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Pressure to Donate from my Lawyer

Dear Robin:

OK first let me say I love your blog to the moon and back.  I found it last week and I’ve spent all my free time reading back to your first post. You are a genius, seriously.  You need a TV show or something.

I went through a contentious divorce a few years ago and I made some pretty big mistakes while I was going through it.  I can tell you what they were but I don’t want you to post that part, ok?  I did some things that were really shitty and possibly illegal.

I hired a “DICK” as you say, and my lawyer instructed me to do these things.  

That’s not my problem, though.  My problem is my former lawyer is obsessed with our local social scene and appearing to be a charitable person.  She has put an enormous amount of pressure on me since I hired her to donate to her pet projects.

I’m sure you can imagine the conundrum or what feels like implied inappropriate pressure to donate.  This woman knows all my secrets and the last time I hesitated to donate she called me and was extremely rude and basically bullied me into making a donation.

I’m not extremely wealthy and I really resent this pressure but I am also afraid of what she will do if I stop contributing to her causes.  I know she technically can’t talk about my secrets but I think she will anyway.  I think that because she talked about former clients to me in some of our meetings.

I like it when you give people scripts.  Any ideas for me?  Keep up the writing; it’s so great!

Ashamed

Dear Ashamed:

Since you went back in time and read all my work, I assume you saw this one: Portland is a Small Town.

That was very fun to write.  It’s long, but a good read, so if any of you missed it, have a click!

Ashamed, the reason I bring up that blog is to refer you to the comment I made to the tall and handsome lawyer with amazing nose-holding talents when it comes to some of his clients:

Don’t forget: If you fuck a dog, you’re going to wake up with fleas.

You fucked a dog, my friend.  The pressure to donate is your flea infestation.  

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Luckily for you I am the advice equivalent of Trifexis® and I’m here to help.This will be a two-part blog because my advice to you has dual components:

  1. Take responsibility for what you did in the past; and
  2. Take control of your relationship with your former lawyer.

I believe that you are ashamed of your actions during your divorce and that the shame you feel allows your lawyer to manipulate you into doing what she demands, even years after your case ended.  Until you free yourself of this shame she will always have power over you.

We had quite the email exchange, didn’t we?  I wish I could say I’m surprised at some of the shit you and your lawyer pulled but I’m not.  I’ve come to believe I have seen it all.

You asked to keep the details out but finally gave me permission to include this:

You instigated a fight with your husband to provoke him into a physical altercation and then you lied to the police about it.  This enabled you to get him out of the family home and severely limited his parenting time with his kids for over a year.

That makes me sick.  I’m not surprised you are both ashamed of yourself and easily manipulated by your partner in crime who knows all your secrets.  I’ve touched on this subject before, as you probably know: False Allegations.

Forgiveness

I am not a religious person but I do believe in the power of forgiveness and atonement.  You cannot have the first without the second.  

It is time to confess what you did, ask for forgiveness, and only then will you leave this shame in the past where it belongs.

Your last email to me indicated your relationship with your ex-husband is better now than it has been in years and that soon your youngest will leave for college and there won’t be much reason to communicate with his dad any longer.

That’s not quite true, because even as your kids become adults you and your ex will still be thrown together at family occasions.  If you want those to be as happy and stress-free as possible for everyone, do as I say.

The Tough Conversation 

Invite your ex to your home by telling him there is something important you’d like to discuss with him.  Usually I suggest wine for these conversations but this may be a vodka talk.  I’ll leave that up to you.

Prior to your meeting, compile a written list of all the shady things you did during your divorce.  As hard as it will be to make that list complete, don’t leave anything out.

Sit down and say the following:

“I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about everything that transpired during our divorce and I don’t think I can live with the guilt any longer.  I need to tell you what I did so I can ask for your forgiveness and in turn begin the process of forgiving myself.”

Now you read him the list of transgressions and you do not make any excuses for your behavior.  

Specifically, you do not blame your DICK for what happened.  You were the client and you made the final call on that bullshit so while your lawyer may be an unethical monster with no moral compass, you did not have to follow her advice.

“Robin DesCamp says that in order to make a proper apology, one must do three things:

  • Admit and assume personal responsibility for what happened
  • Ask for forgiveness 
  • Ask how to make things right.

“I take full responsibility for everything that happened.  To this day I feel great shame about my behavior and I hope you can forgive me for what I did.  If there is anything I can do to rectify what I’ve done, please tell me.

“What’s that?  You want me to swallow that handy vial of poison in your hand?  Look, I want to make things right but that’s a bridge too far.

“You want me to admit what I did to our kids and our friends so you can repair your reputation?  OK.  I will do that.”

Ashamed, people do some crazy things during difficult times, especially divorce. It is up to the lawyers to talk their clients off the edge, not push them over.  For that reason I suggest you write a letter to your state bar association and describe what you told me in our emails.

As I told you when you first contacted me, do not divulge the name of your lawyer to me.  A quick reading of the rules tells me I could be mandated to report her activities to the bar.  I have spent more than enough time dealing with the bar association lately, thank you very much.

My hope is your ex will forgive you and you can move on to a better relationship with him and more importantly, with yourself.  Shame is a horrible burden to carry.  It’s lucky for your lawyer she lacks that particular human characteristic or it would have ground her into dust years ago.

I believe my words tomorrow will be more impactful if you have your ex-husband’s forgiveness, but regardless you should follow it anyway.

Tune in then when I give you some practical advice on how to disengage and avoid money-grubbing from your sleazy former lawyer.

Update! Readers, here is the link to the conclusion:

Pressure to Donate Chapter Two

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 (Shameful bear feels shameful.)

 

This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. NYC

    I am sure that is hard to hear, but great advice. I think the kids need to be the first ones told that their father did not hurt their mother physically. Retracting the lie is going to be very tough because once you set the record straight, your friends (whom I assume believed you and blamed him) are going to have to change the way they have viewed him for years! That is very hard to switch off all of a sudden. And how much shame she must have felt every time the alleged abuse was mentioned!! In court, by her family and friends! Again, great advice. She’ll probably feel like she got a 600 pound gorilla off her back once she confesses.

    Ok, moving on. Have you heard anything back on the bar response you wrote? From the Bar? From the Complainer? From the judge? What happens next?

    Keep up the good work. You have a lot of support out here for everything you are doing!

    1. Robin DesCamp

      Thank you for your comment. Be sure to read the rest of the blog tomorrow!

      As for the bar complaint, these things take time. I have not heard back from them nor have I heard anything from anyone involved in the matter about my response. I still receive daily requests for a copy which is fun. I’m thinking this would be a great side business but unfortunately, most lawyers would probably not want their bar complaint responses written in my unusual and irreverent style.

      What happens next in MY OPINION AND SUPPOSITION: the bar sends my response to Complainant and Complainant will send it to her lawyers (who already have a copy). She will then ask her massive team to ghostwrite her response to my response and they will do so, probably billing her once again for the pleasure of trying to make Robin go away and be quiet. At that point I will be entitled to respond to her response to my response and on and on it will go, until the bar has had enough of side-splitting laughter and they make a decision whether to dismiss the complaint or forward it to the disciplinary committee.

      If it is forwarded to the disciplinary committee the process continues as I will fight against discipline because it would be an outrageous result. When and if they do decide to discipline me, they can either issue a public reprimand, suspend me, or move to disbar me. I suppose they could also attempt to put me on a “Diversion Agreement” in which I promise for 18 months not to write anything that might hurt anyone’s feelings or force them to face the truth about how awful they are.

      Update: the bar just called and told me they are considering a new form of punishment and I am on notice they are considering it for me: spanking. I am told I will be placed in stocks which will be centered in Pioneer Square (Portland’s Living Room!) and spanked by Complainant with a Sears Roebuck catalogue from 1975. An unusual punishment, to be sure, but the publicity possibilities are delicious!

  2. PDXATTY

    Good blog today and I look forward to reading more tomorrow. I still think you should post that bar complaint response here, though. I am one of the people you sent it to and I still re-read it all the time when I need a laugh. You are hoarding the written equivalent of a major anti-depressant, woman! Share it with the entire world!

    1. Robin DesCamp

      If I get another dozen of these comments I may just throw it up on the blog but I really don’t want to give her the satisfaction. I suppose it depends upon what happens next so it’s possible I may change my mind. Thanks for the compliment on today’s blog and the bar response. You made my day!

  3. Loving Dad

    I commented on a blog of yours last week about the same f-ing issue. Here’s what I wrote:

    “I will never forgive my ex-wfe for hiring that monster and fighting to keep me away from my children. Never. In a moment of detente and I think after some wine a few months ago she confessed to me her lawyer suggested she allege I was abusive in order to gain leverage in our negotiations. I think she finally realized she had gone too far and the situation was out of control and that’s when she made serious concessions toward settlement, but not a moment sooner.”

    I guess after reading this I should be grateful my wife wasn’t as much of a pushover as this woman was, but still it’s disgusting and I’m not sure I can forgive her as you suggested.

    1. Robin DesCamp

      Well, she hasn’t asked for your forgiveness so I can understand why you aren’t willing to extend it. However, if she does I encourage you to consider letting this go. I have spoken with countless men and women all over the country who have told me their spouse took their lawyer’s advice and did all sorts of terrible things during their divorce. I’ve also talked to a lot of people who have said they or their spouse rejected such advice. I’m glad your wife could see what a monster she had hired. If and when she asks you to forgive her (perhaps send her this blog) at least try. Keep me posted!

  4. West Hills Alum

    My lawyer pressured me relentlessly to give to their non-profit for years and I felt the same way as the letter-writer. I chided myself for being paranoid at the time (I later avoided her calls) but there did seem to be an implicit threat hanging over the demands to contribute. As it turns out one of the board members is about to go on trial for bank fraud and others have been exposed for dubious ethics. Come to think of it, I never heard of that non-profit doing a damn thing worth noting. Can I get my money back? I’m not joking. Can I?

    1. Robin DesCamp

      Bank fraud, you say? Sounds like a peach. I’ve noticed that sleazier people tend to stick together so I guess that’s not surprising. As for your question, I don’t know the answer and I won’t research the issue unless you submit this to me as a blog questions. It’s a really good one so please do!

      1. West Hills Alum

        Whoops I’m not sure why I thought he was going to trial I must have mixed him up with someone else! I just googled and apparently he settled with the prosecution and pled guilty but I don’t know what sentence he received.

        1. Robin DesCamp

          So do you want to submit this as a question for the blog?

Comments are closed.