer into thinking you have a winning hand. You can exaggerate or outright lie to your lawyer in order to get him to take your case, which is what most clients foolishly and desperately do - to their own detriment.

So now you think I'm going to admonish you not to lie, right? Wrong. You've got to lie to your lawyer, but you have to learn to lie about the right and relevant things. And, if you're a good listener, your lawyer will tell you exactly what he needs to hear - that is, what lies you need to tell him, the lies that will help you win your case.

Start by telling your lawyer what results you want. DO NOT YET TELL YOUR LAWYER THE FACTS OF YOUR CASE. Then shut up and listen as your lawyer explains how those results will be determined in court. Once you know what will be relevant, adjust the facts in your mind so that, if true, they will lead to the results you intend. NOW YOU TELL THE LAWYER THESE "ADJUSTED" FACTS.

Then, your lawyer will proceed through the discovery process based on the "facts" you gave him. And your ex's lawyer will think himself clever by divining those facts through analysis of your lawyer's "moves" during discovery. It's chess, or poker. And your ex's lawyer will presume that you are capable of proving the facts which underlie your lawyer's moves. Of course, given time, you would well be able to manufacture whatever you need to in order to prove those facts, but it will not usually come to that -- the egos of both lawyers will insure a settlement from whichever lawyer first perceives himself as a certain loser in the case.

Amazingly, despite all you hear about lawyers being untruthful and dishonest, most are really quite innocent and gullible - even if they wisely believe that clients lie, they do not think that their fellow lawyers bluff in situations where those lawyers would lose embarrassingly should the issues be tried.

Final Analysis: Your lawyer is not your psychologist - do not waste your time and money in pouring out your heart to him. What matters most to your case is what he tells you, not what you tell him. You must learn the relevant legal issues from your lawyer so that you can provide him the "facts" that will win your case.

Next installment: Manufacturing proof to match your "facts".

*For the P.C. gender-conscious, each installment will flipflop between masculine and feminine. This installment referred to everyone as male - next installment will be female. LX

" She who marries a gorilla for money, when the money goes, the gorilla remains a gorilla." Arabic Proverb




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