Archive for July, 2015


What Lawyers Don’t Want You To Know About Divorce

By Ed Sherman

The worst thing you can do is go to a lawyer without first becoming informed and prepared. It is not difficult to learn what you need to know, but very dangerous not to. Here’s why:

1. In a divorce, the law is concerned with only three thingsproperty, support, and parenting arrangements for minor children. That’s it; that’s all. If there is no legal opposition (papers filed in court) to your requests on these three subjects, getting a divorce is simply a matter of red-tape and paperwork, easy to do. The trouble comes when parties can’t agree about these issues and do things that do more harm than good – like taking the divorce into a lawyer’s office and into court while the disagreements are still unresolved.

2. Very few divorces hinge on valid legal issues. Over many decades, after millions of California divorces, almost every conceivable issue has already been decided in great detail and can be looked up in our enormous body of cases and statutes. This means there is only rarely a fact situation where we don’t know ahead of time pretty much what any judge would order, so there’s really no good legal reason for people to disagree, at least none worth the financial and emotional cost. The reason people argue is not about the law but about emotional things like hurt, fear and anger. Even more, it is because arguing is the fundamental nature of law practice and the legal system.

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3. There are no solutions for divorce problems in a law office or court room. Divorce problems are almost entirely personal and emotional, but the law has no tools that can help. None. Not any. As to lawyers, nothing in law school prepares them to help people resolve disagreements based on emotional upset.

4. Retaining a lawyer almost always makes things worse rather than better. Worse than merely having no solutions for your divorce problems, our legal system – known as the adversarial system of justice – is based on conflict. It originated with trial by combat in the Middle Ages when people with a disagreement would battle before a representative of the King and the person who survived was right. A hair more civilized today, parties do legal battle in a courtroom before a judge and try to win a decision. When you take a divorce into the legal system to “settle” disagreements, things invariably get worse (no solutions there, remember?) and the level of conflict and cost go way up. Even when it’s over, the parties come away broke, unhappy, disinclined to comply with orders that have been imposed, and less able to get on with rebuilding their lives or raise children cooperatively.

5. The things you can do yourself are far superior to anything a lawyer can do for you. The lawyer has no legal tools or training that can help you settle disagreements and get on with your life. But because the problems are entirely personal, between you and your spouse, there are many very specific things you can do to help reduce tension, avoid conflict, and negotiate or mediate a fair settlement. In the book, How to Solve Divorce Problems, you’ll find ten specific steps to take before you start to negotiate, actions that help protect yourself, the children and the other party. These are followed by ten steps to take that will make your negotiations smoother and more effective.

About the Author: Ed Sherman is a divorce specialist attorney and award-winning author of How to Do Your Own Divorce in California. His books and software have saved millions of people billions of dollars in unnecessary attorney fees. Visit



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Trial for Texas lawyer accused of murder enters third day

Wednesday, December 3, 2014 

The trial of a former Texas justice of the peace, accused of killing three people in Kaufman County in early 2013, entered its third day this morning. The defendant, Eric Williams, is being tried for one of the three murders, specifically involving the death of Cynthia McClelland.

Media reports indicate the prosecution in the case intends to rest its case today. Prosecutors allege that McLelland was fatally shot by Williams inside her home Easter weekend of 2013. During opening remarks on Monday, the prosecutor stated Williams killed McClelland in a “blizzard” of bullets. She was the spouse of public prosecutor Mike McClelland whom police allege Williams also shot and killed during the same home invasion.

A separate prosecutor, Mark Hasse, was also allegedly killed by Williams in a separate incident. Early on the trial’s first day, a reporter for the Dallas Morning News posted on Twitter that Williams looked, “…like the attorney he once was.” The cases garnered much attention, as initially, authorities considered a wide variety of theories. However, upon further inquiry, their attention ultimately turned to Williams. Police allege Williams and his wife carefully planned the murders as revenge for the prosecutors’ official actions in an earlier case against Eric Williams. Prosecutors have chosen at this time, to only bring the case of Cynthia McClelland’s murder to trial.

Williams’ wife, Kim, also faces capital murder indictments pertaining to the murders. Her trial date has not yet been set.

After McLelland’s and her husband’s deaths, many public figures in the county began attending community meetings with bodyguards over fears of other possible murder attempts. Other public officials in parts of Texas expressed fear during the time when the murders were happening.


War between top lawyers in Greece

Sunday, December 25, 2005 

The famous Greek lawyers, Sakis Kechagioglou and George Nikolakopoulos have been imprisoned in the Athens’ jail of Korydallus, as they were found guilty of graft and corruption. As a result of this, a big scandal within the Greek legal community has been raised through the exposure of illegal actions that judges, lawyers, solicitors and attorneys have done during the previous years. A few weeks ago, after the information published by the journalist Makis Triantafylopoulos in his popular Television show “Zoungla” in Alpha TV, the member of Parliament and lawyer, Petros Mantouvalos was abdicated as members of his office had been involved in illegal graft and corruption. Moreover, top judge Evangelos Kalousis is imprisoned as he found guilty of corruption and degenerate behaviour.

Except from journalists’ research about scandals in the legal Community of Greece, accusations from well-known lawyers and attorneys such as the famous Athens’ lawyer Alexis Kougias, against colleagues have as a result a greater dialogue and discussion in the country upon this important issue.


Pirate Bay case: Internet group attacks websites in “Operation Baylout”

Saturday, April 25, 2009 

Anonymous, the loosely defined online activist group most known for organizing mass protests against the Church of Scientology, has begun a campaign against the websites of entities associated with the prosecution in the Pirate Bay Trial, Wikinews has learned.

Termed “Operation Baylout”, the group claims that hundreds of volunteers are taking part in coordinated efforts to jam the websites of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry and MAQS, a law firm working with the prosecution in the Pirate Bay case. As of Friday evening MAQS’s website read “Our website is currently under attack and we have therefore decided to shut it down until the attack ceases.”

The group is also coordinating efforts to jam the fax lines of the MPAA’s anti-piracy office and of prosecuting attorney Monique Wadsted.

Andrew Norton of Pirate Party International rejected the attacks, saying, “While we can’t condone these acts, it does show there is a wealth of feeling that opposes the decisions and actions of this trade body. Perhaps if this trade group [the IFPI] was not so focused on increasing their members’ short-term profits, and focused on long term growth and giving customers what they have wanted for the last 10 years, we would not all be in this situation now. However, if people really want to make a difference, and get a result, then they should be supporting their local pirate parties, which will give a lasting result, by providing a government that is more resistant to the lobbying efforts of the IFPI and their ilk.”

While one participant told Wikinews that he or she had taken part in the Church of Scientology protests, and while websites announcing the attacks claim to be affiliated with Anonymous, the decentralized and informal nature of the group makes it difficult to verify whether the attacks are a “legitimate” Anonymous operation.

Some seven hundred to one thousand users took part in an April 20 distributed denial of service (DDOS) “raid” against the IFPI’s website, taking it down for several hours.

The group makes use of Anonymous’s tactics from Project Chanology in coordinating raids. Ideas for targets are proposed in open discussion forums on a range of websites, mainly spinoffs of 4chan, although both participants Wikinews spoke to expressed disdain for that site particularly. When an idea finds favor with a significant portion of the group, it quickly — sometimes within four hours — evolves and is elaborated through a number of IRC channels. As a plan develops, word is put out to other members, and when enough people are assembled, the members activate customized but rudimentary programs downloaded from popular anonymous upload sites such as RapidShare to their home computers. These programs, “Epic Fail Cannon” and “Bayloutlazer”, execute a UDP ping flood against the target website. Most participants are by and large not computer experts, instead relying on the instructions and programming skills of others.

The group also coordinates its efforts through Anonymous’s message boards and one message announced, “Do local coordinating for individual cells on their respective Chanology boards.” Posters to those boards express common themes in support of The Pirate Bay: against censorship, for freedom of information and in personal concern about being jailed for internet piracy.

However, most participants are casual rather than dedicated members, involved “for lulz” — cheap entertainment at the expense of others.

One participant quoted to Wikinews the following statement from, a message board where the Baylout raids originated: “Project Chanology began as an online attack against Scientology because they fucked with our Internets. Nothing more. 2) It has since morphed into a caricature of itself, in which moralfags genuinely think it’s all about destroying an evil cult. We couldn’t care less about how evil they are except that they fucked with our Internets. 3) The lulz value of Project Chanology now lies in the fact that Anon has managed to personal army thousands of people into destroying our enemy for us. People will go to great lengths to participate and contribute to a “cause” when they don’t know they’re the victims of a very grand and subtle troll. The lulz is not in what they do but in the fact that they are being PA’d by Anons. This moralfag personal army in turn trolls everyone who takes them seriously, because they take themselves seriously, without ever being aware of the fact of the troll themselves. It’s pretty slick tbh.”

It is, however, entirely possible that this assertion is itself a bluff.

Coordinated attacks against Swedish government and media industry websites have become commonplace in retaliation for legal actions against The Pirate Bay.

The group plans its next raid to take place at 12:00 GMT on April 26, against the IFPI’s Swedish website. Previous attacks on websites have been attributed to the same group. On January 20, 2008 Anonymous claimed responsibility for attacking the Church of Scientology’s website which resulted in an arrest. In October 2008, Dmitriy Guzner, aged 18, admitted to the DDOS attack on the Church and pleaded guilty to computer hacking.