Divorce Law

Biglaw bucks can bring the bling.

Some people just can’t stay out of our pages. Back in 2008, we wrote about Ira J. Schacter, a prominent corporate partner and major rainmaker at Cadwalader. Schacter earned Lawyer of the Day honors after he was accused of beating his wife. (He claimed he acted in self-defense and was ultimately cleared of the charges.)

Well, today Ira Schacter is back in the news. He’s accused of refusing to pay for his teen daughter’s $12,000 hearing aids, while dropping $215,000 on a diamond engagement ring for his Playboy-bunny fiancée. If true, that’s pretty shoddy behavior — the very embodiment of cheapness, from a big-time Biglaw partner who can easily afford twelve grand.

But I know what you’re all wondering right now: “How hot is that Playboy-model fiancée?”

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Anytime my lawyer friends talk shop, my divorce lawyer friend always has the most interesting stories. A few months ago, a group of us went for happy hour. The conversation turned to a discussion of what we were doing at work. I said that my client was contemplating settlement over his parking lot lawsuit. Everyone yawned. My finance lawyer friend began to talk about securitizing something, but then just stopped talking because she knew her work was even more boring. This trend continued until my divorce lawyer friend talked about a recent trial. The highlights of her story included a lesbian affair and a mail-order bride. We were all rapt.

For that reason, I have wanted to profile a divorce firm for a while. Recently, I was lucky enough to have a conversation with San Francisco family lawyer (I guess they prefer that term) Erik Newton. His firm, Heath Newton LLP, has become a highly regarded boutique law firm that specializes in “Family Building,” “Divorce and Dissolution,” and “Asset Protection”….

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* Not a wardrobe malfunction, my ass. Nancy Grace would sooner allow Casey Anthony to babysit her kids than admit that she had a nip slip on live television. [New York Post]

* When you have a “superior legal mind,” it’s easier for your feelings to get hurt. Gregory Berry now claims that Kasowitz Benson was “extraordinarily vindictive.” [Thomson Reuters News & Insight]

* Irving Picard’s suit against Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz has been dismissed (for the most part). This is the best thing to happen to the Mets since Bill Buckner. [Bloomberg]

* In the past, when a wife cried in Massachusetts, a judge would wipe her tears with her husband’s checkbook, but alimony just ain’t what it used to be. [New York Times]

* Apparently judges in San Luis Obispo, California have banged one gavel too many. They’ve been reaching verdicts outside the courtroom to pad their own benefits packages. [Legal Newsline]

* Florida International isn’t just dominating the University of Miami in football this year. FIU schooled Miami when it came to Florida’s bar exam results, too. [Miami New Times]


Voulez vous coucher avec moi ce soir? You’d think that when women ask that question of men in France, they’d be receptive. In fact, in my experience, French men are overly amorous. When I was a French exchange student at the ripe old age of 15, an older guy approached me at a club and tried to woo me with this line: “Did you know zat Frenche men make ze best loveurs?” I didn’t care to find out.

Well, times have changed, because apparently the French aren’t such great lovers anymore. A 2010 poll taken by the French Institute of Public Opinion found that 76% of people surveyed were having relationship problems due to a poor sex life. And it seems that a poor sex life was what brought about a divorce between Jean-Louis B. and Monique, a middle-aged couple in the birthplace of the language of love.

But after enduring 21 years of a near sexless marriage, a divorce was simply not enough for Monique. Mrs. B. wanted to be compensated for the lack of sexual rendezvous with her ex-husband, so she sued him for it….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Putting the ‘French’ in ‘Kiss': Man Sued By Ex-Wife Over Lack of Sex”

[A] rush to open the practice of law to unschooled, unregulated nonlawyers is not the solution [to the justice gap]. This would cause grave harm to clients. Even matters that appear simple, such as uncontested divorces, involve myriad legal rights and responsibilities. If the case is not handled by a professional with appropriate legal training, a person can suffer serious long-term consequences affecting loved ones or financial security.

William T. “Bill” Robinson III, president of the American Bar Association (ABA), in a letter to the editor of the New York Times. Robinson’s letter responds to an NYT staff editorial arguing that “allow[ing] nonlawyers into the mix” could help address the justice gap, i.e., low-income Americans’ need for legal services.

Roy Lee Conger Jr.

You take my … money you better get a federal law agency like the F.B.I. on the case. You will hear about me and read about me. I promise that.

Roy Lee Conger Jr., complaining about a lien placed on one of his bank accounts after his divorce train wreck. Conger had been involved in child support proceedings with his ex-wife, and his motion to reduce payments was denied earlier this month.

This morning, Conger, a truck driver, tried to ram his big rig into the Madison County Courthouse. The 18-wheeler got stuck on the courthouse steps.

Madeline Layla Samaan-Fay, RIP

I think he did the right thing. I’m proud of my brother and now he’s in a better place. He’s at peace. His daughter’s at peace. She’ll have one name now, and we can move on. And hopefully the court will learn a little thing about justice.

Nabil Samaan, a California attorney, commenting on the apparent murder-suicide of niece Madeline Layla Samaan-Fay and brother Mourad “Moni” Samaan. Moni had been in an epic custody battle with ex-wife Marcia Fay, a California deputy attorney general.

Reema Bajaj wins the race to the courthouse.

Today we bring you two tales of Chicago-area lawyers accused of naughtiness. Chicago is a beautiful city in the summer, but some of its attorneys are facing ugly allegations.

Ladies first. What’s going on with Reema Bajaj, the rather attractive Illinois lawyer accused of prostitution? We’ve mentioned Bajaj here and there over the past few weeks, but we haven’t had hard news about her since June. Is her case any closer to resolution?

Apparently so. A plea deal is near, according to the Daily Chronicle, and Bajaj is scheduled back in court on August 31. As you may recall, Reema Bajaj has been charged with two misdemeanors and one felony. If she pleads guilty to just a misdemeanor, can she keep her Illinois law license? Readers, please enlighten us.

Let’s hear more about Reema from one reader who knows her personally — don’t worry, he’s not a customer — and then learn about another twentysomething Chicago lawyer accused of more-serious criminal conduct….

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Ask this man for tips on romantic one-liners.

Google me.

Henry Silverman, billionaire and former CEO of Cendant Corporation, upon meeting yoga instructor Karen Hader, who is now his fiancée.

(A New York judge, Laura Drager, recently barred Silverman from using scientific evidence to prove his “innate genius” in court, in litigation against his ex-wife, Nancy Silverman. A creative way to try to get around the lack of a prenuptial agreement, don’t you think?)

Sad fact of the day: about fifty percent of marriages in America end in divorce. Of course, many of you already knew that, because you’re divorced yourself, the child of divorced parents, or a divorce attorney who is rolling around in money. But however you slice it, some of the best divorce train wreck stories are born of child custody battles.

Parents going through a divorce are willing to fight over anything when it comes to the custody of their children (“How dare you feed little Suzie pasta that isn’t organic and gluten-free?!”). Even when a divorce is finalized, sometimes parents are still willing to pull the trigger on any issues that arise. In some cases, though, custody modifications are warranted.

And in this case, an Oregon mother is actually fighting to keep another woman from pulling the trigger on her teenage sons, because she’s done it before….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “A Killer Custody Arrangement, and Mom Isn’t Happy About It”

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