Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water again, it’s “Divorce at the Beach”. More ominous than a shark attack, the beginning of summer heralds into San Destin an entourage of Birmingham’s illustrious divorce attorneys for their annual seminar, more commonly referred to as “How to force your client’s beach house into foreclosure by driving up their legal bill and own their beach house yourself”.
As their clients sit home scratching their heads, puzzled as to why their divorces have curiously been put on the administrative docket for the summer, this cackling coven of family attorneys is touring 30A, plotting their real estate purchases from their anticipated proceeds. Wake up and smell the hemlock, clients -- you have entered the Bermuda triangle. A simple inspection of the topics for this year’s meeting is bone-chilling and will include a special presentation, not to be missed, entitled: “The 14 day PLR hearing with the unlicensed court reporter: I win no matter what the outcome, and so can you.”
This is not a law school hypothetical but it would have been too unbelievable as a reality show.
The attorneys typically travel to San Destin with a pack of private investigators, who will be strategically seeded throughout the beach from May until August, poised to catch on videotape any and all incriminating activities which clients may foolishly dare to engage in while vacationing in Florida over the summer. One such videotape recently placed into evidence at trial included the following demand for explanation:
“Minnie Mae, is this or is this not YOU in this photograph serving your children ice cream before lunch at the Sugar Shak in Rosemary Beach on Saturday, June 12??” Follow-up testimony related to the ice cream will then be required from the child’s pediatrician, dentist, dietician, nanny, kindergarten teacher, Sunday School teacher, the server from the Sugar Shak, a witness who will attest that the ice cream had gummi worms on top, and a special 90 page report from a team of child psychologists who will testify that the gummi worms’ resemblance to snakes is causally related to the child’s bedwetting and anxiety. A three day “Ice Cream Hearing” will be ordered in front of a special master appointed by the court to hear all aforementioned testimony. Total legal bill for trip to the Sugar Shak? $27,411.
Ice Cream is more expensive in Alabama. Upon Minnie Mae’s discovery that her soon to be ex-husband is NOT off on a Habitat for Humanity Adventure, and HAS, in fact, been the subject of numerous photographs at the Old Florida Fish House doing shots off the legs of bikini clad sorority girls and running up a bar tab that surpasses damages from the BP Oil Spill, his attorney will immediately schedule a deep sea fishing trip with the judge, who may, at his discretion, take an affidavit from the husband’s mother attesting that her son was away at choir camp, exonerating him of any malfeasance. The line item: “copies: $2500” will be added to Minnie Mae’s legal bill to cover the charges for the fishing boat. Should she dare to contest the bill, fifteen attorneys will be required to review the bill over a course of six months, at which time it will be pronounced a fair and accurate bill, with a warning to her that any attempt to appeal the ruling will likely “miss the deadline for filing”, and she will incur additional cost for inconveniencing everyone.
These are stormy sea waters, indeed. Best to stay close to home and tend to one’s smocking during “Divorce at the Beach”- season in the Magic City…. where the tea is sweeter….where some things simply never change… And we like it that way.
Until next time, Scarlet
Ask Scarlet a question, and she will tell you how to navigate those stormy waters. Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Or go to www.bhamweekly.com and comment on her articles. In case you missed some before she was as popular in Birmingham as she was in high school, with many disappointed suitors, try these on for size: