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THE DIVORCE LAWYERS by Emily Couric

THE DIVORCE LAWYERS

The People and Stories Behind Ten Dramatic Cases

By Emily Couric

Pub Date: Feb. 25th, 1992
ISBN: 0-312-07083-7
Publisher: St. Martin's

 Through ten real-life illustrative matrimonial cases, Couric (The Trial Lawyers, 1988) offers an absorbing and useful ``general overview of the divorce process and divorce issues.'' The author describes each case from the point of view of one of the divorcing spouses, using each case to make some didactic point about the rapidly evolving and euphemistically misnamed field of ``matrimonial'' or ``family'' law. She argues, for instance, that the development of ``no-fault'' divorce has obviated the traditional necessity to assign blame as a legal prerequisite to divorce, and has transformed the practice of divorce law from a distasteful and somewhat shady business into a sophisticated and respectable legal specialty concerned primarily with tax and property issues. The case studies are concerned with such issues as the validity of prenuptial agreements, joint custody arrangements, custodial rights of stepparents, and tracing assets. As the title implies, however, it is the divorce lawyers in Couric's account, many of whom are nationally renowned (e.g., Raoul Felder, Stuart Walzer, Donald Schiller), who are the stars of her narrative. The lawyers in Couric's stories generally solve their clients' problems through masterful and creative litigation techniques. In a final chapter devoted to choosing a divorce lawyer, though, Couric points out that ``the profession has its share of rotten apples, incompetent, lazy, greedy practitioners who tend to spoil the reputations of their colleagues.'' She gives advice on how to choose and evaluate a divorce lawyer, as well as on the legal issues that typically arise in the divorce process. An insightful and practical handbook, useful alike for the attorney, the layperson interested in law, and anyone considering a divorce.