Friday, December 29, 2023

Lawyer Conduct Issues For The Family Lawyer

In a paper directed at family lasers, Bruce Campbell of Campbell & LeBoeuf P.C. in Texas addresses some of the common ares where lawyers can get themselves into trouble. These include:

  • Conflicts of interest
  • Sex, lies and and sleeping with clients and others
  • Suits for Fees
  • Failure to adequately represent
  • Failure to advise and the scope of representation
  • Negligent misrepresentation and after applying interest
  • Breach of fiduciary duty
  • Deceptive Trade Practices Act

Despite its prevalence, Campbell does not list outright criminal fraud but one can make the case this is at least partially covered in the Deceptive Trade Practices Act discussion. 

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

Male Sexual Victimization by Women In Britain

A new study examines male sexual victimization by women in Britain. Many people dismiss or simply do not believe women can be abusive or violent against men. Often women attacking men are a subject of comedy or outright approval. 

In the present sample, 71% of men experienced some form of sexual victimization by a woman at least once during their lifetime. Sexual victimization was significantly associated with anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. However, conformity to masculine gender norms was not a significant moderator between victimization and mental disorders. 
Scene from The Holiday

It always amazes me how difficult it is for people to put themselves in another's position. Such shallow thinking is perhaps the major reason for all the bad things which happen in our world. 

Sunday, December 17, 2023

Money Won't Solve It

Many people understand there is a crisis in family courts across the country. Unfortunately the solution many, often self-servingly, advocate is throwing more money into the system and hiring more people to work in it

This would only make the problem worse. 

The reality is family court judges barely work. The amount of time they spend in chambers is minuscule and most of their decisions are written by one of the attorneys in the case or a clerk. It is a complete myth they are overworked. 

As for the time they spend in so called deliberations, I suspect it is all done in the time it takes to drink a cup of coffee. 

Divorce attorneys have a similar lifestyle. Perhaps many of them really believe they work hard but I have never seem one who would survive a job requiring anything approaching real work. 

Many countries, most notable the Scandinavian ones, spend a small fraction of what we do on family courts yet are much more efficient and, most importantly, far more fair and just. We should just do what they do. 

Monday, December 11, 2023

Divorce Myths

From a law firm comes the The Top 9 Myths For Divorce In Minnesota.  


DIVORCE MYTH #1: MOM ALWAYS GETS THE KIDS

DIVORCE MYTH #2: COMMITTING ADULTERY MEANS YOU WILL LOSE EVERYTHING

DIVORCE MYTH #3: COMMITTING ADULTERY MEANS YOU WILL LOSE EVERYTHING

DIVORCE MYTH #4: TAKE THE MONEY AND RUN

DIVORCE MYTH #5: IF YOU LEAVE THE HOUSE, YOU LOSE IT

DIVORCE MYTH #6: YOU MUST FILE FOR DIVORCE IN THE STATE WHERE YOU WERE MARRIED

DIVORCE MYTH #7: PROPERTY DIVISION IS 50/50

DIVORCE MYTH #8: YOU NEED TO HIDE YOUR CRIMINAL HISTORY

DIVORCE MYTH #9: WHOEVER ASKS FOR THE DIVORCE HAS THE UPPER HAND

Yes, #3 is repeated - a mistake I presume.

It is an interesting read but pretty superficial in the end. The real challenge with divorces and family court is the prevalent corruption which exists. The primary purpose of family court is not fairness and equity, it is maximizing income for lawyers and others who make their living off it. 

Saturday, December 2, 2023

20 Reasons

From the Frank Report comes 20 Reasons: Destructive Family Court Is Money-Maker, Corrupt and Unmonitored.

All points are quite true and I'll wager most people are unaware of. 

1. “Family” courts are not courts of evidence or law. They are solely courts of equity.

2. So why do we allow “family” courts to hear cases involving claims of abuse and neglect?

3. “Family” courts are the only courts that do not read or inform you of your rights.

4. Because they want you to believe you have no rights and are subject to the whims of the state. (False.)

5. By most accounts, 86% of all parents in “family” court are Pro Se and can’t afford an attorney.

6. There is a vast difference between how Family Court handles low-income and high-income cases.

7. The more money to be made, the more conflict the “family” court will promote.

8. The states make money under SSA Title IV-D, forcing the separation of children from their parents.

With Title IV-D, the federal government pays the state grant money for every dollar of child support the state reports collecting to the federal government.

This provides a financial incentive even  for state courts to separate a child from one of the parents to force the payment of child support even where none is needed.

9. The Divorce Industry uses the false portrayal of ‘deadbeat’ or abusive dads to promote its agenda.

10. Hollywood perpetuates this myth.

11. The suicide rate for divorced men is 10x the national average.

12. The vast majority of divorce cases do not involve abuse or domestic violence.

13. Most claims of abuse or neglect do not start until after a divorce is filed and attorneys get involved.

14. There is no penalty for making false claims of abuse, engaging in open fraud, or perjury in our “family’ courts.

15. “Parental alienation.” or whatever people may wish to call it, is very real.

16. More money flows through our “family” courts than all other courts – combined.

17. Yet our “family” courts are subject to practically no checks or balances or audits for performance.

18. No “family” court judge or “family” court attorney has ever once been held accountable for flagrant and even criminal violations of law or rights in the State of CT.

19. The U.S. is home to more single-parent households than any other country on the planet.

20. The Divorce Industry has grown into a $60+ Billion industry over the past 20 years.

Sunday, November 26, 2023

Gender Bias In Family Court

Although people claim there is and is not bias against men in family court, the reality is there is little hard evidence to support one side or the other. We simply do not track the statistics. 

We do, however, know that women initiate the vast majority of divorces, are the recipient of alimony in over 98% of cases where it is awarded, and are far more likely to be awarded child custody.   

Why this is true is a matter of opinion. 

In my case, even though I was doing the majority of parental work and despite the fact that my ex-wife committed perjury and her lawyer committed fraud, I had to pay a massive amount of money to my ex.

In the end the money I paid was worth it because my kids turned out pretty well. Mostly, I believe, because they chose to live with me despite the court awarding joint custody. 

So, admittedly and without concrete evidence, I do believe there is bias against men in family court. Indeed, if the only thing to change in my case were the genders, my hypothetically now male ex would have spent time in jail and I would have been awarded full child custody, child support, and alimony. 

For another view, I ran across this article from a law firm on the matter of gender bias.  

From our experience working with families, we have realized family court can be biased towards mothers and against fathers in custody disputes. Many fathers we have represented can personally attest to experiencing a negative outcome in a custody dispute because of gender bias in the court system. Often, fathers will make the mistake of assuming that because we are a nation of laws not men, they will get a fair hearing by a judge or hearing officer who is unbiased. This is not always the case.

Sunday, November 19, 2023

Equality Should Go Both Ways

I totally agree women often suffer from gender discrimination. But that doesn't mean men do not as well. The most obvious poster childs for discrimination against males is our societal acceptance than men should almost entirely be the ones killed and injured in the military, suffer the preponderance of workplace deaths and injuries because they perform the preponderance of dangerous jobs, and, of course, are the ones paying alimony in 98+ percent of cases 

But one area where discrimination against men is perhaps less visible is the punishment they receive for criminal offences. From Australia, but very relevant to the U.S. and the wider world, is this fairly humorous exploration of the matter.

Monday, November 13, 2023

The Legalization Of Corruption

Proving legal corruption has always been difficult because it seeks justice within the very system where the corruption occurred. Since 2016 it has been even more difficult.

the 2016 Supreme Court case McDonnell v. US, which narrowed the legal definition of bribery and made it more challenging for prosecutors to prove corrupt acts by public officials, and extra-legal sanctions, such as media coverage, rejection by voters, and other mechanisms, that provide some level of accountability for corrupt actors.

NYU Law School recently held a session on the topic titled The Legalization of Corruption in the United States.

Monday, November 6, 2023

Letter From One Of My Former Lawyers

One of my former lawyers, the junior one, sent me a letter. but she didn't mean to send it to me. She sent it to a couple going through a divorce and the guy's name is the same as mine. An easy mistake really as I have a common name. 

The letter and the attached documents indicate the couple is going through a divorce following the standard lawyer divorce script. Counseling for the kids, a parental counselor for the parents, and a seemingly endless processes. Apparently my former lawyer is acting as the parental consultant in this case. 

Unfortunately, the standard pattern in divorces is geared toward extracting as much money as possible for those in the divorce industry. It totally ignores what is best for the kids and fair to the parents. Indeed, as extracting money is maximized in contentious divorces, it inherently maximizes pain and alienation. 

In my case, the mediator, recommended by my lawyers, told me my ex-wife was insisting on using a parental consultant. A specific parental consultant recommended by the mediator. The mediator, however, told my ex-wife I was insisting on using a parental consultant. Neither of us wanted one. The mediator lied to benefit the parental consultant. I suspect the parental consultant often directed business to the mediator in turn.  It is profoundly corrupt and harmful system. 

Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Rafael Nadal's Eloquence

Although I don't like the politicized title and narration much in this video of Rafael Nadal answering a question on gender discrimination in sports, I do like his answer. 


Popularity is what drives sport and entertainment salaries. Why are female basketball players paid less that male players? Because more people follow men's basketball. 

I have female friends who believe women players should be paid exactly what male players are paid. Yet at the same time they do not bother to watch or go to women's' sports at all. 

Certainly discrimination exists. Sometimes against women and sometimes against men. But it is easy to go overboard. Viewing everything as discrimination against one gender will not only blind you to reality but cause you to do the very thing you are complaining about 

Thursday, October 19, 2023

Lawyers Lie (Mostly) With Impunity

Sydney Powell, who worked for former President Trump, has pleaded guilty to spreading false claims of  election fraud after the 2020 contest and trying to tamper with voting machines in Georgia

You would think she would be be put in prison for a very long time. But nope, she cut a plea deal.

Under the plea deal, Powell will serve six years of probation, pay a $6,000 fine, pay restitution of $2,700 to the state that covers the cost of replacing election equipment, write an apology letter and testify truthfully in future hearings and trials, as well as provide "any requested documents or evidence subject to any lawful privileges asserted in good faith prior to entering this plea."

I wonder what he punishment would be if she wasn't a lawyer? A lot more I'll bet. The funny thing is that as an officer of the court, which all lawyer are, she is supposed to be held to a higher standard than the general public. 

I hope the deal the prosecutors made results in some serious convictions for others. Powell is getting off easy. 

Friday, October 13, 2023

Fathers’ Parental Leave

A study in Sweden, one of the most gender equal countries in the world, concluded fathers’ parental leave might protect men against alcohol-related morbidity.

Men who have been on parental leave have a significantly reduced risk of being hospitalized due to alcohol consumption.

"After the policy was implemented there was a 34% decrease in these hospitalizations among fathers in the two years after birth."

“Policymakers should consider that fathers’ parental leave not only promotes more gender-equal participation in childcare, but can also reduce alcohol-related harms."

Not only is fathers involvement in their children's lives good for the children, it is good for the fathers. Unfortunately in our society, societal pressure (i.e. discrimination) allows mothers to spend more time with their children than fathers. 

Sunday, October 8, 2023

Lawyers Invented Internet Spam

Although some of you might think so, I am not anti-lawyer at all. In fact, I have the highest respect for rule of law. It is the best way to ensure a fair and equitable society. I am, however, vehemently opposed to those lawyers who break the law in order to achieve personal gain, or worse, inflict harm on innocent people

But no doubt I am a bit of a pain in the side to most lawyers as, even of they are upstanding themselves, they view any mention of lawyer maleficence as a poor reflection upon themselves.  

Given that, I will risk annoying lawyers even more than I have. 

Did you know lawyers invented Internet spam? I didn't but I am hardly surprised. 

On April 12, 1994, Laurence Canter and Martha Siegel, two immigration lawyers from Arizona, flooded the Internet with a mass mailing promoting their law firm's advisory services.

In doing so, this unknown husband and wife team changed the Internet with one keystroke.

Wednesday, October 4, 2023


I ran across an interesting article highlighting some of the "dirty tricks" used in the divorce process. Although far from complete as it doesn't include the various tactics, both legal and illegal, used by lawyers in their own self-interest, it does provide an interesting review of some of the things anyone going through a divorce should be aware of.  

Below is the list. There is more detail in the linked article. 

I. “Trial Separation.”

II. “Forget What the Papers Say, I’ll Do This or That”

III. “Let’s Move to Alaska: after You Find Us a Place, I’ll Come Join You with the Kids.”

IV. Dismiss Case When You Start Losing, Then Try Again Later

V. Moving Family & Friends into Marital Home During Divorce

VI. Scheduling Activities Over the Other Parent's Parenting Time

VII. “Oh By the Way, Kid #3 Isn’t Yours.”

VIII. “Please Answer the Phone. I promise I Won't Report it as an OFP Violation.”

IX. Emptying Joint Bank Accounts.

Saturday, September 23, 2023

In July, I asked OpenAI's ChatGTP this question:

Write a magazine length article on early feminist thoughts and writings advocating for the elimination of alimony.

Today I though I would see how Google's Bard AI answers the same question. Here is Bard's answer:

Early Feminist Thoughts and Writings Advocating for the Elimination of Alimony

Alimony, also known as spousal support, is a financial obligation that one spouse pays to the other after a divorce. It is intended to help the lower-earning spouse maintain their standard of living after the marriage ends.

While alimony is often seen as a necessary protection for women, some early feminists argued that it was actually harmful to female empowerment. They argued that alimony perpetuated the idea of women as dependents of men and discouraged them from becoming financially self-sufficient.

One of the earliest feminist critics of alimony was Mary Wollstonecraft. In her seminal work, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792), Wollstonecraft argued that women should be educated and employed, just like men. She also argued that women should be financially independent of men, even in marriage.

"I do not wish them to be the rivals of men, but their equals," Wollstonecraft wrote. "I do not wish them to have power, but to have the exercise of their own reason in the choice of their employments."

Wollstonecraft's ideas were ahead of their time, but they gradually gained acceptance in the 19th and 20th centuries. As more women entered the workforce and became financially self-sufficient, the need for alimony diminished.

In the early 20th century, a number of feminist groups began to advocate for the elimination of alimony. One of the most prominent of these groups was the National Organization for Women (NOW). NOW argued that alimony was discriminatory against men and that it was no longer necessary in a society where women were able to support themselves.

In 1973, NOW published a report titled "Alimony: An Archaic Relic." The report argued that alimony was "an unfair and outdated institution that has no place in a modern society." It also argued that alimony was harmful to women, as it discouraged them from working and becoming self-sufficient.

The NOW report was controversial, but it helped to spark a national debate about alimony. In the following years, a number of states reformed their alimony laws, making it more difficult for ex-spouses to obtain alimony payments.

In 1989, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in the case of Orman v. Orman that alimony payments could be terminated if the ex-spouse became self-sufficient. This ruling made it easier for ex-husbands to challenge alimony payments.

Today, alimony is still awarded in many divorce cases, but it is less common than it was in the past. And thanks to the efforts of early feminists, alimony payments are now subject to stricter scrutiny.

Here are some specific examples of early feminist thoughts and writings advocating for the elimination of alimony:

In her 1869 essay "The Subjection of Women," John Stuart Mill's wife Harriet Taylor Mill wrote that alimony was "a badge of servitude" and that it "perpetuates the old idea of the woman as the property of the man."

In her 1913 book Woman and Labor, Olive Schreiner argued that alimony was "a relic of barbarism" and that it "discourages women from working and becoming self-sufficient."

In her 1935 book The Second Sex, Simone de Beauvoir argued that alimony was "a form of prostitution" and that it "enslaves women to men."

These early feminist critics of alimony were ahead of their time, but their ideas have gradually gained acceptance. Today, alimony is still awarded in many divorce cases, but it is less common than it was in the past. And thanks to the efforts of early feminists, alimony payments are now subject to stricter scrutiny.

Conclusion

The debate over alimony is complex and there are strong arguments on both sides. However, it is important to remember that early feminists were instrumental in bringing about reforms to alimony laws. Their advocacy helped to ensure that alimony payments are now more fair and equitable for all involved.

It is interesting how different in content ChartGPT and Bard's answers are . Although they do not contradict each other, they provide different information. It goes to show using multiple sources is important - even when using AIs. 

Thursday, September 14, 2023

No Facts Needed

An AI system called Pre/Dicta is able to predict with 86% accuracy how a judge will rule all without looking at the law or facts in the case

What does the system look at? Things that have nothing to do with the case such as how rich the judge is and whether the lawyers come from large prestigious firms or not. 

What's happening: Pre/Dicta, which launched in 2022, looks for patterns in a judge's past decisions and potential areas of bias, using around 120 datapoints.

  • Datapoints include where the judge went to law school, what their net worth is, how they rule when the lawyers are from big law firms versus boutique practices and the judges' history in public law, private practice and state judgeships.
  • CEO Dan Rabinowitz, a former Department of Justice trial attorney, told Axios his AI model can now predict how a judge will rule with 86% accuracy — without even considering the facts of the case.
  • "We don't look at the law or the facts — we entirely ignore that," Rabinowitz said, because judges write opinions in fewer than 2% of cases, and in the case of newly appointed judges, there's often no case data to work with.
  • Rabinowitz said his system has reached 81% accuracy for predicting the decisions of new judges.

More evidence, I would even say damning evidence, our legal system has little if anything to do with justice. 

Thursday, September 7, 2023

Women Paying Alimony

Of all the people receiving alimony just 3% are men. This despite a Supreme Court ruling in 1979 mandating gender neutrality for alimony. Alimony awards are probably the greatest discriminatory reality in the country other than military deaths. The discrepancy is even larger than workplace deaths where women compromise just 8.6% of fatalities

The core problem is that very few people care. Not many people are able to understand the implication of such discrepancies. We cannot eliminate discrimination agaisnt women without also eliminating discrimination against men. Indeed, it is difficult to even determine who is being discriminated against:

  • Is the fact that women compromise 97% of alimony recipients due to society viewing them as less capable than men?
  • Is the reason virtually all military deaths are men due to a pervasive belief that women are fragile and need to be protected by men?
  • Is the reason why there are so few female workplace deaths because we view many jobs and too difficult for women? 

Our society would be so much better if we eliminated all discrimination.  

Saturday, September 2, 2023

Relationship Violence By Gender

There is an interesting thread on Reddit about violence committed by women against men. In the linked article, there is a statement that men are core commonly the perpetrators; however, in the comments there are many links to other studies which state that the perpetrators are half women. 

How about we end all relationship violence whether committed by a man or woman. 

The comments in the tread are fascinating and often quite poignant. 

My ex-wife stated in a sworn affidavit I was violent and her the kids were scared of me. Then on the stand in court she stated she had never once been scared of me and that I had never threatened her in anyway. That is called perjury. Rather than being punished she received massive amounts of money from me. 

Indeed the only violence ever committed in the relationship was committed by her. She once slapped me, in fun, so hard I ended up with a deviated septum. Something that causes me problems to this day. 

As for the kids, they chose to live with me. 

Sunday, August 27, 2023

Atlatl Equalizer Hypothesis

The atlatl equalizer hypothesis posits that prehistoric male human hunters lost any advantage they may have had over women due to men's strength advantage, on average, over women with the invention of the atlatl. In essence, the invention of the atlatl made hunting by women as efficient as hunting by men. 

The rational in our current society, even many many women who identify as feminists, that men should do the dangerous jobs of fighting in the military as well as  high risk civilian jobs is also based men's strength advantage, on average, over women. This notion is just as wrong and for the same reason. Technology. Pulling a trigger or pushing a button doesn't require much strength. 

In fact, when it comes to shooting women have an advantage over men. In the Olympics, rifle and pistol shooting was mixed gender until the 1984. They were then separated by gender due to women''s inherent advantage in shooting sports because of their, on  average, lower heart rates.  Just like women don't compete against men in the 100 meter dash due to men's advantage in muscle power. 

Thursday, August 17, 2023

Gender Bias

Many, if not most, people are incapable of believing gender bias exists both ways. It is as if somehow stating that yes, men experience gender bias somehow invalidates the idea that women experience gender bias. I despise this way of thinking because it is so shallow. 

The reason Congress and C-level business position are mostly male is societal discrimination. 

The reason nearly all military deaths and the vast majority of workplace deaths and injuries are mostly men is because of societal discrimination. 

The reason it almost always men who pay alimony is societal discrimination. 

Here is a fascinating discussion of gender based discrimination both past and present with Dr. Cory Clark at the University of Pennsylvania. 

Friday, August 11, 2023

Lazzaro Sentenced

Anton “Tony” Lazzaro was recently sentenced to 21 year in jail for sex trafficking. Lazarro, a top Minnesota republican operative and fund raiser ran his operation right under the nose of Ramsey County Attorney John Choi. Oddly Choi, who has a self-appointed and self-professed mission to prosecute sex trafficking, somehow missed the whole operation despite it happening right under his nose. Maybe that is because Choi rarely goes after anyone with power and money. 

Choi's actions, or lack thereof, are in alignment with his decision to blatantly obstruct justice to protect fellow lawyers when he was sent unquestionable evidence of crime by a lawyer. At least he is consistent.  

Saturday, August 5, 2023

A Divorce In Ukraine

This story of a divorce in Ukraine is gut puncher. I am not even really sure why as there was no animosity between the parties. 

At the beginning of he war a women and her kids left the country for safety. The husband, a psychologist, stayed to help the soldiers. And keep in mind he could not have left even if he wanted to as men of his age were forbidden to leave due to the general mobilization. 

The woman eventually met another man abroad and sought a divorce. 

Divorces as well as marriages are increase during wars so this isn't unusual but what is hard is that the couple were generally happy together before the war and admit but for the war they would still be together. 

They would go on, like so many Ukrainian men and women, to experience the war very differently. Tetiana was thrust into a whole new world, discovering a new country, a new language and, in a shock to Andrii, a new boyfriend. Andrii found himself on the front lines counseling depressed soldiers and, for the first time since he was a teenager, living alone. He was effectively blocked by law from visiting his family.

Thursday, July 27, 2023

Why Do We Still Have Alimony?

As a follow-up to my last post, it is good to look at what the basis of modern alimony is. Why do we have it and how did it develop? 

Alimony, at its essence, is based on the notion that women are the lesser sex and need to be taken care of. Much like children. Wikipedia state:

The modern concept of alimony is derived from English ecclesiastical courts that awarded alimony in cases of separation and divorce. Alimony pendente lite was given until the divorce decree, based on the husband's duty to support the wife during a marriage that still continued. Post-divorce or permanent alimony was also based on the notion that the marriage continued, as ecclesiastical courts could only award a divorce a mensa et thoro, similar to a legal separation today. As divorce did not end the marriage, the husband's duty to support his wife remained intact.

Why would one party have a duty to support another? Because the other party is incapable of doing so for themselves. Why would women be incapable of supporting themselves? Because they are inferior to men. 

No wonder so many feminist intellectuals insisted alimony be eliminated. Women can never be equal to men until they are treated as equal under the law. The fact that 98+ of people receiving alimony are women demonstrates clearly that society does not consider women equal to men. 

Sunday, July 23, 2023

AI & DI

Just for fun and because I find AI interesting. I asked the following question to OpenAI's CharGPT:

Question:
Write a magazine length article on early feminist thoughts and writings advocating for the elimination of alimony.

Here is ChatGPT's answer:
-------------------

Title: Redefining Equality: Early Feminist Thoughts on Alimony and its Elimination

Introduction

The feminist movement has witnessed a remarkable evolution throughout history, with women tirelessly fighting for their rights and gender equality. Among the various issues that early feminists addressed, the topic of alimony emerged as a particularly contentious and complex matter. Alimony, traditionally awarded to financially dependent spouses after divorce or separation, was seen by some feminists as perpetuating gender inequalities and reinforcing traditional gender roles. This article delves into the early feminist thoughts and writings that advocated for the elimination of alimony and explored the ramifications of this proposal on women's empowerment.

  • The Roots of Alimony

Historically, alimony emerged from English common law as a means to ensure the financial support of wives who were left economically vulnerable after divorce or separation. In patriarchal societies, women were often financially dependent on their husbands due to limited opportunities for employment and property ownership. Alimony was intended to compensate for this economic disparity, albeit reinforcing traditional gender roles and perpetuating women's dependence on men.

  • Early Feminist Critiques

Early feminist thinkers recognized the inherent inequality embedded in the alimony system. They argued that alimony perpetuated the notion that women were inherently incapable of financial independence, reinforcing the notion that women's primary role was that of a homemaker and caregiver. This perspective conflicted with the feminist ideals of gender equality and challenged the traditional belief that women's financial well-being was solely dependent on their husbands.

  • Charlotte Perkins Gilman and the Economics of Divorce

One of the pioneers of early feminist thought, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, challenged the notion of alimony in her seminal work "Women and Economics" (1898). Gilman argued that alimony created a financial incentive for women to remain married, regardless of their happiness or the presence of abuse in the relationship. By promoting economic dependence, the alimony system hindered women's ability to seek independence and live fulfilling lives outside traditional marital confines.

  • Elizabeth Cady Stanton's Radical Propositions

Elizabeth Cady Stanton, a key figure in the first-wave feminist movement, went even further by advocating for the complete abolition of alimony. Stanton believed that the alimony system not only hindered women's progress but also perpetuated the idea that marriage was primarily an economic contract. In her landmark "The Woman's Bible" (1895), Stanton argued that alimony undermined the true essence of marriage based on love, mutual respect, and equality. By eliminating alimony, she believed that women could pursue financial independence without fear of being trapped in unhappy marriages.

  • Challenges and Opposition

The proposals for eliminating alimony were met with significant opposition from traditionalists who feared that it would disrupt the sanctity of marriage and exacerbate the financial burden on men. Critics argued that alimony was necessary to protect women from economic hardship in cases of divorce or separation. They contended that, without alimony, many women would be left destitute, especially in a society with limited employment opportunities for women.

  • A Step Towards Gender Equality

The debate surrounding alimony provided an opportunity for early feminists to redefine gender roles and advocate for greater financial independence for women. While the immediate elimination of alimony faced resistance, the discussions prompted legal reforms that aimed to ensure a fairer distribution of assets and financial support during divorce proceedings.

  • Legacy and Contemporary Relevance

The early feminist writings advocating for the elimination of alimony set the stage for ongoing discussions on gender equality within the legal system. In modern times, many jurisdictions have reformed their divorce laws to promote equitable distribution of assets and spousal support, regardless of gender. The focus has shifted from providing alimony based on gender to assessing individual financial needs and contributions during marriage.

Conclusion

The early feminist thoughts and writings on the elimination of alimony marked a critical milestone in the ongoing struggle for gender equality. While their radical propositions were not immediately embraced, they laid the groundwork for significant changes in divorce laws and challenged societal norms regarding the role of women in marriage. Today, the pursuit of gender equality continues, with the legacy of these pioneering feminists guiding the way towards a more just and equitable future.

-------------------
Interesting answer. Also informative. I have certainly read a bit about early feminist arguments against alimony (early on NOW formally sought to end the practice) but don't recall Elizabeth Cady Stanton arguing against it.

As a sidebar, I am one of those people who believes AI is tool not a threat. At least no more of a threat than the invention of the Internet, the Industrial Revolution, or the Gutenberg's printing press. I may have to play around with it more but don't worry, I am still me and the musings on this site will be all mine. 

Thursday, July 13, 2023

Wow - Florida Finally Reforms Alimony

After years of trying, Florida has finally reformed it's alimony laws. In essence, they have eliminated permanent alimony.  Reform bills have passed the legislature three times previously only to be vetoed by either current governor Ron DeSantis or former governor Rick Scott. 

Sometimes persistence matters. 

The new law eliminates permanent alimony and sets up a formula for alimony amounts based on the length of marriage. It also sets a five year limit on rehabilitative alimony. Both of these are quite reasonable and, somewhat surprisingly, had the support of the Florida Bar's Family Law Section.

The idea that somehow after a marriage ends and after dividing assets equally, one party is required by the courts to  pay the other is simply sexist. Because it is almost always women who receive the alimony it simply perpetuates the notion that women are less capable than men and need to be supported by men. The concept of alimony is sexist at its core. Many feminists agree

Thursday, July 6, 2023

More Evidence of Equality

As I have written about before, the widely held belief that men have historically hunted and women gathered is proving to be more fiction than fact as a new study from Seattle Pacific University finds. Indeed, not just historically but even now.

Despite what modern gender stereotypes would have you believe, a new analysis of a broad range of foraging societies within the past century has revealed a number of their hunters were female

The data review, led by Abigail Anderson of Seattle Pacific University, considers 63 modern foraging societies, including those in the Americas, Africa, Australia, Asia, and the Oceanic region. Close to 80 percent of those societies show evidence of female hunting in ethnographic reports from the past 100 years.

In the majority of those cases, there was clear documentation describing women stalking and hunting game intentionally, not just killing an animal if the opportunity arose. Among societies where hunting was the most important source of food, women actively participated in hunting 100 percent of the time.

We need a reality check on stereotypes. Women are perfectly capable of wielding weapons and hunting. Men are perfectly capable of gathering and taking care of babies.

Thursday, June 29, 2023

Change.org Petition

I ran across this Change.org petition Broken Justice - Corruption in Broad Daylight in Family Court which, although a few years old, is still relevant. 

In facts, statistics show that more money passes through Family Court than any other Court and the more the attorney charges, people are willing to pay because they think money equals skills. Family Court in the USA is a highly profitable business.  The only winners in these courts are the attorneys

Unethical attorneys' conduct and bad Family Court judgments leave family broke, emotionally and financially damaged. 

Our justice system is not infallible. Instances of judicial misconduct can erode the public's trust in the courts, which ultimately undermines the legitimacy of the institution. The confidence of the American people in the justice system is declining rapidly, and this erosion of trust presents an existential crisis for our society.

Eloquently stated.

Thursday, June 22, 2023

Is Family Court Corrupt?

Is family court corrupt? In my experience, absolutely. And not just corrupt but deeply corrupt. Even with overwhelming evidence of criminal actions, litigants, lawyers and judges are able to openly commit crimes and walk away with vast amounts of money for doing so. The are also able to traumatize children freely and without consequence.  

Many others think the same way I do. Check out this podcast from Divorce Matters to better understand how deeply flawed our family law system is. 

 

Thursday, June 15, 2023

Our Strange Legal System

In 2018, two black men went into a Starbucks to use the bathroom. The manger called the police after they refused to make a purchase or leave. The two sued and  received an undisclosed amount of money as well as fully paid college educations. 

Now the white female Starbucks regional manager, who was fired subsequent to the incident, has won at least $25.6 million ($600,000 in compensatory damages and $25 million in punitive damages) from Starbucks for firing her. She claimed she was fired because she is white. 

Given that I don not really know the details on why the these awards were made, I do not really know if they were appropriate or not. 

But I do know that I have absolutely unquestionable evidence of a lawyer committing fraud and an county attorney obstructing justice and I cannot even get back the money I lost due to these criminal actions. Let alone punitive damages. 

Our legal system is capricious at best. 

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Man The Hunter?

I have long argued the strict gender roles we have been taught, and accepted, with regard to men doing the hunting and warrioring in prehistoric times has been in need of revision. Women hunted and fought maybe not just as much as men but these were not rare activities. Of course, when pregnant not so much but no less so than men when wounded. 

An interesting article from The Conversation supports this.

See also this article from UCL.

Think about it. A group in which all members can hunt and fight will out compete a group where only half can. And it works both ways. Men can gather and parent. 

One can only speculate on why such huge gender divisions eventually became so common but a good possibility is that having a woman, or women, not work became a sign of power. A status symbol. Both for the man and woman albeit for different reasons. One that is still pretty common.  Women not working, or relegated to less visible roles, meant you were so smart, so wealthy, so organized that you could afford the loss of productivity. It showed you were better than others. 

A different argument is that women are more precious than men because they are bottleneck for reproduction. After all, a single man can impregnate a lot of women. As a result women were slotted into roles which were less dangerous. And still very much are. I tend to think in prehistory, having all members of a group able to fight and hunt outweighed the loss of a few women of child bearing age but later  as societies became for specialized and even among men not all hunted and fought, women became more protected from harm. Losing a man is less of an issue for society than a woman. 

Friday, June 2, 2023

Crazy Lawyer Video

I ran across this absolutely crazy video from a couple of lawyers who go by the moniker Pot Brothers at Law. 


It is disturbing on my levels but does make me think. The same for the comments, which are highly supportive.  

I have been pulled over twice by the police. The first time I was stopped at a red light and when the arrow for a left turn only went on I went straight. The cop was nice and in our conversation I mentioned that I had a baby at home who kept me up most the night. This was true. He did not give me a ticket. 

The other time I was pulled over was when I was in another state and made a left turn out of a gas station without realizing it was banned. Again I had a nice conversation with the officer and he let me go without a ticket. 

Of course I realize, if my skin color was darker the odds are I would have received tickets in both instances. 

Still, it is hard for me to be confrontational. I am not sure that really helps. Obviously the people commenting on the video disagree.  And to be clear, not saying anything is confrontational. 

The other part that is disturbing to me is the idea that getting a lawyer is what you need to do. Almost no matter what.  A society where you have to pay a "fixer" to get you out of trouble, whether you are innocent or guilty, is a corrupt society. 

Friday, May 26, 2023

Scar Experiment

Something a little different. But interesting. I am still trying to figure out what it means. 

A scar experiment done at Dartmouth University painted disfiguring scars on subjects to determine how people would react to them. But in a twist, the scars were actually removed before the interactions without the subjects knowing. 

The subjects, thinking they were disfigured but actually not, "overwhelmingly reported back that people stared at their scars, and were mean and rude to them."

As I say I am still trying to figure out what this means. Maybe being uncomfortable with your looks makes you feel discriminated agaisnt even when you are not. And conversely being comfortable in you looks makes you more likely to feel you are treated fairly. 

And I suppose it might extend to more than looks. Intelligence, wealth, or basically nay thing you feel uncomfortable about. 

But take it with a grain of salt as it was a very small study. 

Friday, May 19, 2023

Lawyers, Lawyers, Everywhere

There are a lot of lawyers. Especially in the United States. We are, after all, know to be a quite litigious society. The U.S. has 1.26 million lawyers. That is one for every 248 people

Ireland, in contrast, has one for every 2062 residents. Finland one for every 2672 people. 

I suspect when you add in all the non-lawyers involved in the legal industry, the number is much, very much, worse. 

I have yet to find good numbers but the amount of money our legal system consumes has a substantial impact, and that would be a negative impact, on our GDP. Yes, of course, there is a need for some lawyers but we have a huge excess which is just a waste of brainpower. Such intellect would be better utilized on work which actually improves society. 

Worse, much of our legal system is nothing more than influence peddling and outright crime. As I well know

Friday, May 12, 2023

Bow Street Runners

Something I learned recently. Henry Fielding, the English author of the fantastic novel Tom Jones among many other works, was also a magistrate in London and just prior to the formation of the Metropolitan police reformed the first professional police force called the Bow Street Runners

Before the introduction of the Bow Street Runners and anything of the like, policing took the form of privately paid individuals used to maintain law and order without a formal system connected to the state. This resulted in unofficial policemen who were known as ‘Thief Takers’ who would capture criminals for money and negotiate deals in order to return stolen goods whilst claiming rewards. People who partook in this activity, such as a figure called Charles Huitchen and his accomplice Jonathan Wild, were voluntarily policing the streets of London for big profits when in fact, these men and others like them were often behind much of the crime in the area. The informal, volunteer based system was not working.

Fielding was different from most magistrates at the time in that he was honest. This would make him different from many judges and prosecutors today as well.

In 1729 Thomas De Veil became a justice of the peace, eventually settling in Bow Street. He was as corrupt as any; he had some 25 children to provide for, however in 1748 Henry Fielding took the post, and he just happened to be honest.

It was Henry’s half brother John who showed that in order to stamp out corruption, magistrates must not be given an incentive to arrest and take bail money; instead they should be paid a stipend. John followed Henry to the position of Principal Justice and raised Bow Street’s reputation to the point that he became what would in modern terms be the Commissioner for the Metropolitan Police.

Fielding's novels are pretty risque so it was a bit surprising to me he had another life reforming the judicial system but then again it it often the ones who promote themselves as being holier than thou who are the most corrupt. Take Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Please. 

Saturday, May 6, 2023

The Fiction Of Alimony

I ran across a page on alimony in a divorce mediation website from a law firm in Massachusetts  specialized in divorce mediation. I cannot help joking they are quite divorced... from reality. 

Practically speaking, alimony represents an attempt by the court to solve two very real issues that lower-earning spouses often face in a divorce:

  1. To avoid leaving one spouse “empty handed” after the marriage when that spouse provided uncompensated work during the marriage, such as raising children or homemaking.
  2. To avoid forcing a spouse to suddenly fend for him or herself in a working environment (in which they are unfamiliar and unprepared) after the spouse dedicated years of his/her life to the marriage at the expense of their own professional growth.

Not true, at least normally true in reality. If it were true. why would my ex-wife, who was not the primary care giver for the children during the marriage and who was able to earn just a much as me obtain such a huge amount of lifetime alimony? 

I understand I am just one case but I have talked to a lot people who have gone through divorce and looked at a lot for the statistics which assure me that my experience is pretty normal. 

Alimony is not about justice. It is an often a criminal game to see who can take the most from the other. Those willing to commit crimes and other unethical actions have a clear advantage. By willing to lie and commit fraud my ex-wife was able to extract close to $2 million from me. All it cost her was her self-respect and the respect of and relationship with the children. 

Saturday, April 29, 2023

Fathers’ Leave

 A new study report Fathers’ Leave Reduces Sexist Attitudes. No surprise there. 

Research shows that sexist attitudes are deeply ingrained, with adverse consequences in the socioeconomic and political sphere. We argue that parental leave for fathers—a policy reform that disrupts traditional gender roles and promotes less stereotypical ones—has the power to decrease attitudinal gender bias. Contrasting the attitudes of new parents who were (and were not) directly affected by a real-world policy reform that tripled the amount of fathers’ leave, we provide causal evidence that the reform increased gender-egalitarian views in the socioeconomic and political domains among mothers and fathers, and raised support for pro-female policies that potentially displace men among mothers. In contrast, informational, indirect exposure to the reform among the general public produced no attitudinal change. These results show that direct exposure to progressive social policy can weaken sexist attitudes, providing governments with a practical and effective tool to reduce harmful biases.

Of course if people are treated equally they develop more equal attitudes. It isn't just fathers' leave that reduces sexist attitudes. Likewise, more equal representation of women in work, management, politics, etc. all reduce sexist attitudes. If over your career, half your bosses were women, you will be less sexist.  The exact same logic applies to race and gender identity. 

But we need to remember it works both ways. Unless half the military and half of dangerous jobs are held by women, sexist attitudes, by men and women, will persist. We need to fix the whole problem. 

Thursday, April 20, 2023

Myside Bias Or Self-Interest?

A new report from the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies discuses "myside" bias in litigation where lawyers overestimate their chance of success in the courtroom. 

In a vast majority of disputes, settlement is superior to litigation, which involves uncertainty, legal fees, and opportunity cost. Unnecessary litigation also causes judicial backlog, wastes resources, and increases societal conflict. Major contributors to the lack of settlement are intransigent litigants who harbor overoptimistic predictions of litigation outcomes, even though they are looking at identical facts and applicable law. A study (N = 166) found significant myside bias in the participants' predictions of a judicial award (claimants' advisers expected awards that were 69% higher than defendants' advisers) and in their evaluation of arguments (both sides thought the arguments supporting their side were 30% more convincing than the arguments supporting their counterparty). Debiasing interventions—alerting to the myside bias, considering the perspective of the counterparty and dialectical bootstrapping—reduced the bias but did not eliminate it. Exploratory investigation indicated that a large proportion of advisers exhibited na├»ve realism and bias blind spot, and that cognitive reflection provided a limited measure of resistance to myside bias.

They completely miss the point. Lawyers are biased to prolong litigation because they get more money by doing so. It really is that simple. This is especially true in family law as the lawyers can leverage the often strained relationship between the litigants to prolong the case. 

Of course not every lawyer does this, but I doubt you would fine an honest lawyer who didn't admit that many do. 

Our legal process intensifies lawyers to act unethically and criminally and there is virtually no risk in doing so. Of course it is corrupt. Follow the money as they say. 

Friday, April 14, 2023

Ethics & The Supreme Court

With the revelations about Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas's receipt of lavish vacations (in some cases exceeding $500,000 for an individual trip) by a wealthy republican donor, some have highlighted the lack of  rules of conduct for the supreme court as an enabling cause. 

While I agree the same rules of conduct all other judges are required to abide by should be extended to the supreme court, I am doubtful they will have any more impact on the supreme court than they do on the rest of the judiciary. The reality is, rules or not, judges can and often act corruptly without consequence. It is part of the larger issue of corruption which has become normalized within the legal system. 

There are many laws I disagree with and believe need to be changed. But at least they are known. The problem with corruption within the judiciary is there is no other place where one can go to seek justice.  You might think district attorneys or the FBI would help but in virtually all cases they are unwilling to even investigate their close colleagues who they work with in the judiciary. No matter what the evidence. 

It s difficult to overestimate the negative impact to society such corruption has. 

Saturday, April 8, 2023

Florida Tries Yet Again

If at first you don't succeed....

Florida is trying for the forth time to reform alimony in the state including getting rid of permanent alimony

After governors have vetoed three previous attempts to change Florida’s alimony laws, the latest proposed revamp is headed to the full Senate for a vote. The Florida Bar’s Family Law Section and supporters of overhauling alimony laws clashed for a decade. But the former foes have banded together this year to endorse a plan to do away with “permanent” alimony and make a series of other changes.

Not surprisingly, recipients of permanent alimony oppose the idea. 

Is it not strange that a marriage can be ended by divorce at any time but permanent alimony is until death? The idea that a person can leave a marriage with the provision that the abandoned spouse has to work until death for them is simply not right. 

Most states require marital assets to be divided equally at the time of divorce. In extraordinary circumstances, I am fine with one spouse getting temporary alimony to train for a job but other that that it is difficult to understand why they would get more. Especially, like in my case, the abandoned spouse is the one raising the children.