Published on:

655 Post 06-27-13 Third Department June.pngThis is an appeal from yet another equitable distribution matter. Do not be surprised that it results in a reversal on appeal. Again, I cannot reiterate this enough: ALWAYS file a notice of appeal from decisions and orders pertaining to equitable distribution as you stand a decent chance of winning SOMETHING on appeal.
Continue reading →

Published on:

654 Post 06-27-13 Third Department June.pngFull disclosure on this one: I was engaged in prior, highly-contested litigation with appellant’s counsel in family court, so I know him to be a fierce litigator, who takes no crap. And while I greatly disagreed with him in that prior litigation, I most fervently agree with him in this appeal and I am personally sorry that he did not win on appeal, as I feel he should have. This decision by the Third Department is disappointing insofar as it is a half-measure. But beware the full-measure that is sure to come the next time!
Continue reading →

Published on:

653 Post 06-27-13 Third Department June.pngThis one is a bit odd, mostly in terms of what is hiding in plain sight, which I will revisit at the end of this blog post. Also, fathers, if you want to retain joint legal custody of your children, it’s probably best NOT to call the mother of your children a “fucking crack whore” in front of the children. Just sayin’. Judges tend not to like this sort of thing.
Continue reading →

Published on:

652 Post 06-27-13 Third Department June.pngAh, equitable distribution. Thy name is … APPEAL! Also, upon noting that the renowned appellate attorney, Cynthia Feathers, Esq., represented the appellant on appeal, I presumed that there would be a reversal. I was not disappointed.
Continue reading →

Published on:

651 Post 06-20-13 Third Department June.pngSometimes, as you slog, glassy-eyed, through these decisions, you stumble upon a true gem. And, in fact, it is in finding these gems that the long slog proves its worth. This little gem asks the eternal question: what is more important, law or justice? The majority finds for justice, through a tortured interpretation of the law, oblivious to decades’-old precedent; the dissent finds for law, through a blinkered interpretation of the law, oblivious to the spirit of the law. Both are right – for the wrong reasons: one ignores the law while the other ignores justice. And because two justices of the Third Department are in dissent, this eternal battle between law and justice can now rage in the Court of Appeals.
Continue reading →

Published on:

650 Post 06-20-13 Third Department June.pngHere is a case where the Court and the District Attorney’s office bent over backwards to help a defendant who was his own worst enemy. Of course, the defendant snatched defeat from the jaws of victory by blowing an incredible deal and paying for it the hard way with years in prison.
Continue reading →

Published on:

649 Post 06-13-13 Third Department June.pngIt is always amazing to me how money affects the human condition. Invariably, a vast surplus of money can do nothing but warp one’s perceptions, especially when it comes to morality. Only with considerable sums of money would a person consider doing things that one would otherwise probably never consider doing – as this case makes quite clear.

This case is also but one more example of the truism that it never hurts to appeal a trial court’s findings of fact and conclusions of law as to matters pertaining to equitable distribution in an action for divorce.
Continue reading →

Published on:

648 Post 06-13-13 Third Department June.pngAs I read this decision, I had to wonder whether or not the defendant remains married to her husband as I doubt very much that this case would have ever seen the light of day but for the extraordinarily ill-advised actions of her husband. Frankly, it seems to me that the defendant’s husband wanted to cause her arrest, given his bizarre actions. I suspect that most people who had a spouse act as the defendant’s spouse did in this case, would be retaining an attorney to divorce the bastard upon being released from jail.
Continue reading →