DAVID PISARRA

Archive for May, 2010|Monthly archive page

HOW TO FIGHT A LIAR IN COURT

In child custody, Child Support, Perjury, Spousal Support, Strategy Issues on May 28, 2010 at 11:41 am

The biggest frustration most people have in court, is the lying. In theory, no one is lying, because testimony is taken under oath. In reality, every case is riddled with lies, half truths, shades of fact and the greatest of all, the omission of a critical fact that totally changes the situation.

In the court’s eyes, as a lawyer I’m supposed to be the champion for my client, and I’m expected to have vetted their testimony to make sure that it’s true. Most of the time I’ve spent a great deal of effort to explain to the client that judges hate liars and I coach them to be as truthful as possible.

Inevitably when I get in to a child custody hearing or a divorce trial, it gets heated and the cries of “She lied!” “She’s committing perjury!!” “That’s a lie!” start.

In every courtroom, those phrases are said, every day. And frequently it’s true. Some days it’s her, and some days it’s him, but no matter what, someone, somewhere is shading, spinning, omitting or outright lying.

I know it. You know it. The judge knows it.

The angry and frustrated clients always say “Put her in jail!” That’s not going to happen so much. Judges can’t put away everyone who lied in court, there’d be no room for the real criminals.

So what’s the point of having people testify under penalty of perjury, if there’s no penalty ? Well, it’s about credibility. Once a judge knows, or even suspects, that someone’s lying to the court, their credibility goes out the window.

I had a case earlier this year, where the ex-wife said she was married in a Michigan court, and then said she was single in a California court. The judge looked at the other lawyer and said, “so either she lied in Michigan, or she lied in California, either way, she’s a liar!”

It was a bad day for that lawyer, because now they’re fighting up stream with a judge who’s experience with the client is that she’s not to be trusted. In Family Court, when the judges are making decisions on issues like who should be the primary custodial parent, that sort of taint can kill your case.

Which is why I always advise my clients that lying is a very bad thing. No they’re not going to go jail, but they’ll never have the same, and in some courts any, credibility again.

The question then becomes how to prove your case, if you know you’re dealing with a liar. Fighting a lie, is like shadow boxing, for so often it comes down to: he said, she said. Generally the best way to get rid of the shadow is to turn on all the lights and face them to your accuser and make them fight a battle that they don’t want.

If my client is accused of being a pot smoker, we provide the prescription, then we attack with bad parenting and lack of time to devote to the child. That’s how we fight a war, in which there are no winners.

“Who steals my purse steals trash; ’tis something, nothing;
‘Twas mine, ’tis his, and has been slave to thousands;
But he that filches from me my good name
Robs me of that which not enriches him,
And makes me poor indeed.

Shakespeare, OTHELLO,
Act III.

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DIVORCE HUMOR – LEMONADE DAYS!

In Uncategorized on May 27, 2010 at 8:46 am

Here’s a link to a website from a man whose wife left him the wedding dress! He took it and found 101 uses for an ex-wife’s wedding dress!

I’m not sure but I think the MC Hammer pants might be my fave!

I see a reality show in this!!

myexwifesweddingdress.com

EMERGENCY PROTECTIVE ORDERS

In child custody, Perjury on May 27, 2010 at 7:09 am

This coming weekend is Memorial Day weekend and that means there will be overly drunk parents, tired children and likely lots of fighting.

The courts are closed on Monday, so if someone attacks you and you need a Restraining Order what can you do? Easy, call the police and tell them you want an EMERGENCY PROTECTIVE ORDER, sometimes called and E.P.O. or Restraining Order.

Usually you need a judge to sign off, but on weekends and holidays there’s no judge around, so the police can issue an EPO that’s good for five days, during those days you must go to court for a regular Restraining Order.

As a man if you’ve been attacked by a drunk girlfriend, boyfriend or spouse, you need to go to get a EPO and take the kids someplace safe. Otherwise be ready to defend yourself against the EPO they’ll file against you!

“But she’s lying!” Yup, see my previous post on perjury.

WHY IS PERJURY NOT PUNISHED?

In child custody, Child Custody Issues, Child Support, Parental Alienation, Perjury, Property Issues, Spousal Support, Strategy Issues on May 27, 2010 at 6:44 am

“She lied!” “She’s committing perjury!!” “That’s a lie!” Every day. In every courtroom, those phrases are said.

I know she’s lying. You know she’s lying. The judge probably knows if it’s a really bad one.

“Put her in jail!” That’s not going to happen so much. Judges can’t put away every liar, there’d be no room for the real criminals.

So what’s the point ? Well, it’s about credibility. Once a judge knows, or even suspects, that someone’s lying to the court, their credibility goes out the window.

I had a case where the ex-wife said she was married in a Michigan court, and said she was single in a California court. The judge looked at the lawyer and said, “so either she lied in Michigan, or she lied in court, either way, she’s a liar!”

Bad day for that lawyer!

Bottom line: perjury happens, judges know, they can’t do much about it, but it can ruin a case for the liar.