Rambo Litigator: Part 2
Hey, remember the Rambo Litigator? The one that spends all of their time wasted in court flipping out about their client’s $0.12 decrease in salary, so they can get child support lowered by that much? The one that is an absolute misery to all clients, judges and attorneys involved?
You have ended up on the other side of the Rambo litigator. Well, crap. I REALLY hope you have a good lawyer: or at least a patient one. Because that screaming, yelling, go-for-the-win attorney just hit an extremely new low. Maybe they flat-out lied about something involving their client that completely destroys your (very valid) credibility. Maybe they were somehow able to sneak in an order you never agreed to. Maybe they told off a group of other attorneys in the most disrespectful way you’ve ever heard of (hey, Rambo: this is your career, you know. Good job.). Maybe they have gone to the utmost point of unprofessionalism and blatantly ignored the judge’s order for them to appear, which not only infuriated the judge, your own attorney and yourself, but drained your finances by paying $300 an hour to sit on an uncomfortable bench in the hall for an entire day while missing a full day of work.
So, what do you do? How in the world can you possibly handle this one? Your lawyer is so sick of it, so P.O.’d that he/she just walked out. (In this case, I suggest you do the same…) Your motion that was supposed to be heard in front of the judge today, your motion that might have ended your case (yeah, okay….), that could have given you more time with your children, that could have finally proven some point to the judge – it’s out the window.
Your attorney: … well, see you in eight weeks (guess what: your lawyer has a real life, too).
You: Extreme anger, frustration, confusion, tears… And then you calm down.
Listen to me now: You cannot and WILL not change this person, so don’t bother trying. Unfortunately the opposing party has decided to be THAT PERSON and hired Rambo to benefit themselves in any way possible while trying to wear you down until you give in.
So, have some common sense. Have someone slap some sense into you. Rambo and your ex want to play the game? You can play it too, and better, in fact. LEGALLY. Did you get the court order you wanted, that you should have immediately gotten? No. It sucks, right? I know. But do this the right way.
Cover yourself and watch your back. Follow the last court order (or the newest BS one you never agreed to) according to every detail written. Follow the rules (wait a second, there are rules in Family Court?) and be patient. Unless there is a vital, true emergency or you’d like to spend your entire holiday bonus forcing your lawyer to drag Rambo back to court in two days, you need to accept the fact that there is absolutely nothing you can do but wait until your next court date.
In the meantime: Do some thinking, do some reflecting, do some research. Okay, okay—thinking = Rambo is SUCH an @&$*#!^. Reflecting = I didn’t think I could despise my ex any more than I already do. Research = BUT I HAVE AN ENTIRE BINDER ALREADY!!!
I know these are the things you’re probably thinking, but that’s not what I mean. If you have a case with some pretty serious matters at hand, you need to do some thinking: which of these matters mean the most to you? Because I’m telling you right now, you’ll never get every little thing you want, especially with Rambo running the show. Pick your battles; it’s not worth the court or your attorney’s time, nor your own sanity. Think about all this and choose what you’re really going to fight for.
I know you despise your ex but that’s nothing new. Your ex is a complete jerk and got right on the Rambo bandwagon—you can’t change that either. Reflect on yourself (keep your sanity) and realize Rambo is SO not worth your time or energy thinking about him/her.
I don’t mean research as in putting every document you own into a neatly organized binder that the judge is TOTALLY going to read and/or believe every word of. Research past cases like this. Look into this attorney. (I know this is also part of your lawyer’s job, but they really don’t want to do it, and you can save yourself some money.) Use all the public resources available to you. You can pull copies of most documents right from the public portal in the courthouse; just make sure you’re nice to the clerks. Get an advocate if you are a victim of domestic violence. They can provide even more resources to you. If you have children involved, you may be able to get CASA or the Office of the Child Advocate involved. (There are a million other resources available as well: to be continued.) No matter what you do or what happens, do not give Rambo ANY reason to put in a motion for contempt or file anything else against you. You play nice! Be the bigger person—and play this one SMART. Don’t give up; don’t let them wear you down. Pull yourself together, research, talk to your attorney in a couple of weeks, and be strategic. Rambo might enjoy acting like this on a daily basis, but you, my friend, can do much better.