A friend of mine recently asked me – who is the best divorce lawyer in Atlanta? While of course my ego wanted to say me, I thought better of it than giving that self-serving answer. As I pondered the question more and thought through the numerous divorce attorneys that I have dealt with struggling to find the best answer to that question, only more questions came to my mind.
The first question was – how do you measure what makes a great divorce attorney? Of course that question only lead to the next logical question of – what things do divorce attorneys actually do?Fortunately, I had a lot of knowledge in that area. Divorce attorneys meet with clients, opposing attorneys, judges, and juries. They write letters, motions, and briefs. They argue positions and advocate for clients. They research statutes and case law as well as facts underlying cases. They are required to review complex financial and businesses documents. They must have excellent negotiation skills. And they must have excellent advocacy skills for when negotiations fail. And the list (that probably any first year law student could name) goes on and on … and hardly served to answer the question.
So I tried a different approach, what traits are most important in handling a divorce case. So I thought through the numerous cases I have handled over the years looking for what common traits existed in each case. Certainly in some cases it helped my client being more aggressive. Yet in others, it helped be less aggressive. In some cases, it was better to stay diligent (if not tenacious) in researching the factual grounds in a case. In others it was better to lay back and avoid wasting attorney’s fees. In some cases clients needed a sympathetic and understanding approach. In others, they needed a tough approach with someone that strongly suggested what they should do (or stop doing). Again, I started to realize that the answer was not going to be found with this approach.
So I did what comes natural to an attorney – I started researching what others were writing on this subject. And I read and read and really did not find that anyone was saying much substantive on the subject. So much for that idea.