Jazz, film, and improvised culture.
Divorce Corp: It’s All About Making Lawyers Richer
not a gender thing, it’s a lawyer thing.
It turns out predatory divorce lawyers and judges congenial to the point
of collusion have rigged the system to line their respective pockets. That hardly sounds shocking, but the reality
is worse than you imagined, at least according to a new documentary openly
advocating a comprehensive overhaul of the American family law system. The lawyers and judges profiting from broken
families stand duly indicted in Joseph Sorge’s Divorce Corp (trailer
opens this Friday in New York.
a shrewd consensus builder, Sorge includes an equal balance of men and women
who have been done wrong by the judge presiding over their divorces. When watching the case he lays out, it seems
neither the man nor the woman has a built in advantage. It all depends on whose lawyer is more buddy-buddy
with the judge. You might assume a judge
would recuse himself from hearing a case presented by a close friend and former
law partner, but in family court you would be wrong.
paints an alarming portrait of the family court as a judicial tyranny, where
jury trials and the right to council no longer apply. Perhaps most shockingly, he interviews two
victims of judicial persecution (one man and one woman), who were sent to
prison on dubious charges (such as “judicial intimidation”) after publicizing in
the media their judges’ clear conflicts of interest.
an alternative, Sorge and his associates point to the Scandinavian model as a
better method of divorce. They might be
right, but it is hard to imagine restricting alimony until the finalization of
the divorce will catch on here anytime soon.
For a start, states with referendum should pass provisions mandating
full C-O-I disclosure and allowing potentially disadvantaged parties to opt for
judicial reassignment. The various state
bars should also automatically investigate any divorce dragging on longer than
twelve months (which Sorge argues is indicative of frivolous motions designed
to bleed both parties dry).
Sorge and co-writers Blake Harjes, James D. Scurlock, and Philip Sternberg have
misrepresented the reality of family law in America, then the Bar Association
should produce a rebuttal documentary post-haste. Corp is
a compelling indictment, given additional authority by the participation of
narrator Dr. Drew Pinsky (who has credibility as an advocate for personal
responsibility). To a layman viewer, it
comes across quite even-handed and never engages in hysterical
is not exactly fun stuff, but it is highly watchable, particularly when
colorful private detective John J. Nazarian offers his commentary. When he says he would rather go through “death
than divorce,” it is pretty heavy.
Recommended for legal reform activists and those looking for a
justification to stay single forever, Divorce
Corp opens this Friday (1/10) in New York at the Quad Cinema.
Labels: Documentary, Dr. Drew