As a matrimonial litigator for over 13 years, I was both troubled and disappointed that the Law Journal chose to lead a story with a gratuitously offensive potshot at those involved in the practice of family law (“Judge Backs Admonishment of Lawyer for Profane Email,” Aug. 19). Whether meant as a joke or to be taken seriously, the wholestake rebuke of the professionals involved in matrimonial litigation was not only in extremely poor taste and insensitive, it was wrong.
The Law Journal should need no reminder of the considerable and far-reaching legal precedents that are routinely set by matrimonial attorneys in areas such as estate planning, trusts, taxation, contracts, business valuations and e-discovery, to name just a few. In my and my firm’s experience, our matrimonial bar and bench are dedicated to the same high ethical standards evinced by any other practice group. To be clear, even in the emotionally charged area in which I practice, attorney email exchanges do not contain pejoratives like “a**hole.”
To the extent that the article about a non-matrimonial matter tends to marginalize a divorce case to little more than husband and wife (and their lawyers) “squabbling” and engaging in name calling, I can also assure you that the pain felt by litigants as they navigate the divorce process is very real, as are the tireless efforts of their attorneys, the matrimonial judges, court staff and the members of the multitude of auxiliary agencies who all struggle on a daily basis with the most serious issues of domestic violence, the best interests of a child and the valuation of complex business entities, to name just a few.
Steven A. Leshnower
The author is an associate at Cohen Clair Lans Greifer & Thorpe