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Tag: hours

Should I pay my lawyer to talk to the attorney of the other party? He spent 3 hours last week responding to 12 emails from the other lawyer and I need to pay him for this time. At this rate I my lawyer will become a secretary and I will be bankrupt.

Should I pay my lawyer to talk to the attorney of the other party? He spent 3 hours last week responding to 12 emails from the other lawyer and I need to pay him for this time. At this rate I my lawyer will become a secretary and I will be bankrupt.

This is a great question.

Clearly, if the opposing lawyer is trying to run up the costs of the litigation by calling or corresponding with your attorney excessively, so that your attorney has to take the calls and/or write responses to all of the correspondence, that opposing lawyer is playing dirty.

Still, some cases are expansive and/or complicated and may require a great deal of back and forth between attorneys as a reasonable and necessary part of the litigation process.

If your case is the kind that doesn’t require anything close to the amount of calls and emails the opposing side is sending to your attorney, if it is clear that the volume of the opposing attorneys communications are excessive and engaged in in bad faith, you are not obligated to suffer it.

One way that your attorney and you may be able to remedy this problem would be by having your attorney send opposing counsel an email like this:

Dear opposing counsel,

It is clear to any reasonable person that the frequency and volume of your telephone calls and/or written correspondence with our office are unnecessary, unduly burdensome and oppressive, and engaged in in bad faith. My client cannot afford to have my staff or me take such calls and read and/or respond to every one of such written correspondence. Consequently, my client has now directed my staff and me to:

  • spend no more than five minutes per week taking calls from anyone at your office; and
  • read and/or respond to written communications from your office totaling no more than 250 words.

If in a given week you honestly believe you need more than five minutes to speak with me; and/or more than 250 words to communicate in writing to me, my client requires that you send me an email (no printed letters, no faxes) stating a clear and concise explanation why. No one at the office will read your email but I will forward it to my client to determine whether [he/she] authorizes me that week to speak with you for more than five minutes and/or review and/or respond to more than 250 written words from you.

If you have any questions regarding this policy, you are welcome to call me and discuss them with me for up to five minutes this week and/or email me with your questions this week, so long as your email is no more than 250 words in length.

Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277

https://www.quora.com/Should-I-pay-my-lawyer-to-talk-to-the-attorney-of-the-other-party-He-spent-3-hours-last-week-responding-to-12-emails-from-the-other-lawyer-and-I-need-to-pay-him-for-this-time-At-this-rate-I-my-lawyer-will-become-a/answer/Eric-Johnson-311?prompt_topic_bio=1

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There is nothing a GAL could learn how to do that a judge cannot also learn how to do equally well.

There is nothing a GAL could learn how to do that a judge cannot also learn how to do equally well.

This post is the ninth in series of 15 posts on the subject of custody evaluations and the appointment of guardians ad litem (“GALs” for short) in Utah child custody cases when the judge could simply interview the children instead. You do not have to read all 16 posts to benefit from this series. Read as many or as few as you wish.

The purpose of this series is to make the case for the proposition that an interview by the judge is a faster, more accurate, more particular, more reliable, and less expensive form of evidence than what a GAL and/or custody evaluator provides.

There is nothing a guardian ad litem could learn how to do and then do that a judge cannot also learn how to do equally well and do equally well.

Some people try to make a (false) distinction between the effect of a judge questioning a child and the effect of a guardian ad litem questioning a child.

Up until a certain age, we all know that children have no idea what the difference between a judge and a lawyer is; therefore, if they’re not aware of any difference between the judge questioning them and a GAL questioning them, the effects of the questioning cannot be any more traumatic when the judge conducts the interview then when a guardian ad litem conducts the interview.

But let’s assume that we’re dealing with the interview of a child who is 14 or 15 years old or older. At that age, one might expect a child to know the difference between a judge and a lawyer. The child might even realize that the judge is the one who ultimately makes the child custody and parent-time decisions. So what?

If a guardian ad litem sat down with a child and told the 14+ years old child, “Hi, I’m Eric, and I’ve been asked to help you, your parents, and the court find out what you want and need and what’s best for you and your family when it comes to where you and your siblings live after your parents get divorced. I’d like to talk about that with you now for the next hour or so,” how would the effect on the child be any different if a judge sat down with that same child and said essentially the same thing? The answer is it clearly would not be any different merely because the one asking the questions is a judge instead of a GAL.

There is nothing about judges talking to children that is inherently harmful, just as there is nothing about guardians ad litem talking to children that inherently has a beneficial or benign effect on the child.

Claims that judges questioning children does children harm require us to presume that would be because of their status as judges, because all judges are insensitive and incompetent questioners, or both. Obviously, neither premise is true. For it were shown to be true that a judge is insensitive and/or incompetent, then the problem wouldn’t be whether the judge interviews the children, but whether the judge can be trusted to act in the best interest of the children in the first place.

Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277

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Believing Judges Interviewing Children Harms Children Rests on False Premises

This post is the eighth in series of 15 posts on the subject of custody evaluations and the appointment of guardians ad litem (“GALs” for short) in Utah child custody cases when the judge could simply interview the children instead. You do not have to read all 16 posts to benefit from this series. Read as many or as few as you wish.

 

The purpose of this series is to make the case for the proposition that an interview by the judge is a faster, more accurate, more particular, more reliable, and less expensive form of evidence than what a GAL and/or custody evaluator provides.

 

To conclude that judges interviewing children harms them rests on the false premise that judges are insensitive and/or incompetent. There is obviously no inherent difference between having a judge interview a child and having a guardian ad litem interview a child. Lawyers and judges know that there is nothing about a guardian ad litem that is any better or worse than a judge when it comes to ability to question children. Judges are former lawyers, after all.

To conclude that judges who interview children inherently harm, or inherently expose children to undue risks of harm must necessarily rest on the premise that judges who interview children are insensitive and/or incompetent. For all my criticisms of the legal system, I would be lying if I claimed that all or most or even a statistically significant number of judges are too insensitive and too incompetent to question children about child custody issues without harming them any more than an interview conducted by a guardian ad litem or custody evaluator would harm children.

 

If a judge were to claim that his or her ability to question children is worse than a guardian ad litem’s ability to question children because the judge lacked GAL training, then the problem would clearly not lie in the judge’s status as a judge but in a lack of training.

GAL training is a matter of hours, not years or even months. So, the training and skills gap between a trained GAL and an untrained judge could be closed quickly and easily by the judge getting that same GAL training. It wouldn’t even cost the judge any money because the Utah State Office of Guardian ad Litem has offered to provide judges with GAL training free of charge.

 

Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277

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