Growe Eisen Karlen Blog

Divorce Law: Common Mistakes in Dividing Assets

Rick Eisen to co-present at an upcoming NBI seminar on How to Avoid Critical Mistakes and Work Out Better Financial Settlements for Clients

What can you do to ensure your clients secure their fair share of the marital estate and financial security for the future? This information-packed program is a great first step. more…

QDROs – The Basics

QUALIFIED DOMESTIC RELATIONS ORDERS (QDROs): THE BASICS

In most cases, there are retirement plans that must be divided between spouses following divorce. When the retirement plans are employer-sponsored retirement plans, typically a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) is required in order to accomplish the division. Some basic components of QDROs include: more…

LAWYERS SET THE EXAMPLE FOR POLITICIANS

The recently completed election cycle has left many of us fed up and disgusted with the level of negative ads and campaigning.  Such boorish behavior demeans not only the candidates and their parties, but the very offices they seek to occupy.

It is time that political parties and politicians regulate their own conduct, much like the self-governing structure of the legal profession.  Lawyers in the various states enforce codes of conduct on each other.  In Missouri, the Rules of Professional Conduct are written by lawyers and adopted by our Supreme Court, as part of our judicial rules.  The desire and will to win for a lawyer is no less than that of a political candidate.  Client causes are important.  Lives and financial positions are on the line.  In spite of the importance of winning our cases, lawyers ascribe to basic, fundamental rules of fair play.  For example, Rule 4-3.1 prohibits a lawyer from bringing a claim or raising a defense where there is no reasonable basis for doing so.  Rule 4-3.3 mandates complete honesty and candor in all dealings between lawyers and judges.  No matter how high the stakes, a lawyer cannot misrepresent factual matters during the handling of a case.  Rule 4-3.4 requires lawyers to treat their adversaries with fairness in all aspects of pre-trial and trial proceedings.  Failure to adhere to these standards may result in discipline, ranging from reprimand to disbarment.  Lawyers impose discipline on lawyers.

Isn’t it time for politicians and political parties to adopt a similar program to regulate the conduct of their candidates.  In Missouri, the Ethics Commission (which is intended to scrutinize and regulate the financial arm of campaigns) could be expanded with a Commission empowered to adopt and enforce a model code to set forth standards for political campaigns.  The Code can certainly be modeled on the Bar’s Rules of Professional Responsibility.  The Commission must have the power to enforce discipline for violating our standards.  Fines or campaign suspensions are just examples of discipline which could be imposed.  The most important concept is simply to achieve a system where politicians regulate their own imposing standards of conduct which will elevate the discourse of our democracy.

The Rules of Professional Conduct governing lawyers is yet another example of how our community can benefit from following the lead of lawyers.

QDROs ~ The Basics

QUALIFIED DOMESTIC RELATIONS ORDERS (QDROs): THE BASICS

In most cases, there are retirement plans that must be divided between spouses following divorce.  When the retirement plans are employer-sponsored retirement plans, typically a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) is required in order to accomplish the division.  Some basic components of QDROs include: more…

Division of Retirement Assets

Following a divorce, it is often necessary to divide retirement accounts accumulated, by either spouse, during the marriage. This requires additional work as the division of these accounts is not accomplished with the Judgment of Dissolution or Divorce Decree alone. more…

Your Divorce: Help Me Help You

Family law litigation can be frustrating because many aspects of your case are outside your control. more…

Jury Selection Trial Tips for Clients

At the beginning of every civil jury trial, the lawyers have the opportunity to question all of the prospective jurors more…

Mediations: Trap for the Unprepared Client

Over the past decade, judges and lawyers have been promoting the use of mediation as a potential means of alternative dispute resolution. more…

Missouri Supreme Court Expands Cross-Examination Tools

The avenues available to lawyers challenging a witness?s character for truth and veracity were expanded by the Supreme Court of Missouri more…