Sunday, October 25, 2020

Feminist View Of Alimony

Feminists are often the most vocal opponents of alimony. Which makes a lot of sense because alimony in all but the most unusual circumstances treats women as less capable than men. Additionally, it often burdens second wives with the cost of alimony to a first wife. 

Unfortunately, many feminists do not understand that the reality of alimony does not reflect their modernist views. In an article on Mom's For Shared Parenting, it is stated that:

Thankfully, family courts are slowly turning this around, with lifetime alimony all but gone, judges (especially female judges, who fought their assess off for their own professional success, and have little sympathy for women who chose to perpetuate this sexist model) increasingly expect both parties to be responsible for both the financial and time cost of child rearing, as shared parenting is moving through state legislatures around the United States.

I wish. The problem is that no one knows how many people are subject to lifetime alimony because data is not kept on it. 

Think how crazy it is that I am paying lifetime alimony. The custody evaluator ruled that parenting was joint during the marriage, although joint custody was awarded the children spent the vast majority of time with me post-divorce, my ex-wife has never spent a dime of her earned income pre or post divorce on the kids, she divorced me, she took the majority of marital assets,  and she clearly committed crimes during the divorce. It is surreal, it is wrong. 

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Interpreting Suicide Statistics

People read what they want into statistics. For example, statistics show that men who are divorced are  nine times more likely to die by suicide compared to divorced women. Why is not so clear so everyone just makes a guess and usually that guess aligns with their own experience and worldview. 


The author of an article in Psychology Today quotes: 

Dr. Kposowa, a sociologist at the University of California–Riverside, suggested that society has undervalued the strength of paternal-child bonds, and thus underestimated the traumatic effect of severing those bonds through our typical custody arrangements. Further, we fail to appreciate the catastrophic financial impact of divorce on men, and the anger and resentment engendered by losses of both property and status in the wake of a divorce settlement. 

but also states:

I suspect that something else is afoot. Couldn't it be that the personality and social factors that contributed to the failure of the marriage also contribute to excess suicide risk afterward? Couldn't the risk factors for divorce in men be related to the risk factors for suicide in divorced men? Female dissatisfaction with the marriage is a stable predictor of an eventual divorce. Perhaps we should consider marital behaviors that might lead to such dissatisfaction.

which is just an opinion. 

I, quite unsurprisingly, think that a combination of financial obligations (alimony is paid by the man in 98+ of cases), loss of contact with their children, and the crime rewarding nature of our family court system lead more men than women to commit suicide after a divorce because they are most often the victim. No one has the evidence to prove or disprove that in general but it is certainly true, and supported by the evidence, in my case.

Saturday, October 10, 2020

The Future Of Civil Marraige

Why do we have marriage? It is time that more people asked themselves that. For civil marriages, it provides or various benefits and costs which differ from the non-married. Benefits include certain tax advantages, social security benefits, legal decision making and inheritance. Disadvantages include certain tax disadvantages, legal obligations to the spouse, and legal and financial costs stemming from  dissolution. 

In this day when marriage can be between any two people regardless of gender and many companies extend marriage-like benefits to domestic partners, one wonders why we need civil marriage at all. 

Eliminating civil marriages would be a huge benefit to society. The tax and legal codes become much simpler and fair. People could still get married but it would be as part of a religious or private commitment ceremony. Husband and wife would be just terms anyone could use as they please. 

My guess is that  more and more people will choose to not marry which in turn will cause a general weakening of the benefits of marriage until at some point marriage as a civil institution will fade away. That will be a good thing. 

Saturday, October 3, 2020

The History And Future of Marriage

I ran across an informative and quite humorous video on the history of marriage along with some speculation on its future. It is well worth watching. 


"Law 142 of the Code of Hammurabi (ancient Babylon) states that if a wife could demonstrate that her husband neglected her while she had no guilt, she had the right to take her dowry back and regress to her father’s home."

was a lot better than paying alimony till death as I have to!

Reddit discussion here

Friday, September 25, 2020

RIP RBG

Perhaps the most unlikely superhero ever has passed. Notorious Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Supreme Court Justice and cultural icon. She was an amazing person. Incredibly smart, witty, and so nice she became best friends with Judge Antony Scalia even thought he often was on the other side in judicial opinions. 

Most of all she was a champion of equal rights. Not just for women and minorities but also men. Indeed I once wrote her to state that the best path to eliminating discrimination against women in society was to focus on discrimination against men as much as women.  As I have often said, we will never see women making up  half our political and business leaders until they also make up half our military deaths and alimony payers. (although eliminating alimony entirely would be better and everyone wants fewer military deaths) 

The most iconic memory I have of Ginsburg is when she said her exercise routine included push-up. Not girly push-up but real ones. She was in her 80's at the time. Amazing. 

Her passing is sad especially now so close to the election. 

RIP RBG

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Truth - How It Is Supposed To Work

Lawyers are not supposed to lie in court nor allow their clients to lie if they know they are not telling the truth. In fact, lawyers are obligated to inform the court if they know their client is lying. That is supposed to be how it works as this article states. Sadly, as the facts in my case demonstrate, that is simply not the case. Lawyers are so rarely held accountable for lying in court (in Minnesota a lawyer has never been disciplined for lying in family court) let alone allowing their clients to lie that there is essentially zero risk to lying in court. Furthermore there is a huge incentive to lie as it wins cases, especially when the opposing side is honest. It is all about money. 

How can you tell when a lawyer is lying? When his lips are moving.

That may be a joke, but many believe it. They believe that lawyers will do or say anything that will help their client win.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Lies in Court

Modern Law has a brief but interesting article on lying by litigants in family court. It is a bit optimistic in that it assumes that judges will make the right decision which in my case was simply not true. 

If you can relate to these questions, there are four things you need to know:

  1. Yes, if the opposing party has lied under oath, they have committed perjury, which is a crime;
  2. Family court is separate from criminal court, to be charged with perjury, a prosecutor has to take an interest in the case;
  3. I have never heard of a party to a family law case being charged with perjury;
  4. It still matters.

Unfortunately nothing is said about lawyers lying in court. Which reminds me of the old joke:

        How can you tell when a lawyer is lying? When his lips are moving.

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Did You Know...

 

A bit of interesting trivia I ran across. Originally in the United States divorces were granted by legislators not the courts. In the case of Washington D.C. it was the U.S. Congress who had to determine whether to grant the divorce or not. Gradually the power to grant a divorce was transferred to the courts and by 1886 it was mandated that only courts could grant divorces.

While the power was still vested with the legislatures, divorce notices often appeared in the papers

Interestingly some of the notices express a clear intent that the debts of the person who left will not be paid by the abandoned spouse. 

BURNHILL, John & Elizabeth: Whereas Elizabeth Burnhill, my wife, hath eloped from my bed and board, and living an adulteress with another man, this is to forewarn all persons whatever from trusting her on my account, as I will pay none of her debts, and I mean to apply to the next General Assembly of Maryland for an act of divorce. (Signed and dated) John Burnhill, Prince Georges County, MD, March 17, 1809 [Notice in the National Intelligencer, Wash, DC, April 12, 1809.]

HOWARD, Jesse and Amelia. All persons are hereby forbidden to trust Amelia Low (late my wife Amelia Howard) on my account, we having been divorced by mutual consent, as the law directs, and I will pay no debts of her contracting. (Signed and dated) Jesse Howard, May 4, 1819. [Notice in the National Intelligencer, Wash, DC, May 6, 1819.]

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

VIPI On Family Court Corruption

Veterans In Politics International (VIPI) has a video on family court corruption that is worth a view. The odd thing is that the show is done by Trump supporters yet is an condemnation on judicial corruption in family court. It goes to show that crime in family court is not a partisan issue. 

Thursday, August 20, 2020

The Crazy Case of Patrizia Reggiani

In the 1970s, Patricia Reggiani married Maurizio Gucci, head of the Gucci fashion house and grandson of founder Guccio Gucci. After 12 years of marriage Maurizio left Patricia for a younger woman. They were divorced in 1992 with Patrizia receiving $500,000 annually in alimony. In 1995, Patrizia hired a hit man who assassinated Maurizio. 

After 18 years in prison, Patrizia was released. She was awarded back-payment of £16 million plus an annuity of £900,000 from the Gucci estate. As her two daughters are administering the estate of their father, she is in court proceedings against them. 

Wow - Italian courts are as messed up as they are here in the States. 

Ridley Scott is making a movie about the murder. Playing Patrizia will be...Lady Gaga!

Friday, August 14, 2020

A Poem!

Not to get too artsy but here is a poem that came to me while out running. Yeah, sometimes that happens. 


 At Least

The Iraqi torturer takes a break

when his wife calls

She asks about balloons

for their six year old’s birthday 


The minister in the sauna

fondles the young boys 

And as he does

thinks of a line for his sermon


The lawyer lies to the judge

in the name of advocacy

Then she wonders if she needs a canopy

for her daughter's graduation 


At least I am with Saddam

At least I am for God

At least I am rich

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

A New Phase

I have lost my job due to the Cornavirus. The company I work for has seen revenues down by over 80% since the start of the pandemic. Technically I took an early retirement package (I was with them for over 32 years) but I was advised to take the package or risk being let go. After I left, my position was eliminated. Previously my pay had been cut by 25% and my compensation reduced by well over 50% starting April 1st. 

I will go back to court to not only eliminate spousal support but vacate the order mandating it due to fraud upon the court. I have the evidence, the law is clear but the road will be hard because crime and corruption are endemic in family court. I am now working full time putting together a case. Very likely I will be representing myself as it has proven impossible, at least so far, to find an ethical lawyer to represent me. 

Although I am a realist, I cling to the hope of achieving justice not only for myself but for the many others who have been similarly harmed by the court.  All I can do is try.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

How Weird Is This?

I ran across an article titled,  Paying Alimony: The 5 Types of Alimony on FindLaw from 2009 (the same year Spring was divorcing me) which states that one of the factors which can be used to determine alimony is the, "gender of the party seeking alimony". Wow!
What makes alimony calculations difficult to predict is the fact that each state court has its own method of determining the amounts. Some factors commonly employed in deciding how much alimony will be due and for how long include:
  • how long the couple was married
  • how long the couple was separated
  • the age of the ex-spouses
  • incomes of the ex-spouses
  • future financial potential of each party
  • gender of the party seeking alimony
I should not be surprised as Spring's lawyer Nelly Wince did explicitly use the fact that Spring was a women as a reason for the court to award alimony.

Factoring in gender as reason to for awarding alimony is about as sexist as you can get. According to the custody evaluator Spring was not the primary parent, the employment evaluation states she could make as much money as me, she never used a dime of her earned income for the children or me, and she clearly committed fraud yet she was given permanent alimony by the court. It is utterly unfair and unjust. And sexist.

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Perjury in Our Family Courts

FindLaw has a good read on Perjury in Our Family Courts: Family Lawyers BEWARE! from a few years ago. The article is specific to Nevada but is applicable to most states. 

The article discusses why it is next to impossible to prosecute perjury against a litigant (which, by the way is reason it has become so common) but warns lawyers that they may not get away with crime quite so easily.
The savings clause contained in Rule 60(b) provides that a party may file an independent action for relief from a judgment, order or proceeding for “fraud upon the court.” In order to prevail on this ground, the burden is on the moving party to show by clear and convincing evidence that “an unconscionable plan or scheme... designed to improperly influence the court in its decision” had been perpetrated.
Prosecution of perjury cases in the domestic law arena remains infrequent. In Nevada, such perjury prosecutions are virtually non-existent, and there is little likelihood that any criminal perjury prosecution will occur in the future — unless, of course, the prosecution is against the divorce attorney for suborning perjury.
Even more disturbing, however, is the fact that our family court judges appear to be reluctant to find a person who has presented perjured testimony to be in contempt of court. Perhaps our family court is lenient in this regard because the court understands the emotional stress and anguish a party in a divorce or family law proceeding experiences during the course of the proceedings, thus causing the court to rationalize that “bending” the truth is to be expected. Perhaps, too, it is the province of our family court’s mantra — that it is “a court of equity and not punishment.” If this is, in fact, the philosophy and rationale of our family courts, we, as family law practitioners, must take it upon ourselves to urge the court to exercise its inherent power of contempt. Unless such contempt power is exercised, there is little doubt that perjury will continue to be prevalent within our family court system.
Nevertheless, we as family law attorneys must recognize and understand that it is we who are at risk. The family law attorney should — and must — strive to maintain the integrity of our family court. Moreover, the family law attorney must recognize that, in all likelihood, he or she stands a far better chance of facing disciplinary action for a client’s perjury than the client stands to be punished for committing the perjury. If we as family law practitioners take a proactive stand against the proffering of perjured testimony and falsified evidence in our cases, we no doubt can and will bring integrity into the family court system.

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Family Court Corruption — Lawyer and Judge Whistleblowers

Steven Krasner writes in Medium about why it is so hard for judges and lawmakers to follow their own professional rules of conduct.
Hurdles to address areas of professional misconduct are many times insurmountable — due to many of the entities designed to investigate having been proven to be ineffective and shielded by a cumbersome process that filters out legitimate cases of wrongdoing.
In 2015 the State of New York’s “Judicial Accountability” and “Ethics Enforcement Agencies” both received the failing grade of an “F”. Such findings offer little solace to any person, within the industry or outside of it, who would venture to report violations of professional or judicial misconduct on the part of lawyers and/or judges.
The most difficult thing for me is that although the law is good and clear and the lawyers rules of professional conduct are exceedingly well written and fair, both the law and the rules are simply ignored in family court. Not only is there no penalty when lawyers break the law and violate the rules, there are vast financial rewards to do so. The result is endemic corruption within family court.
Ultimately this creates a system where abuses of power and authority prosper at the expense of parents and children while sustaining an industry where profits appear to come before people.

Sunday, July 5, 2020

When Judges Are Friends With Attorneys And Litigants

Should a judge become Facebook friends with a litigant? The Wisconsin Supreme Court says it creates the appearance of bias
The ruling, which now places the case before a different judge, was the latest in a series of examples across the country where a judge’s actions on social media call into question their ability to fairly consider cases before them.
We should all be disturbed when judges form personal relationships with litigants but an even bigger issue is when judges have personal relationships with the attorneys.

In my case, Judge Mearly openly stated he personally know Nelly Wince and vouched for her character even before reading the evidence against her. If that is not clear bias I am not sure what is.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

South Carolina Alimony Reform

As I have often mentioned, most people just do not understand how alimony works. Nor how bad it is even when crime is not involved as in my case.  When I tell people that I have to pay alimony until I die, they often express disbelief that permanent even alimony exists.  This example from South Carolina says it all:
My 66 year old husband has been forced to pay alimony to a woman he married at age 19.  They were married 7 years and did not have any children.  Since their divorce, his ex-wife has lived continuously with the same man for almost 40 years!  South Carolina law still demands, from his divorce settlement, that he pay her for the rest of his life.  
What makes this all the more terrible is that my husband has advanced heart disease.  He has had numerous heart attacks and was forced to take disability from his job, that he loved, in 2011.  So, even though he has been disabled, he is still required to pay this woman.  All this while his ex wife and her boyfriend flaunt, in local articles, their wealth, European travel and hobbies.
This is as real as it gets. If you are in South Carolina, please support South Carolina Alimony Reform.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Black Live Matter/All Lives Matter

I head a really good explanation as to why the retort of some people to the phrase "Black Lives Matter", which makes some non-black people uncomfortable, should not be "All Lives Matter".

Imagine a person wearing a "save the whales" t-shirt. Someone sees it and says no, "save the animals". Such a reaction is non-nonsensical.  The issue I think is that non-black people are not a third party such as whales so they misconstrue the statement "Black Lives Matter" to be "Black Lives Matter More" which is just nonsense.

I am heartened to see many white people here in Minnesota wearing "Black Lives Matter" t-shirts. If we ensure justice for black people, which I believe can only be accomplished through true legal reform,  it will help ensure justice for all. Maybe even me. Yes, black lives do matter.

Sunday, June 14, 2020

George Floyd's Death Could Save Us All

The tragic murder of George Floyd could, if we as a society have the will, save us all. To do so we need to do more, much more, than just prosecute the person who killed Floyd; we need to change the legal system that has historically ignored criminal activity within law enforcement.

Here is the problem. If you are a violent or raciest (or both) person you are naturally drawn to work in an area where you can freely express these tendencies without repercussion. Sadly, the best place to do that in our society is law enforcement. I am not saying all police officers are violent or raciest, they are not. But it is not just the officers who commit the crimes who are guilty. Those who witness or know of such actions and do nothing share the guilt. The so called "code of silence" is nothing more than criminal conspiracy. The institution itself not just a few individuals is the problem. 

Clearly crime and corruption is a problem within law enforcement. How do we fix it? I think we have conclusively proven that having black and other minority mayors, police chiefs and city counsels does not work. Nor do I think that better laws is the answer because the laws we have are actually pretty good. The solution, I am convinced, lies in the third branch of government - the judiciary.

The reality is that our judicial system is too often where crime occurs not where justice is ensured. As a society we casually accept this. Think about what is meant when someone says they have a good lawyer. What they really mean is they have a connected lawyer. A lawyer who knows the judge so you can get out of that DUI. It should not matter who the lawyer knows. It should not matter how much money you pay the lawyer. Only the facts should matter. But that is simply not the reality we live in. The legal system is supposed to be blind as to your race, religion, sexual orientation, national heritage, how wealthy you are and even who you know. But it is not. 

Even when lawyers unquestionably commit crimes as Nelly Wince did in my case, it is is ignored by legal system. Judge Mearly, who admitted to knowing Wince personally, ignored it.   The Lawyers professional Responsibility Board ignored it as they do in nearly all complaints agaisnt attorneys. The county attorney's office went so far to state, in writing, that there is no law agaisnt a lawyer lying in court and that the term "fraud upon the court" does not exit in Minnesota statutes. Both statements are  not only false but outrageously false. What they should have stated is that in Minnesota lawyers are allowed to commit crimes with impunity. Just like violent and racist people find a home in the police force, people who enjoy criminal fraud find a safe, welcoming and financially rewarding environment in the legal system.

Trying to fix crime and corruption in law enforcement without addressing the institutionalized crime and corruption in our legal system is akin to putting a small bandage on a cut artery. It won't work. But if we do change the legal system to make it fair and equitable then perhaps George Flyod's tragic death with save us all.

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Will Smith - Racism Is Not Getting Worse, It Is Getting Filmed

An important element to the ongoing protests over police racism is that it is nothing new. In fact it is not even getting worse. As Will Smith states, "Racism is not getting worse, it's getting filmed"

An important lesson here is that the the power of transparency can be transformational. Let's hope so anyway. Yet transparency alone does not work.  Progress also requires that people care. As we have seen since George Floyd's murder, people do care about police abuse.

Sadly my experience with the legal system is that even with transparency (i.e. the evidence I have) lawyers are able to get away with crimes because no one, or more correctly not enough people, care. So crime continues unabated. 

I hope those guilty of George Floyd's death are held accountable for their actions in court. But I suspect it might take protests just as large or even larger that the recent ones against police abuse of power before the judiciary acts according to the law.

Sunday, May 31, 2020

The Root Cause of the Minneapolis Riots

Most people would ascribe the cause of the riots this weekend in Minneapolis and around the country to racism against black men. (I suppose that would technically be racism and sexism against black men)  Although clearly there is racism against black men in this country, I think the true root cause is deeper.

Last Monday George Floyd was killed while being detained by a Minneapolis police officer. "Detained" is too nice of a word. Floyd lay on the ground while the officer knelt on his neck until he died. Three other officers watched but did not intervene.

The death sparked massive peaceful protests as well as rioting which included arson, looting and wanton destruction. Many of the business destroyed were minority and family owned. It was incredibly sad to see. 

It is especially disheartening because I live in the Twin Cities. In St. Paul, my hometown, we have a black mayor and a city council dominated by minorities. Which as a minority majority city, is a good representation of the population. Minneapolis has a black police chief and has in the past had a black mayor. Many police officers and other government officials are are black or minority. We like to think of ourselves as above racism. But we are not. We actually have some of the worst disparities between minorities and whites in education, employment and standard of living.

But it was not racism that caused George Floyd's death. It was the reality that some people are immune or nearly immune from criminal actions. Most police officers are good. But the bad ones soon find out that it is a great career if you like to be a bully and criminal because you are nearly immune from prosecution. Just like lawyers in family court soon find out that they can commit fraud with impunity. In both cases evidence rarely of ever matters.

When people do not believe that the law is fairly and equally applied, they lose respect for the law. The result? An increase in crime every day and explosive riots every so often.

We need equality under the law. We need rule of law.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Family Court Corruption is Real

Family court corruption is real and it negatively affects all parties in a divorce - men, women, and children as well as society as a whole. It increases crime throughout society because crime in the court is the most effective way to demonstrate to the public that we do not live in a free and just society. The justice system is the final recourse for justice within the law. When it fails, rule of law fails.

Many within the legal system will admit there are a few bad lawyers but they tend to think of them as the exception. They will also admit that such lawyers are rarely punished but will dismiss that by stating that no system is perfect.

The problem, however, is not small. It is huge. In family court fraud and perjury are endemic. A fact that every lawyer working in family court knows. And any officer of the court, which includes all lawyers, who reasonably suspects that another officer of the court broke the rules of processional conduct must report it. That rarely if ever happens. This is the why I can confidently state the family court system, at least in Minnesota, is institutionally corrupt.

Sunday, May 17, 2020

The Hardest Thing

The hardest thing for me about my case is not that Spring left me, or even that she committed fraud and perjury. Her actions were not too surprising as her moral compass had been steadily degrading throughout our marriage.  It isn't even how much she hurt the children although this I admit causes me greater distress.

Nor is the hardest thing that Nelly Wince committed fraud and acted unethically. Nor is it that the judges, lawyers, the marriage counselor, and others acted unethically and in many cases criminally as well.

The hardest thing is not about the failings of any individual The hardest part is that the justice system as a whole utterly failed to provide even a semblance of justice. Clear criminal actions and violations of the rules of professional conduct were ignored and often overtly covered up. As I stated before, all lawyers who even see the evidence against Nelly Wince had and continue to have a duty to report it, but not a single one did.

When the justice system itself fails, it causes more damage to society than any other crime. Without rule of law and equality under the law, the foundation of democracy crumbles.

There is a reason this site is subtitled, "Unethical and Criminal Behavior in the Divorce Industry".

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Lynchings And The Rule Of Law

According to the Tuskegee Institute between 1882 and 1968 4,743 Americans died by lynching, 3,446 of them were black and 1,297 were white. Lynchings are, of course, illegal but most were committed while law enforcement and the judicial system at least turned a blind eye of not actively participate in the killings. In many areas lynchings were considered a proper exercise of the will of the people.

In family court today fraud and perjury are so common many lawyers refer to family court as the "court of lies". Even with absolute evidence such as I have, it is nearly impossible to achieve even a semblance of justice.

It is easy to understand why litigants lie - It works.

It is easy to understand why lawyers lie and commit fraud - It makes them more money.

Why legal institutions allow such crime to occur is a bit harder to understand. The reason, I believe, is the close friendships between lawyers working in prosecutorial and regulatory positions have with private practice lawyers as well as the fact that there is a two way flow between lawyers in the the public and private sector. 

How do lynchings relate to crime in family court? Both are attacks are the rule of law. Indeed both make a mockery of rule of law. Lawyers who know that crime occurs in family court and do nothing to stop it are like the police officers who turned a blind eye to lynchings. Their behavior is nothing sort of shameful.

Sunday, May 3, 2020

If Only It Were Like In The Movies

I saw the 1993 movie Philadelphia this past week. Tom Hanks won an Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of a lawyer named Andrew Beckett with AIDS who sued his law firm for discrimination after they fired him.  Set in the 1980's the movie is loosely based on a real case. Hanks well deserved his Oscar. Denzel Washington and Antonio Banderas among others gave powerful performances as well. Bruce Springsteen won and Academy Award for Best Original Song.

The movie was the first mainstream film to address the AIDS crisis and it did so in a moving  manner. In the end justice prevailed and Beckett was awarded in excess of $4 million.
It's that every now and again - not often, but occasionally - you get to be a part of justice being done. That really is quite a thrill when that happens.
-- Andrew Beckett (played by Tom Hanks)
Unfortunately, like many such  stories, real or fictional, the movie made the injustice committed against me all the harder to bear. Although Beckett was in the right, his case was weak. His evidence open to interpretation. My case is strong and for many of the crimes committed against me the evidence is simply indisputable.

If only justice in real life worked like it does in the movies.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Liars's Court

Even attorneys understand that it is common for litigants and defendants in family court to lie. Indeed, many lawyers refer to family court as "Liars Court" although they don't often acknowledge that it is often the lawyers themselves who are lying and encouraging their clients to lie. Clearly,  Nelly Wince lied and no one, not the judge, not law enforcement, not the Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board, not the county attorney's office did a thing about it. Why? Because lying, fraud and other crimes have become so ubiquitous in family court that it is considered normal. Like death in a Nazi concentration camp.
Family court has an unflattering nickname among attorneys already. Some refer to it simply as “Liar’s Court,” in a dry reference to the fact that just about everyone involved in the cases that end up there seems willing to lie to get what they want.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Duty To Report

It continues to amaze me how well the Minnesota Rules of Professional Conduct are written. Although credit should properly go to the American Bar Association's model rules which interestingly, were created primarily as a result of unethical and criminal actions by lawyers during the Watergate scandal.

One of the rules, know as duty to report, requires lawyers to report the misconduct of other lawyers if they know that the lawyer has violated the rules. There is very little wiggle room to the rule.

Rule 8.3 Reporting Professional Misconduct
(a) A lawyer who knows that another lawyer has committed a violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct that raises a substantial question as to that lawyer's honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as a lawyer in other respects, shall inform the appropriate professional authority.
(b) A lawyer who knows that a judge has committed a violation of the applicable Code of Judicial Conduct that raises a substantial question as to the judge's fitness for office shall inform the appropriate authority.
(c) This rule does not require disclosure of information that Rule 1.6 requires or allows a lawyer to keep confidential or information gained by a lawyer or judge while participating in a lawyers assistance program or other program providing assistance, support, or counseling to lawyers who are chemically dependent or have mental disorders.
So any lawyer who has seen the evidence I have agaisnt Nelly Wince, which is simply unquestionable, is obligated to report Wince's violation. Although I would be surprised if a lawyer has ever been disciplined for their failure to report another lawyer under this rule. Another example of a great rule which is ignored in practice.

Saturday, April 11, 2020

The Perpetuation of a False Accusation

Dismantling Family Court Corruption has an short blog post on  The Perpetuation of a False Accusation which discusses the prevalence and false accusations and how damaging they are in family court.

The article rightly states the reason:
Even though the Target parent is exonerated of all charges during and after the trial, the judge can still be highly influenced by the lies, ruling an unfair judgement anyway
The reason litigants and lawyers lie so much is that it works. There is little if any chance that such lies will be prosecuted for the crimes they are and judges are influenced by such lies no matter how much they are proven false.

Here is an extract from a transcript of a pure lie Spring's lawyer Nelly Wince made in court where she asserted quite strongly that she had not received a vocational assessment. The fact is that she did as the affidavit of service states.  Real names have been removed.

10 THE COURT: The evaluation is at least
11 part of the submissions that (ME) has provided.
12 MS. (WINCE): That was not part of what
13 was provided to me, Your Honor. I did not receive
14 any exhibits. So I would like --
15 THE COURT: We have a document filed in
16 February 8th, 2011, and it's Document 42 in the court
17 file. It's a December 1, 2009 evaluation by
18 rehabilitation counselors regarding (SPRING), now
19 (SPRING).
20 MS. (WINCE): Could the court tell me what
21 else was filed with (MY) affidavit?
22 THE COURT: Well, you can take a look
23 in the file.
24 MS. (WINCE): I did not receive any of
25 that. The only thing I received was his pay stubs as
1 part of an exhibit, so that is why our affidavit does
2 not address the vocational evaluation. Because we
3 did not know that he had filed it with his motion,
4 otherwise I certainly would have done that, Your
5 Honor.
6 THE COURT: Okay.
7 MS. (WINCE): And I'm really disturbed by
 8 the fact that I didn't receive a complete copy of the
 9 submissions.

Nelly Wince's claim that she did not receive the vocational assessment was knowingly false. The docket she received contained an Affidavit of Service, which she  did not refute receiving,  from a third party which stated:

“I served the attached documents, namely Notice of Motion and Motion to Modify Child Support/Spousal Maintenance, Affidavit in Support of Motion to Modify Child Support/Spousal Support, Supplemental Affidavit in Support of Motion to Modify Child Support/Spousal Support, Financial Affidavit for Child Support, Pay stubs for (ME) for the periods June 2010 and December 2010, and Vocational Assessment of (SPRING) f/ k/a (SPRING) performed by (EVALUATOR)  of Rehabilitation Counselors Inc. “

The evidence could not be more clear. Yet Nelly Wince and Spring got away with it. Pure crime, clear corruption.

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Pair Bonds and Marriage

After I received my undergraduate degree, I continued to taking classes part-time for several years. I had maxed out my government student loans but, because of the weird rules at the time, if I continued as at least a half -time student, I could defer paying the loans off and the longer I deferred the less I had to pay back in real dollars due to inflation. Basically, it was free for me to continue taking classes. But that was a rational. I liked going to school. And without much of a plan I took classes that interested me. I took a few computer classes, which oddly ended up becoming my career, but mostly I took anthropology classes. I essentially ended up taking all the classes required for a masters and toyed with the idea of formally entering the program but the idea of spending a couple years doing research for a thesis was daunting financially. And then, through sheer luck, I was hired as a programmer despite my limited computer science training.

I never lost my interest in anthropology however. For years I read extensively on evolution, genetics and human cultures. I still do in fact. 

Which is why I so like the article on Aeon, Is Marriage Over?

With a few really interesting exceptions people in all human societies form pair-bonds, usually formalized in the institution of marriage.  Yet, to quote Bob Dylan, "the times they are a changing."

As marriage provides fewer and fewer financial benefits and more and more disadvantages, it has become less prevalent. At my company, there is no difference between adding a spouse or cohabiting partner to your insurance. On the other side, if you are reading this site, you know how divorce can ruin people financially and all the pain, suffering and crime it can cause.

So what is happening? Marriage is declining and pair-binding, although strong, is becoming for more serial than forever.

In Iceland more than 70 per cent of births in 2018 were outside of marriage, however, the vast majority of nonmarital births in Iceland are not to single mothers; they’re to cohabiting couples.

People still couple up, still live together, have sex, rear babies, pool resources. They’re just not getting married

Pair-bonding is not just another name for marriage mainly because of the ease of breaking the bond and forming a new one. 

In the US, the number of heterosexual cohabiting couples rose from 1.6 million in 1980 to 8.5 million in 2018.
when women rely less on their sexual partners, pair-bonds become weaker
The only way to save the institution of marriage is to evolve it. How so? Primarily by getting rid of the negative aspects of marriage. Specifically, there should be no financial differences from being married or cohabiting. Either in the formation of the bond or the dissolution of it. The advantage to society will be great. The divorce industry with all the pain, crime and financial drag on our economy will be gone. Dependency and all the discrimination it brings will be reduced.  People will be happier.

Maybe need to go further. Why not remove marriage as a civil institution? Make it a religious or secular ceremony.  In the end we would be far better off as a society if the term husband and wife just referred to who you are cohabiting with not some legal arrangement. Counterintuitively  this would actually strengthen relationships not weaken them as it would remove money, (which has been called the source of all evil) from the equation.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Beauty and Madness

Religions get their start as stories. Stories that offer an explanation, however fantastical, for what goes on in this world. Unfortunately, for some these stories are taken literally. Many people believe the Bible (or Quran, the Tanakh and the Talmud, the Vedas/the Upanishads, etc.) is the literal truth offering strained explanations for inconsistencies such as "an eye for an eye" and "turn the other cheek".

An even more fundamental basis of religion, however, is the reconciliation of good vs. evil. Our reality seems to be a absurd coexistence of the two. For every act of kindness, there is one of evil. For every element of beauty there, is one of madness.

For every person who soothes another, there is a bully taunting a classmate. For every great work of art, there is someone who wants it all destroyed.

It amazes me how difficult it is to find a lawyer who is willing to sue Nelly Wince. The evidence is clear and absolute. My case is just. Success would have enormous consequences and clearly would lead to a more just society for all.

Yet lawyers are not only reluctant but scared to go up agaisnt a well entrenched and profitable system of corruption and crime. 40 years ago if a police officer in many if not most part of our country were to murder in cold blood a black man no one would do anything about it. Certainly not the police. Today if a lawyer commits clear fraud upon the court, it is not only ignored but rewarded. Most lawyers turn a blind eye. This madness needs to change.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Alimony In The Time Of Pandemic

Coronavirus. A lot can change in a week during a pandemic. I work for a company especially hard hit by the coronavirus although, to be fair, many companies such as restaurants and bars have it worse. My best hope is that over the next several years my income will be half or less of what it was last year. In the next month or two I will have to go on an unpaid leave of absence. Hopefully temporary but the situation is changing rapidly. I suspect my future income will never even come close to what it was last year.

Alimony of course does not change. It just becomes an even bigger portion of my income. I am not even sure I can go to court and ask for it to be reduced as the court is closed for all but the most serious issues. Unfortunately, the criminal actions committed by Spring and Nelly Wince are viewed as the norm in the best of times let alone now. I hardly think the court will care about my plight. Heck, if past experience holds, they would probably increase my alimony.

Sometimes I fantasize that maybe once we come out of this pandemic, crimes committed in family court will no longer be tolerated and that people like Spring who have led such self-serving lives never having been self-supporting and never having used a dime of their income for their own children will no longer be able to live such evil lives. It won't happen of course, at least not in my lifetime.

Ironically. I probably am at high risk of dying if I do get coronavirus. Not just because of my age and gender, but also because of the fact that I have had a persistent throat irritation due to Spring hitting me in the face and causing my septum to shift when we were younger. She did it in "fun".  I have been scoped several times and have tried all sorts of medications but nothing worked so it has been something I just have to live with.

If I do become seriously ill from the virus, I'll try to skip getting the ventilator. Those should be saved for people who have a future.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Emma Johnson - Why Alimony Hurts Gender Equality

Emma Johnson, who often writes on gender issues, explains why alimony hurts gender equality. I am in complete agreement. Alimony provides money to a women at the expense of all women. Indeed, most women who receive alimony can rightly be viewed as traitors to their gender. These women do for more to promote gender inequality than men.


Johnson writes:

  • Alimony keeps women dependent on men
  • When women are dependent on men, the pay gap and wealth gap persists
  • Alimony keeps men and women stuck in traditional gender roles
  • Alimony increases post-divorce conflict and makes co-parenting difficult
  • An end to alimony would help marriages avoid divorce

Fact: Per U.S. Census data, 97% of alimony recipients are women.

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Will I Ever Retire?

Will I ever retire? it seems doubtful. S, who retired last year, took me to a two night retirement seminar that concluded this week. She had gone before but wanted me to attend with her. At one level I found it interesting as I have an educational background in finance, but it was also quite painful.

When they discussed calculating how much money you need each year in retirement, I had to add well over $30,000 to account for alimony. When they went through how much money and assents you have, I thought about how due to divorce and the fact that Spring never contributed anything to family finances while married (nor ever used a dime of her income for the children ether during or after the marriage) how little I have.

I have had lots of friends retiree lately and everyone keeps asking me what my date is. I usually joke along the lines that the only retirement I will have is a "natural' one.

The only real option I have is recovery of monies lost. Although I have absolute evidence of crime, it seems to be a  sisyphean quest. In a just legal system that abides by the rule of law, there is no question that I would be able to recover everything I lost due to the crimes committed agaisnt me. But our legal system is not just and family court at least does not abide by the rule of law. The fact is that family court is a cesspool of crime. Indeed, in family court crime has become the normal way of working.

Sunday, March 1, 2020

More on Family Court Corruption

Stephen Louis Krasner again fights the good battle with his pen in Family Court Turns Blind Eye to Legal Abuse — Allowing Unethical Tactics to Play Out which discuses the insidious nature of corruption that all too often viewed as the norm in family court.
One of the big problems many parents and others have when encountering abuses of power by judges, lawyers and other players is they have nowhere to go for recourse or help — with every place they turn not wanting involvement or referring them elsewhere. Which begs the question as to where one looks for help and answers in having these institutions and players held accountable?

Thursday, February 27, 2020

The Cost of Raising a Child

How much it costs to raise a child is directly, or at least should be directly, related to how much child support should be paid.

A study from the University of California (pay-walled unfortunately) from a few years back discusses just how difficult it is to determine what the cost truly is.

Personally I am in favor of child support even in cases where it is unfair to the payer as long as it benefits the children. Unfortunately, often child support money is taken by the parent receiving it and does not benefit the child or children.

In my case, I would estimate that 80-90% of the child support I paid did not benefit the children. Custody was joint but they were spending the majority of time with me. I was paying for all their health costs and providing them with an allowance.

An illustrative example is that when Spring on just a couple occasions paid for flowers that one of the boys would give his date for a dance (normally I paid all such expenses) she tried to make me pay for them. She simply could not tolerate that such an expense could come out of all the child support and alimony that she was receiving.

And of course in her whole life she never used a dime of her earned income to benefit the children.

It makes me sick just thinking about it.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Family Court Corruption

I ran across Family Court Corruption — Lawyer and Judge Whistleblowers, a great article on Medium by Steven Louis Krasner, which discusses why corruption in the courtroom is so tolerated.
Hurdles to address areas of professional misconduct are many times insurmountable — due to many of the entities designed to investigate having been proven to be ineffective and shielded by a cumbersome process that filters out legitimate cases of wrongdoing.
Ultimately this creates a system where abuses of power and authority prosper at the expense of parents and children while sustaining an industry where profits appear to come before people.
As I have mentioned many times, the American Bar Association’s model rules for professional conduct, which most states have enacted, are extremely well written. They are just not followed much. It is rather like countries that have a great constitution and well written laws but are ruled by a dictator.

Corruption is in fact a type of crime where the criminals maintain a facade of being law abiding and ethical. Legal corruption is perhaps the most pernicious form of corruption because it subverts the very mechanism created to enforce the law and ensure justice. 

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Alimony Reform In Florida (Yet Again)

In the seemingly annual effort to enact alimony reform in Florida, once of the few states like Minnesota that allow for permanent alimony,  Florida Rep. Alex Andrade, who is sponsoring the 2020 reform bill, makes a compelling case for reform.
Lifetime alimony has created a culture of dependency; one ex-spouse can rely on another for monthly support until death. In 2020, our laws should focus on encouraging long-term self-sufficiency. 
Divorce is hard enough already. Contentious and expensive alimony battles only make matters worse, especially for children. 
The time is right to modernize Florida’s alimony laws and make the system fairer for families.
The idea that a person can leave a marriage and the other person is required by law o pay a massive amount of money to the them for the rest of the payers life is simply bizarre. Especially, as in my case, when the person receiving alimony was not the primary parent, a vocational evaluation determined they could make just as much money as the person paying, and they never contributed anything to marital assets, yet took more than half of them. To add insult to injury the person receiving alimony committed clear criminal actions.

It is simply wrong.

Friday, January 31, 2020

Alimony in Australia

In Australia 97% Of Divorcing Parents Avoid Court. Why?
One surely is that lawyers cost too much, so why involve them when the couple can sort things out for themselves free of charge?  Plus, at least some lawyers thrive by exacerbating the inter-parental conflict that already exists during divorce.  That makes feelings more conflicted and costs higher.
Which makes total sense. Unfortunately, it does not make the same sense in the United States because in the United States the financial "rewards" that can be obtained in family court are much higher. Let me explain. In Australia there is no such thing as lifetime alimony (alimony is technically called spousal support in Australia just like it is in Minnesota) and always rehabilitative even when awarded. And it it is rarely if ever given for more than two years. Think about it - the legal costs are just not worth the hassle or time. Nor is there an incentive to commit perjury and make false accusations like in the United States.

Too bad I was not born in Australia.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Facts

A fact is a thing that is know or proven to be true. However, people can disagree on facts. This can be for three reasons:


  1. Legitimate disagreement - sometimes one person may believe the evidence is strong enough for something to be called a fact, whereas others are more cautions. For example, some scientists accepted as a fact the existence of black holes before others.  
  2. Lack of information - If a receiver in a football game makes an amazing catch right on the out-of-bounds line one person may state he was in while another states he was out. However if, for example, the replay clearly shows he was out now both side will, or at least should, conclude he was out.  
  3. Partisanship - in this case facts do not matter. A person will state, and sometimes actually believe through self-delusion, that their opinion or desire is correct no matter what the facts are. 
In the book Killers of the Flower Moon, there is murder that was ruled to be a suicide. The victim, a member of the Osage people, was shot from behind in a manner that made it impossible that it was self-inflicted. Yet, the corner ruled it to be a suicide and law enforcement agreed. Facts in this case did not matter as the coroner, law enforcement and the government were all in cahoots to steal as much money from the Osage as possible. Committing homicide was just a tool for them. 

In my case, the evidence against Nelly Wince could not be more factual.  It cannot be legitimately refuted. It was ignored by Judge Mearly and the Lawyers Office of Professional Responsibility. The county attorney's office stated that the evidence did not matter because there is no law in Minnesota against lawyers lying and the term "fraud upon the court" does not exist in Minnesota statures. Both statements are clearly, even obviously, false. Why do all these people ignore or deny the facts? Same as with Killers of the Flower Moon. Money. A just family law system doesn't generate nearly as much money for those in the divorce industry as an unjust one.  And although those involved are not as likely to commit murder directly, they are responsible for far more murders and deaths than the perpetrators of crimes in Killers of the Flower Moon. 

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Bombshell

Recently I was in a hotel on a business trip in which S joined me. The TV was on playing Bombshell. The story depicts the sexual intimidation of Fox reporter Gretchen Carlson and others by Fox News chief Roger Ailes.  The intimidation included unwanted touching and asking the women to twirl so he could leer at their figures.

I could not watch the movie. Not because I do not sympathize with the women or because I believe Ailes is anything but a depraved sick person. I could not watch it for relative reasons.

Let me explain. Imagine you are walking down the street with a friend when a mugger appears. Your friend is punched in the arm and you are shot in the stomach and knee. The mugger flees and and crowd gathers around your friend offering sympathy and help. No one pays any attention to you. An ambulance quickly arrives, the paramedics jump out and assist your friend who is then taken to the hospital. You are left alone on the street. You drag yourself home, stitch your wounds and go back to work the next day. The knee injury makes you a cripple for the rest of your life. In the ensuing weeks, the media is all over what happened to your friend. Lawyers line up to help and eventually your friend receives millions in compensation. Everyone talks about how awful the experience was for your friend.  If you ever ask, What about me?" they say you just need to get over it and accept what happened.

That may sound unrealistic but how different is it from my experience? Not much.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Women Warriors

Probably the most prevalent sexist notion is that women are not fighters. Up until recently women were excluded by the draft and the only reason that changed is because a men's rights group sued to have it changed on the grounds of that it was discriminatory. Women's organizations lost forever a golden opportunity to show they believe in equality and not just putting women on top.

The idea that women cannot fight and should not be soldiers is patently ridiculous. Often is is said that women because they bear children should not be in the military. Well no one is arguing that women who are pregnant should be on the front line but likewise no one is arguing then men, who experience 70-89% of all sudden heart attacks, should be sent into battle while having a coronary. 

It is also argued the men are more fit for the military because they are on average physical stronger. Yet is is also true that women on average have greater physical endurance than men and endurance is probably a greater benefit in the military than raw strength. But the key phrase "on average" negates the whole argument as the average person does not join the military.

Historically there have been many women warriors. The Scythian culture was probably the best know given that even Plato knew and wrote about it. But my guess is that women fought far more than most people assume in ancient times. Our modern sexist ideas make any such evidence of women warriors easily dismissed as a one off (I'm looking at you Joan of Ark!) or simply ignored.

Nearly all combat death is the United States have been men. There is one shelter for battered men in the country vs. thousands for women despite the evidence that women are just as violent in relationships as men. Sexism hurts men just as much if not more than it hurts women.

Saturday, January 4, 2020

The Reality of Lifetime Alimony

From Oregon Alimony Reform comes real stories of the reality of lifetime alimony.

People always seem to underestimate just how unjust and unfair alimony awards are. Indeed in all but extreme circumstances, alimony is pretty sexist given that it is the man who pays 97+% of the time. Often the argument is that the woman stayed at home and raised the kids so therefore deserves alimony for her sacrifice. Firstly, that is in many cases like mine, simply not true. Secondly, why should a person continue to receive money post marriage for a career choice made during the marriage? Thirdly, if the court wants to reward a person for having less income during the marriage why do they not account for that at the time of the divorce?  Or does the court believe that women are unable to handle money so they need an income stream from a man rather than be responsible for a lump sum? Alternatively, maybe it isn't sexist at all. Maybe they court just wants to make sure that divorce stretches out as long as possible to maximize the amount of money flowing to the lawyers. I don't know which is worse.

It is hard not to be cynical.

One person on the Oregon Alimony Reform site wrote:
I was divorced in 2008 and we split our retirement funds 50/50, yet I have to pay indefinite alimony. I just don’t get it. When I retire I will probably have $2000/month from Social Security and $2000/month from my retirement fund. My ex-wife will probably be in the same situation. So I give her $2050/month and she has $6050/month total and I have $1950. Where is the fairness in that?
My wife ran a successful software consultancy business for several years, but just before we divorced she re-trained as a teacher. Our earning capacities are similar, but I have to pay to “support her in the lifestyle to which she is accustomed”, even though her full time income is sufficient for her to live a comfortable lifestyle and she could easily earn significantly more that she is earning today.