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Divorce,l.a. Style

April 17, 1988

Lawyers such as Colman-Schwimmer often, through their legal games, provoke an angry, knock-down, drag-out fight that leaves their clients permanently wounded. A friend of mine who recently tried to represent himself in his own divorce case said, "Things didn't get ugly until her lawyer came in." Colman-Schwimmer's crude comment is proof of this practice: "Tootsies, we've just won our first round."

What contributes to an angry "barroom brawl" atmosphere in divorce court? Underhanded maneuvers by crafty lawyers who are looking to line their pockets. In Colman-Schwimmer's own words: "No, no, no. Forget about being forthright with him. Don't tell him what you're doing." In other words, "Do as I do. Sneak around and stab him/her in the back!" Indeed, this is what many lawyers do, and their clients have the battle wounds to prove it.

In the arena of divorce, these "family" lawyers are the war criminals. They have pitted people against each other, hoping their client can finish the other one off. They, not the clients, should be on trial.

BETH TARBELL

Brea

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