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Anatomy of a Disaster is Going on Hiatus

Dear Readers:

I am deeply appreciative of your support of the Anatomy of a Disaster Series.

Not only is this the most popular and widely-commented upon work I’ve done so far, it has convinced me that this particular style of writing is something I should do more of: the narrative true story with a personal touch and a healthy dose of laughter too.

In the time since the last post, I’ve had many people asking me (bugging the shit out of me, to tell you the truth) when the next post will be coming.

Here’s your answer:

Not soon.

What’s Going On?

When I began the series, I was something I then called “optimistic,” but which in hindsight is better described as “naive” or “stupid.”

I thought the case was over.

I thought I had my ending.

I thought people would do the right thing, mend themselves, move on, and forge new paths of cooperation, compromise, patience, and understanding.

I was, for only the twelfth time in my life, wrong.

(Mr. Patience and Understanding is reading these words and calling the Oregonian so they can report on this newsworthy admission by me)

As you may recall from an earlier part in the series, new litigation has been initiated by Samantha.  That litigation was begun after I started writing the series.  

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I suppose I should have seen it coming.

Regardless, now that the parties are to return to court yet again, I must take this series offline for now.  

Given the response to the work this pains me, but I care about the family and I do not believe justice will be served if this series continues during the pendency of the latest motion.

What Do You Mean, Robin?

My explanation takes us further in the series than we were in the last installment so I’ll summarize quickly:

I was present in the courtroom on the first day of what turned out to be a three-day fee petition hearing so I could continue to report on Samantha’s attorney’s disciplinary issues.  

Those issues are illustrated (but not in full – that comes later, my pretties!) by this document: 

Hook Diversion Agreement

After Samantha’s lawyer turned the majority of the hearing into a 3-day rant about your favorite blogger, I have decided:

I will not allow that to happen again.

What happens next in this case is too god-damned important to let the DICKs turn the proceedings into yet another circus replete with flying monkeys, smoke screens, and ridiculous distractions that take attention away from the real issues in this case and focus all the attention on me.

Yes, I love to joke that “It’s all about me!” but it isn’t.  This isn’t, anyway – most everything else is.  

This is about a family in crisis and a party who has somehow seen fit to blame me for years’ worth of trouble in her family because I wrote these (with pseudonyms, mind you):

ANATOMY OF A DISASTER

1. Cast of Characters

2. Sarah’s Story

3. Let’s Get Something Straight

4. The Box, the Lies, and the Unraveling

5. We Interrupt this Program for an Announcement!

6. The Vacation from Hell

7. Here We Go Again!

I don’t blame her as much as I blame her lawyers, for they will do anything to win and to silence critics.

Anything.

For me to continue writing about this case now, as it continues in what appears to be a never-ending litigation cycle, is giving Samantha’s lawyers fuel to claim somehow Sarah is working against reunification, poisoning her children, and that we are both out to get her.

For me to continue writing about this case now is to allow the DICKs to use me as a tool to further alienate the children from Samantha, because it will drag this mess out even longer.  Why would they do that?

Because if Samantha and Sarah find peace and work together toward reunification, there go tens of thousands of billable hours out the door.

The Bar Complaint

The bar complaint recently filed against me by Samantha (and in my opinion heavily ghost-written by her lawyers because she is very smart but the complaint was nonsensical, rambling, illogical, paranoid, and devoid of reason) alleges that I am using Sarah to promote my “agenda” and that she is using me to alienate her kids even further from their dad.

The bar complaint also alleges that Sarah’s former attorney was using me to “ruin” Samantha and keep her from her kids.  Lots of using going on!

I ask you all to go back, read what was written, and tell me: are those the words of someone who wants this family to remain fractured?

While you are in reading Robin re-runs mode, take a look at everything I’ve ever written on the subject of divorce.

  • Do I not constantly and consistently advocate for amicable divorce and post-dissolution relationships?
  • Do I not constantly and consistently advocate for equal parenting time, unless there is a very good reason not to award it?
  • Do I not constantly and consistently admonish people who can’t get along and give them very specific advice on how to rectify and rebuild broken relationships for the sake of the children and the parents themselves?

I have developed a reputation as an advocate for divorcing parties and their families.  I have written a book (coming soon, I promise!) that will teach people how they can divorce without losing their mind, their money, or their kids.

That firm?  The opposite is true.

The bar complaint also alleges I am a bigot against the LGBTQ community, which was extremely annoying to me because the opposite is true.

If you don’t believe me, read these:

Robin on LGBTQ issues:

I have been labeled a lot of different things in my life but nobody has ever accused me of being a fan or tool of parental alienation or of being a homophobic bigot.

Those charges are patently and objectively untrue, as is Samantha’s allegation in her bar complaint that I committed the very serious crime of extortion.

You will read all about it after I complete what is now about 20 pages of my response, sure to swell to at least 50.

Dotson v. DesCamp was good.

Complainant v. DesCamp is better.

Note my use of “Complainant” rather than Samantha’s name.  I will not be using it anywhere in my response to honor my commitment to keep this family anonymous.  

Of course, her filing of this complaint doesn’t exactly encourage anonymity, nor does her claim in an email to the Oregon State Bar that once her post-divorce litigation is over, she plans to sue me.

Nothing says, “I want my privacy!” like filing a bogus but public lawsuit, immediately dismissible on its face, because someone called you and your lawyers on your shit and let your ex-wife tell her version of this story.

Ask for the Day: This is Important:

I am asking all of you to be straight (ha!) with me:

Have I given you the impression I am a bigot or a person who wants family members to be alienated from one another?

PLEASE, I’m begging you, leave a comment with your opinion.  

I can take it if your thoughts on my work run contrary to mine, but I really need some feedback today, because honestly:

I’m pissed.

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This Post Has 44 Comments

  1. Isaac Laquedem

    Everything you have written about this family and others demonstrates your view that parents who love their children should settle their differences without either (a) spending their children’s college tuition to send their lawyers’ children to college instead, or (b) making the other spouse into the enemy, because the children will remember their parents’ anger when they grow up,

  2. Isaac Laquedem

    I should have answered the other part of your question, about homophobia and attitude toward LGBTQ people. Your attitude seems fine, especially when you’re calling out prominent law firms in the divorce field for their homophobia when they scoff at their own transgendered clients.

  3. Sam

    Robin,

    I’ve known you for decades and seen the great writing on your blog. You are smart, funny, irreverent, and committed to a cause. But in no way are you homophobic. What a lame blame game! Don’t buy into it.

  4. Ed Brayton

    These accusations are absurd. I am a longtime activist for LGBT equality and I have never seen the slightest indication that Robin is anything but a supporter of that goal. I consider her an ally, just as I am.

  5. Gwenda

    Wow. I have read your blogs for over a year. I appreciate your frank approach to sensitive topics and your ability to “call a spade a spade” versus trying to say, well we are all OK. In reading your blogs, you are one of the most equanimous people I know. I have seen nothing that indicates any animosity about transgendered or homosexual persons. I have seen you take on people not acting with consciousness towards their kids without respect to gender (past or present) or sexual preference. Keep fighting the fair fight Robin.

  6. David Bergman

    I have known Robin DesCamp for almost four years. She is one of the most tolerant, fair and honest people I know and her advice reflects a view unbiased to any one group. It is directed at individual actions and choices of a single person or a small group of people and is not pointed at any single category (other than the crooked Family Law industry). The allegations against Ms. DesCamp are being made against her by specific concerns in the Family Law industry that are smearing her good name only because she so effectively exposes their immoral and distasteful techniques that they use to increase profits while at the same time deepening their coffers. Ms. DesCamp is perfectly correct in her assessment of these pirates and it is they who are reprehensible for their thieving of ridiculous amounts of money using their shameful techniques in Family Law courts, causing unnecessary friction during an already difficult time for families. The accusers are the real bigots against family and fair treatment of all during the difficult process that is divorce.

  7. K

    Robin, Having only met you once I can say that you are not remotely what Samantha writes about you. None of her rantings are meant to help her family but only hurt her family. I wish you the best in your continued efforts to take on the DICKs and hope that we will see you again soon with your victory medal and cute new pair of AGLs. Fight the good fight.

  8. Nannette Cobb

    I’ve been enlightened reading your blog, and believe you are on the right side on this issue. Please continue to write and keep your many readers up to date. I’ll be reading or listening to your work wherever life takes you.

  9. T.D. Leavitt

    Hmmm….quite bizarre, Robin. The previous blogs I’ve read from you in no way suggest truth to accusations of homophobia. In fact, those same blogs suggest quite the opposite. I perceive you to be a strong supporter of equal rights and equal opportunities and equal pitfalls, regardless of age, race, religion, and sexual orientation. Accusations otherwise smell of manipulation, if not slander.

  10. C. Lawrence

    Robin is one of the most well respect people I know. She is respectful of both parts of any equation and certainly stands for what is right, always. She calls out all wrong when wrong is being done to another and I have never witnessed or read anything that would ever suggest she is nothing other than a strong equal rights supporter and would never discriminate against sexual orientation, religion, color or gender. She fights for what is right always.

  11. Rob Gude

    Robin, Is awesome and writes truthfully about family court situations. While we do not see eye to eye on everything she is fair in her writings. Losing Robin would be a great loss to the family court community and fair reporting on family court matters.

  12. Stephen

    Robin is a great person and IMO writes truthfully. Hope she’s around for a very long time!

  13. "Bulldog" Bill Feingold

    I host the morning Drive radio show in Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley. Robin has been a frequent guest and co-host–I along with my radio partner are openly Gay and Robin is not homophobic at all She is bright funny and open to all people.

  14. Keith Stone

    With this project, you’re walking through spiderwebs and getting bogged down with these bunny-hole accusations. My understanding is you are always trying to do “the right thing.” That’s hard to do when there are so many people doing just the opposite… I think you are dealing with “crabs in a bucket.” (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Crabs+in+a+Bucket) IMHO.

    NEVER GIVE UP. #grit

    Best,

    KS

  15. Philip Harris

    Robin has been my close friend for 15 years. The allegation that she is homophobic or in any way opposed to the rights, choices and preferences of LGBTQ persons is absurd. I think Robin’s approach to divorce is healthy, family oriented and promotes long term harmony for all the affected parties. Keep up the great work!

  16. Tamsen McCracken

    The only type of person I’ve ever seen Robin consistently rail against are divorcees who refuse to work and choose instead to live off of their ex-spouses for the rest of their lives. Other than that (which I happen to agree with) she is always even-minded, fair, certainly not homophobic, and funny. She has a passion for fixing the family law system and for calling out those who abuse the system to their gain, and every one else’s loss. She is a strong proponent of making a divorce as easy on the family, and children, as possible so that everyone can move on with their lives. Samantha, and Ms. Hook, are obviously not of the same mind and instead choose to destroy whatever possibility of healing there ever could have been, by continuing their BS. Why doesn’t Samantha instead investigate his/her own law firm, who apparently really does have problems with the LGBT community.

  17. Edwin

    It kinda sounds like they’re getting what they want…shutting you up. They own the system so they get what they want. It’s one big boys club and you’re not in it. It’s a tough nut to crack, but it’ll eventually happen.

  18. Debbie Leff-Kelapire

    The only time Robin has harsh words or thoughts for someone is when they are full of lies, false accusations, is hurtful to others, and preys off those when their marriages are ending (this describes the DICKS). Otherwise Robin is open and warm to people of all races, religions, sexual orientations, etc. I can vouch for this. There isn’t an ounce of homophobia in her being.

  19. Larraine Howell

    Robin, any ill willed or bigoted accusations against you are entirely fictional and utterly unmerited, you are always honest, open, funny and I have never seen you being a bigot and certainly not a homophobic! These accusations are slanderous to say the least, you are a brilliant and honest writer, every one of the blogs on Anatomy of a disaster have been both open, discreet and fully supportive of both sides, it is for those reasons that so many of us enjoy reading them for goodness sake. I support you 100% as I know you support so many others to the max!

  20. Sandra for me

    Please. You have never written a homophobic word in your life.

    Samantha’s accusations that your negative comments about her are motivated by her being transgender just go to solidify the impression she’s given us all that she is a raging narcissist: If you don’t approve of me or of everything I do, it MUST be because of my status–it couldn’t possibly be because I’ve done anything wrong.

    Looking forward to a time you can finish this series!

  21. Echinachea

    Homophobic? Give me a break! If anything, you are at the very opposite end of the spectrum, and in other areas of equality issues as well. If there is any “agenda” it is that of fairness and justice. I have to agree with all the comments I see above. It takes bravery to stand up for fairness when dealing with a notoriously corrupt law firm, and it makes me sad that being fearless and truthful has caused the evildoers to go to any extreme to silence your wisdom. Keep up the good work, but keep your eyes on the prize and don’t let the bastards grind you down😨

  22. Natasha

    Robin: Those who act out at others like the complainant here are often the ones most insecure and ashamed of their own position, in life, in love, in litigation. You are perhaps one of the MOST tolerant people I have ever met. If you need me to personally attest for you, just say the word.

  23. Krysta Kelley

    Seriously?!? Who could possible think you are homophobic from your blog posts?? You have never, repeat never posted anything in that realm…. I can say from personal experience that you are the opposite, and that you have expressed thoughts about a mutual “friend” of ours who is a little homophobic creep, thoughts that I agree with, that he is way out of line. I sincerely hope anyone who interprets your writing as homophobic will take a second look at your blog and realize they misinterpreted what they have read….!

  24. Melanie Viers

    Instead of taking a look at their bad behavior, the DICKs hide the evidence and then deflect, projecting their own bad behavior onto you. Destructive tactics of power and control, how fitting. Let’s throw a bag of shit at her and see what sticks. Not very well played. Anyone that knows you, knows exactly who you are and you are not a bigot. Truth is a jagged little pill not many people are willing to swallow, especially for those who have to accept ownership and responsibility for their behavior. “If you have to eat shit, best not to nibble. Bite, Chew, swallow and repeat. It goes quicker.” Robin, you are making waves in their world, exposing them for who they really are, otherwise they would not be attacking your character. Keep making those waves, they are scared for a reason. When my cat does not want to take a pill I firmly scruff the back of his neck, slightly tilt my hand to turn the head upwards in a way that renders the mouth open, shove the pill in the back of the throat then close his mouth shut, forcing him to swallow the pill. Happy scruffing, Robin!

  25. Tom

    Mr. PU here making a rare appearance as the person who knows Robin best to confirm that, whatever else anyone may ever think or say about her, a homophobic bigot she certainly is not. She is very much the opposite. It is possible that we have disagreed about one or two (or dozens) of things in the past 10 years (and I’ve even heard her admit she was wrong – oh, wait, that might have been a dream) but her entire body of work – whether or not one likes what she says or how she says it – is predicated on advocating for healthy family relationships based on principles of honesty, fairness, and equal rights and responsibilities for all adults. No excuses. No bullshit. Of this, I am quite certain.

    1. David

      Well said, sir.

  26. Samuel

    I have had the opportunity and pleasure of knowing Robin DesCamp on a personal and professional level. I’ve yet to be as impressed by anyone as I am Mrs. DesCamp. Not only have I never seen someone so passionate about helping others, and doing what’s right and ethical no matter the situation or those involved. She sheds light on aspects of divorce that usually go unnoticed but from what I’ve witnessed first hand, everyone’s best interest involved is always of the utmost importance to her be it the parents or the children if and when they are involved. To make all these claims about Robin, being a bigot or a homophobe proves one thing and one thing only. You obviously don’t know Robin DesCamp!

  27. Brian

    Jeez …..These people are thin skinned……You homophobic ……..lol. Robin has the best Blog to bring issues about showing that the people in MANY situations are not alone and provides logic to the issue at hand. And I read the blog ALOT.

    1. Brian

      Oh and by the way I was going to say

      As a DICK (guy) …..I jack-off (read) to your blogs ALOT….metaphors are lost on most people……….Beatles did it all the time……They did REALLY well.

  28. NB

    While I have not read every single article you’ve posted I can stay that I’ve read quite a number of them and have been rather pleasantly surprised with your stand towards equality and against stupidity. Its very rare (at least in my circles) to come across a woman who is FOR equal parenting and AGAINST ridiculous alimony payments.

    Those are just two immediate examples that come to mind. Keep fighting the good fight!

  29. June

    I recently came across a quote that describes Samantha perfectly: “When a narcissist cannot control you, they will instead try to control how others see you.”

    Unfortunately, the DICKS seem to be taking full advantage of this and fueling the fire. Both parties are despicable, disgusting & playing a very very dirty game with others lives. I hope they both get the karma they deserve.

    Good Luck Robin, the truth will prevail.

  30. Melanie

    Everything I have read from Anatony of a Disaster has been nothing but professional. I have really enjoyed reading your blog. I have known the family for 20+ years and can’t believe what Samantha is putting Sarah and their children through. I don’t know this person at all because the person I thought was Samantha would not do what she is doing to people she loves. If she thinks by dragging Sarah to court again is going to help her relationship with her children, she is sadly mistaken.

  31. Mary

    i find Robin’s blog to be humorous and insightful. What I don’t find is any indication of bigotry or any derogatory comments directed to the LBGTQ community. Keep on bloggin Robin (oh that rhymes) we need your voice.

  32. Patrick Juliano

    Labeling you as homophobic is beyond decency, and I wonder if there’s grounds for slander. I’ve only heard you support people of all sexual orientations.

    Guess they are getting desperate and trying to assassinate your character as a last ditch effort to silence you. It’s repugnant.

  33. Isaac Laquedem

    Also, you are (a) really, really funny, and (b) never critical of divorcing parents who put their children first.

  34. Sick of her shit

    Don’t let these baseless accusations get you down. I know you’re having fun writing your response to the bar complaint (20 pages already, looking at 50), but don’t give that bitch any more time to sit in the living room of your brain–wrap it up, share it with us, and go on to writing something more fun! Remember, all a narcissist wants is attention, and we’re all giving her exactly what she wants!!

  35. Hank

    Robin you are fair and square always. Don’t let a small minded insecure person attempt to define you. You are one of the most broad minded bloggers I read. Please don’t stop- you really change the way I interact with my family. You are the antithesis of a bigot, babe. Know that.

  36. Cliff

    Obviously Samantha did not create that complaint, we all know it was a creation of Cpt. Hook, who has probably had to answer up to making fun of Samantha behind her back. The DICKS are just reaching, trying to save their ugly faces. Pretty lame attempt though. All I have EVER seen on your Blog are people agreeing with you, and supporting you, even some of the other DICKS that don’t belong to the Queen and the Hook! Shameless fucking narcissistic losers. Keep it up Robin, I’m sure this story will be back up soon. I just can’t understand why Samantha is so blind and stupid that she can not see how these DICKS are bleeding her, and making the entire divorce process worse! What have they done FOR YOU Samantha?? You didn’t see or hear what I did when you were not around.

  37. Tammy

    A classic example of having no case so they trump up a charge to throw the attention. Terrible. Robin is hardly a homophobe. The only thing she has an intolerance for are entitlement minded parasitic leeches. (which I too share that opinion) She doesn’t gives a rat’s ass about their gender or their sexuality.

    Hope you can get back to business as usual soon.

  38. Michel Buhler

    Robin is the blog version of John Oliver writing about divorce and the industrial complex which supports lawyers at the expense of people trying to get through a hard time.

  39. Knows Way Too Much

    Robin, I don’t think you could wish for a better story line! The DICKS are discouraging a civil, adult conclusion to this never-ending litigation because their “Cash Cow” might leave them? If Sarah is reaching out to Samantha to try to bring compromise outside of court and Samantha is refusing, doesn’t this scream of improper representation?

    Samantha filed a motion complaining that Sarah is not abiding by the court order to force the kids to reunification therapy? From what I have heard, Sarah had already located a Samantha-vetted therapist to take over where the last one threw her hands up and said, “Reunification is NOT going to happen”!

    How is that not in alignment to Judge Allen’s Aspirational Parenting Plan? It seems like unless a the kids are forced to spend time with Samantha, she drags it back to court as Sarah not complying. I think this is ridiculous! What does Judge Allen say?

  40. Kristi

    Sorry I’m late to this party, but better late than never.
    There’s a lot I want to say and much is a repeat of what others have said. But here’s what makes me really angry about this person filing this complaint. When you don’t like what someone has said about your actions, throwing that into a victim blaming category to make yourself feel better is so sad.

    You told her what she needed to hear. It has nothing to do with her gender status and nowhere did I read anywhere where you stated if her gender preference is good or bad. Being an asshole can come from anywhere and anyone. Gay, straight, trans….hell even someone with cancer can be an asshole. So when you alienate your children and get called out for it, crying “BULLY!” is the most immature, pathetic asinine behavior and only backs up what everyone is saying.
    I’m sorry you are dealing with this, Robin. And to Samantha: thank you for acting exactly like everyone has said you were and pretty much putting an “ASSHOLE” neon sign on yourself. When things happen in your life and you wonder what is going on…have you ever thought about looking at the common denominator: YOU??? Blame game, shame and ruin people’s careers all you want….it won’t ever change a thing. You will continue to be met with animosity and distain NOT because you’re a transexual….but because you refuse to own your own behavior and make the right changes in your soul. Your gender has zero to do with any of this.
    Robin held a mirror up to me when I didn’t want to see it or hear the answers I needed, but I put my big-girl panties on and realized that she was right. She made me see things in a different perspective and transformed my relationship.

  41. Clark Kent

    Anyone who would encourage their client to file this complaint is committing malpractice and using their client to try to get to you.

    If they are also encouraging Samantha to file a lawsuit against you when their own lawyer has told them they themselves have no basis for a suit against you despite all the electronic ink spilled on them (yes, I have inside info) they are now purposefully doing harm to their own client. Of course, that fits with how they feel about her personally (again inside info).

    After reading the Dotson response and passing it around at a dinner party, all I can say is BRING IT ON. When is your deadline? I cannot wait to read it.

    PS: That you continue to show restraint by delaying this series until the litigation is complete and not using Samantha’s real name is a testament to your character. Anyone who tries to label you intolerant or a bigot can’t possibly believe it, but it’s a damaging label, especially in Portland, and I have to assume the goal is to shut you down and shut you up. Don’t let them.

    1. Robin DesCamp

      Clark, I agree that if this bar complaint was urged by (and I believe largely drafted by) Samantha’s divorce lawyers, that is unethical and malpractice besides. Of course, I have no idea if that is the case. I merely have my suspicions.

      My deadline for the response is April 20. So far I think it’s pretty good. Would you like a preview?

      One of many crazy claims in the 7-page single-spaced complaint:
      “The attorney’s fees hearing was carried over to January 12, 2016 and was ultimately concluded on January 26, 2016. Ms. DesCamp’s initial blog posts were made during the ongoing process of this trial and during a time that she was working on behalf of Mr. Brett Engel and his firm.”

      My response to the bar:
      Complainant, not surprisingly, is once again wrong.

      I was not working on behalf of anyone except myself in my capacity as a writer. Just because Complainant and her attorneys keep reiterating a point, that doesn’t make it a fact.
      I was at that fee hearing as part of a much larger series (yet to be completed) on the Diversion Agreement entered into between Laurel Hook and the Oregon State Bar as a result of the Darren Karr matter.

      I do believe you are familiar with my interest in that case. My opinion is that the compromise entered into between Hook and the bar is a disturbing example of a long-held trend in which the OSB would rather protect its lawyers than legal consumers.

      In fact, in my opinion and that of a fee expert in the Donegan matter, Hook continues to take advantage of her clients, flout the diversion agreement, and get away with it time and time again, mainly because the Diversion Agreement is as weak, dirty, and toothless as an Appalachian crack whore.

      As for Complainant’s allegations of the timing of my posts, her “point” is utterly moot. However, since I’m someone who never misses an opportunity to say I’m right, please note that my first blog on this subject, Anatomy of a Disaster Cast of Characters, was posted on February 16th, 2016. You can find that here:

      Cast of Characters

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