Friday, January 26, 2007

Attending nonbinding arbitration

My ex-wife and just attending a nonbinding arbitration session with a private lawyer in town. We told the judge that we would do that before the next status hearing.

The lawyer has quite a racket going. He does four mediation session a day, charging $525 for each. He doesn't have the pressure of appearing before a judge, writing legal briefs, or standing behind his legal judgments. He just sits in mediation sessions, and collects money.

His usual procedure is to make his clients first come to a initial session in which they pay him to give a half-hour lecture on how to behave during a mediation session. We skipped that.

I gave the lawyer this explanation of what we wanted:
This is a confidential settlement conference. We are attempting to resolve certain divorce issues out of court. To this end, we are asking Mediator to conduct non-binding arbitration. AngryMom will informally present facts and legal theories in support of certain claims, and AngryDad will argue in favor of his position. Mediator will attempt to give a legal opinion as to who is entitled to what under the law.
I was hoping that the lawyer would give us a convincing opinion that would make further litigation unnecessary. Unfortunately, I don't think that happened. He had his own opinions, including the opinion that our divorce case had not proceeded the way it ought to have proceeded. Well, yes, everything should have been settled a couple of years ago. Some of his explanations of divorce law were useful, but I am not sure all of it was correct. I will have to do some further research.

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