Sunday, August 1, 2010

Early hours

My first blog post ever.  I'm starting this blog to share my thoughts about divorce and custody wars, warriors and survivors.

Okay, I think an introduction's in order.  I did my time in two big law firms, starting off as a commercial litigator from a top-something law school.  I (almost literally) fell into matrimonial law when a good friend and colleague at firm #2 enlisted me to work on a large matrimonial case.  Yep, just like the bumper sticker says.

That was in the late '80's.  A few years later, I jumped ship, formed my own firm, and spent the next two decades of my career eyeballs-deep in the world of  matrimonial law.  Building my practice, raising a family, and unsuccessfully battling MS.  (Of course, I'm royally pissed about the MS but that, unfortunately, doesn't make it go away.)

In the course of two-plus decades, I've represented husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, the wealthy, the poor, the smart, the not-so-smart, arch-conservative and left-of-liberal. I've seen games played by both sides, one side, and neither side, of my cases.  Good judges and bad judges, indifferent judges and some (okay, a few) who really cared.  I've battled in court to the bitter end; settled before lawsuits ever were considered; handled pre-nups, post-nups, and collaborative (misnomer alert!!) divorces.  Pretty much been there, done that, and if I haven't, well, them's the breaks, right?

I did the usual stuff that all reasonably ambitious lawyers do - I wrote lots of professional articles, gave lectures, networked.  Became a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, an amazing group of some of the best matrimonial lawyers in the US.  I actually like a lot of people.  No, I'm not posting rah-rah, back-slapping, self-congratulatory crap - I know the flaws of the profession.  But I'm not into  "bitter lawyer" stuff, either.  I've been around enough toxic snarkiness in my time -- I don't need or want to add more to what's already out there.  And because I've been around a block or two, I'm not pro or con any group, or any gender. Not into father's rights, mother's rights - maybe because I'm still idealistic enough (after all these years) to believe in human rights.

I've turned writer.  Pure fiction - not fictionalized memoirs.  It's been hard, un-learning how to write like a lawyer ("just the facts, ma'am").  Practicing law for 25 years before shifting gears- how very un-Turowesque. (Yes, naturally I'm another of the gajillion Scott fans.  I went to law school fearing/dreaming about "One L".)  I've been studying the "craft" of writing for the past five years or so...sometimes with some pretty bizarre people in my writing classes.  I've had to re-learn the art of humility (I know- no sympathy out there for me on this one).  Gone to a bunch of writers' conferences and meetings, I subscribe to writer-friendly blogs (I'll be providing links), etc.  The whole nine yards.  I'll be posting excerpts of my work here from time to time.

Here's a  heads-up/disclaimer. This is NOT a legal advice or legal opinion blog, NOT a how-to blog, NOT a war stories blog.   If anyone wants to talk or bitch about their own divorce or custody case, I'm not dealing with it.  Like I said before, been there, done that. I'm not doing more of it online, believe me. Ain't happening.

So we'll see where it goes from here.

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations on both your new blog and your new career as a novelist, Terri. Wishing you the very best of luck with both.