Where’s my time machine?

Posted Friday, March 11th, 2016 by Gregory Forman
Filed under Attorney-Client Relations, Humor?, Not South Carolina Specific, Of Interest to Family Court Litigants, Of Interest to Family Law Attorneys

Where’s the time machine that a sizable portion of family law clients, and potential clients, think I have? My colleagues inform me that their clients also believe they have a time machine. If I own a time machine I’d really love to find it. I’m sure my family law colleagues feel likewise.

How else to explain so many family court litigants’ fixation on the past–particularly what they perceive of as past injustices. I am capable, as are most good family law attorneys, of taking the facts and circumstances that then exist and advocating for my clients in the present. What I cannot do is turn back time, do things that should have been done (or prevent things from happening that shouldn’t have happened), and fix the past. I am amazed anyone thinks I (or any attorney) can. Yet, with so many clients, the fixation on remedying the past remains. Even when redirected to focus on the present, they keep going back in time.

If I had a time machine, I doubt I would use it to remedy these client injustices. It’s fun to speculate what one might do if one had a time machine? Assassinate Hitler? Warn Lincoln? Buy lots of Apple and Amazon stock? More seriously, perhaps I would undo some of the harm I’ve caused loved ones. Or simply relive some of my life’s best experiences. All I know is that I had the ability to travel through time, I wouldn’t use it to practice family law.

Yet my clients persist in demanding I go back in time and fix things they want fixed. Perhaps if I ever clear the clutter from my office I will find that time machine.

5 thoughts on Where’s my time machine?

  1. John Cabaniss says:

    I know that with the Motion to Reconsider and subsequent Appeal where you represented me, the outcome we received certainly felt like we went back in time to undo what was unjustly done. I still think about what might have been had you not assisted after such a poor decision was rendered.

  2. Wasting resources on the past rather than the present isn’t just a problem with family law, its the human condition, and the condition of any other creature which decides that certain episodes are more “meaningful” than others. I bet a flow chart of my normal thought-process would look a lot like your client’s distracted thinking, just with lower stakes.

  3. Gorilla says:

    Without knowledge of history, it tends to repeat. By understanding history, one can learn how to keep past mistakes from happening again. A time machine would be fun (everything from dinosaurs, to Egypt, ancient cultures, medieval times, what the Wild West was really like, to the future), but life is better.

    For some, it might not be about rewriting the past, but how to best correct it based on knowledge of history.

  4. Not A Feminist says:

    In light of not being “able” to “correct” wrongs, I disagree.
    Having grown up around attorneys all my life, as well as Law Enforcement Officers, because of my family’s career choices, I can safely say that the past can be corrected.
    In tired of the injustices that our men receive in the Family Court system.
    These men are alienated from their children by vengeful spouses, they are hauled off to jail for false CDV or CDVHAN charges made by said spouses, why? Because the law refuses to protect our Fathers.
    When do these men get proper advocacy? When are they “heard”? They have no rights.
    All these things can be changed or corrected if the attorney is willing!
    Right the wrongs. Advocate justly. Show these “wives” that cry “Wolf” that their jig is up!
    You, your client’s attorney, know when there is lying and deceit, the “writing” is on the wall. Be proactive for your clients, that’s all. Pretty simple.

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