Thursday, August 22, 2013

Must Be Nice

Tim Duncan recently finalized his divorce in a private hearing held at his attorney's office.  Yes, the judge left the courthouse -- on his lunch hour -- to grant Duncan his divorce in private.   His ex-wife's attorney was there so clearly it was okay with her.   No notice of the hearing appeared on any docket.   Must be nice to be able to get a judge to give up his lunch hour to grant your divorce.

Now, there are good reasons for this.   The media scrum at the courthouse might have been pretty bad if the hearing were made public.   But, on the other hand, court proceedings tend to be open for a reason -- so the average Joe and Jane can see the justice system works.   That nothing is hidden.   Hearings like this lead people believe there is one system of justice for rich folks like Tim Duncan and one for the rest of us.   I work for the rest of us.   I represent folks who going to the courthouse and spending time even in court for even a simple uncontested divorce means time missed from work.   Unpaid time missed from work.   Believe me, I wish I could get the judges to have hearings in off hours so my clients don't have to miss work.  But it's not going to happen.   First, Judges deserve their lunch hours too and shouldn't miss it just because someone wants a divorce.   Second, because the judges are at the courthouse, we go to them, they don't come to us.

Now, Tim and the former Mrs. Duncan are to be commended.   They apparently went about getting divorced with minimum fanfare and fuss.   They apparently reached an agreement and the divorce hearing today was uncontested.   This is great.   More people should do this.   Fighting over every little thing doesn't save the marriage, it just makes the end of it that much harder on everyone and means the animosity will linger longer.   Agree where you can.   Be reasonable at all times.   The sooner you reach a settlement (without being a doormat, of course) the sooner you can move on with your life.