By Austin Sarat

ISBN-10: 0195063872

ISBN-13: 9780195063875

Every year greater than 2 million american citizens divorced, and such a lot of them use a attorney. In closed-door conversations among legal professionals and their consumers technique is deliberate, strategies are devised, and the emotional weather of the divorce is demonstrated. Do legal professionals give a contribution to the discomfort and emotional hassle of divorce through escalating calls for and inspiring unreasonable habit? Do they make the most of consumers at a time of emotional hassle? Can and will consumers belief their legal professionals to seem out for his or her welfare and increase their long term interests?

Austin Sarat and William L.F. Felstiner's new e-book, in line with a pioneering and in depth research of exact meetings among divorce attorneys and their consumers, offers an unheard of behind-the- scenes description of the lawyer-client dating, and calls into query a lot of the traditional knowledge approximately what divorce attorneys really do. Divorce legal professionals and Their Clients means that such a lot divorces are marked much less by way of a trend of competitive advocacy than via one in all inactiveness and float. It uncovers explanation why legal professionals locate divorce perform difficult and hard and why consumers usually suppose upset with their legal professionals. This new paintings offers a distinct point of view at the dynamics of professionalism. It charts the complicated and moving methods legal professionals and consumers "negotiate" their courting as they determine the tactic and strategies of divorce.

Sarat and Felstiner express how either legal professionals and consumers may be able to draw on assets of energy to set the time table in their interplay, whereas neither one is totally responsible. really, energy shifts among the 2 events; the place it's completed, strength is located within the skill to have one's understandings of the social and felony worlds of divorce permitted. strength then works in the course of the production of shared meanings. Divorce legal professionals and Their Clients examines the trouble to create such shared meanings concerning the nature of marriage and why marriages fail, the operation of the felony strategy, and tips to convey divorces to closure. it is going to be interesting studying for an individual who's going via, or has undergone a divorce, in addition to for attorneys, judges, and students of legislations and society.

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Extra info for Divorce Lawyers and Their Clients: Power and Meaning in the Legal Process

Sample text

My spring came undone. And I just attacked him. I just went for him for maybe five minutes, yelled and screamed and kicked and slapped and scratched and did whatever I could. I wasn't even aware at the time that I was doing it. I didn't even realize I was the one screaming. It was Lottie who told me later that I was the one who was screaming. But I just lost it. He made me so angry. His reaction to this was so senseless. The reason I had it done was because I wanted it done while I was covered by health insurance.

The lawyer in this case, like Robert in Felica's case, avoids commenting on the client's characterization of his spouse. He resists by remaining silent in the face of that characterization. When he does speak, he focuses only on the problem of how to get information about her present circumstances and finances. Occasionally, however, lawyers participate openly in the construction of accounts about the failed marriage. In each instance when they did so, they reinforced rather than challenged the view that the failure 34 Divorce Lawyers and Their Clients of the marriage should not be blamed on their client.

Claims of this type are tacit in many cases even when the client initiates the divorce (Griffiths, 1986: 154). Clients also portray themselves as victims to excuse their own marital misconduct. In Felica and Ted's case, for example, the following interaction occurred when Robert asked Felica to explain why she had physically assaulted her husband. Felica: They're going to bring up the time that I physically attacked him. Can we beat them to the punch and get that in so I can explain why I attacked him?

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Divorce Lawyers and Their Clients: Power and Meaning in the Legal Process by Austin Sarat


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