In an article in The Weekly Standard yesterday, Edward Whelan heaves insults at the divorce bar by pronouncing, "Tucker's narrow specialty, divorce law, is far removed, in both substance and sophistication, from the work of the federal appellate courts--especially from the complex cases of administrative law that are the staple of the D.C. Circuit."
Excuse me while I hyperventilate. It is one thing to question the impartiality of a left wing member on the ABA Committee on the Federal Judiciay in evaluating Whelan's right wing candidate for the D.C. Circuit,
but to demean an entire field of lawyers is absolutely outrageous.
The field lacks substance? Since when was tax law, business valuations, ERISA and military retirement divisions, stock option valuation, consitutional law, Daubert challenges to expert witnesses, trial practice, estate planning, wealth protection, alimony trusts, the psychological research involved with parenting fitness and best interests of children, financial planning, retirement planning, evidence, diissipation and financial tracing, and on and on not substantive?. Sophistication? Every field of law has mediocre practictioners and stellar, highly sophisticated ones.
Hurling such misplaced insults should only reflect on the ignorance of the writer, but why did it make me so mad? Perhaps because we divorce lawyers have allowed ourselves to be perceived as such. By isolating ourselves within Family Court, super-specializing, and devoting all our volunteer and education hours to family law matters, the rest of the legal world apparently thinks we just fill out forms. Maybe it's time to branch back out. More of us serving on the ABA Committee on the Federal Judiciay may be a good place to start.
Update: There are many other federal laws divorce practitioners tackle beyond tax and ERISA: Wiretapping, International child abducton and Hague Convention, Federal Kidnnapping, Federal Viloence Against Women Act, immigration issues, bankruptcy, and the list goes on.