Friday Feedback: Now We’re Cooking!

Welcome to Friday Feedback, our weekly endoscopy examining the digestive tract of this blog with the long, flexible tube of reader critique.  I’ll try not to gag; will you do the same?

I received a lot of heat over my response to Is My Marriage Dead or In a Coma? but this is my personal favorite:

Woman on husband #2 giving advice to woman married with two young children that her marriage is dead.  The Christian conservatives say gays are destroying the sanctity of marriage but you are a far bigger threat to the institution than the homosexual agenda.  The blood of this family is on your hands if they get divorced.

This person wrote me from a burner email account so I don’t have a name – let’s just call him or her “Pat.”

Pat, I am not on husband #2, at least not at the moment.  I am instead writing my blog, as I try to do everyday.  

I hope to be on him later as Mr. Patience and Understanding is taking today off to golf with me and you never know what can happen in that 8th tee box restroom!  If you like I’ll send you an update and let you know how that went.

What exactly is “the homosexual agenda?”  I’m not familiar with that.  Readers, can you chime in and let me know by leaving a comment?  Is it to be happy?  Have families and rights associated therewith?  To make sure we all wear fabulous shoes and decorate our mid-century homes in post-modern fashion?  Do tell.

As for blood being on my hands, I’ll accept the charge against me if Lost in Portland misunderstands my advice to separate and divorce if further counseling is not helpful and thinks what I really meant was “chop up your man-child husband with an axe and store him in your woodshed.”

Thank you for your patronage.  Now don’t you have a Tea Party rally to go to?

More important than Pat’s feedback was the email I received from our protagonist, Lost in Portland:

Robin,

I truly appreciate your advice and I’m glad I reached out to you. Obviously there is a lot I need to think about, and I have two very good reasons to try to get my marriage off life-support!  In the meantime, having the Ex around isn’t good because I can always ‘idealize’ that relationship, leaving me to loathe Hubs.

Thank you so much!

I love getting feedback from my letter writers and I’m glad I could help you!  

In return, can you do me a solid and try to make “CFP” (Cock From the Past) a thing?  I’d like this acronym to become part of the hip vernacular so be sure to use it as often as you can.  The same goes for all you readers.  “PFP” (Pussy From the Past”) should also become popular so let’s all work together on this, shall we?

Finally today, I have some feedback from a woman I reached out to via a Facebook message.  

As you all know, I am currently finishing my book: How to Get Divorced Without Losing Your Kids, Your Money and Your Mind: a Holistic and Practical Guide to Marital Dissolution and Family Reorganization.

One aspect of my book involves researching several Oregon lawyers, including reviewing their disciplinary files kept by the Oregon State Bar.  From those files I get names of people who were dissatisfied with their representation (to say the least) or whose cases ended up generating ethical violations.

ALLEGEDLY.

Herewith you have a partial portion of one Portland attorney’s disciplinary record.

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I say partial because the Bar has been giving it to me in dribs and drabs and doesn’t seem to want me to view the whole thing.  More on that in the book.

The pile of paper above includes several hundred pages from one case – a case that was a comprehensive and utter shitshow and a perfect illustration of lawyers acting in their own best interests and not the best interests of their clients.

One would think with a case like that the former client may have some material for the book so I sent her the aforementioned message on Facebook, which read:

I am writing a book on divorce and currently reviewing some files concerning your case I obtained through disciplinary records at the Oregon State Bar. If you would be interested in speaking with me, please message me or email me at robindescamp@yahoo.com. Thank you. By the way, I’m a huge fan of your (redacted)!

I am redacting that information for now because I’m saving it for a chapter in the book titled: The Divorce Stockholm Syndrome: When Your Lawyer is Screwing You and You Think It Feels Good.”

Upon peering at her Facebook friend list, I was surprised to see her lawyer amongst her tribe.  Yeah, I should have done that before I sent the message.  I’m learning, give me time!

So, I followed up with this:

Please disregard my earlier message – I don’t think you’d be interested in this project. Thanks!

No harm, no foul, right?  Wrong.  She messaged me back!

Hmmm. Now I’m wondering.

And then I did the same.  Isn’t this fun?

LOL – sorry. I’m pretty sure you won’t be interested. Still love your (redacted), though!
Also I can’t stand people who use “LOL” and yet just did it myself. Please pardon me.

Now this is where it gets interesting.  She wouldn’t drop it, as you can see below:

I just didn’t know that someone I don’t know could look at my divorce file!

Wow.  The fact that this woman is ignorant of the public records status of her divorce is astounding.  It’s probably because her lawyer never, you know, explained that to her.

I didn’t want to be rude, but I thought someone should let this poor creature know that anyone can look at her file.  In other news, water is wet and divorce is expensive.

I’m looking at parts of your divorce file relating to the disciplinary charges asserted against your lawyer. I don’t have the whole file, although just FYI anyone can look at your divorce file unless it is sealed by the court. It’s public record. Sorry, I hope I didn’t upset you.

I’m writing a book to help people avoid being taken advantage of by the divorce process and the attorneys within it. Your case is a stunning one, frankly, but I peeked at your “friends” list and let’s just say I don’t think you’ll want to chat with me! Anyway, sorry to bother you.

See how I am gingerly trying to disengage?  

Now, thus far when I reach out to people whose names I find in these files, I have received two kinds of responses: either an enthusiastic “hell yes I want to contribute to your book!” (roughly 75% of the time) or “thanks for reaching out but I’m trying to put that in the past and move on.”

This response was different, and I enjoyed it so much I thought I’d share it with all of you.

Hi Robin. I looked into this a little further and found out that (redacted – for now) team represented your current husbands x-wife… Apparently she did a good job (as she does, and did for me). Sorry you’re holding onto being upset about that! It was more than a little disorienting to be approached in the way that you did (maybe you should reconsider before letting someone know that you have been digging around in their personal matters!)

Yes, you’ll see from my list of friends that I am a big fan of (redacted) and Everyone at the firm. She and her team have always done right by me and mine! I hope you will consider that there are always two sides to every story, and not go around trying to make good people look bad, since that usually comes back to just make you look bad! Yikes!! Best of luck out there. And may you find peace. -(redacted)

I’ll save most of my observations for the book, but needless to say I actually did laugh out loud when I read this.  

I can look beyond the excessive use of exclamation points.  I can even look beyond her bizarre and frankly paranoid accusation that I am “digging around” in her “personal matters,” although I do feel badly about making her disoriented.  I hope she’s OK now.

What I can’t get over is the use of the phrase “two sides to every story” without irony, especially since she seems to think my issue with this lawyer and firm is solely based upon Mr. Patience and Understanding’s divorce.  Let me assure you, it is not.  Again, not to be a tease, but more on that in the book.

My favorite part of this message, hands down, is the passive-aggressive phony concern for my well-being, as well as the assertion I am “trying to make good people look bad.”  Reputations are earned, darling, and this didn’t start with me.

It will end with me, however.  And you can take that to the bank, along with all that money you owe your creditors. Divorce is expensive, n’est pas?

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This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Jennifer

    I love the people who insinuate that you’re unqualified to give marital/divorce advice due to having been married and divorced before (with great success!). Do these people only trust auto mechanics who don’t own cars?

  2. Christi Dunham

    Hello Robin-

    My response to this is, Bravo! I would like to contribute to this book of yours. As you know, my divorce was a juicy one and bankrupted both parties. I think the part that most chaps my ass is that my attorney or should I say attorney’s profitted handsomely from my pain. But, there is one Portland attorney who was a genius at bleeding more and more money from me for 9 months while doing absolutely nothing other than paying her personal expenses at home and taking three trips for two to three weeks at a time to Black Butte, Palm Springs, the east coast, and I almost forgot, Burning Man.

    In retrospect, if I had been of sound mind and not a complete emotional train wreck, I would have fired her when my gut instinct told me that something was seriously wrong with this person. However, since this was the lowest point in my life and I was putting faith in another woman who assured me she was going to fight for me and knew what she was doing, I did not trust my gut instinct. I needed to believe in this person no matter how blantantly negligent and incompetant this practitioner of law was!

    You might ask, where am I going with this? I would now empasse on anyone who is going through this horrific ordeal that if your gut is telling you something is not right or seriously wrong, listen to your instincts!!! Just because you are going through the most horrific ordeal in your life, doesn’t mean you should ignore your inner voice… unless it is telling you to jump or run your ex over with your now used cluncker car since you lost your nice car to pay your attorney!

    When you are citing the law to your attorney and you have said to your attorney more than once that this doesn’t make any sense, it is time to get a second opinion or fire your attorney on the spot. Don’t wait until your attorney has milked you for thousands of dollars and after nine months has accomplished nothing and actually made your case worse. When your attorney is in Palm Springs asking for more money and fails to file a simple motion that should have been filed weeks prior to her departure that would have saved you $56,000 and 8 more months of litigation, there is a serious problem. It is time to open the lid and let the cat out of the bag!

    This attorney is still out practicing law and that is what blows my mind. I am so glad you are writing this book! I think it is time that the family court system have a moral and ethical enima. I think that when you retain an attorney, that you should require your attorney to bend over and recieve an enima from you, the client, upon signing the retainer so that you the client and attorney start on an even playing field! Your attorney should know what it feels like to be poked up the ass and cleaned out completely of all your shit.

    I am happy to share more and finally now have the strength and courage to come out and file a complaint to the Oregon Bar…. I only hope that now it isn’t too late. I was downtown Portland recently and saw her shingle hanging at yet another law firm. I felt like busting in there and screaming, “run for your life! Save your money and represent yourself you will have better luck because this attorney does not work from knowledge and experience but on luck alone…. that is if she is not out of town vacationing on your retainer!”

    I don’t know if anything I have said is worthwhile, but it sure felt good to finally speak the truth about something that has made me sick.

  3. Keith

    Robin,

    As usual, LMAO! In “the book” “How to Get Divorced Without Losing Your Kids, Your Money and Your Mind: a Holistic and Practical Guide to Marital Dissolution and Family Reorganization” , will you have a chapter on Pro Se litigation? its becoming more popular… I notice the forms from the courts reflecting this trend… thanks.

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