January 28, 2018 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization
Many times we’ve stared aghast at the astonishing fees accumulated by lawyers in child custody cases. Just two weeks ago I reported on an Australian judge who excoriated lawyers for making custody and parenting time cases an excuse to protract litigation and increase fees beyond anything remotely necessary. He cited one case that saw a litigant pay $860,000 Australian.
The reason lawyers can get away with such outrageous behavior is that child custody cases are winner-take-all enterprises. One parent wins; one loses. They both know the situation going into the case and, egged on by lawyers who understand perfectly how well inter-spousal conflict can pay, fight tooth and nail to avoid being the one dubbed “visitor.”
John Murphy had an order from a Georgia family court giving him primary custody of his two children. His ex-wife wanted to modify that order and hired Atlanta lawyer Millard Farmer to represent her. Over the course of more than four years, Farmer scorched the earth. We know a few of the tactics he used because, after all was said and done, Murphy sued him under state racketeering laws. A federal jury recently returned a civil verdict in Murphy’s favor and awarded him $242,835 in damages. I AM SERIOUSLY THINKING ABOUT THIS…
The jury determined \that Farmer, as part of the racketeering enterprise, engaged in attempted theft by extortion, attempted bribery, intimidation of a court officer, influencing witnesses, interstate travel in aid of racketeering and interference with custody, according to the verdict…
Farmer’s litigation tactics amounted to “terroristic lawyering” designed to “exert as much financial pain and emotional pain” as possible over a custody modification petition –WHY? I CAN THINK OF MANY REASONS, NONE GOOD.
MY FATHER IS AN A-V RATED ATTORNEY. He always told me you can gauge the intellect of your opponent by their behavior and poor lawyers substitute bad behavior for skill. yep.
The jury verdict included findings that Farmer:
Attempted to bribe
Intimidated Baldwin’s court reporter by contacting her lawyer, saying he would dismiss the suit against her if she persuaded the judge to recuse retroactive to the custody ruling.
Tampered with witnesses and court-appointed personnel by making inflammatory accusations Threats to sue or complaints to their respective licensing or ethics boards.
Making false statements over interstate wires to the media.
ANNOYING YES, BUT PEOPLE LIKE THIS EXPOSE THEIR OWN POOR CHARACTER. GIVE THEM ENOUGH ROPE AND TRUST ME.
Tactics like those have no place in the conduct of any lawsuit. ATLEAST NOT IF YOU ARE AN ADULT PROFESSIONAL WITH NO OBVIOUS MENTAL ILLNESS. Sadly, they all too often show up in cases in which litigants rightly fear the worst – the loss of their children. Those parents have every reason to fear that because it happens as a matter of course. It shouldn’t. Reform of laws on custody and parenting time and the education of family court judges in the benefits of shared parenting to children would take most of the conflict out of divorce and child custody cases. GASLIGHTING IS HUGE WHERE THE PSYCHO PLAYS GOOD GUY AND DEFLECTS HIS TRUE SELF ON THE TARGET.
Of course the vast majority of family lawyers aren’t as despicable as Farmer seems to have been, but, when the system offers such rich rewards for bad behavior, no one is surprised when some take advantage. When we consider the all out mafia world of probate, forget fixing it. It’s like a corroded corrupted machine that isn’t fixable. You have to throw it out and start over.
Farmer abused the system. The main reason he was able to – is the apathy of those who knew what he was doing. As Long as it did not affect them, who cares? until it does.. Before you act, THINK THINK THINK!!!What made this RACKETEEERING? the lawyer was using the seemingly legitimate Court and Bar system to harasss opponents. I will repeat, every time someone sets a trap for me. I sit and giggle, waiting for their destruction. Proverbs 26:27. Go ahead and dig a pit because it will bury you, not me. If you don’t believe me, try. Oh, this will be fun. Every single time I have confessed this Scripture over dishonest situations where lawyers didn’t have the brains to win without cheating or taking aim at me, same exact result. They fall in and I shake my head because God isn’t a man that He should LIE!! Everything hidden shall be made known. BUY SOME POPCORN!!!!