Divorce & Family law encompasses a range of topics and issues. Divorce (duh!), child custody, visitation & support, relocation of a child, spousal support (alimony), property division (community property partition), reimbursement claims within a property division, grandparent custody & visitation, third party or other relative custody & visitation, and, yes, at times, “Who gets the dog?”
Areas of Divorce & Family Law Practice:
- Child Custody
- Child Visitation
- Child Support
- Spousal Support (Alimony)
- Community Property
- Grandparent Custody
- Grandparent Visitation
I take my somewhat sizable litigation* experience gleaned from criminal prosecutions, injury and death claim litigation, family law litigation, criminal defense, and, what I’ve learned from handling between 10,000 and 12,000 family law cases through the years, as a lawyer and as a family court judge, and blend that with my philosophy of keeping a client OUT OF contested litigation if at all possible. Trial = expense+risk-risk-risk. I try to resolve each and every family law case, if at all possible, outside of the courtroom.
*Trials, in the courtroom=expense, risks, unknowns; judge decides all issues.
I also use my experience as a certified advanced family law mediator, and, my eight years of experience as a full time family court judge in a jurisdiction of 225,000 folks, where I considered myself a “mediator in a baggy black shirt”, to try to get cases resolved.
I don’t do or put up with “drama”. I ignore, laugh off, and play to my client’s advantage with the presiding judge, obnoxious, loud, rude, insulting, acerbic lawyers on the other side.
If litigation is unavoidable, remember, the burden of proof in most family law matters is a “preponderance of the evidence”, that is, on the “scales of justice”, as perceived by the presiding baggy black shirt, one grain of sand more on your side of the scales than the opposition = you win. In a few matters “clear and convincing evidence” is required, a higher standard than “mere preponderance” but WAY less the standard of “beyond a reasonable doubt” in all criminal cases.
I’ve been unfortunate enough to be called upon to prosecute 23 murder cases in my prosecution days. Never lost one. Met the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard. In my 60 or so felony criminal prosecutions undertaken through the years, I had one “not guilty” verdict…that’ll teach me to try a case for a senior assistant D.A., at his request, on short notice…at the end of the case, I would have voted “not guilty”!
My point, is, if I have to try a case, I prepare each and every one like it is a criminal prosecution. Just as I’ve done in the civil jury cases I’ve handled, the result being that I’ve been fortunate to have never lost one. ALL family law matter are presented to a judge only, never a jury.
And, you get your best compromise/consent agreement resolutions by preparing thoroughly, i.e., coming to the battlefield with all your weapons and ready to use them…when both sides see what the other side has got, both are motivated to seriously try to resolve the matter without the risks of battle.
I’ve always likened litigation, from where the client sits, to being a patient in a brain surgery procedure where you are semi-conscious…you can hear, you can see, but you cannot talk! But, this is happening at the top of a tall building, during an earthquake, while a hurricane is hitting…for months or years. That’s the reality of litigation if you are in the client’s chair. I try to keep my clients out of it if at all possible.
Please review my credentials and experience in Family Law, certified by the Louisiana Supreme Court Lawyer Advertising Committee as accurate, shown in various other areas of my website.