Saturday, March 26, 2005

Another brutal day in court

Yesterday I faced the worst day of my child custody dispute. My wife brought in a parade of witnesses to badmouth me. Then I had to take the stand for a couple of hours and endure a brutal cross-examination from my wife's lawyer on how I supposedly endangered my kids.

One witness was Dr. Jason Camera who teaches chemistry at the local junior college. He told a story about how he supposedly rescued my kid at a Toys R Us store. He said that he found her in the bicycle section where she was in serious danger of being kidnapped. He claimed that she was missing, but admitted that he really didn't know whether she was missing or not. He had me paged and tried to make a big scene in the store. I was a couple of aisles over in the doll section. He complained that I did not thank him for finding my kid!

In fact, no child has ever been kidnapped in a Toys R Us store. There are literally millions of kids going in and out of all those stores every month, and a kidnapping has never happened. The kidnapping risk is extremely close to zero. It would be more reasonable to worry about being struck by lightning.

Being a chemistry professor, I figured that if he was going to testify about risk, then he ought to be willing to quantify that risk. But when I asked, he looked like a freshman who hadn't done his homework. The judge then spared him the humiliation, and said that he didn't have to answer.

I'll post more later about my testimony. It was torture. In the end, the judge did not find that I did anything wrong, but he was unwilling to make a decision either. We'll have to go back to court in a couple of months.

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