Wednesday, September 17, 2014
The Path of Least Resistance
Sometimes, you have to work with what you've got. Here in the Trenches, we also call that the path of least resistance. There's the client who insists that her husband has been receiving her insurance reimbursement checks. Her lawyer sends a letter to her husband's lawyer. And another letter. And yet a third. The answers to them all are in the negative. I'm sure her lawyer told her she was incorrect, multiple times, but I'm sure she insisted. Hence the letter, hoping that another negative response with documentary proof, will convince her. An annoyance to the other side, to be sure, but a small price to pay with an unreasonable client. Then, there's the opposing party who was really positive that the number of overnights were miscounted. He was also insistent that every dime he spent on the children was included in the child support guidelines. Most of what he wanted included in the guidelines was not appropriate under the rules. He prepared his own child support guidelines for the divorce hearing. I had mine, with none of those items included. I could have insisted on only using my guidelines. We would have had a long and contested hearing. At the end of the day, however, his guideline amount was not different enough from mine to make a difference. It would take two extra minutes to introduce his, and actually his insistence might help my client in the future. Plus, the hearing would go more smoothly. We used all of the guidelines. Finally, what about the person who didn't follow the rules and was not allowed to present evidence at a court hearing? They showed up on the day of trial and wanted to tell their story to the judge. The were angry and insistent. Their story wasn't going to make a difference, it wasn't going to change the outcome. It would, however, make them feel heard. The judge lets them tell the story. They calm down and the hearing concludes. Path of least resistance. Working with what you've got. Here in the Trenches.