Sunday, April 30, 2017

Madness!... Madness!

At the end of the the famous David Lean movie, The Bridge on the the River Kwai, British Major Clipton witnessing the struggle between British officers to blow up the bridge they had forcibly built for the Japanese in Burma during WWII, mutters, "Madness!... Madness!"

I think of that line often. Never more so than in relation to alimony reform and family court corruption.

In the movie, Lieutenant Colonel Nicholson drives his men to design and build a quality bridge to show the superiority of the British. This despite the obvious military value of such a bridge to the enemy. When Nicholson discovers that commandos have planted explosives to destroy the bridge he alerts the Japanese. However, in the end the wounded Nicholson realizes his error and falls on the plunger setting off the destruction of the bridge.

I imagine many of the lawyers, judges and others who so willfully commit unethical and criminal acts are a bit like Nicholson. They don't realize they are betraying their country, their profession and indeed humanity itself. I like to imagine that some at least, like Nicholson, will recognize their error in the end.  However, I will admit that is a hope which seems to grow ever fainter.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

The Osage Murders

The Native American Osage nation once held much of American Midwest but were gradually pushed off their land in the 1800s first to Kansas and later to what was considered wasteland in Oklahoma. Unlike most tribes they purchased their reservation in Oklahoma. Then in the late 1800s oil was discovered on their land. Almost overnight the Osage became immensely wealthy. Sadly the old adage of money being the root of all evil reared its ugly head and many were murdered for the wealth.

A new book by David Grann, "Killers Of The Flower Moon: The Osage Murders And The Birth Of The FBI" tells the story of what happened.  Wikipedia article here.

In a nutshell, what happened is that whites started marrying the Osage and then killing them off to inherit the money.  Virtually all local law enforcement, the judiciary, prosecutors, coroners and politicians at best turned a blind eye if not actively participated in the murders.  Sound familiar?

However there was one local law officer who had a conscious. His name was James Monroe Pyle. He understood what was happening and worked to do something about it. He gathered evidence and presented it to the federal Bureau of Investigation, which soon was to become the FBI.

When I tell the story of my divorce, people are often skeptical that the children and I could have been treated so unjustly. Oh it is easy of most to accept that my ex-wife Spring committed perjury as it is common knowledge that people lie in divorce court in order to get more money. But they assume that our institutions would prevent any large injustice from occurring. Until they look at the evidence which clearly shows that Spring's lawyer Nelly Wince lied in court and committed fraud, that Judge Mearly acted unethically, that the Country Prosecutor's office lied to me, and the Lawyers Office of Professional Responsibility conspired to cover up Nelly Wince's unethical and criminal actions.

A fantasy of mine is that someday my story or a similar one will garner public outrage through he efforts of a modern James Monroe Pyle law enforcement official or maybe a journalist and the cesspool of crime that exists within the divorce system will finally come to an end. I just hope I live long enough to see it.

Saturday, April 15, 2017


Tomorrow is Easter which a good reason to talk about ethics. I host Easter as I usually do most the major holidays. I rather enjoy it. It is nice to have the boys home from college and good to get together with the family. As I write this I have all my cooking, at least what I will do today, done. I just need to put out a few more decorations and do a final cleanup. We will also put a couple baskets together for the young kids who live next door.

No one is perfect, I am certainly not, but I find it incredibly disheartening when people act persistently and overtly in an unethical manner. I can easily forgive an action done in the heat of passion but I struggle with people who seem not to ever care about anyone but themselves.

Spring committed perjury not once but on many occasions. She has never used a dime of her income for the children or myself. Nelly Wince clearly broke her ethical oath and committed fraud. The evidence against her is of the highest possible standard. Judge Mearly ruled, apparently, based on his relationship with Nelly Wince. The Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility (OLPR) criminally conspired to shield Ms Wince from the consequences of her actions. The county attorneys office lied to me outright. If you don't believe all this look at the evidence on this site. No one has ever questioned the facts.

In my last post on the OLPR, I pasted in a letter to the director asking that my letter and previous ones be sent to all the directors and assistant directors. As she has not done that, today I mailed a letter to them myself. Below is an example.

I suspect that my pointing out unethical and criminal activity is no more than a minor irritant to those who commit such actions. Like a Klu Klux Klan member involved in a lynching in the 1930s, they are confident that the system will protect them. But they shouldn't be too confident. Possibly they should consider a jump over to the good side lest they risk being permanently listed with the bad.


Patrick R. Burns 
First Assistant Director – Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility
Burns Law Firm PLLC
1624 Harmon Place, Suite 300
Minneapolis MN 55403 

Dear Mr. Burns,

I am writing to make you aware of my experience with the  Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility. (OLPR) because I am unconvinced that the OLPR leadership, including the current director Ms. Humiston, has made you aware it despite my repeated requests to do so.  

First some background. After divorcing me six years ago, a divorce I neither expected nor wanted, my ex-wife ended up with most my assets, no financial responsibility for the children whatsoever, and permanent spousal maintenance of over $30,000 per year. This despite the fact that the custody evaluator ruled that parenting had been joint and an employment evaluation found she could make just as much money as me. And I'll note that custody was joint. 

I currently have no possibility of retirement as I am required to pay spousal support until the day I die. Nor can I ever remarry as that would make my new spouse liable for spousal support to my ex-wife. It would also allow my ex-wife to seek and increase in spousal support. 

I have struggled to understand how this could have happened. Part of the reason is that my ex-wife committed perjury but a far more important factor is that her lawyer, , committed fraud.  She knowingly lied in court in complete violation of the lawyers rules of professional conduct and in doing so clearly committed a crime. This is not my opinion, I have absolute evidence of this.  

The evidence was submitted in a complaint to the OLPR; however, the complaint was dismissed without ever addressing the facts. Likewise an appeal was dismissed. 

As the investigator was a divorce mediator, a person whose livelihood directly depends on referrals from divorce lawyers, last year I submitted a petition to the Minnesota Supreme Court asking for a change in the lawyers rules of professional conduct to bar the appointment of investigators who receive as a normal course of their business referrals from lawyers in the same practice area as the lawyer being investigated.   The change was opposed by the OLPR and the petition was not accepted 

I have exchanged quite a few letters with Ms. Humiston regarding the matter but she has been unwilling to address any of the issues I have raised.  I have also asked her to pass my letters and concerns on to all the OLPR directors and associate directors and confirm to me that she has done so but she has not complied. I do not know if she is intentionally keeping the information from you or not but I feel it is my responsibility to inform you so I am writing directly to all the OLPR assistant directors.   
Additional detail on my case including the evidence against as well as my concerns and select correspondences with the OLPR  can be found at  (search for OLPR)  I have also been in contact with the media as well as the FBI on the matter as I believe the OLPR actions constitute criminal conspiracy. 

Organizational theory studies show that when organizations are accused of misconduct, the tendency of of the members is to circle the wagon and deny the accusation no matter how strong the evidence is. This is exactly what is happening with the OLPR. It takes a strong moral fiber to admit that an organization you are a part of has acted unethically and criminally. 

I encourage to look at the evidence. Look at the facts. If they do not clearly show that (pseudonym of Nelly Wince on clearly and egregiously acted in violation of the lawyers rules of professional conduct and that the OLPR inappropriately took no action against her then I would be happy to sit down with you and go through the evidence.  To date, no one has ever addressed the facts in the case. 

Now you may think this is a divorce case so no one will care and my quest for justice is doomed to fail. Possibly you are correct. Or maybe not. Things can change pretty quickly in our world. All it would take is a reform minded FBI agent or an ambitious investigative journalist and all could be exposed. As directors you have a responsibility and I hope you take that responsibility seriously.  You now have clear knowledge of improper actions by the OLPR. What are you going to do about it? 


Friday, April 14, 2017

Virginia Alimony Reform

There is a well worded letter to the editor in in the Bristol Herald Courier regarding alimony reform in Virginia.
In 2013, New Jersey Alimony Reform hired Rutgers University to survey public feelings about lifetime alimony and 75% said it’s wrong to award alimony based on length of marriage or to award amounts more than enough to meet basic needs.
More information on reform efforts in the state can be found on the Virginia Alimony Reform site.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

The Lies People Tell Themselves

I ran across a recent Scientific American article on how people deceive themselves.
We tell ourselves we’re smarter and better looking than our friends, that our political party can do no wrong, that we’re too busy to help a colleague.
The idea has been around for decades going back at least to Richard Dawkins's The Selfish Gene.

I first heard about this concept in Stephen Pinker's How The Mind Works, which is one of the more memorably books I have read. The concept is that basically there is an evolutionary war that has been going on regarding truth ever since humans became humans. Here is how it works: It can be advantageous for an individual to lie. Which leads to it being advantageous to be able to detect when someone is lying. Which leads to self-deception in order to thwart people from knowing you are lying. After all, the best way to fool someone into believing what you say is to believe it yourself. You, unknowingly, really believe what you say even though it isn't true.

But we are not mindless robots. We can think about our actions abstractly. One of the major differences between moral and immoral people is how introspective they are when it comes to their beliefs and actions. Moral people are always asking themselves if their actions are in alignment with their values. If you teach your kids not to lie but lie to them, you are not acting in alignment with your moral values.

If you are a lawyer who is sworn to act in accordance the lawyers rules of professional responsibility and within the law but do not, you are not acting morally.

If you tasked with ensuring that lawyers act in accordance the lawyers rules of professional responsibility and within the law but do not, you are not acting morally.

Most evil in the world is the result of people not acting in accordance with their professed values.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Not So Fast, Sadly

Last week I wrote about progress in alimony reform in Florida. Twice Governor Rick Scott had vetoed reform legislation but this time the legislature created a bill that met all of Scott's objections. Now, however, it doesn't look like the Governor will even get the chance to sign it as legislative leaders have determined not to bring the bill to committee.

Life can be a bit discouraging. I just returned from an 11 day business trip and I have to be gone 4 days this week. I put in long hours just to try to make enough money to pay alimony to a person who left me, who committed perjury and whose lawyer clearly committed fraud. Furthermore my ex-wife did almost nothing for the children before she left and and even less since.  She is perfectly capable of working, an employment evaluation said she can make just as much money as me, but she doesn't need to because the divorce was the equivalent of winning the lottery for her. And slavery until death for me.

When, oh when, will it end.