Monday, July 20, 2015

Brag Board: 7/20/15

My winning streak with restraining orders is alive and well.  Looking back over my records, I believe that's about 9 consecutive wins.  It just goes to show that coming to court properly prepared (and properly represented by competent counsel), can make all the difference when you are seeking or defending against a restraining order.

On Friday, we litigated S.N. v. A.S. in Orange County Family Court.  My client's ex-girlfriend accused him of abuse that allegedly occurred during the course of their relationship.  My client followed my advice and stuck to his proverbial guns.  His ex-girlfriend's story fell apart under cross-examination and her requested order was denied.  We were able to save my client's job, his reputation and his freedom.

Of course, every case is unique.  Past performance is no guarantee of future success.  I cannot promise that your case will have the same outcome.  Judges in restraining order cases can be notoriously arbitrary and sometimes their rulings come more from their "gut" than from any established case law.  It's helpful to understand how judges tick and what sorts of arguments they tend to find persuasive -- that's where I step in.  I know how to boil your case down to the clearest and most concise summary of the important issues, without the filler that bores and annoys judges.  I've found (especially in restraining order cases), that both sides sincerely believe that they are right.  The "winner" in restraining order cases is usually whichever party can best articulate their version of the important facts.

Here are some helpful tips if you want to LOSE a restraining order case:

-Tell a rambling story with no discernible beginning, middle or end.  

-Come to court unprepared (no attorney, no documentation, no witnesses and no understanding of how the process works).

-Bring witnesses and instruct them to lie.  They will be separated during each of their testimony.  They will be cross-examined by the opposing counsel and by the judge.  If their stories are obviously fabricated, their lies will be exposed.

-Bury your good arguments under a bunch of irrelevant "filler".  "Filler" includes anything other than the facts that are actually at issue.  As I mentioned in my 3-part series on restraining orders, the judge does not care if the other party is a jerk, a liar, a cheater, a bitch, a pervert, or even a Red Sox fan.  The judge only cares about whether or not the petitioner can prove by clear and convincing evidence that harassment has occurred.  If the petitioner can prove harassment, then the petitioner wins.  If the petitioner cannot prove harassment, then the petitioner loses.  It's that simple.

If you or a loved one has questions about restraining orders in California, call us for a free consultation.  (714) 505-2468.  Ask for John.  Thanks for reading.