- Recognizing that you can't break the computer by trying new things and experimenting;
- Knowing where to find the resources to figure out how to do things you have never done before;
- Being intuitive enough to quickly pick up new skills; and
- Getting excited about new tricks that you learn (whether on your own or from others).
Tuesday, June 17, 2014
Sunday, June 8, 2014
I have been working with Lisa McNeil at the Wisconsin Wellness Clinic for a couple of months now and she has been very helpful to me. I also enjoy her blog posts. Today’s post especially hit home with me and is something that I think can be applied to many different areas of our lives. I’ll let you read about it here.
Wednesday, June 4, 2014
We welcome a new employee on Monday. I look forward to working with her. I am optimistic that she will become a part of a team that will do great things.
Saturday, March 15, 2014
I hope having a new attorney on board won't take away from me the fun and interesting things I do. Oh the cool projects I had this past week....
Thursday, February 20, 2014
On another note, I won't say I am not guilty of this but I have tried to be more conscious of it in the recent years. Absolutely no good comes from gossiping about faults of former or current co-workers. I don't want to hear how awful my former colleagues were - I actually liked them. I also don't want to hear about the faults of my current colleagues (unless they are my employees) - these are people I need to work with.
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
They don't care if the husband is solely responsible for the back taxes; if they can't collect from the husband, they will go after they wife. They don't care if the mother is supposed to be able to claim the child as a dependent; if dad claims the child too, they will look at who provided more for the child (had the child in their care more of the time, spent more money on the care of the child, etc.).
For this reason, it is absolutely critical that you include language in the MSA that can be enforced by the Court should the IRS or state Department of Revenue (or any third party) try to collect from the other party. Some options I have seen include a hold open on maintenance for the purpose of enforcing the obligations of either party or the ability to ask the Court for an increase (or decrease in the case of the payee failing to meet his or her obligations) in maintenance to cover same.
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
One, of many things, I took from the presentation was the use, or preferably non-use, of the phrase, "if I were you, I would..." This phrases loses sight of the very important fact that I'm NOT you. We are all different and would respond differently to any situation.
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Our law firm seems to take on more and more collaborative divorces all the time and although this process is not for every divorce, when it works, it really works.
Let me start by summarizing how collaborative divorces work in our area. Both parties enter into a Stipulation stating that they will approach this collaboratively. They agree not to use traditional trial tools like formal discovery and instead work openly with each other to reach resolution. They seek the assistance of financial advisers to settle financial issues and the assistance of coaches and a child specialist to settle issues related to custody and placement.
They agree that if the divorce becomes contested in Court they will seek new counsel so that discussions they had during the collaborative process stay a part of that process and aren't used against them at a contested hearing.
Last week, I had the opportunity to sit in on an office conference between our client and the attorney. During that conference, they discussed in detail the discussions being had with the coaches and child specialist. What amazed me was the honesty, reflection, and focus on the goal of what is best for the parties' son. The comments she shared from the child specialist and both coaches showed a dedication to the process and helping two individuals work together to figure out what was best for their son. Clearly both parties' coaches and the child specialist are really good at what they do.
I'm not trying to say the divorce goes perfectly with this model or that it works with every case (trust me, it doesn't!). Any divorce involves two people very hurt by the actions of the other. It is a very emotional time. What this model does is allows for the parties to have a solid support system to help them through the process and help them come up with the best end results for a less than ideal situation.
I still remember an attorney saying to me weeks after I saw her in Court that she learned her lesson not to ask any questions of her client that she doesn't already know the answer to. I think the Court would have ruled in her client's favor if not for the answer to that one question she could have avoided asking.
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Recent politics has turned to bashing teachers and government workers in general. It has turned to making demands about a profession one can't fully understand until one is immersed in it. Recent politics have turned away from learning and towards results of meaningless assessments. It has taken away from teachers the ability to teach in a way that will enhance future generations.
When you display such a hatred against a profession, take away all their tools to truly do their job well, and eliminate fair compensation you are only left with those that can't find a job elsewhere or don't mind being a part of a system that is falling apart. Because the rest will find a new career. The talented and dedicated educators will move on to a career where there isn't interference with doing a job one can be proud of.
Is that what people want?
I fear that 20,40, or even 60 years from now, the few who can rise up without a decent education will really regret the politics happening now. And the rest will be too dumb to know the difference.
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Our firm is currently hiring a part-time Legal Assistant. Here is a link to the ad on monster.com. I haven't had a chance to carefully look at the stack of resumes on my desk but at first glance, I can't believe what people send out.
If you can't format a resume so that it is readable, how can I believe you will be able to format pleadings and Estate Planning documents correctly?
If there are glaring spelling and grammar mistakes on your resume and cover letter, what are the chances you will do well proofreading and composing letters?
If your cover letter is three sentences long, what does that say about your communication skills?
I remember the hours I have spent in the past drafting resumes and cover letters and completing online applications because I recognized that they had to be excellent, especially in this job market.
This reminds me of a time five or six years ago when in an online community a college graduate was having trouble finding a permanent full time job a couple of years after graduation. She posted her cover letter and resume on the forum asking for feedback. Her cover letter was two or three sentences long and her resume hard to read which to me really explained why she couldn't find a job. The part that really got me though was when people tried to give her any feedback she completely dismissed it all. It was only in the last year or so I heard she finally found something in the middle of no where out of state.
I'm rambling, I know. My point in all of this is that if you don't put the time and energy necessary into your job search, employers are not going to believe you will put the time and energy needed to get the job done well.
Thursday, June 6, 2013
Now I'm starting to get the same invites on LinkedIn. And as if the invites from those I don't really know weren't enough, I've had people on two occasions endorse me for a skill they have never seen me do. One such endorsement came from someone who I haven't seen in close to 10 years long before I had even acquired the skill she endorsed. With endorsements like this, how can anyone take any endorsements seriously. LinkedIn could be such a good tool if people used it as it was meant to be used.
Thursday, March 21, 2013
Anyone who has been through a divorce or works with a law firm that handles divorces knows how quickly attorneys’ fees add up. The cost of representation is beyond reach of probably a majority of those going through divorce. Some choose to go in debt to have representation. Others go it alone.
Now add to that thought the additional expense for cases that are highly contested. And most highly contested cases involve domestic violence.
A victim of domestic violence is at a disadvantage for many reasons.
S/He may be very traumatized from the violence which may have resulted in mental health issues. The trauma and/or mental health issues often make it very difficult in communicating with the attorney and may make it difficult to make efficient use of their time with the attorney. This results in a higher attorney bill because the attorney has to spend more time with him/her or results in the attorney have a lesser grasp of the case leading to a bad outcome for the individual.
This trauma and/or mental health issues also often result in him/her not presenting well to the court resulting in an unfavorable outcome.
Additionally, many victims of domestic violence were abused financially and so may have less or no access to marital money or may not be able to get credit because their spouse has significantly ruined their credit.
Private attorneys can’t take on all kinds of clients pro bono or they would never keep their doors open. And they can provide discounts on their rates to a certain point without affecting their ability to stay in business. And these cases are very time consuming.
So I don’t know that there is an answer to this problem. It’s just frustrating that representation usually becomes unaffordable to a victim of domestic violence. And it doesn’t help that funding for programs that provide free or low cost representation like Legal Action of Wisconsin is constantly being cut.
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
I imagine the topics of my posts may change some as I am not in the trenches of the domestic violence world (although I recognize domestic violence and family law overlap significantly) but we shall see.
In these last few days, I'm looking forward to enjoying my time now that I have found a job. I have been immersing myself in poetry much of today and look forward to writing some more of my own poetry over the next few days.
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
- 49% of batterers also physically abuse the children
- Batterers are 7 times more likely to physically abuse the children than a non-batterer
- Batterers are 6 times more likely to sexually abuse children than a non-batterer
How the batterer appears in court or when meeting with professionals
- Will deny/minimize allegations of domestic violence
- Make allegations that the mother has mental health problems, abuses alcohol or drugs, or is an unfit parent
- Will commonly appear as the friendly parent
- Skillfully dishonest and manipulative which professionals may not recognize
- Will usually outperform victim in psychological tests – there is no psych test that will show someone is a batterer
- Will not seem capable of the kind of cruelty or abuse being accused of
- Very good under observation
- Will appear very calm when meeting with professionals like an officer immediately following an incident – batterers are very controlled in their behaviors even though at times they may appear out of control – an example – when he destroys things, he avoids destroying his own belongings
- May not appear to be a good parent as the batterer typical undermines and interferes with her parenting
- Often do not perform well on psychological tests which are usually only about 70% accurate in evaluating mental health and usually do not relate the results to the individual’s ability to parent
- Typically not good witnesses
Impact of battering on children
- Batterer often causes divisions in the family affecting children’s relationships with their siblings and with their mother
- They learn by example the values and behaviors that lead to perpetration or victimization
- Separation increases the chances of children witnessing violence as it often occurs during exchanges
- Children are often used as weapons or tools to continue the abuse
Other comments by Lundy Bancroft
- Domestic violence is not a relationship problem, it is a battering problem.
- Our legal system sends victims mixed messages – if they stay with an abusive partner they are failing to protect the children; if they leave, the abusive partner is granted extensive unsupervised placement with the children leaving the victim unable to protect her children
- Children heal through repairing their connection to the non-abusive parent and their siblings. They also heal through increased safety and establishing loving, appropriate relationships with adults.
- The risk of a boy becoming a perpetrator is directly related to whether the boy grew up believing the violence was the non-abusive parent’s fault or whether the abusive parent had to take responsibility.
- Victims tend to give up financial orders (maintenance, child support, property division, etc.) in order to get custody and placement. This often backfires as most financial orders cannot be modified at a later date but custody and placement can be modified. With the lack of favorable financial orders, the victim doesn’t have the financial resources to fight it when the batterer keeps bringing them back to court to modify custody and placement.