Branding, Writing, and the Covenant Marriage


Dear Readers:

We interrupt this blog to make some announcements about upcoming changes. This is important, so read up!


When I wasn’t writing like a maniac or falling on my ass like a fool at the coast last week, I took some time to review the work I’ve done over the past 2 1/2 years.  I noticed a pattern that concerned me:

I’m kind of pissed off.  

Or rather, I was.  

I think the impact of my fall may have knocked some sense into me.  Don’t worry; it’s probably temporary.

While anger at the unjust can create some fabulous content, my review showed that some of the best work I’ve done did not have that anger within it, or at least the negative was far outweighed by the positive.

After all, who can forget I Got Drunk and Fucked My Boss?

I started to figure this out a while ago but it really solidified in my mind over the past few days:

This isn’t a good look for me.  

I am actually an extremely positive person and while my “brand” should be exciting and edgy and somewhat controversial, I don’t want to come off like ___________ or _________ or ____________.

(Those blanks represent the names of successful media stars who are extremely contentious and nasty but whom I won’t name in case they are ever in a position to help me.  My managers are reading this right now and nodding approvingly.)

Instead, I want to be someone who projects a positive and creative approach to problems.  I want to deliver solutions with a razor-sharp wit and acumen that isn’t based on my personal feelings about an individual, group, or organization.

Speaking of groups, to good divorce lawyers I say this:

I know many of you who work your asses off every day for your clients in a positive manner designed to maintain their dignity and that of their families.  

I salute you.  

More important, I refer clients to you.  Don’t forget that when you are making your Christmas list this year.

Thank you to the good guys for doing your best to reorganize families with as little harm as possible.  I could not do that work: I tried but I didn’t have the stomach for it.  

Also, I hated billing my time, which is one reason I ran back to the in-house world where the lawyers shuffle paper, send the real work to outside counsel, and collect a nice paycheck for what amounts to secretarial work 65% of the time.

Shit, now I’ve pissed off in-house counsel.  Sorry.  That was a joke, or maybe just a reflection of how poorly I did my job.  Maybe a little of both.

Back to branding:

When I started this blog I wasn’t really sure where I wanted it to lead.  Now that I do, it’s time I put aside the tumult and taunting (unless we are talking about Trump, of course) and focus on what I want the Robin DesCamp brand to be:

Robin DesCamp: a smart, irreverent and wickedly funny problem-solver with a tendency to overshare in the interests of helping others.  Robin is at home on the radio and excels at rapid-fire response and repartee. With a lot of makeup and careful camera placement at the most flattering angles possible, she might be good on television, too.

While I made a gradual shift in the blog a few weeks ago to reflect my growing concerns about how I may be perceived through my words, it’s time to commit myself to a new direction.  

I’ve accomplished what I set out to do:

I’ve brought to light for my readers the abusive and unethical tactics used by many divorce attorneys across the United States.  I’ve heard from so many of you and I’ve been successful in helping families avoid or repair divorce injuries.

It’s clear I’ve made my point about a certain type of divorce lawyer, so while I’ve steered towards those letters that opened the opportunity for me to access my DIB (Deep Inner Bitch) to rail against the DICKs (Divorce Industrial Complex Kingpins) I’m just sort of done.

Besides, I think they like the attention.

I will continue to write about divorce, of course, so keep those letters coming.  If you have specific concerns about a certain lawyer we can discuss those offline.  

Lastly on this subject, if you are wondering why I’m even writing about this instead of just making the change quietly, it’s because making the commitment here will hold me accountable to myself and my promise to be more positive and less pissy.  


(that’s the sun setting on anything that doesn’t comport with my brand)

There is a reason I chose that photo of me on the top of a mountain to head up this blog.  I didn’t trudge up that incline with any negative thoughts in my head.

  • I didn’t think about how hot it was.
  • I didn’t think about how steep it was.
  • I didn’t worry about snakes – eek!
  • I didn’t bitch that I could still be in bed drinking coffee instead of leaving a gallon of sweat on the trail.

I raced along to the top because my thoughts were focused only on the positive:

  • I was outside and it was gorgeous.  Let the summer tan begin!
  • The incline was challenging which made it more fun, and better for my ass as well.
  • It might be cool to see some wildlife I don’t normally have the chance to see – where are those snakes, anyway?
  • Leaving the gallon of sweat on the trail earned me the right to a freshly-squeezed grapefruit juice mimosa with my dear friend Susie.  Some of you may have seen that photo on Facebook.  Staying in bed would have made me feel sad and lazy.

While I may have kicked Smith Trail’s ass that morning, and every other morning on that trip to Palm Springs, that mountain is nothing compared to the one I am scaling now.  I’m not going to get there without a less negative set of crampons. 


As you know from yesterday’s blog, Look Before You Leapmy little running accident set me back on my goal to completely finish the book by the end of last week.  Fear not: Divorce by Design is coming.  

For a preview, read my Author’s Note!

So it’s not done today.  That’s the bad news.  

The good news is I am laser-focused and hammering out the final bits over the next few days; ten tops.

That’s also the bad news, because I only have so much gas in the tank and the blog will suffer a little.  Please accept my apologies for that, but keep your questions coming because I will be back and raring to go soon.

More bad news:

I had a book lined up to write as soon as this one is finished, but there are legal issues of which I was unaware that preclude that project from going forward until the case winds its way through the system to completion.

This was a genre I’m very excited to write within, true crime, but it is not to be. To the lawyers working on that case: I am very sorry I created upset.  I’ve never claimed to be much of a lawyer and I was totally ignorant to the problems of writing this book now.

I wanted to help your client and in my haste I didn’t consider all the implications. Please accept my apologies.  

This was nobody’s fault but mine and I am deeply regretful that I didn’t do more research before I jumped the proverbial gun.

Hey – more good news!

I had already done a basic outline for another book that I put aside when I became interested in the true crime story.  Details will be kept quiet for now because it’s such a good idea that I’m afraid someone will steal it from me.

I’ll tell you this: it’s going to be very, very funny.  I will be going on a series of solo adventures and writing about them but there is a twist.  Shhh…don’t tell Cheryl Strayed – I don’t want her to try to rip me off.

Speaking of very, very funny, I have one final note on writing:

I promised you I’d be publishing my latest bar complaint response here, but I’ve decided not to do that.  Here’s why:

  • That’s what the complainant wants me to do because it furthers her goal to appear to be a victim and it gives her the attention she desperately craves;
  • That’s what her counsel wants me to do so they can use it as “evidence” in ongoing litigation;
  • It’s about 30 pages so far and frankly, I doubt most of you would read it, despite the fact it is seriously fucking hilarious.  Even better than Dotson v. DesCamp, I think.

The response is due tomorrow so I must get back to work on it.  

Should you want a copy, feel free to either request it from the Oregon State Bar or email me at and I’ll send it along.

Covenant Marriage:

Lastly, I received a question a couple weeks ago and I’m very excited to preview it today.  This is a first for me!

I’ll be writing my response in the next day or two.  Feel free to leave a comment today: what do you think of this idea?

Dear Robin:

Hello from Phoenix!

Your blog popped up on my Facebook feed through a friend and I searched it for this issue but didn’t see so I’m glad to give you a brand new subject!  Long story short: I’m getting married in January next year and my fiancee wants a covenant marriage but I’m not sure if I do.

We are both finishing graduate school and more than ready after dating since college to get married.  She comes from quite a religious family and I don’t.  I’m not even sure why I am balking at the idea of the covenant marriage but something just seems weird about it.

You can probably guess this conversation started an unpleasant fight between us and she doesn’t understand why I am hesitating to sign up for this kind of marriage.  My question for you is have you seen these before and do they work better than a regular marriage?  Do you have any suggestions for reasoning with her if I decide I don’t want to do this?


OK, kids, run along and play!  Be nice to each other, I’ll do the same, and let’s all celebrate that Spring is here, the planet still spins, and most important: my book is almost done!


This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. Can't Wait for the Book!

    I love that photo of you–you are so beautiful!

    Your brand description is 100% on the money–that is EXACTLY who you are and how your blog and other writing presents itself to the world.

    Sad as I am not to find out what happens in Anatomy of a Disaster, I think your decision to stop giving attention to those DICKs is the right one. How much time have they billed Samantha for, when instead of practicing law, they’ve been reading the blog, stalking your Facebook, and drafting bar complaints? Maybe now they could focus on closing the file that should have been closed a year ago.

    1. Robin DesCamp

      That’s pretty nice of you to say considering that photo was taken in the middle of a workout! Thank you. I too hope that case is wound down soon, but I have a niggling suspicion it will continue until there is literally no money left to pay the lawyers. That makes me really sad, and of course as all the readers know that is a huge part of what I write about: keeping legal fees in check by keeping lawyers in check and litigants as friendly as possible.

      Nothing will change in regards to my endeavors to overhaul the way people look at divorce, mind you. Obviously the book is a major part of that. I just don’t need to name names any longer. Every city has lawyers within it who enjoy either good or bad reputations. It’s pretty easy to separate the white hats from the black and I don’t need to do it here. Frankly, I’m bigger than the black hats. Figuratively, I mean. Oh shit, there I go again. What I mean is, my fish need frying and they are more significant fish than previous fish who had occupied my pan. And where’s my tartar sauce?


    I read your blog almost every day and I don’t see that you are overly-negative. Just so you know, there are many of us within the Portland legal community who are cheering you from the sidelines. You are the only person who has ever stood up to lawyers who hurt people as part of their business plan. A monster has run amok in our city for almost 40 years and nobody until you has challenged her vicious and ugly legal practice in a direct and public manner. You are to be commended, Ms. DesCamp. People admire your courage and honesty along with your sense of humor and I know you are making a difference. I’ve talked to people who agree there is a much higher awareness today thanks directly to your blog that choosing what you call the “pitbull” type of counsel for a divorce is a bad move.

    I understand a desire to turn away from giving specific bad lawyers space on your blog, but I do hope you will continue to expose the system and the corrupt players within it. I want to know what happens with that Diversion Agreement, for example. Are you going to finish the Anatomy of a Disaster series? Finally, come on: you have to publish the bar response. If it’s anything like the last one you owe it to your readers.

    Your blog sounds positive today but I’m not so sure. You OK?

    1. Robin DesCamp

      I always enjoy your comments, PDXATTY, and especially today. Thank you. I’m not going to comment on my plans for the AOAD series here except to note I am glad you found it compelling. I really enjoyed writing in a more narrative genre and plan to do much more of that. As for the Diversion Agreement and my bar response, “come on” yourself. Whoops – that sounded dirty! Look man, you are a member of the bar, or at least your name and prior comments imply as much. You know how to get this stuff. I’m not your sherpa so get off your duff and do your own digging.

      Am I OK? Hell yes! Like I said, I accomplished what I wanted to so now it’s time to pivot and evolve. Let me moderate that statement by saying I didn’t accomplish ALL I intended, which was for DICKs to throw away their old playbook and start treating their clients with honor and respect rather than fleecing them. Everything I’ve seen lately shows I was not successful in that respect, but I never really thought I would be. Damn leopards are pretty attached to their spots.

      Once the book comes out people will have a very specific construct that describes actions to take and not take during a divorce. Should the book become a best-seller (and my dog Archie assures me during his more lucid moments it will), eventually the word will be so widespread that those lawyers who cling to their sleazy ways may be forced to abandon them because everyone will now know about the tricks of the trade. Once you expose how the magician does the trick, people don’t fall for it any longer.

      Except sawing the girl in half. That one gets me every time.

  3. tamsen

    Hmmm. I will miss the follow up on AOAD, although i understand that it appears it needs to take a hiatus. I’m just hoping it’s only a hiatus. I do want to read the bar response, I’m sure it will be a fun read, and since I too am an attorney, I will take the time.

    I don’t think you are overly negative. Occasionally you dive head first into the mud pit with certain Floridians, which I think could be avoided, but generally you are passionate about divorce related issues and give good advice with a heavy dose of humor and occasional barbs. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. I’m rather hoping that your work will result in the Diversion Agreement being found breached by your DICK friends, with a nasty result from the Oregon Bar aimed in their direction. Maybe it’s too much to hope for.

    Anyway, don’t go all positive on us, it’s much less funny…’ve got to keep a few barbs going to keep it fun.

  4. Isaac Laquedem

    Another reason not to publish your response to the bar complaint, delightful though it will be to read, is that your response will be so witty that people whose sense of humor exceeds their stuffy self-importance will file bar complaints about you simply to have the pleasure of reading your response, rather like how people who could not themselves write anything worth reading used to commission works from those who could. I can imagine your responses to bar complaints being collected into a volume for sale, rather like Warren Buffett’s letters in the Berkshire Hathaway annual reports.

    1. Robin DesCamp

      As I’ve said before, Mr. Laquedeem/Wandering Jew, you give the best comments. Truth be told, I would not mind writing another one of these someday. The one I’m finishing presently is well over 30 pages, includes family photos (mine, mind you) references to my drunken Chihuahua Archie, and may be funnier than Dotson v. DesCamp. I will miss publishing it here but I’ve already had over a dozen people ask to be put on the email list when it’s finished, so at least I know it will be enjoyed by some.

      1. Isaac Laquedem

        Please make that a dozen and one. I would love to read it also!

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