Hi everyone. I normally write a blog each month to provide some information for the public on a pressing aspect of family law, child protection law or wills/powers of attorney. With the end of 2021 nearly upon us, I have decided to keep things a little light, and write a “tongue-in-cheek” poem, using a beloved holiday poem as the basis for my story. The genders of the parties and the participants are interchangeable. I hope you enjoy it.
‘Twas the week before Christmas, and through each Family Court,
The lawyers were scrambling, because the work week was short!
They waited for court clerks to review uploaded matters, with their usual finesse,
In hopes that they weren’t refused, but rather, accepted with a “yes.”
The clients were calling, all stressed to the max,
As they wondered where could go to get the Omicron vax.
If what wasn’t enough to cause them to jeer,
One of my clients received notice that he would not see his kids for Christmas this year.
I sprang from my chair to contact the other lawyer,
But alas – an out of office message – so I could not even call her.
So I would have to prepare the court motion with haste,
As time was of the essence, I had not a moment to waste.
I opened my computer and very quickly I began to type,
I would seek in-person parenting time, and even some time via Skype.
I emailed a draft copy to my client, to tell me it’s fine,
And then I would send it to them to execute using Adobe-Sign.
My assistant was now ready to serve and to file,
I needed her help, since I’ve not done this myself in a while.
Within a moment they were sent off, we would now have to wait,
To hear back from the trial coordinator to be assigned a court date.
My other clients kept calling me, so I decided to keep billing,
So long as I was able to help them, I was certainly most willing,
But then time seemed to stop, when I received an e-nudge.
The urgent motion was scheduled on Christmas Eve in front of a judge.
I let my client know that all was not lost,
And that if successful on the motion, I was seeking an order for his cost.
I prepared my best arguments, I wrote down my finest thought,
Assuring my client (and myself) that I’d give it my best shot.
The other side would be ready, they’d come at us with fire,
But they’d have to use duty counsel, as there was no one to hire.
They’d ask for more time, or try toss the whole case,
They’d argue all points to throw egg on my face.
So the day came, with me in my office and my client in his room,
We were ready to argue the case in court, using Zoom.
We waited for a while, left wondering what was taking so long,
I couldn’t shake that feeling like something was wrong.
With a computerized swirl, and then in a quick flash,
The presiding judge did appear on screen, wearing her robe and her sash.
She didn’t look happy, she looked kind of upset,
It took only a moment to feel instant pangs of regret.
“It’s December 24th” she said, “and you are here in my court.”
Her patience was limited, and her temper quite short.
“You should be spending time with your family, as a matter of course.”
“Instead of being here, wasting this limited judicial resource!”
I was about to say something when I decided to back-peddle,
“I’m putting you in breakout rooms” she ordered, “you better go settle.”
I was okay with this plan, but the other side was not willing,
But little did she know that the judge would give her a grilling.
“I don’t care about your feelings, or if you think the father is a pest,”
“My focus is on the children, and for them, what is best!”
“There’s an order in place to give him time with his kids,”
“You’re not going to breach those terms – or heaven forbid!”
“Now Madam Clerk, Mr. Registrar, put them all in their place”
“Give them time to talk, and in the meantime, I’ll handle another case.”
Then she reminded us all, as if there was any doubt,
“If you don’t reach a settlement, don’t bother coming out!”
So we talked and we talked, and even argued a bit,
With no hope for a deal, for the rest of the day we would sit.
When what did my jaded and cynical ears did hear,
The sound of my client sobbing, shedding a tear.
“I know you don’t like me,” he said to his ex-wife,
“And that you think that I have ruined your life.”
But this isn’t about you, and it’s not about me,”
I just want time with my kids at Christmas, you see.”
He continued to weep, and it was true as a fact,
That these tears were sincere – this wasn’t an act.
Then to the surprise of us all, the mother did say,
“You make a good point – it need not be this way.”
“I am over our breakup; I don’t have to be sad”
“I have moved on with my life, for that I am glad.”
“The anger and resentment is gone, just like a fad,”
“I can see clearly now that you’re actually a good dad.”
So with that declaration now made, I started to write,
I prepared a consent; it was a wonderful sight.
We came up with terms that met everyone’s need,
By using ADR basics – we were destined to succeed.
We went back into Zoom court, to let them all know,
A deal had been struck, good judgment we did show.
The judge read the settlement, she was pleased with our deal,
An order would be issued with a shiny red seal.
But before we could all leave, she just wanted to say,
How happy she was with our efforts this day.
“Rather than fight, you followed a new script,”
“You learned how to spare your children from your adult conflict.”
With a nod of her head, off the bench she did rise,
When she stopped on a dime, with a sparkle in her eyes.
“I almost forgot – I’d be remiss if I did not say,”
“Merry Christmas to all, but no costs for this day!”