I have blogged recently about Why Settling Your Case is Best, avoiding Court, and Why Going to Court is “Best.” The gist of the former being settlement is preferred for having a say in the final outcome and having predictability and the latter, going to Court is best when there is no room for compromise.
Unfortunately, I have been involved in the latter, a case where there was no room for compromise. From my perspective one party was primarily the aggressor and was encouraged by the attorney to take unreasonable positions and force the matter to Court. Of course, they did not view their own positions as meritless. Also, I’m sure they thought my client and I were wretches…
Regardless, hard feelings abounded. This case had some history. What should have been a run of the mill divorce and custody matter was extremely contentious and was litigated over an issue that was not an issue. In Round One, after most of a day of trial, the Court stopped the matter and told the other side they were going to lose on their issue and the case did settle.
But, like the A-Team, they had a plan! Just a few months after it was final they decided another bite at the apple was proper. Based primarily on speculation…which was eventually admitted at Court, the other side sought to change the deal they had agreed to just months prior. Round Two in Court was based on rank speculation. After hours of testimony, haughty lecturing, and what can only be described as highly stylized testimony by the aggressive party and deeply emotional testimony by the other, the Court dismissed the case.
So, what is the take away? Sour grapes? I don’t think so, at least not on my part. It made me realize, yet again, Court is HARD. It is not fun. It is emotional. And, even when you win, nobody wins. Here’s what else can be guaranteed, when you successfully defend against baseless claims from the other side who thinks they are completely in the right when they are not, you better get ready for posturing and Round 3!
Matthew Thompson is a family law attorney and knows that sometimes even when you win you don’t win.