He's got your whole world in his hands
Back in Montreal in the 1960s and 1970s, it used to be said that there were only three divorce lawyers in town: my sister, and her buds Sid Cutler and Ben Greenberg. Needless to say, if I had had need of a lawyer, I would have used my sister then.
More than the price was right.
In 1983, she became a judge in the Superior Court. Ben, who had been appointed to the bench shortly before, and his wife threw a lavish party to celebrate my sister's appointment in their home. I was happily married then but, being a pragmatic person and a bit of a joker, I thought, hmmm, maybe I better nail down the last great divorce lawyer in town.
So I sought out Sid, in my husband's presence, and said, ''Here's a dollar. You're on retainer.''
We all laughed.
But I still remember Sid's words to me at the time. They went something -- and I am most definitely paraphrasing -- like this:
What makes a good divorce lawyer is not how far he's prepared to go to win, not how much he fights, not how much he stomps the other guy. The best divorce lawyer he said, as he spread out his arms and looked left and right, recognizes that the warring parties are here and here, far apart.
His job is not to get to the other side the other guy to your side but to ensure both people meet here, in the middle.
Any other guy, who allows a client to declare all-out war, will end up with more of the loot than either client/spouse.
That's great legal advice. And it's free.