November 08, 2005

When Do You Break It Off Inside Someone?

So yesterday, I'm in Court with a divorced couple and the hubby is waaaaaay behind in support and alimony. He gives us one excuse or another and my client has been buying it for two freakin' years. I've let her get away with it because this was an amicable divorce and I kinda like the guy in spite of his penchant for non-family activities. That's why I am so pissed at finding out recently from a friend of mine that knows this couple that hubby has been lying for two years and playing me and his ex for fools.

I hate that kinda shit.

So, I meet with him a few minutes early, ask the deputy to be on stand by because the hubby might be going to jail and I lay into him about what I had heard from this third party and that he's had more chances than he should have and that he's either paying up super fast or he can spend six months in lock-up. I work it out on paper and ask the judge for the "bad judge" speech to the deadbeat. The judge was all too happy to help out. Hell, she did such a good job, I thought I was about to go to jail.

Hubby's scare now, and the wife has some of her backbone back now knowing that hubby had played her and that the judge and I'll stand by her when she has to get tough. Afterwards, I got a nice e-mail from my client about how she admired my playing that delicate line between BBB (i.e. ball busting bitch) and respectful adversary.

I normally would reply to her, but I'm still wondering how I accomplished it. My best guess is I left my ego at home yesterday and just did the job my client needed me to do. I should have asked for jail time, and he would have gotten it. But what for? So my client and her kids don't get any money? So this guy, who's mostly an okay guy, goes to jail and has to watch his backside in the shower and loses his job? So I can feel better about trusting this SOB and getting hosed?

I'm playing a bluff and the judge was my willful partner in crime. I'm glad she is because honestly, she scares the hell out of me. I wouldn't want to be that guy next month if he hasn't paid my client something in the way of current and back support. He'll do time with no doubt. If he calls my bluff he'll do six months, if he doesn't, my client and her kids have a chance at a good holiday. I'm glad I reined in my ego yesterday.


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