Lessons from a Lifetime in Court

Some Observations after 35 years as a Divorce Lawyer

1.) Difficult personalities don't become less difficult when they divorce.
2.) The more vigorously the opposing spouse personally attacks you, the better you are doing.
3.) Most conduct that you interpret as mischief or malevolence is better explained as stupidity.
4.) "Arguing with a fool only proves there are two."
5.) Often you succeed just by holding on.
6.) A lack of trust is corrosive. Spend adequate time with the client building it.
7.) Venting can be tremendously therapeutic. Find opportunities for parties to do so in a controlled manner.
8.) When you take your cases to bed with you, it's time to get away for a few days.
9.) Negotiating with toxic personalities is futile. Aggressively work up your case and get it to the judge as soon as possible.
10.) Soft continuous pressure is more effective than a jackhammer.
11.) What can we control? Our attitude, level of preparation, and the quality of our arguments. What can't we control? Everything else.
12.) Divorce cases devolve to the most difficult personality in the case (parties and lawyers).
13.) Emotion is the fuel of a divorce case, not logic.
14.) When you are spending more time fighting with your own client than with the other side, it's time to get out of the case.
15.) The loudest lawyer in the courtroom is the most frightened.
16.) People are more inclined to pay for hope rather than out of gratitude.
Published April 17, 2020

About the author


Steven N.Peskind

Principal Attorney

To be successful, a lawyer must have insight into the whole human catastrophe and be able to effectively traverse the legal system. It is the intersection of these two disciplines that fascinate me. I have been a lifelong student of both human nature and the law, and have created this blog to help others following my path.


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