Wednesday, October 19, 2016

My Petition to Change the Rules on Lawyers Professional Responsibility

As I have mentioned before, earlier this year I submitted a petition to the Minnesota Supreme Court to change the Rules on Lawyers Professional Responsibility. Basically my petition seeks to increase the chance of a fair investigation by reducing conflicts of interest. Sadly, but predictably, The Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility has recommended that my change not be accepted. Below is a draft of my response to them. 
Re: In Petition to Amend Rule 6, Section A of the Rules on Lawyers Professional Responsibility and Letter Regarding the Matter Received by Me dated October 12, 2016.  
Dear XXX,
I am writing to express my extreme dissatisfaction with the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility's recommendation against adopting the rule change I petitioned the Minnesota Supreme Court to make regarding Rule 6, Section A of the Rules on Lawyers Professional Responsibility. 
My petition seeks to amend the Rule to include:
The investigator assigned, if a lawyer, shall not be in active practice in the same area of law that the lawyer under investigation practices in. The investigator assigned, if not a lawyer, shall not be a person who works in a profession which commonly receives referrals from lawyers who practice in the same area of law as the lawyer under investigation. 
In your response you state that sufficient safeguards are in place already. This is difficult to understand  given the facts in the complaint I filed against with your office. Indeed the behavior of your office had been blatantly unethical and likely criminal. 
I will remind you that:
  • My complaint against is backed by the strongest, clearest evidence possible. It is difficult to understand how a reasonable person could think otherwise. 
  • The original investigation never addressed the specific complaints. 
  • The appeals process, likewise, did not address the the complaints. 
  • The investigator was a person who makes his living off referrals from divorce attorneys. Your claim that this does not create a conflict of interest is difficult to understand. 
Furthermore, the “appeals process” you mention in your letter is rather opaque and consists of nothing more than a letter addressed to your office.  
It is evident that your office does not work to enforce the Rules on Lawyers Professional Responsibility but rather works to shield lawyers from complains that they broke the rules. As far as I can gather your office rarely, if ever, takes action against a lawyer unless they have been charged by law enforcement with a crime. I doubt you have ever disbarred or even reprimanded a lawyer for lying in Family Court which is the very reason it is so common.  And if you do not believe that it is common for lawyers to lie in Family Court you are simply out of touch with reality. 
The Rules  on Lawyers Professional Responsibility are like the Iraqi Constitution under Saddam Hussein - a nice document but not followed.      
The devastation caused by the failure to take action of the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility against lawyers who break the rules is enormous. It harms the innocent, including many children, and drives many victims to self-destructive behavior including, tragically, suicide. It also creates a culture of crime which is the logical outcome when people see that the privileged and powerful are able to operate outside the law. 
I doubt you consider yourself unethical and a criminal. Pretty much no one, no matter how badly they behave, does. But your actions show that you are. 
Please ensure that this letter is passed on to all Directors and Assistant Directors at the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility and confirm that you have does so to me. 

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Family Court Reform

A Petition2Congreess initiative seeks  Family Court Reform and Parental Rights. It is well worth signing. Action sought is:
1. Conduct an investigation into the policies and practices conducted in the family courts across the US and by the American BAR Association. Individuals found to be in violation of their oaths of service shall be reprimanded or removed and recommendations shall be made for long term reform. Of particular concern are abuse of judicial discretion, failure to provide equal protection and due process, failure to adjudicate cases in a timely manner, and failure to uphold Constitutional rights of parents to determine what is in the best interest of their own children.
2. Conduct an investigation into child custody laws, practices, and long term impacts. Provide recommendations for updates to state law that are consistent with Supreme Court rulings that uphold the rights of each parent to have essentially equal, ongoing, and meaningful relationships with their children. True 50/50 equal and joint custody and decision making should be the default in all states unless a parent is determined to be unfit or agrees to another arrangement.
3. Conduct an investigation into child support and alimony (spousal support) laws and rulings. Advise and direct courts to develop new policies and practices that adequately provide for the basic financial needs of children being cared for by one or both biological parents not living in the same household, without violating the inalienable financial or property rights of either biological parent. True 50/50 financial responsibility for children based on USDA national guidelines on the cost to raise a child should be assumed unless otherwise agreed upon by the parents.
4. Conduct an investigation into the impact of The Violence Against Women Act, it's effectiveness, and how gender discriminatory policy impacts practices, policies, and judicial decisions in family court and the American justice system. Federal and state laws and programs must be consistently and fairly written and enforced to provide equal protection under the law for both men and women in family court and in programs intended to protect families and children from domestic violence.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Divorce Corp

This video is from about 3 years ago but is still quite relevant.

The thing that strikes me, and I mean that almost literally, is that even here the presumption is that the spouse receiving lifetime alimony was a homemaker. In my case, that was patently not true. The court appointed custody evaluator ruled parenting was joint during the marriage. Furthermore the vocational evaluator ruled that Spring could make just as much money as me if she wanted to. Yet, despite joint custody post marriage, I have to pay Spring massive alimony until the day I die. Spring basically left me because she lost interest in having a family and wanted easy money. Her lawyer assured her, quite correctly, that she could do so. All it would take is a bit of crime but there was essentially zero risk for them in that.

The result is that I am essentially a slave - I'm not sure what else you would call someone ordered by the government to work until death for the benefit of another. Furthermore, I can never retire or remarry as that would oblige my new spouse to pay alimony to Spring should I become disabled. That is not a risk, I am willing to take.

How is this all possible? Money. Divorce is a massive industry. An industry that makes money not by being efficient and fair but rather by being inefficient and unfair. Certainly there are many good family law lawyers and judges but there are far too many bad ones. Sadly, even the ones who act ethically themselves all too often ignore the crimes and injustices committed by their colleagues.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

MGTOW - Benefits of Feminism?

MGTOW - Men Going Their Own Way, a somewhat strange organization, has a somewhat strange video on The Benefits of Feminism. It isn't really much of a video just someone speaking while a few pictures display on the screen.

MGTOW and the video, as near as I can tell, appear to be a reaction against injustices men have experienced taken a bit too far. They essentially believe that men are better off without marriage or even loving relationships with women. They would rather men buy sex and companionship when needed outright rather than essentially do so, as they believe, through marriage.

The mistake they make is applying actions committed by individuals to an entire group. Which is pretty much the way racism, discrimination and sexism work. Some examples:

  • They state that all women are bad at managing money. That is patently ridiculous. I know many women who are good at managing money and many men men who are atrocious at it. 
  • They believe that all women are essentially predatory on men. Love is just a tactic to get money. Maybe I differ with them on this because I have been in a quite good loving relationship for over five years now. And it isn't like I have a lot of money anymore. 
Nevertheless, there are some quite interesting points made in the video. For example, they discuss how (some) women use men as a back-up retirement plan. I personally know of two women that are doing just this. Both date older men with money. They are seemingly head-over-heals in love and hint often of marriage. Yet, it is clear to me that if the man's wealth was at the same level as theirs, essentially flat broke, they would have nothing to do with him at all. But, and this is where I differ from MGTOW, is that it is clear to me that not all women are this way and certainly there are men that do the same. 

MGTOW makes many other very good points about how men are unjustly treated. These include the fact that nearly all military deaths are of men, the preponderance of dangerous jobs are done mostly by men and that most health research dollars are spent to help women. Where the organization fails is that rather than pointing these out as examples of unjust treatment instead devolves into an attack on women.  

I believe in justice. It doesn't matter what the gender (or race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, whatever) is. Maybe that is why I am far less outraged by Spring's actions, despite being unethical to the extreme and criminal to boot. She is just a person with serious moral issues. The world is full of them. What is far, far worse is a legal system that not only promotes injustice but where criminal actions are routinely committed and covered by as a matter of course. Society cannot "fix" bad people. But they can make just laws and enforce them consistently and equitably. 

Saturday, September 24, 2016

A Broken System: Halls of Justice

An article in the Huffington Post titled, A Broken System: Halls of Justice discusses the perception of the legal divorce process vs. the hard reality of how it works.
In reality, many parents experience disingenuous and fraudulent motion practice for months and even years prior to a hearing or court hallway encounter. All while being subjected to financial hardship as a direct result of court actions and, many times, disingenuous litigation playing out.
When a parent is sometimes dealing with an opposing party with deep pockets, compromised ethics, and a lot of skin in the game put into false allegations they often use money and litigation as weapons to pressure and force situations to procure outcomes favorable for themselves but adverse to the child and other parent.
As I have often mentioned, one of the most difficult obstacles to divorce reform is that people just cannot believe that in a democratic society the system can be so bad. They view situations such as mine as uncommon aberrations not the norm. Partly this is because many, including myself, know people who have divorced in more or a less amicable manner. This is possible, even likely, when two reasonably intelligent and reasonably moral people go through the divorce process. The problematic cases arise when one or both parties does not act ethically. Like rotting meat, this attracts unethical lawyers and others involved in the divorce process because they smell easy money.

Often, again my case is a good example, this leads to massive fraud and other criminal actions that are not only tolerated but encouraged by a divorce industry because it is so financially beneficial to them. Sadly for many money trumps ethics. The tragic part is that often the money comes from the ethical law abiding party. Worse it always hurts the innocent children.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Gender Stereotypes

It sometimes amazes me how prevalent gender stereotypes are. On NPR this morning I heard a story about the Washington D.C., police chief Cathy Lanier who is stepping down to take a position with the NFL.

The story mentioned that only 3% of police chiefs are female which is of course is unfortunate. However, in the story Katherine Spillar with the National Center for Women and Policing, a project of the Feminist Majority Foundation argued that it was unfortunate because, "Women tend to use a more community-oriented style of policing, are better communicators, can de-escalate potentially violent situations before they turn violent."

So rather than arguing against societal stereotyping and laws such as limitations on women in the military which result in few women reaching the top echelons in police departments, Ms. Spiller tries to use stereotyping to argue that women are better than men. The irony of her argument is simply incredible.

But then, to NPRs credit, they also talked to Dorothy Moses Schulz who is the author of a book about female chiefs called "Breaking The Brass Ceiling." Ms. Scultz responded to Ms. Spillar's comments with:
"Whether women all have better communication skills or are all better at de-escalating - I mean, those are basically sexist generalizations that there's no proof to."
It is nice to see some intelligence in gender discussions.

Eventually people will also understand that awarding undeserved alimony to women just reinforces the stereotype that women are weak and unable to take care of themselves.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Real World Divorce

Real World Divorce is an online book written by several authors including the remarkably talented Philip Greensspun who has been a computer scientist, educator, pilot and entrepreneur, often at the same time.  The book is a concise and clear overview of the reality divorce, mostly in the United States. It isn't pretty.
"When young people ask me about the law as a career," said one litigator, "I tell them that in this country whom they choose to have sex with and where they have sex will have a bigger effect on their income than whether they attend college and what they choose as a career."
Divorce in this country is for the most part highly profitable for the unethical and criminal and detrimental to the honest and innocent. Family court and the divorce industry are so damaging to children they are effectively the leading cause of child abuse. It is heart wrenching. Yet little is done about it. Why? As they say -  it's the money, stupid.