Divorce, Fairfield County, Litigation, Von Kohorn, Von Kohorn Attorney

Second Post – Good Advice Is Usually Right

As a young lawyer, I remember a conversation with a trusted colleague who has since retired.  They had practiced divorce law for about as long as I had been alive at that point.  The advice was more or less as follows:

Some divorce lawyers argue about the law in court.  What a mistake.  If you are arguing about the law then you are really just telling everyone that you either don’t know what you are doing or have no case at all and are being unreasonable.  Just focus on the facts.

Now I certainly don’t think this advice applies all the time.  It was an exaggeration to make an important and worthwhile point.  This is also a spin on the old adage that attorneys should argue the facts when the law is against them – and argue the law when the facts are against them.  By never arguing the law, I suppose you could try to at least act as if the facts were always in your favor.

However, I often think back to this advice whenever I see a young (or sometimes just plain ineffective) lawyer at court muddling through their case.  Most of our trial judges know the law very well and don’t need to be reminded of the specifics in every case.  The demand for trial time always exceeds the available supply.  During the precious time you have to make your case and convince a judge of your position, the overwhelming focus should be on the facts.  It is amazing – amazing! – how many lawyers don’t understand this and undermine their own cases.

To give you some idea of what it is like to watch a mess like this unfold in court while waiting for your own case to be called, it would be easier to give a “traffic court” sort of example.  Imagine a trial over a ticket for running a red light.  Instead of just calling their witnesses to the stand and asking them if the light was red, yellow or green (facts) or if they came to a stop or drove through the intersection (more facts) – the lawyer instead just spends 20 minutes lecturing the court about the law.  What the law says you do at an intersection if the light is green, yellow or red.  While this is a simple example, there are often genuinely simple controversies in family court that play out this way every day.

-Jon Von Kohorn

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Divorce, Fairfield County, Litigation, Von Kohorn

First Blog Post! – Submit your questions or ideas. (Anonymous requests are welcome too!)

Welcome to my first blog post!

I have been practicing divorce law in Connecticut for over 10 years.  For most of that, I have practiced with Tara, my wife and law partner.  Given that I am focused on family or matrimonial law, it is difficult to pin down one area of divorce law that I have more experience in over others.  However, it is fair to say that my practice involves a relatively high level of litigation and trial experience.  While some attorneys never step foot inside a court room, I’m usually there at least once per week.

While there is plenty to not like about divorce, the practice of divorce law can be very interesting.  You learn a lot about a wide variety of topics.  The trial advocacy aspect of the practice is particularly engaging as well.  Preparing and presenting cases in an adversarial setting is an art as well as a science.

In Connecticut, all family cases are disposed of either through an agreement or by a decision from a judge or agreed upon arbitrator.  There are no jury trials.

I thought that this blog could be an interesting destination for those who had questions about any aspect of divorce law and practice in Connecticut, specifically the Fairfield County area in southwestern Connecticut.

If anyone has any questions or ideas for a blog post then feel free to message me either privately or publicly.  I can be reached through our firm website at http://www.thevklawfirm.com or via our firm’s Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/thevklawfirm/

-Jon Von Kohorn

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