Thank You from the Anonymous Client
Today's thank you comes from the client who followed your advice, kicking and screaming the whole time. It is now two years later and guess what, the children and your client (Father) have had a steady, stable and consistent relationship since the divorce. True, your client never got his chance to tell a jury how miserable life was with his wife, but at least he and she can now discuss the kids and even sit together at parent-teacher meetings.
You would have earned more money had you allowed the case to be tried. Your client would not have written to the Bar Association complaining that he was forced to sign a document with which he did not agree (complaining about you and that stinking Guardian Ad Whatever that said he should only have secondary custody). Your finest paralegal would not have wasted three days having to explain to him that the case was over and could not be re-opened. Your bill might have even been paid in full (well, maybe not). But you insisted that your client should accept the report of the Guardian Ad Litem since it appeared your client would not be awarded custody, since it would cost a lot of money and since parents who testify against each other are rarely able to communicate afterwards. In fact, you leveraged the possibility of trial against the opposing party and achieved more quality time for your client and the children than even the Guardian recommended. While it was not primary custody, it came pretty darn close to 50/50, and it ensured he would play a part in all major decisions (something the judge may not have granted since judges often simply appoint one parent to make decisions to keep them from having to return to Court for assistance with future decisions about the children's well-being).
The "Thank You."
Well it wasn't a typical, ordinary thank you. Rather it was a wink. Yes a wink. You were at the mall last weekend with your family, and as you passed FAO Schwarz (no relation to Kessler & Schwarz, P.C.) you saw your client leaving the store with his kids, each with stuffed animals with price tags still attached. He winked at you. That was his thanks, and it meant the world to you. It was also an acknowledgment. The wink said "You were there with me at my low point. Thanks for keeping me level-headed and for making the kids a priority".