By: Mike Gora
Q Please explain to me just what divorce lawyers do.
A: The last thing that I did today was help a dad who has most of the overnights with his two year old with potty training. He is a great dad, but has as little experience with potty training as any first time parent.
Luckily, a week ago another client, a woman, e-mailed me a specific schedule recommended for her child by a child psychologist. So, after taking any identifying language from her e-mail I printed out the potty instructions and gave them to my client, who was delighted.
Earlier in the day I spent a half hour on the phone trying to convince a lady whose husband had managed to steal her inheritance from her uncle as he was on his deathbed to stay with the lawyer that she had already hired, as he was a good lawyer and good guy. She had a difficult case, and really not enough money to complete the case that she needed to complete.
I’m in the middle of an attempt to collect fees against a former client through legal proceedings. When our trial was over she kissed my partner and I on our respective cheeks for doing a great job, but then later told a judge that we were bums and should not have gotten paid at all, even though we won the case.
The judge disagreed and awarded us the fees. Needless to say we will probably get the money but no apology, and no referrals from her country club friends.
In many cases we are the psychologist without portfolio and the accountant with no degree when the case is too small for the services of a forensic accountant. Thank God for the software developed by an Orlando divorce lawyer which does the adding, subtracting and the tax numbers.
Clients cry on our shoulders, threaten us with Bar grievances (please check my record on The Florida Bar Website), walk into our offices wanting their new boy friend or girl friend to sit in on our consultation (which we cannot do) and call and e-mail us at all hours and days, and expect 24-7 service.
Our clients are a mixture of the society and every crazy situation imaginable crosses our desks every day. We are obligated to take your cases, if you can pay for it, and then complete them as best possible. In each matter, the other side comes with his or her expectations and demands and most often neither believes that they have received all they were entitled to at the end of the day.
The economy during the last five years has not helped. Who knew that there was such a thing as a “short sale”? Who knew that in South Florida ones house might become worth less than the price of paying off their mortgage? Why can’t two guys get married in Florida, they could in New York? Can the two guys divorce here? No.
The truth is we do anything in pursuit of your rights under the Florida statutes that we can do for you as long as we both stay within the law. Yes, we charge for the services and expect to be paid and, no, we do not guarantee any results.
If it was not for the laws that we use to obtain our results you guys and gals would have no way to adjust your marital grievances with one another and might take to sarcasm or pistols to remedy your problems. Take my word, you are not clever enough to kill with your words and you are not a good shot.
Over 90 percent of all cases filed are completed without a trial, so it is likely that no judge will ever rule on your case. We lawyers are your best chance to receive justice and fairness through the legal system.
Michael H. Gora has been certified by the Board of Specialization of The Florida Bar as a specialist in family and matrimonial law, and is a partner with Shapiro Blasi Wasserman & Gora P.A. in Boca Raton. Mr. Gora may be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.