2007-01-30 - 10:02 a.m.
Interesting day yesterday.
I was waiting for some step and really didn't EXPECT there to actually be a hearing.
Similar as to when my attorney told me a few weeks ago that there was an emergency hearing scheduled for 9am but she wasn't willing to contact witnesses from the Sheriff's dept and asked me to do it.
I found that to be a BIG red flag and my instinct was "There is no hearing"
Either I have good instinct, or it was fluke that I later got a call from her paralegal saying there was some mistake and the court SAID it was scheduled, but that it wasn't a hearing only time for her to go in a SCHEDULE it.
Yesterday I saw the case on the docket, went home, got organized. I realized since at the last hearing of the PPO APPEAL that since my attorny didn't have the PETITION for PROTECTIVE ORDER in his file (so he said) that I should continue to carry all my darn files each time.
I had gone in last time on faith of his ability and figuring he can do his job well. He was FANTASTIC at the intial PPO hearing, so I was comfortable I needn't do anything other than bring the one piece of evidence of the jewelry box that Westely had thrown at my feet in a rage breaking it.
So I brought only that.
This time I was more prepared.
She said "You're going to want to kill me"
I said "No. I am a patient person, perhaps to a fault, and perhaps that's why I staying in my abusive marriage for seven years-- I won't want to kill you. "
And we proceeded into the conference room where she apoligized no one notified me that my husband's counsel had filed a motion to have the matter of child support moved out of the domestic court and into the hearing regarding the divorce and property, custody and support hearing in circuit court.
Now that makes sense to bundle all together from a procedural point of view.
However , to me it is first of all bull shit forum shopping .
Secondly it certainly is not in my interest as I have NO MONEY left and KIDS TO FEED. Still some food left in the pantry thankfully.
Thankfully I STILL have good credit and can refinance my loan at the HIGH RATE from the bank to a lower one and hopefully get a bit more cash flow for the time being.(Which apparenty is ILLEAGAL in VA above 12 % EXCEPT fOR BANKS that have some sort of CERTIFICATION... and likely being a DELAWARE corp helps somehow...)
THAT IS MY #1 PRIORITY.
At 1:50 my attny was on the phone to resolve with the court whether my case was STILL on the docket, as I told her I confirmed it WAS on as of that morning. And I said , I'm heading to court. She said "No- wait here"
And I said "No, if there still is a 2pm hearing I at least have to appear there."
The clerk confirmed a motion indeed was filed to close my child support hearing case in the domestic court.
I made a copy of all the filings on my case.
What was most distressing was that there were also a few other procedural actions taken that I was not aware of.
The attorney for the PPO had told me he saw something on the docket and saw the opposing counsel here a few weeks ago. (This was told to me while at the PPO APPEAL) He said he noted the name on the docket and approached opposing counsel and said " I'm not suppossed to be here for that, that's not the PPP matter"
So my attorney for the PPO was letting me know that something had gone on that he noticed I was not present for, and I think he was aware that I had no knowledge of it. (Either as he was informed of this already and was assising in the tactic of trying to make me look like a total paranoid accusatory psyco nut, OR HE WAS HONESTLY trying to warn me about the fact there was a hearing he noted I didn't know about)
It turns out that was a matter of my attorney having had filed what WAS A MOTION IN MY FAVOR seeking AN ORDER OF COMPLIANCE for my husband to turn over financials etc... as to date he had not done so. Then AFTER HE DID SO she also filed a motion saying that was not needed as he delivered the Interrogatorys.
So it may just be that she is a good attorney looking out for my interest but that in the larger firm there is a break down of FOLLOW UP and someone dropped the ball and never COMMUNICATED what actions were taken on my case.
Discovery is ongoing in a matter like child support I believe. I have to look up and CONFIRM though that if I diagree or object to some representations made by my husband on any particular evidence he files (such as that first set of Interrogatories) whether I have a time limit to file an objection in. My attorney DID ask me to read his and respond, and I DID start but not complete that task.
So I was asked to send a bulleted list for the argument of why the nuptial is not a valid agreement and should be thrown out.
But to get the matter of the nuptial on the docket RATHER THAN ARGUE THAT MATTER IN JULY seems to be more in my husband's interest than mine!
Then the precedent of support would have been IN MY INTEREST.
INSTEAD there is now a ruling with the determination that this VA HOME is not my residence, and the matter of child support has been moved from the docket where is was to be heard IN FRONT OF THE VERY SAME JUDGE who heard the inital matter of the protective order and had said "I would like to take judicial notice of the fact that Mr. $)%*67*^7 did not get support to his wife or children"
What disturbs me most of all is that my attorney affirmatively lied to me. She said my husband's counsel FILED the motion to move the child support action out of the domestic court.
I HAD A RIGHT TO HAVE THE MATTER HEARD THERE YESTERDAY. I WANTED IT HEARD THERE. I NEVER GAVE CONSENT OTHERWISE OR WAS EVEN CONSULTED OTHERWISE.
So when I read the record and saw a motion filed by MY ATTORNEY LAST FRIDAY
I knew then that this whole case thus far has been playing in my husband's favor in some surprising ways.
I KNOW HOWEVER that there is possibly another agenda here.
IF I WERE To dismiss my counsel, who is indeed a very capable lawyer, it would only be another move that can be manipulated.
I instead talked to her and confronted what I knew, and instructed her to communicate and consult and INFORM me of any action taken by her on my behalf.
ITs her job. I am sure she values that and indeed will do it well.
Again, I am acting according to my typical philosophy that people fuck up. You can attempt to expose and destroy them out of being a bitter person, or you can assume not the worst, but assume it was a poor lapse of judgement on their part.
I have cetainly had lapses of judgement.
So I know I have to focus on myself making the best judgement calls.
And as for my attorney.
I am convinced of that.
I had some assumption that I hired counsel that would do the best job POSSIBLE, therefore I could leave it all in their hands.
I realize now I just need to get my head in the game so to speak.
SO I am not going to lean on them. They are going to SUPPORT ME in MY CASE if they will.
That essentially is what hired professionals are to do. I just have been letting go of this legal matter SO COMPLETELY such that I am not ABSORBED BY IT. BUT now I need to focus on it more.
That also incidentally turns out to be likely one of the only ways I will get proficient at VA procedure... so its likely once again one of the very best things that could have happened to me at this point!
Now however, I have finances to straighten out. One thing I AM NOT going to allow to happen if for my GOOD CREDIT to be compromised.
I AM STILL SO GLAD TO NOT BE WORKING AND STUDYING FOR THE BAR as that will again be the best move I can take for myself and the kids now.