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The Divorce Papers | Rieger, Susan

Rieger, Susan

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It is a work of fiction. Names, characters, locations, and incidents both are the product of the creator’s creativeness or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to precise individuals, residing or useless, occasions, or locales is fully coincidental.

Copyright © 2014 by Susan Rieger

All rights reserved.

Printed in america by Crown Publishers, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random Home LLC, a Penguin Random Home Firm, New York.


CROWN and the Crown colophon are registered logos of Random Home LLC.

Grateful acknowledgment is made to HarperCollins Publishers and Carcanet Press Restricted for permission to reprint the poem “Telemachus’ Detachment” from Meadowlands by Louise Glück.

Copyright © 1996 by Louise Glück. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers and Carcanet Press Restricted.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Knowledge

Rieger, Susan, 1946–

The divorce papers : a novel / Susan Rieger. —First version.

pages cm

1. Divorce—Fiction. 2. Home relations—Fiction.

3. Girls attorneys—Fiction. 4. Divorce settlements—Fiction.

5. Home fiction. I. Title.

PS3618.I39235D58 2014



ISBN 978-0-8041-3744-7

eBook ISBN 978-0-8041-3745-4

Jacket design by Anna Kochman

Jacket images Fredrik Broden


For Maggie Pouncey,

no author might ask for a greater reader,

no mom a greater daughter

How these papers have been positioned in sequence can be made manifest within the studying of them. All unnecessary issues have been eradicated, so {that a} historical past … might stand forth as easy truth. There's all through no assertion of previous issues whereby reminiscence might err, for all of the information chosen are precisely up to date, given from the standpoints and inside the vary of data of those that made them.

—BRAM STOKER, Dracula 1897



Title Web page



I. Consumption

II. Orders/Discovery

III. Supply/Counteroffer

IV. Negotiations

V. Settlement


Concerning the Auth; or

From the desk of Sophie Diehl





Pricey Poppa,

I want you had been right here. Mommy and Daddy are very cranky. Is 1999 going to be an excellent yr? What’s a millennium? And what’s Montezuma’s revenge? Daddy has it. Mommy says I've an iron abdomen.






February 1, 1999

Dr. Stephanie Roth

211 Central Park West

New York, NY 10024

Pricey Stephanie:

I want your assist. Life is falling aside right here. I’m positive you’ve heard our information. Daniel has requested for a divorce. It’s so incorrect, for him, for me, for Tom, most of all for Jane. Our marriage has its issues, God is aware of, however there’s life in it but, and I can not bear the considered placing our daughter via a divorce. You’ve been a detailed pal of Daniel’s since medical college; he listens to you and trusts your judgment. Would you ask him to decelerate, speak issues via, perhaps give marital counseling a shot? We’ve been collectively 18 years; he shouldn’t throw all of it away.

I’d be thankful for something you could possibly do. Thanks.


Stephanie Roth, M.D., P.C.


211 Central Park West

New York, NY 10024

February 6, 1999

Maria Durkheim

404 St. Cloud Road

New Salem, NA 06556

Pricey Mia:

I'm actually sorry you’re taking the divorce so laborious however I can’t enable you. Daniel’s choice wasn’t made on the spur of the minute. He has been sad within the marriage for years, and you've got been too, in the event you might be trustworthy with your self. He's, in fact, unhappy in regards to the have an effect on of the divorce on Jane, however he's assured she can be a lot better off in the long term. It’s not good for a kid to develop up in a house the place the mother and father don’t love one another and may’t get alongside. I imagine in my coronary heart he has made the fitting choice, for everybody’s happiness, together with yours.

It is best to take into consideration the long run and all its myriad potentialities. Don’t cling to the previous. Put the unhealthy occasions behind you and transfer on. Truthfully, that is one of the best factor that would occur. You’ll see.

I want you good in all of your future endeavors.











(393) 875-5511

February 28, 1999

David Greaves

Traynor, Hand, Wyzanski

222 Church Road

New Salem, NA 06555

Pricey David,

Thanks for internet hosting my retirement dinner. I like getting along with my former clerks (I used to be going to say “outdated” clerks, however Sophie hardly qualifies beneath that heading). You’re such a wise, attention-grabbing, respectable bunch. And I used to be so happy that Jared got here up from D.C.

The upside of senior standing is the lighter docket, and I’m prepared for that; the draw back would be the diminishing high quality of my clerks. I've to face it (with out complaining): I’ll not get the perfect. I shall miss that. I cherished working with you, the unique who set the usual, and all of your descendants down via Sophie, and I’ve taken pleasure and pleasure in my position as a Supreme Courtroom feeder. Eventually rely (and I do rely), I’ve despatched 10 on to clerk for the Courtroom. Ruth will nonetheless take my calls, little doubt, however the others are prone to plow greener pastures. I don’t blame them. I’ve had an incredible run.

Sophie appears at sixes and sevens. She and I've lunch as soon as a month. We take turns treating one another at Golightly’s. It was her concept. “I’m a tonic for you,” she stated when she first referred to as. “Clerks are worshipful, and if not worshipful, then calculatingly sycophantic. Legal professionals, they’re toadies. Which explains, in fact, why judges are tyrants, trying down, actually, on everybody within the room. You want somewhat roughing up every so often, somewhat humbling.” Does every thing she thinks come out of her mouth?

I ponder what she’ll find yourself doing. I had her pegged as a professor, like her father, however once I stated that when, she checked out me as if I had been out of my thoughts: “Are you able to think about something worse than studying and writing all day, after which solely being allowed out to lecture to a category of entitled, fledgling Gordon Gekkos who count on an A for exhibiting up? Whose mother and father name once they don’t get one? I’d moderately defend meth heads. Which I do.” I’m glad she’s beneath your wing whereas she tries to determine what she needs. She’s so fast, so full of life. Prickly too, in fact. She instructed me she frequently goes all the way down to your workplace on the finish of the day, to “take off my sneakers and take down my hair—metaphorically.” It was good work I did, making this connection—for you each. You missed out on a daughter, with these tremendous, good-looking, brainy sons of yours, and now a grandson. And he or she missed out on—good, you’ll determine that out, in the event you haven’t already.

The oysters had been fantastic, particularly with the Champagne. Why eat anything, as Isak Dinesen believed. A splendid feast in all respects. My greatest to Mary.


Crankiness Abides

* * *

From: Sophie Diehl

To: Maggie Pfeiffer 

Date: Mon, 1 Mar 1999 1:30:07

Topic: Crankiness Abides 3/1/99 1:30 AM

Pricey Mags,

I'll flip 30 in 6 months and I don’t know what I needs to be doing. You understand what you wish to do; Matt is aware of what he needs to do; my sibs know what they wish to do, besides in fact Francoise, who simply likes kicking around the globe. However nonetheless, that’s one thing. I’m treading water. Do you keep in mind swim class at Brearley, the half-hour of drown-proofing, as if we'd discover ourselves one darkish night time floating on a mahogany plank within the Atlantic with Leonardo DiCaprio?

I do know I shouldn’t write emails after midnight, however I can’t go to sleep; I drank an excessive amount of tonight and I’m feeling sorry for myself. (I promised myself I wouldn’t gripe to you earlier than I sat down on the pc, however as you already know higher than virtually anybody, I could be a self-pitying drunk, which is a step above a imply drunk, however not a lot. I apologize.) I'll pull up my socks in correct Diehl style and attempt to discover the silver lining. One bit of reports: I noticed Andrew Bellow on the road on Friday with the chickie he’s taken up with, trying drained and sad. Chickie wasn’t trying so good both. Roots exhibiting, black tights with a run. I can’t say my spirits lifted on the sight of them (Andrew smiled brightly and stated good day as we handed. I nodded.), however I could have walked on with a lighter step. I up to date my unhealthy boyfriend record earlier: Andrew makes 5.

I did have an excellent time tonight, although it’s triggered all these anxieties. David had a cocktail party for Decide Howard and her clerks. She’s retiring. Nice meals (oysters, lobster, the best trayf within the land), useful tales, useful toasts. The choose was so pleased with the event and all of us. As a gaggle, they appear fairly pleased with their lives and work. They’re additionally fairly spectacular, a deputy U.S. AG, the New York State AG, the deans of Mather and Narragansett Regulation, the managing accomplice of THW (and these had been simply the locals). David obtained us all T-shirts, with the Decide’s useful line from Ernest v. Farago: “What has develop into of us? When did we begin fencing unicorns and foddering wolves?” Decide Howard is fantastic in each manner. I worship her. Fact be instructed, I wish to be federal circuit choose (“Decroche la lune,” as Maman all the time says) however I can’t say that to folks (besides you, in fact) and I don’t know tips on how to get from right here to there. (Give piles to the Narragansett Democratic Social gathering?) Geez, it's 1:30. I'll settle now for getting from right here to mattress.






(393) 876-5678


Legal professional Work Product

From: David Greaves

To: Sophie Diehl

RE: Mrs. Maria Durkheim

Date: March 15, 1999


I’d such as you to interview a potential purchaser in a divorce case this Wednesday. I do know you haven’t executed a matrimonial, however the scenario requires white-glove service and there’s nobody else out there that day. Fiona is out of the workplace this week, Felix can be in courtroom, and I’m attempting to shut the Pericles deal. The draw back of a boutique agency. However the upside too; all of us develop into utility infielders.

The purchaser’s identify is Maria Durkheim. She is Bruce Meiklejohn’s daughter. She’s coming in at 10:30 a.m. He referred to as me final night time to ask us to speak to her. He’d like us to take her case. He stated he thought his daughter wanted “heavy artillery.” I do know what he means, however I don’t know what she needs. The husband is an enormous star at Mather Medical College, an oncologist, chaired professor, division head, Freeman Prize winner. Meiklejohn doesn’t like him one bit, and he made it clear he’s glad they’re breaking apart. He stated the wedding was a mistake from the beginning—“water and oil,” he referred to as it, utilizing customary Meiklejohn-speak for “Jew and Gentile.” He described Dr. Durkheim as “a type of folks, you already know the sort, overly aggressive and impressive, striving, somebody who tries too laborious to slot in.” Bruce Meiklejohn is straight out of the Darien of Gentleman’s Settlement. I as soon as heard him say, “Mather School was by no means the identical after the GI Invoice.” Too many physicists? Anyway, I wish to provide you with a heads-up. I've no cause to imagine the daughter subscribes to any of this, however Meiklejohn says the divorce might be ugly. There’s a toddler, a ten-year-old woman, Jane. She was uppermost in Meiklejohn’s thoughts. “Now, hear this, Greaves, you look out for my granddaughter, Jane.” I don’t know if the ugly half includes cash or Jane, or the couple’s dynamic. In all probability all three, if expertise means something.

Let me know in the event you’re free Wednesday morning. It’s solely a few hours of your time, and also you may even get pleasure from it. Divorcing {couples} harbor murderous ideas; they simply have higher impulse management than your common purchasers.




(393) 876-5678


Legal professional Work Product

From: Sophie Diehl

To: David Greaves

RE: Mrs. Maria Durkheim

Date: March 15, 1999


I’ll do the interview, in fact, in the event you want me to do it, however I can’t imagine you don’t have higher selections. Proctor? Virginia? I've two critical deficiencies, each of which make me a awful candidate for the job.

1st. My rank inexperience as a lawyer who’s by no means executed a civil case, not to mention a divorce, ought to cease you in your tracks. I put into proof Sophie Diehl’s CV Lite:

1969: Sophie is born

1987–91: Sophie attends faculty

1991–92: Sophie spends the yr paralegaling on the Southern Middle for Human Rights

1992–95: Sophie attends regulation college

1995–97: Sophie clerks on the thirteenth Circuit

1997– Sophie begins working at THW doing prison protection work (1½ yrs! That’s it.)

2nd. If, regardless of the clear and convincing proof offered above, you persist in your request, I'd ask for an ironclad dispensation from something past the consumption interview. I can not do a divorce. I'm not solely ailing geared up legally; I'm ailing geared up temperamentally. (i) I don’t like purchaser contact. I believe it’s why I settled on prison work. I like that the majority of my purchasers are in jail. They will’t get to me; I can solely get to them. (ii) I don’t like divorcing mother and father. I had my very personal set, each of whom behaved very, very badly in ways in which would make your hair stand on finish.

How’s this for a rewrite of Anna Karenina: “Each divorcing household is disagreeable in its personal manner.” Poor Anna Okay, so heartbreakingly Nineteenth century. Nobody dies for love anymore; solely love dies after which they break up. Maybe I’ll write the trendy replace of Anna; she will get divorced and loses custody, however she has visitation each different weekend. Then she goes again to highschool and will get an MSW and works with troubled kids. She doesn’t throw herself beneath the practice; she merely takes the subway. (She will be able to’t afford a cab: unhealthy settlement.) Might that be Mrs. Durkheim’s story? Is there a Vronsky? Do I've to seek out out issues like that, for injury management? What else do I want to seek out out? Is there a guidelines? Do I interview or do I simply hear? What do I do? (Do you hear the nervousness in my voice as I write, rising to a close to screech?)

Gentleman’s Settlement?




(393) 876-5678


Legal professional Work Product

From: David Greaves

To: Sophie Diehl

RE: Maria Durkheim

Date: March 16, 1999

Attachments: Divorce Work Sheets Narragansett Code, Sections 801ff., Title 33 Divorcing USA excerpts

Knowledge: There's a Divorce Work Sheet. I'm attaching a duplicate to this memo. It asks about earnings, deductions from earnings, property, liabilities, and month-to-month bills. Should you assume she’s as much as it, ship it dwelling with Mrs. Durkheim to fill out. It’s lengthy—4 densely packed pages—however a divorcing particular person wants to consider all this stuff, particularly if she doesn’t have any unbiased financial savings or earnings, which I believe is the case right here. The primary web page, Revenue & Deductions/Belongings & Liabilities, is a snapshot of the wedding’s wealth, the sources to be divided by the couple. The following three pages itemize month-to-month residing bills, offering a foundation for spousal and youngster help. Different issues to do in preparation:

(i) Get from the library copies of the Divorce Work Sheet: Abstract Biographies, and fill one out for each Durkheims in the course of the interview.

(ii) Check out a negotiated settlement; I like to recommend the Haberman divorce; it provides you with an concept of how the upper-middle lessons divide the spoils.

(iii) Forged a watch over Sections 801ff., Title 33, of the Narragansett Code, the Narragansett divorce and custody statutes. I’ve made an inventory of essentially the most related sections. I’m assuming you took a course in Household Regulation at regulation college, sure? And you have to have taken Civil Process.

Consumption: As to what to anticipate on the consumption interview, in my expertise, girls who’ve been left or betrayed (and I’m not being sexist, merely observant) spend the hour venting—he’s essentially the most egocentric man on the earth (or New Salem)—or crying. The wives who do the leaving are one other story; they’re racked with guilt. They’ll supply to surrender every thing however the kids. I’ve connected a handout, excerpts from an article in Divorcing USA (terrible identify) that Fiona has given to purchasers on the psychology of divorcing. It’s fundamental however correct. (I've vowed I’ll by no means break up irrespective of how terrible issues get; I’ll shoot myself—or Mary—first. I've no real interest in discovering out how loathsome I might be. Or Mary, for that matter.)

Your job is to assume and hear like a lawyer however speak to her as a sort acquaintance, somebody who doesn’t know her good however is nonetheless warmly disposed towards her. (You’ve obtained to drop the prison lawyer’s skeptical demeanor.) Immediate her, encourage her to reply your questions, however don’t press. It could take an hour; don’t let it go a lot past that. Nothing new can be stated after that. (Shrinks cease after 45 minutes, on the identical fundamental concept, I imagine, they usually do it with a degree of ruthlessness that's the envy of appellate judges.) Take notes, in fact; there’s no different option to keep in mind the small print (whereby God and the Satan reside). Then write it up. Or you may tape it. You’ll be off the case after that.

Charges: You’ll want to speak cash together with her, not one thing you do along with your purchasers. The standard retainer for a divorce with kids is $6,000, which covers the primary 40 hours (at $150/hour), not together with prices. She might need solely to seek the advice of, during which case it's best to invoice her at $150/hour for the time you truly spend together with her. If she decides to signal on, we’ll add the write-up to the invoice; if she’s simply procuring, we’ll eat it.

Shopper Conduct: Sure, discover out if there’s one other man or girl, for each Durkheims. We’re a no-fault divorce state, but when the case goes to trial, the choose can contemplate fault, and in custody fights, even the kitchen sink is available in. It’s all the time higher to know what they’ve executed—although in fact, they all the time misinform you.

You may see if she has been appearing out. It’s commonplace for one or each of the divorcing events to misbehave, create scenes in public, make extravagant purchases with the joint bank card, slash tires, bug a cellphone or bed room, in brief, do issues they’d by no means do in regular life. Judges don’t like actually actually unhealthy habits, and if it’s occurring, it’s good (if attainable) to nip it within the bud.

One final thought, which isn't, strictly talking, related however is nonetheless attention-grabbing. You may discover out if Dr. D’s mother and father are useless. I’ve discovered that individuals are extra prone to search divorce—and do it extra cold-bloodedly—after their mother and father are gone. I get the sense that Dr. D is the one pushing for divorce. Meiklejohn didn’t say this outright, however he talked about his daughter’s reluctance to talk to an lawyer. She felt it was too quickly.

VIP Purchasers: The Meiklejohns and the Mathers (distaff aspect) are longtime purchasers of the agency. Proctor’s grandfather was the executor of Mrs. D’s great-grandfather’s will, and Proctor is the executor of her mom’s. Mrs. D’s mom (née Maria Mather) died greater than 20 years in the past. Ten months later, her father remarried. The present Mrs. Meiklejohn, Cindy, is, as you already know, Society (in the event you can say there's any Society left in New Salem. Everybody—besides you, in fact—belongs to the Cricket Membership as of late: no extra inherited memberships). She’s an excellent deal youthful than her husband however greater than ½ HA +7. My guess is she doesn’t care what occurs with the Durkheims—besides insofar as their habits upsets her husband. She doesn’t prefer to see him sad. I’m together with her on that. Good luck—and once more, thanks.

Miscellany: Gentleman’s Settlement is a film about anti-Semitism from the late ’40s, with Gregory Peck enjoying Jewish. It's good to bone up in your film backlist, Sophie. You've seen The Third Man, haven’t you?




(393) 876-5678

Divorce Work Sheet: Revenue & Deductions and Belongings & Liabilities

Legal professional Work Product


Sources of Revenue (gross)


Employer 1

Employer 2

Different Sources







Belief Disbursements

Spousal Help



Deductions from Revenue

Fed Tax ____ (#) exemptions

State Tax ____ (#) exemptions FICA





Belongings (truthful market worth)

Actual Property

Motor Autos

Private Property

Retirement/Deferred Plans


IRAs, 401(okay)s


Financial institution Accounts

Shares, Bonds, Mutual Funds







House Fairness


Credit score Card

Schooling Loans



Divorce Work Sheet: Month-to-month Dwelling Bills

Legal professional Work Product





Actual Property Taxes

Lease (or co-op/rental minimal upkeep fee)

Insurance coverage

House Upkeep Together with Allowance for Main House Repairs

Grounds Upkeep (gardens, snow removing, garden mowing, tree


Utilities (heating, gasoline, electrical energy, water, sewer)


Home Assist





Youngsters’s College Lunches



Garments & Sneakers

Dry Cleansing & Laundry




Hygiene Merchandise




Mortgage Fee


Upkeep & Repairs

Insurance coverage

Excise Tax


Different Transportation


Tuition & Charges

Mortgage Reimbursement



Day Care

Youngster Help Obligations



Insurance coverage

Normal Practitioner/Pediatrician


Psychological Counselor

Bodily Therapist



Prescription Medication



Credit score Card

Private Loans

Alimony Funds



Pensions & Retirement Accounts

IRAs, 401(okay)s, and so forth.

Financial savings Accounts & Investments




Incapacity & Lengthy-Time period



Films, Theater, Live shows, Sports activities Occasions, and so forth.

Sports activities Actions

Classes, Charges & Packages

Garments & Gear

Consuming Out

Events & Different In-House Leisure


Books, Magazines, Newspapers


Leisure Gear (VCR, TV, pc, and so forth.)

Family Pets

Meals & Provides

Veterinary Bills





Narragansett Statutes

Title 33 of the Narragansett Code, Sections 801ff.

Dissolution of Marriage, Annulment, and Authorized Separation

Desk of Contents [Redacted]

Sec. 801. Grounds for dissolution of marriage; authorized separation; annulment.

Sec. 804. Service and submitting of criticism.

Sec. 805. Stipulation of events and discovering of irretrievable breakdown.

Sec. 806. Paternity institution.

Sec. 807. Orders relating to custody and help of minor kids.

Sec. 808. Counsel for minor kids. Duties.

Sec. 809. Parental health.

Sec. 810. Finest pursuits of the kid.

Sec. 811. Psychiatric or psychological analysis of the kid.

Sec. 812. Joint custody. Definition. Presumption.

Sec. 813. Presumption relating to greatest curiosity of kid to be in custody of dad or mum.

Sec. 823. Parenting teaching programs. Required.

Sec. 830. Equitable distribution.

Sec. 832. Alimony (often known as upkeep or spousal help).

Sec. 833. Momentary alimony and help and use of household dwelling or different residential dwelling.

Sec. 834. Dad and mom’ obligation for upkeep of minor youngster.

Breaking Free With out Breaking Down:

A Psychological Portrait of Divorce

Patricia Lahey

April 1997

Excerpts: web page 37–39

Individuals who get divorced are nonetheless connected. Separating is tough, even when husband and spouse agree it’s the fitting factor. And normally they don’t agree on that any greater than they agree on custody, alimony, or youngster help. They should despise one another to undergo with it. In any other case, they will’t do it; they don’t have the stamina. They demonize the opposite particular person in order that they will justify their delinquencies, their selfishness. And each get together’s the injured get together. Usually the one that initiates the divorce is the angrier, the extra self-righteous, the extra vindictive. Not at first essentially. Guilt has a component however normally solely within the early levels. Folks wish to be proper however by no means a lot as once they’re divorcing.…

In my expertise, males not often depart, irrespective of how sad they're, except there’s one other girl. They discover somebody, then they depart. They don’t like being alone; they don’t do it good. The girl will not be somebody he needs to marry; she might merely be a transitional object, somebody to get him over the hump. The obverse doesn’t maintain. If the lady is the one who's asking for a separation, there will not be anybody else. Lots of girls merely need out; they fantasize about being alone, sitting in a white room with no cellphone.




(393) 876-5678


Legal professional Work Product

From: Sophie Diehl, Divorce-Legal professional-For-A-Day

To: David Greaves

RE: Matter of Durkheim: Consumption Interview Cowl Memo

Date: March 17, 1999

Attachments: Payment Settlement

Consumption Interview Transcript

Divorce Work Sheet: Abstract Biography: Maria Meiklejohn Durkheim

Divorce Work Sheet: Abstract Biography: Daniel Edward Durkheim

Home Relations Summons

Grievance for Divorce

You received’t imagine this. Mrs. Durkheim’s husband’s attorneys (Okay&B! Get out the shovels) had her served with the divorce summons whereas she was having lunch with a pal at Golightly’s. I virtually fell off my chair. I'd have been much less shocked if one in all my common purchasers instructed me he had offed somebody throughout lunch at Golightly’s.

All the way down to enterprise. I met with Mrs. Durkheim this morning at 10:30. I feel I did okay; no less than I didn’t bungle it, which was a risk given my deficits, authorized and human. Mrs. Maria (Mia) Mather Meiklejohn Durkheim has retained the providers of the agency (however not me, as I defined to her) to characterize her in a divorce motion in opposition to her husband, Dr. Daniel E. Durkheim. She signed the Payment Settlement on the spot, barely glancing on the phrases. I suggested her in opposition to this however met cussed resistance. The interview took an hour, the dialogue of the legal guidelines and the retainer one other hour, and the form-filling a half hour. (I billed her account $375, for 2 and a half hours of labor, a primary for me. Not my typical $50 plus prices.) I taped the interview and requested Hannah to transcribe it so Fiona (Felix? you?) received’t have to start out another time. It gave me a style of how your era of attorneys works, dictating right into a machine after which having the secretary transcribe it. Associates sort their memos and their briefs, too, and even do all of the formatting. (I’m not being ageist, merely observant.)

My field of tissues went unused. Mrs. Durkheim didn't vent. She was composed, collected, articulate. Whereas she answered questions willingly, simply, she anticipated me to take the lead within the interview. She requested me to summarize the regulation and clarify her choices. I got here fresh early on and instructed her I used to be pinch-hitting for the agency’s ace divorce lawyer, who was out of city. She appeared tremendous with that.

I requested her questions on her marriage, the household’s funds, her daughter. She was very educated, no baby-wife she. I used to be in a position to pull collectively a tough chronology, synchronizing wage historical past and marital historical past. (See the Divorce Work Sheet: Abstract Biographies for each Durkheims.) I defined Narragansett’s no-fault/fault statute and the precept of equitable distribution in dividing property and awarding help. I instructed her she couldn't successfully contest the divorce or refuse to cooperate. The events wouldn't have to comply with a divorce; if one in all them needs out, she will be able to get out. (“Not like a get,” she stated.) I stated it was in her curiosity to cooperate. A divorce, I defined, is solely a civil motion which dissolves a civil union and allocates property, obligations, and progeny; it doesn't present “closure” or every other cathartic operate. (“I get it,” she stated. “It’s all—it’s solely—about cash.”) I gave her a quick rundown on custody (greatest curiosity of the kid) and defined the distinction between joint and sole, authorized and bodily. I instructed her that the majority divorces had been settled by negotiation, not trial, and that the events might make any settlement they needed as long as it wasn’t in opposition to public coverage. I did my studying however studying isn’t expertise. (By the best way, I didn’t invoice for the two+ hours I spent doing homework final night time; it didn’t appear proper. An actual divorce lawyer would have identified all of it.) If something I stated was incorrect, Fiona can set her straight.

I instructed her she had two choices: she might wait till her husband made her a suggestion, or she might make a suggestion to him. I gave her a duplicate of the Divorce Work Sheets and instructed her to take a stab at pulling collectively a projected annual funds, post-divorce, for herself and her daughter. She stated she would do no matter was essential.

She was splendidly clearheaded all through. She’s very sensible and she or he understands what she must do. She had even referred to as a Realtor earlier than coming in to get a brand new valuation on the household dwelling. Are you able to imagine she had the presence of thoughts to try this? The wealthy are completely different—and she or he is aware of it. She’s offended at her husband however her anger hasn’t clouded her judgment. She’s not out to fleece him. For one factor, she has, if not cash of her personal, then entry to cash; for an additional, although cash will not be nothing to him, he needs success extra. And on that time, she doesn’t want him good. She’s put a correct Sicilian curse on him.

Mrs. Durkheim has acted out a bit, although nothing too excessive. She carried out a quick, disagreeable correspondence with the lady she believes is her husband’s new lover. She introduced copies together with her and gave them to me. I’ve put them within the file, together with the notice she wrote her husband after she had been served the summons at Golightly’s. Her epistolary model, as you will notice, could be very a lot to the purpose.

Mrs. Durkheim is 41 years outdated however appears youthful. She’s tall (my top) with blond hair, straight black eyebrows, and eyes that look black. Though her Christian identify is Maria, she goes by Mia and all the time has. She was named for her mom, who was referred to as by her full identify. Since her mom’s loss of life, her father generally calls her Maria. She doesn’t assume he does it out of sentiment, solely carelessness.

I like Maria Durkheim. She nonetheless has a humorousness (which was the primary casualty of my mother and father’ divorce), and she or he loves her youngster. She in all probability sounds more durable within the interview than she truly is. I don’t assume her courageous speak is all bravado—perhaps half. She is decided to not really feel sorry for herself, no less than not publicly. Good for her. Dr. Durkheim’s father died in 1992, his mom in September, 1998. He inherited a small amount of money and a 10-year-old automobile.

Traynor, Hand, Wyzanski

222 Church Road

New Salem, Narragansett 06555

(393) 876-5678



I, Maria M. Durkheim, the “Shopper” of 404 St. Cloud Road, New Salem, NA, hereby retain the agency of Traynor, Hand, Wyzanski, the “Attorneys,” in reference to: divorce proceedings and such different work as might every now and then be carried out by the Attorneys on the Shopper’s behalf.

1. The Shopper shall pay to the Attorneys $6,000.00 as an preliminary retainer on this matter, and, in consideration of this fee, the Attorneys comply with carry out authorized providers as herein supplied.

2. The preliminary retainer paid by the Shopper shall be utilized in opposition to authorized providers truly carried out for the Shopper by the Attorneys (in addition to any attorneys working beneath their course). There shall be no minimal payment. The providers shall be charged on the hourly price of $150.00.

3. Hourly time fees for authorized providers carried out embrace however should not restricted to: courtroom appearances; workplace conferences; phone conferences; authorized analysis; depositions; evaluate of file supplies and paperwork despatched or acquired; preparation for trials, hearings, and conferences; and drafting of pleadings and devices, correspondence, and workplace memoranda.

4. The Shopper shall as well as pay for all out-of-pocket disbursements incurred in reference to this matter, together with however not restricted to: submitting charges, witness charges, journey, sheriff’s and constable’s charges, bills of depositions, toll calls and faxes, and investigative bills. The Attorneys comply with receive the Shopper’s prior approval earlier than incurring any disbursement in extra of $150.00.

5. The Shopper shall pay the preliminary retainer to the Attorneys no later than: April 1, 1999. The Attorneys shall present the Shopper with an itemized assertion of providers and out-of-pocket disbursements on July 1, 1999, and each three months thereafter. Within the occasion the time fees and/or out-of-pocket disbursements of the Attorneys exceed the preliminary retainer, the Attorneys shall submit extra itemized billings on the primary enterprise day of the month, payable by the Shopper inside 30 days of the billing date.

6. Accounts not paid by their due date shall be topic to curiosity on the price of 1.5% per 30 days till paid. Failure to pay billings promptly will allow the Attorneys after discover to the Shopper to terminate the Attorneys’ illustration of the Shopper, and the Attorneys shall be entitled to file a discover of withdrawal in any pending judicial motion.

7. If the whole price of the authorized providers carried out by the Attorneys shall be lower than the quantity of the preliminary retainer paid by the Shopper, the stability shall be refunded to the Shopper.

8. The Courtroom might award counsel charges to at least one get together and order the opposite get together to pay the quantity awarded. Alternatively, the events, to keep away from a contested trial, might agree by settlement contract to supply that one of many events will contribute an agreed quantity towards the opposite get together’s authorized bills.

a. No illustration is made on this Settlement that any contribution by the opposite get together can be obtained towards the Shopper’s authorized bills.

b. Within the occasion a contribution is obtained from the opposite get together for the good thing about the Shopper, the quantity in query shall be credited in opposition to the Attorneys’ remaining invoice to the purchaser.

9. This Settlement represents the complete and full settlement between the Attorneys and the Shopper as to the phrases of the Attorneys’ illustration of the Shopper within the matter described. There aren't any exceptions.


We, the Shopper and the Attorneys, have learn the above Payment Settlement and perceive and settle for its phrases. Each have signed it as their free act and deed, and the Shopper acknowledges receipt of a duplicate of the Settlement.

Signed this seventeenth day of March, 1999.

Traynor, Hand, Wyzanski


Shopper Maria M. Durkheim Legal professional Anne Sophie Diehl




4 (393) 876-5678




8 Consumption Interview


10 Interview Topic: Maria Meiklejohn Durkheim

11 Interviewer: Anne Sophie Diehl

12 Date: March 17, 1999

13 RE: Authorized Separation and Divorce


15 Transcription by: Hannah Smith

16 Date: March 18, 1999


33 Q. Good morning. I’m Sophie Diehl. David Greaves, your

34 father’s lawyer, requested me to fulfill with you this morning. I'm

35 an affiliate with the agency.

36 A. Hiya, I’m Maria—Mia—Durkheim, née Meiklejohn.

37 Thanks for seeing me on such quick discover.

38 Q. In no way. I wish to tape this interview, if that’s all

39 proper with you, to have an correct report.

40 A. That’s tremendous.

41 Q. How can I enable you?

42 A. On February fifteenth—listed below are the papers—my husband,

43 Daniel Durkheim, Dr. Daniel Durkheim, had his attorneys,

44 the scumbag agency of Kahn & Boyle, serve me with a summons

45 for divorce, I feel that’s what it’s referred to as, whereas I used to be having

46 lunch at Golightly’s on Cromwell. I can’t imagine that’s

47 customary follow, no? The College Membership maybe, perhaps

48 the Plimouth or the New Salem Cricket Membership, however Golightly’s?

49 Your grandmother’s restaurant. That cozy bastion of linen

50 tablecloths, padded cubicles, lodge silver plate. I used to be with

51 a colleague, not even a pal, when this damp, cringing

52 particular person sidled as much as me and requested if I used to be Maria Meiklejohn

53 Durkheim. I stated I used to be. He handed me the summons, then

54 backed away. I believed at first, stupidly, it was the wine

55 record. Once I noticed what it was, I virtually fell into my Niçoise.

56 I believed I’d black out. Pulling myself collectively, I spotted

57 my colleague was observing me. Different folks too. I sat up

58 straight, referred to as the waiter over, and ordered a bottle of Pouilly-

59 Fuissé. “I really feel like celebrating,” I instructed my colleague. “My

60 deal with.” It was an excessive check of my savoir faire. Even now it

61 makes me catch my breath. Are you able to imagine it?

62 Q. I can. I’m a prison lawyer. Dangerous habits doesn’t

63 shock me. However I’ve by no means heard of anybody else being served

64 at a restaurant.

65 A. I obtained served at a restaurant. Ha. I suppose I ought to return

66 service on a squash courtroom. The Cricket Membership. I wouldn’t

67 thoughts smashing him—or these scumbag attorneys. What do

68 I do now? It’s been no less than a month. I didn’t say something

69 to my husband for a number of days, then I wrote him an acid

70 notice, threatening to have him served throughout a speech he was

71 planning to present on the annual Pediatric Oncology convention

72 in Boston. I've a duplicate. Would you prefer it?

73 Q. Sure, I'd. Did you truly perform the risk?

74 [Note to Hannah: I’m placing the letter in the file.]

75 A. Oh, no. It’s been my expertise that there’s no have to

76 carry via on a well-crafted risk with upper-middleclass

77 sorts. The aim is to wrong-foot them, increase their

78 blood strain, gin up their nervousness degree. I saved imagining

79 him trying up on a regular basis as he was studying his paper, to see

80 if a sheriff’s deputy was closing in on him. I believed I had a

81 good likelihood of ruining the convention for him. I feel I could

82 have. In fact, he by no means stated something. Nor did I.

83 Q. Is it solely on the upper-middle lessons that threats alone

84 work?

85 A. I can’t say for everybody, however with the wealthy, you must

86 carry via or they don’t take you severely. My father

87 would inform you that.

88 Q. Apart from the threats, have you ever executed something?

89 A. What do you imply by “executed”?

90 Q. Have you ever responded extra formally?

91 A. No. That’s why I got here in right now. I’m guessing I have to

92 make some type of response. What ought to I do now?

93 Q. Ah. The standard subsequent step is to retain a lawyer to characterize

94 you. You might want to seek the advice of multiple, to find out

95 who will offer you the providers you want for a payment you

96 choose cheap.

97 A. With regards to attorneys, I belief my father, and he says

98 Traynor, Hand is one of the best there's. Contemplate your self retained.

99 Inform me what your payment is. I’ll pay it.

100 Q. Oh, I'm not the lawyer you wish to retain. David requested

101 me to fill on this morning for Fiona McGregor, who’s on

102 vacation. Now we have terrific divorce attorneys within the agency. In addition to

103 Ms. McGregor, there’s Felix Landau, who's in courtroom right now,

104 and David, too, as a result of he can do something. I’ve by no means executed

105 a divorce.

106 A. In some way, I discover that reassuring. It’s my first divorce too.

107 Q. However I’m a prison lawyer.

108 A. Simply what I want for Ray Kahn.

109 Q. Don’t fear about him. 90% blowhard. Let’s take a look at

110 these Divorce Work Sheet: Abstract Biographies. We will go

111 over them collectively, and I’ll clarify Narragansett divorce regulation

112 as greatest I can. However why don’t we begin by my asking you some

113 questions on you, your husband, your marriage, and your

114 daughter, sure?

115 A. Shoot.

116 Q. How outdated are you? How outdated is your husband? How lengthy

117 have you ever been married?

118 A. I’m 41. Daniel is 52. We’ve been married for 16 years,

119 since 1982. However we lived collectively for two years earlier than that.

120 Daniel was married once I met him, to Helen Fincher. They

121 had been married in 1974, separated in 1980—there was a little bit of an

122 overlap, I’m afraid, with Helen and me, cheesy, I do know—and

123 divorced in 1982, a New York report, I imagine. She has so

124 a lot household cash, it wasn’t a difficulty, after which she couldn’t

125 stand him. I didn’t perceive that; I believed he was essentially the most

126 fantastic particular person I’d ever met. Our opinions are in all probability

127 extra aligned now.

128 Q. Had been there any kids out of your husband’s first marriage?

129 A. Sorry, sure, a son, Thomas Maxwell Durkheim. Tom.

130 He’s 22 now. He was born in 1976. An Amherst grad.

131 Pretty boy, a lot simpler, kinder, sweeter than his father, or

132 his mom for that matter. Dangerous bronchial asthma, unhealthy lungs since he

133 was a newborn. Untimely. He’s working now on Wall Road, at

134 Fincher & Morgan, his grandfather’s agency. Daniel paid no

135 alimony to Helen, solely youngster help, $15,000/yr, till

136 Tom was 18. It stayed the identical all through. Then he paid for

137 faculty. Theoretically. Mather pays 50% of faculty tuition for

138 its staff, which with Amherst, I feel its tuition was

139 $24,000; he solely needed to pay $12,000, plus room and board,

140 one other $8,000. Not a lot for a person making $300,000 plus

141 a yr. [Pause] I’m sounding bitter—and customary. I’ll pull

142 myself collectively.

143 Q. Did Thomas stay together with his mom? Or with you and your

144 husband?

145 A. He grew up in New York Metropolis and lived together with his mom.

146 Once we lived there—we moved to New Salem in ’91,

147 when Daniel was appointed Chair of the Pediatric Oncology

148 Division right here at Mather Med—we noticed a whole lot of him. We

149 noticed much less of him after we moved. He was 14. Daniel is a bit

150 tough on him. Tom needs his dad’s good opinion, but in addition

151 thinks Daniel could be a prick. Can I say one thing like that?

152 You don’t thoughts, do you? You should have heard worse. I don’t

153 assume they’ve seen one another since Christmas. I don’t know

154 what Daniel has stated to Tom about our separation. I requested

155 him final week how Tom was taking it. “Taking it?” he requested.

156 “You’re not his mom. What distinction ought to it make to

157 him?” Eighteen years, since he was three, and his father

158 thinks it means nothing. [Pause] I don’t know what Tom

159 is considering. I’ve spoken to him twice now. He doesn’t give

160 something away. He doesn’t wish to speak about himself, solely

161 asks how Jane and I are doing. He’s stoical and doesn’t count on

162 an excessive amount of of his mother and father. Helen’s obtained a leg up on Daniel. She’s

163 already married to her third husband.

164 Q. Are you able to give me some monetary historical past of the wedding?

165 A. Once we met in 1980, I used to be working as an assistant

166 editor at Femina journal. Do you keep in mind Femina? It

167 believed in good garments, good haircuts, and good books. I used to be

168 making $28,000, which wasn’t unhealthy for that form of job. Daniel

169 had completed college; he has an M.D./Ph.D. from Columbia

170 however was solely making $23,000, as a resident, working 90 hours

171 every week at Presbyterian Hospital. All of his wage, after taxes,

172 went for youngster help. However no less than he had no med college

173 debt. M.D./Ph.D.’s are absolutely funded. Our hire was $325;

174 we had a Columbia condo, on baja Claremont. It was a

175 critical comedown for him. When he was married to Helen,

176 they lived off Central Park West on West 69th. However he was

177 by no means dwelling, and I didn’t thoughts it. My father may need given

178 us some cash, however his cash all the time comes with strings;

179 I didn’t assume it was price it. Besides, he did give us every

180 $10,000 a yr as a present as soon as we married. After which after Jane,

181 our daughter, was born, he gave her $10,000 a yr too.

182 Q. Inform me about Jane.

183 A. She’s excellent. She’s 10 years outdated, virtually 11. She goes to the

184 Peabody College, the place I went and everybody in my household went,

185 again to the egg. My mom was a trustee and her mom and

186 her grandmother had been trustees. We're outdated, outdated New Salem.

187 My mom was a Mather and Granny was a Peabody. I don’t

188 she was a Maria. We're all Marias, from mom to daughter,

189 again to my Nice Nice Nice Gran, whose mom’s first

190 identify was Humility. The household was, is, horribly ingrown. Up

191 via my mom’s era, you couldn’t marry exterior

192 the magic circle. My father didn’t actually belong; his household

193 had been latecomers, upstart Nineteenth-century immigrant Scottish

194 retailers, however they’d gone to the fitting faculties and weren’t

195 Catholics. My mom’s full identify was Maria Maple Mather

196 Meiklejohn. Her household nickname was 4M. My full identify is

197 Maria Mather Meiklejohn. [Pause] Durkheim. I have to ditch

198 that. At school, I used to be referred to as 3M or Scotch, for Scotch Tape.

199 Daniel used to say my household went again to the Mayflower and

200 his to the ark. I by no means imagined I’d be again in New Salem. I

201 thought I had escaped. I used to be engaged on changing into—moderately

202 efficiently, I believed—a New York Jewish mental. Right here,

203 I’m seen as a part of the cotillion crowd.

204 Q. Are you working?

205 A. I’m a writing tutor at Mather. I made a decision to get my Ph.D.

206 in American research after we moved right here. The one writer

207 on the town is the Mather Press, and I wasn’t considering

208 publishing foreign-language translations, which is what they

209 largely do. Their large venture now could be a whole translation by

210 a French/American couple of Remembrance of Issues Previous.

211 Do you know nobody has ever completed translating all seven

212 volumes? All of them die mid-series; it’s like a curse. Have you ever

213 learn Proust?

214 Q. No. My mom is French, and if I ever learn it in English,

215 as an alternative of French, which might do me in, she can be very

216 disapproving. So I don’t learn it in any respect. You?

217 A. I’ve learn the third guide, The Guermantes Manner. Invoice

218 Pritchard, Tom’s English professor at Amherst, stated to start out

219 there, then go backward. However I couldn’t.

220 Q. Are you making progress along with your Ph.D.?

221 A. I completed my course work in 1996. For my thesis, I’m

222 working totally on Jacob Riis but in addition on different late Nineteenth-/

223 early Twentieth-century American journalists, photojournalists,

224 muckrakers. This divorce factor has thrown me off. I can’t see

225 making a lot progress this yr. Some days, getting out of

226 mattress is a critical problem. I do handle to do my job, nevertheless it’s

227 a battle, and it’s solely 4 afternoons/evenings every week, 16

228 hours altogether.

229 Q. Do you make a residing wage as a writing tutor?

230 A. Oh, no. I make $14,000, which is a scant $1,000 extra

231 than Jane’s tuition. Final yr Daniel made $370,000, 25 occasions

232 as a lot as I. These are issues I consider once I take into consideration

233 divorce. My lack of sources. I don’t fear about it precisely—

234 my father received’t let Jane and me starve—however I'd hate

235 having to ask him or Daniel for cash. Too humiliating to

236 should maintain going again to the trough.

237 Q. You stated your husband was in oncology?

238 A. He’s chair of the Division of Pediatric Oncology,

239 which is one in all Mather Medical College’s useful departments,

240 and Dowling Professor. He’s an enormous star, each as a clinician and

241 a researcher, and he’s very formidable. He received the Freeman

242 Prize, and was nominated for the Lasker. I’d guess he’s

243 gunning for a MacArthur and, in his late-night fantasies, a

244 Nobel. His specialty is mind tumors. He’s one of the best there's,

245 despite the fact that most of his sufferers don’t make it. They simply

246 make it longer than different docs’ sufferers. It’s given him a Jesus

247 advanced. He’s so used to being admired, beginning together with his

248 mother and father, that he expects it from everybody, even Jane and me.

249 Mather recruited him very closely; so did Harvard, Stanford,

250 and Yale. He’s been generously funded by NIH for the final

251 13 years, and his present grant has 4 years to run. When

252 he left Columbia, he introduced his grants and lab with him,

253 together with 4 researchers. I used to be wretched in regards to the choice.

254 Who with any sense would stay in New Salem once they

255 might stay in New York? I had shut associates, a pleasant social life,

256 an excellent job. I didn’t wish to be a chair’s spouse. I didn’t wish to

257 be unemployed, I didn’t wish to come again to New Salem. In

258 ’88, I’d left Femina and gone to work for Monk’s Home as a

259 nonfiction editor, and I cherished it. I needed him to show it down,

260 however he stated the supply was one he couldn’t refuse and I believed

261 he’d by no means forgive me if I didn’t go alongside. Because it seems, he

262 didn’t forgive me anyway. Although he’s not stated so outright,

263 he’s not completely happy at Mather. An excessive amount of administration and never as

264 useful quite a lot of instances as in New York. So my unhappiness, of

265 course, is insupportable, a reproach.

266 Q. Who takes care of Jane more often than not?

267 A. I take care of her. It’s one of many causes I’m a writing tutor.

268 It’s part-time. I might be dwelling with Jane after college and on

269 holidays. We do have a housekeeper, Luz Garcia. She comes

270 in every single day. We want somebody full-time; she works 40 hours

271 every week for us, although not on an 8-hour-a-day schedule, and we

272 pay her Social Safety—in case Daniel needs to move NIH

273 sometime. Simply kidding; I’d pay it anyway. That is being taped,

274 proper? Luz is a resident alien. We helped her get her inexperienced

275 card. She’s fantastic. I've a youthful sister, Cordelia, who

276 has Down’s and lives in Philadelphia, in a midway home. I

277 go to her twice a month, generally extra. I keep over in Philly,

278 Tuesday to Wednesday—that manner I see her two days on every

279 go to—and Luz stays over in the home with Jane. It’s too

280 laborious to depend on Daniel, although he makes an enormous effort to have

281 dinner together with her each night time, and particularly on Tuesdays when

282 I’m away. He works 90 to 100 hours every week, resident’s hours.

283 On weekends, which appear like weekdays for him, he all the time,

284 or virtually all the time, spends a part of Saturday or Sunday doing

285 sports activities with Jane. Proper now, he’s educating her squash. Jane’s

286 an incredible athlete and Daniel’s a dogged one. Very aggressive,

287 for sure. He received’t combat me for custody—if that’s the place

288 you’re going. He doesn’t have time, and he thinks, I feel, I’m

289 a reasonably good mother, or no less than a loyal one. Since she was

290 born, I’ve cherished her greater than anybody else. [Pause] Properly, that

291 says all of it, doesn’t it. Properly, perhaps not all. Not directly, it’s

292 been self-protective. Daniel has all the time wanted “his kids,”

293 these terribly sick and dying kids, greater than he wanted

294 me or Jane. [Pause] However I’m not being truthful. He adores Jane. He

295 calls us, or used to name us, the Three Musketeers. If we had been

296 going someplace, out to dinner or perhaps a film, the 2

297 of them would undergo this foolish ceremony of departure,

298 a form of Monty Python altering of the guard. I used to be the

299 viewers. It began when Jane was about 3. He’d stand at

300 the aspect door and shout out, “Musketeers on the forecastle.”

301 Listening to these phrases, from wherever she was, Jane would fling

302 herself down the steps to affix him. When she obtained there, he’d

303 maintain out his proper hand and say, with a really solemn face, “All

304 for one.” Jane would high-five him and reply with an equally

305 solemn face, “And one for all.” Then he’d scoop her up, throw

306 her over his shoulder, and carry her out to the automobile. Jane was

307 in heaven in these moments; I feel he was too. [Pause] The

308 Musketeers have disbanded.

309 Q. Was your husband’s choice to start out divorce proceedings

310 a shock to you?

311 A. No. Sure. He instructed me on January third, three days into

312 the New Yr, that he needed a divorce. It threw me into

313 a tailspin. I believed we’d stay unhappily ever after. I by no means

314 thought he’d undergo with a second divorce. I requested him

315 if there was one other girl. He stated no however I don’t imagine

316 him. I do know his modus operandi, in spite of everything. I feel he’s been

317 messing round with Dr. Stephanie Roth, a dermatologist

318 with a non-public follow in New York. They had been in med college

319 collectively, they usually’ve been intermittently in contact since.

320 She’s apparently the particular person to see for wrinkles within the Metropolis.

321 Her bread and butter is rejuvenating work, Botox, dermal

322 abrasions, and the like. She had a write-up as soon as in Harper’s

323 Bazaar. Her face appears prefer it’s been ironed. [Pause] Do you

324 do not forget that scene in A Man for All Seasons, when Extra

325 confronts Richard Wealthy for betraying him in trade for

326 being made Chancellor of Wales? Extra says to him, “I can

327 perceive a person giving up his soul for the world, Richard,

328 however for Wales?” That’s how I really feel. I can perceive Daniel

329 leaving me, however for Stephanie Roth?

330 Q. You appear very composed now.

331 A. Xanax. I took 3 mg. earlier than I got here. I’ve been seeing an

332 analyst from Northeastern Psychoanalytic, for six years. Isabel

333 Stokes. Over time, she’s prescribed for me quite a lot of

334 antidepressants. Proper now I’m on Wellbutrin. I’ve been

335 depressed since I used to be 10. I’m a reasonably high-functioning

336 depressive, however a depressive nonetheless. Daniel hates it; he

337 takes it personally. I can’t blame him altogether. Depressives

338 are downers. Dr. Stokes gave me Xanax again in January. I

339 was so anxious, I couldn’t learn, I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t

340 eat. I took it fairly frequently in January and February, however

341 now I solely take it once I assume an event requires it. Like

342 this. Once I was given the summons at Golightly’s, I virtually

343 handed out. Since then, I by no means journey with out the Xanax. I

344 nonetheless haven’t gotten over it. I can’t imagine Daniel would have

345 agreed to that, however perhaps I’m being naïve. He may say in

346 his protection that I had provoked it. It was all my fault, as was

347 every thing.

348 Q. What do you imply by scary it?

349 A. I had a quick correspondence with Dr. Stephanie, which

350 might have stirred the pot.

351 Q. Might you be extra particular?

352 A. I introduced copies. I wrote to her; she wrote again; I wrote

353 again. Right here.

354 [Extended pause. Note to Hannah: I am placing the three

355 letters in the file.]

356 Q. I see. Anything?

357 A. Sure. A few week after he instructed me he needed a divorce,

358 I requested him to rethink his choice or no less than contemplate

359 mediation or counseling. He wasn’t . I then requested

360 him to carry off doing something definitive, equivalent to hiring a

361 lawyer, till I had gotten extra used to the thought. He agreed.

362 He noticed how upset I used to be. We talked about telling Jane. I requested

363 him if we might seek the advice of a therapist to seek out out the easiest way of

364 telling her. He agreed in a short time, and two days later we had

365 an appointment with Dr. Rachel Fischer, a toddler psychiatrist

366 on the Mather Youngster Research Middle. I don’t know the place he

367 discovered her; he’s very anti-shrink, thinks psychiatry is voodoo.

368 He believes in willpower—it’s the Ayn Rand in him—and he

369 disapproves of psychological sickness. Additionally weight problems. He thinks of them

370 as psychological slovenliness. Anyway, we went to see her on January

371 twenty fifth. She gave us some pointers, nothing shocking. She stated

372 we should always communicate to her collectively and reassure her that we had been

373 solely divorcing one another, and never her. She suggested holding

374 off telling Jane till I might speak about divorce with out crying.

375 Even Xanaxed up the wazoo, I used to be a wreck the primary two

376 months, on or over the verge of tears on a regular basis.

377 Q. Have you ever instructed Jane?

378 A. There’s a narrative. Two days after I used to be served at

379 Golightly’s, once I was in Philadelphia visiting my sister, I obtained

380 a name at 8 p.m. in my lodge from Jane. She was sobbing. Daniel

381 had instructed her we had been getting a divorce. He obtained it into his head

382 that she knew by some means, and he thought he ought to reassure

383 her. I drove dwelling instantly. Jane was a large number. And I didn’t

384 get to see Cordelia the following day, which was her birthday, and

385 which was very upsetting to her and to me. What a prince,

386 what an ideal prince. [Pause] The following day I instructed my father,

387 who inspired me to seek the advice of his attorneys. A month later,

388 armed with meds, right here I'm.

389 Q. Are you each residing in the identical dwelling?

390 A. Dwelling, I like that. Sure, we’re in separate bedrooms

391 in our home. It’s a brand new home, 404 St. Cloud. We constructed it two

392 years in the past, in all probability to keep at bay divorce. Isn’t that what folks

393 do? They've a newborn or construct a brand new home. It’s a pleasant home,

394 trendy, horizontal, clean-limbed, wooden and home windows, very

395 un–St. Cloud, which is a stew of English Tudor, American

396 Craftsman, and Tuscan Villa. Neighbors objected at first, however

397 we planted some full-grown timber within the entrance, they usually subsided.

398 Daniel labored on the designs with the architect. He had thought

399 of changing into an architect at one level; in faculty, he went to

400 Columbia, he double-majored in chemistry and artwork historical past.

401 Q. Do you might have a mortgage? Have you learnt its worth?

402 A. I’m good about cash. I pay the payments, I maintain the tax

403 information. The home price $375,000, kind of, together with the

404 land and our very costly Mather College of Structure

405 architect. Its present worth is about $525,000. I referred to as a

406 Realtor, Laura Bucholtz, yesterday, to get a fast estimate.

407 She was the agent on the land sale and is aware of St. Cloud Road

408 from Germyn Road to Allerton. Now we have a 30-year mortgage

409 for $250,000 at 8%. Carrying prices, together with native taxes however

410 not utilities, are about $3,500 a month. Daniel will wish to

411 maintain the home. I suppose that offers me some leverage?

412 Q. It could. Is there every other actual property?

413 A. My father and I personal a home on Martha’s Winery,

414 on the water in Aquinnah. It was my mom’s home, and

415 she left it to us in a belief; the survivor will get all of it. There’s a

416 particular identify for that. This creates issues for my father. Of

417 course, he doesn’t need me to predecease him, however his spouse,

418 my stepmother, Cindy, would really like to have the ability to use it and to

419 adorn it. The home is a wreck. Nothing’s been executed to it

420 since 1920, besides the naked minimal to maintain it from falling

421 down, and the Winery in these days wasn’t what it's right now.

422 It has no inside bogs, solely an outhouse with a row of 4 WCs

423 off the again porch. And my father and I've to agree on any

424 modifications as a result of we personal it collectively, and we are able to’t so we don’t.

425 [Pause] We don’t agree on a lot, besides Jane.

426 Q. Have you learnt what it’s price?

427 A. When my mom died in 1979, it was valued at $90,000.

428 It’s in all probability price $3 million now. Perhaps extra. The land,

429 not the home. The location is spectacular.

430 Q. Do you employ it? Does your father?

431 A. My father by no means goes up. He finds the bathroom scenario

432 unacceptable. Oh, and there aren't any showers, solely bathtubs.

433 I'm going up no less than annually with Jane, who loves it. When

434 she was smaller, she thought the outhouses had been useful enjoyable,

435 however now she’d like a correct inside bathroom. I feel she’s been

436 lobbying my father. My father needs to repair the entire place up,

437 make it an Edgartown form of home. That or nothing.

438 I would like inside bogs and a bathe and a dishwasher and cable,

439 however I wish to maintain the home’s important character. It’s all I

440 have left of my mom. Daniel went up as soon as, by no means once more. He

441 is vastly resentful that I haven’t put him on the deed. I maintain

442 explaining that I can’t, however he refuses to know, seeing it

443 as a deliberate act on my half. And he, too, hated the bogs.

444 I feel in some methods males are extra fastidious than girls.

445 Q. Another property?

446 A. The standard detritus of middle-class acquisitiveness. The

447 solely issues I feel we’d argue over are a Persian rug, which

448 was a marriage current from my grandparents, an early Cindy

449 Sherman {photograph}, and a Jenny Holzer signal, “Abuse of

450 energy comes as no shock.” They’re the one issues we’d

451 each need.

452 Q. Are you prone to inherit any cash, property?

453 A. I suppose I’m prone to inherit cash from my father

454 when he dies, if he dies, however I can’t rely on it. For one factor,

455 I'd simply predecease him. My mom died younger, 46,

456 and so did her mom. For an additional, he’s solely 68, and the

457 Meiklejohns stay without end. He’s obtained a brother who’s 87 and

458 nonetheless sits on the federal bench. Each his mother and father died of their

459 90s. For a 3rd, he’s controlling. And he’s all the time rewriting

460 his will. Ask his lawyer, Proctor, as in The Crucible. He’s a

461 member of your agency. I feel he does a brand new one each three

462 months. He just lately stated he created a belief for Jane and me,

463 however he’s the trustee. What does that imply? He received’t inform me

464 anything. This may increasingly change with the divorce. He doesn’t

465 like Daniel. He doesn’t precisely assume he married me for my

466 cash, however he doubts he would have married me with out

467 it. However that might be stated for my appears as good. Daniel likes

468 tall blondes with irregular options, bluestockings with belief

469 funds. Helen, his first spouse, had critical cash. Have you learnt

470 the Fincher Galleries on the High-quality Arts Museum? A present of her

471 grandparents. Dr. Stephanie is a little bit of an outlier, not a WASP,

472 no household cash, too quick. Her dad was solely a health care provider, additionally a

473 dermatologist. However he was frugal and he believed in actual property.

474 He left her, free and clear, two residences within the Beresford.

475 She lives within the smaller one, eight rooms. [Pause] I’m undecided

476 she’ll get to stroll down the aisle. [Pause] You shouldn’t assume I

477 was introduced as much as speak about cash. I wasn’t. My mom, who

478 was a rigorously honorable, easy particular person, imposed

479 an absolute embargo on cash as a topic of dialog;

480 she thought speaking about cash was widespread. It offended

481 her, the best way Nixon’s hate record and anti-Semitism offended her,

482 as an indication of unhealthy breeding. I used to be by no means allowed to say how a lot

483 something price. I will need to have seemed an fool. I went to highschool

484 with the youngsters of professors and attorneys. They knew what

485 every thing price, together with their mother and father’ psychiatrists. [Pause]

486 I don’t speak in regards to the value of issues, that lesson has caught,

487 however I'm ready to acknowledge sure apparent info about

488 my life and my upbringing. I used to be introduced up wealthy and I've

489 the exaggerated sense of entitlement that cash confers. I

490 don’t all the time get what I would like, however not due to cash. That

491 makes me very completely different from most different folks, together with my

492 husband. He by no means had cash till just lately. He likes it, having

493 it and spending it, however success is extra vital to him.

494 Q. What about different property? Financial savings and the like?

495 A. Daniel makes the cash, and he handles the

496 investments. I don’t assume he’s hiding something. He has

497 retirement funds with TIAA-CREF within the neighborhood

498 of $600,000. He additionally has a 401(okay) plan with roughly

499 $300,000 in it. Different property embrace about $700,000 in shares,

500 $90,000 in treasury payments, and $80,000 in a financial savings account.

501 He does a quarterly accounting; I obtained the figures from the one

502 he did in early October.

503 Q. Any insurance coverage insurance policies?

504 A. Daniel is insured for $1.5 million; I’m insured for

505 $200,000—to pay Luz’s wage in case I conk. He’d want

506 any person.

507 Q. Might you present a wage historical past? And some different

508 particulars? [Note to Hannah: I handed Mrs. Durkheim

509 copies of the Divorce Work Sheets: Summary Biographies for

510 her and her husband.]

511 A. In fact.

512 Q. Does your husband have any separate property? Any

513 inheritances?

514 A. Daniel’s an orphan. His father died in 1992, his mom

515 in 1998. He inherited a 1989 Honda Accord and $16,000.

516 His mother and father owned a printing enterprise. They by no means made

517 a lot cash, however they noticed that their son, their solely youngster,

518 was good educated. And praised, praised for every thing

519 he did, each bowel motion, each report card, each

520 titration. They didn’t a lot look after the grandchildren. They

521 couldn’t maintain a candle to their father. They usually definitely had

522 no use for me or Helen. We weren’t worthy of him; we didn’t

523 recognize how extraordinary he was. If I made them dinner,

524 they thanked Daniel; if he didn’t go to them, it was my fault.

525 They made positive they didn’t die in debt. They had been fierce

526 about not saddling Daniel with nursing dwelling prices and the

527 like. That they had long-term-care insurance coverage for nurses and that

528 type of factor, they usually belonged to burial societies and had

529 pay as you go their funerals, coffins, headstones, plots, even the

530 cantor. God, my father by no means prepays something. You lose the

531 float.

532 Q. Have you ever begun to consider what you need out of this

533 divorce?

534 A. I'll want help for some time, however I don’t wish to take

535 him to the cleaners. I don’t have bag-lady fears, no less than not

536 acute ones. In spite of everything, I’ve obtained the Bruce Meiklejohn security

537 web. My needs are private, not monetary. I wish to come

538 out of this with my ego intact. And I’d prefer it if Daniel’s took

539 a beating. I don’t need something actually unhealthy to occur to

540 him. No deadly ailments, no malpractice instances, no accusations

541 of scientific fraud. He's, in spite of everything, my daughter’s father. However

542 I don’t need something good to ever occur to him both.

543 I would like nothing to occur to him. I would like him to die of

544 disappointment, after an extended, lonely, cheerless life that ends

545 with bedsores and tubes up the nostril, in a nursing dwelling.

546 Q. You've considered it. Your husband appears to need

547 to maneuver shortly. Will you have the ability to try this?

548 A. I don’t know. He’s obtained a imply mood. He blows up simply

549 and horribly if he feels thwarted in any manner. He thinks he’s

550 all the time proper, and when folks disagree with him, he invariably

551 regards them as silly or envious or malignant. He was

552 conceited once I met him, however tolerably so; then, it appeared to

553 me he simply knew how good he was. Now, he’s too vital to

554 take out the rubbish, or phone when he’s going to be late,

555 or keep in mind my birthday. I feel the Freeman Prize did it.

556 He was the youngest recipient ever. That’s an extended reply. I simply

557 don’t know the way terrible he’ll be. In fact, I might be terrible again.

558 I’ve realized how to try this. God, I hope Jane survives us.

559 Q. Do you might have any questions for me?

560 A. Might you inform me about Narragansett divorce regulation?

561 What subsequent?

562 Q. Let’s fill out the Divorce Work Sheet: Abstract

563 Biographies. Then I’ll inform you what I do know in regards to the regulation and

564 present you a duplicate of our retainer settlement. I’ll additionally arrange an

565 appointment proper now for subsequent week so that you can meet with

566 Fiona McGregor.

567 A. I used to be dreading this unnecessarily. Thanks. Thank

568 you a lot. Is it actually true you’ve by no means executed this earlier than?

569 You’re a pure.

570 [Note to Hannah: I set up an appointment with Fiona for

571 Tuesday, March 23, at 10 a.m.]

572 [End of Transcript]




(393) 876-5678

Divorce Work Sheet: Abstract Biography

Legal professional Work Product

From: Sophie Diehl

To: Information

RE: Matter of Durkheim

Date: March 17, 1999

Maria Meiklejohn Durkheim: Spouse

Date of Beginning:

July 14, 1957, Age 41

Marriages and Divorces:

Daniel Durkheim, married June 21, 1982


Jane Mather Durkheim, born April 23, 1988


B.A. College of Chicago 1979

M.Phil. Mather College 1995

Ph.D. Mather College, anticipated 2001

Employment Historical past:

Femina Journal

Assistant to the Options Editor, June 1979 to June 1981 $ 19,000

Assistant Options Editor, July 1981 to July 1983 $ 28,000

Options Editor, July 1983 to October 1988 $ 42,000

Monk’s Home (Publishing Firm)

Editor, Nonfiction, October 1988 to July 1991 $ 47,000

Freelance Editor, August 1991 to August 1992 $ 23,000

Mather College

Instructing Assistant in English, August 1993 to August 1995 $ 4,000

Writing Tutor, English Teacher, August 1995 to current $ 14,000




(393) 876-5678

Divorce Work Sheet: Abstract Biography

Legal professional Work Product

From: Sophie Diehl

To: Information

RE: Matter of Durkheim

Date: March 17, 1999

Daniel Edward Durkheim: Husband

Date of Beginning:

March 14, 1947, Age 52

Marriages and Divorces:

Helen Maxwell Fincher, married December 7, 1974, divorced June 7, 1982

Maria Mather Meiklejohn, married June 21, 1982


Thomas Maxwell Durkheim, born November 1, 1976

Jane Mather Durkheim, born April 23, 1988


B.A. Columbia School, Columbia College 1969

M.D. School of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia College 1978

Ph.D. Columbia College Graduate College of Arts and Sciences 1980

Submit-Diploma Schooling and Coaching:

Postdoctoral Fellow, Columbia College, 1980 to 1981 $ 18,000

Intern, Pediatrics, Presbyterian Hospital, 1981 to 1982 $ 20,000

Intern, Oncology, Presbyterian Hospital, 1982 to 1983 $ 22,000

Resident, Pediatric Oncology, Presbyterian Hospital, 1983 to 1986 $ 24,000

Chief Resident, Pediatric Oncology, Presbyterian Hospital, 1986 to 1987 $ 30,000

Employment Historical past:

United States Military, Vietnam, 1969 to 1971, Medic $ 8,000

School of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia College

Assistant Professor, 1987 to 1988 $ 80,000

Professor, 1988 to 1991 $ 150,000

Mather Medical College and Mather Medical Middle

Professor, 1991 to current

Chief, Division of Pediatric Oncology, 1992 to current $ 370,000

Commonwealth of Narragansett

Household Courtroom

County: Tyler Docket No: 99-27

Home Relations Summons

Daniel E. Durkheim Plaintiff


Maria M. Durkheim Defendant

To the above-named defendant:

You might be hereby summoned and required to serve upon plaintiff’s lawyer: Ray Kahn

whose handle is: 46 Broadway, New Salem, Narragansett 06555

a duplicate of your reply to the criticism for: divorce

inside: 20 days of service of this summons

Should you fail to return service, the Courtroom will proceed in 90 days to the listening to and adjudication of this motion with out you.

You might be additionally required to file your reply to the criticism within the Workplace of the Registrar of the Household Courtroom at: New Salem, NA

At: New Salem, NA

Date: February 15, 1999

Registrar of Household Courtroom: Paul McIntyre

Acceptance of Service

I, the above-named defendant: Maria M. Durkheim settle for service of this summons and perceive that judgment could also be rendered in opposition to me in accordance with the criticism, a duplicate of which I've acquired this present day:


Signature of defendant:


The above-named defendant: Maria Durkheim

swears that the acceptance of service was his free act and deed.


Notary Public:

Signature of Notary Public:

Fee Expiration Date:

Commonwealth of Narragansett

Household Courtroom

County: Tyler Docket No: 99-27

Grievance for Divorce

Daniel E. Durkheim Plaintiff


Maria M. Durkheim Defendant

1. Plaintiff who resides at: 404 St. Cloud Road, New Salem, NA 06556 is lawfully married to the defendant who resides at: 404 St. Cloud Road, New Salem, NA 06556

2. The events had been married at: New York, NY on: June 21, 1982 and final lived collectively: at present at: 404 St. Cloud Road, New Salem, NA 06556

3. The minor youngster of this marriage is: Jane Mather Durkheim who was born: April 23, 1988

4. Plaintiff certifies that no earlier motion for dissolution, divorce, annulment, separation, help, desertion, custody, or visitation has been introduced by both get together in opposition to the opposite: none

5. On or about: January 3, 1999 the plaintiff decided that: there was an irretrievable breakdown of the wedding that continues to the current time.

6. The plaintiff requests that the Courtroom

a. grant a divorce for: irretrievable breakdown of the wedding (33 N.C.A. §801ff.)

b. grant custody of the above-named youngster: joint

c. order an appropriate quantity of help for the above-named youngster: sure

d. order unique use of the household dwelling to: Daniel E. Durkheim

e. order spousal help: no

f. order equitable distribution of the marital property: sure

Signature of lawyer: Ray Kahn, Kahn & Boyle

Title of lawyer: Ray Kahn, 46 Broadway, New Salem, NA 06555

Date: February 15, 1999

Narragansett Statutes

Title 33 of the Narragansett Code, Sections 801ff.

Dissolution of Marriage, Annulment, and Authorized Separation

Sec. 801. Grounds for dissolution of marriage; authorized separation; annulment.

(a) A wedding is dissolved solely by

(1) the loss of life of one of many events or

(2) a decree of annulment or dissolution of the wedding by a courtroom of competent jurisdiction.

(b) An annulment shall be granted if the wedding is void or voidable beneath the legal guidelines of this state or of the state during which the wedding was carried out [e.g., same sex marriage].

(c) A decree of dissolution of a wedding or a decree of authorized separation shall be granted upon a discovering that one of many following causes has occurred:

(1) the wedding has damaged down irretrievably;

(2) the events have lived aside by cause of incompatibility for a steady interval of no less than eighteen (18) months instantly previous to the service of the criticism and there's no cheap prospect that they are going to be reconciled;

(3) adultery;

(4) fraudulent inducement;

(5) wilful desertion for one yr with whole neglect of obligation;

(6) seven (7) years’ absence, throughout all of which interval the absent get together has not been heard from;

(7) ordinary intemperance;

(8) insupportable cruelty;

(9) sentence to imprisonment for all times or the fee of any notorious crime;

(10) authorized confinement in a hospital or hospitals or different comparable establishment or establishments, due to psychological sickness, for no less than an gathered interval totaling 5 (5) years inside the interval of seven (7) years previous the date of the criticism;

(11) bigamy.

Sec. 804. Service and submitting of criticism.

A continuing for annulment, dissolution of marriage, or authorized separation shall be commenced by the service and submitting of a criticism within the Narragansett Household Courtroom for the judicial district during which one of many events resides.

Sec. 805. Stipulation of events and discovering of irretrievable breakdown.

(a) In any motion for dissolution of marriage or authorized separation, the courtroom shall make a discovering {that a} marriage has damaged down irretrievably the place each events so stipulate and have submitted an settlement regarding the custody, care, training, visitation, upkeep, or help of their kids, if any, and regarding alimony and the disposition of property. The testimony of both get together in help of that conclusion shall be adequate.

(b) In any case during which the courtroom finds, after listening to, {that a} trigger enumerated in subsection (c) of part 801 exists, the courtroom shall enter a decree dissolving the wedding or granting a authorized separation. In no case shall the decree granted be in favor of both get together.




March 19, 1999

David Greaves, Esq.

Traynor, Hand, Wyzanski

222 Church Road

New Salem, NA 06555

Pricey Mr. Greaves (David?):

I wish to thanks for Wednesday’s session with Anne Sophie Diehl. She was an excellent pinch-hitter, precisely what I wanted. I feel I’d have fallen into silence and hostility if I’d needed to speak with an actual, 14K skilled divorce lawyer, and I definitely wouldn’t have handed over my correspondence with Daniel or Dr. Roth, who by the best way writes like a canine and may’t spell. Ms. Diehl made all of it straightforward, or no less than simpler. It wasn’t that she was unlawyerlike or unprofessional, however she by no means pulled rank. She by no means acted as if she was grasp of an arcane algorithm I used to be too ignorant to know. She didn’t patronize me; she didn’t say I ought to depart all of it in her fingers. She made every thing clear; and she or he instructed me what I needed to do. I haven’t felt superb in the previous few months. My husband’s leaving me—or wanting to go away me—has undone me on the seams. Ms. Diehl made me really feel competent and succesful. And he or she laughed at my jokes. And he or she knew she ought to have no less than tried to learn Proust.

My father all the time spoke good of you, of your discretion, intelligence, judgment, tact. He was proper.

And now, to the purpose. Freud says that crucial a part of any letter is normally the P.S. (I’m attempting to be extra up entrance; the third paragraph reveals rising psychological well being.) I’d like Ms. Diehl to behave as my lawyer. I do know she’s not an skilled divorce lawyer, however she’s sensible and I don’t assume she’d be cowed by the thugs at Kahn & Boyle. (I can’t imagine Daniel employed them. I didn’t assume they represented anybody who’d truly filed an earnings tax return.) The skilled you might have might assist her out—I’ll cheerfully pay double if that’s what it takes. I don’t assume our scenario is all that sophisticated; I can’t think about we’ll should go to courtroom. I’m not out for blood. Properly perhaps blood, however not bone.

Is it attainable to have Ms. Diehl take my case? I would really like it. I instructed my father what an incredible lawyer I believed she was. He was very happy; he appreciated that I appreciated his attorneys. He and I normally don’t agree about folks—my mom and Jane being the exceptions. His judgment could also be higher than I believed. Might it's he was proper about Daniel on a regular basis?

I hope you’ll forgive the casualness of my tone. My father has spoken so typically about you, I really feel I do know you. I stay up for listening to from you. Thanks to your consideration.

Yours actually,

P.S. I’ve simply reread this letter. “Casualness of tone” hardly does it justice. It's downright garrulous and indiscreet. I’m not fairly myself as of late. I do know higher. I simply can’t appear to be higher.




(393) 876-5678


Legal professional Work Product

From: David Greaves

To: Sophie Diehl

RE: Matter of Durkheim: Legal professional Reassignment

Date: March 23, 1999

Attachments: Maria Durkheim’s Letter of March 19, 1999


I’m going to have to return on my phrase. I want you on the Durkheim divorce. Maria Durkheim wrote me a letter, requesting you to behave as her lawyer within the divorce. She appreciated you. I’ve connected a duplicate of her letter with this memo. She is aware of you aren’t a professional. She’s supplied to pay for 2 attorneys to have you ever. It’s a critical praise, although, understandably, chances are you'll not have the ability to see it that manner.

I’ll work issues out with the boys within the again room. And I’ll see that there’s further remuneration for the work you place in on this case.


Recommendation Sought

* * *

From: Sophie Diehl

To: Maggie Pfeiffer 

Date: Wed, 24 Mar 1999 14:31:39

Topic: Recommendation Sought 3/24/99 2:31 PM


I'm so offended I can’t assume straight. The agency is doing a divorce. Fiona was out of city when the purchaser (feminine) got here in for consumption. David requested me to do the interview. He promised that was all I’d should do on the case. The purchaser then turns round and asks for me to behave as her lawyer (she “appreciated” me, David stated, calling her request “a critical praise”), and he now says I’m to do it. I'm beside myself. Did I point out that the purchaser is the daughter of a Very Necessary Shopper?

What actually galls me is the best way he requested. He didn’t ask. He simply stated I used to be on the case. Do you keep in mind how my mom used to ask my sibs and me, after we had been little, to do one thing? “Est-ce que tu veux le faire maintenant, ou plus tard?” As if she was giving us a selection. Perhaps that’s David’s attraction for me. He’s like ma chere Maman, solely much less ruthless, no subterfuge. I might stop, in fact, and go work for the Authorized Defender, however then I’d should characterize spouse beaters and shoplifters, as an alternative of main felons. I can’t imagine David’s doing this to me. I believed he was a pal, my rabbi.

After which there’s Fiona. She won't be happy. Oh, good. I’m already in her unhealthy guide. Ever since she discovered I clerked for Decide Howard, she’s been so disagreeable, as if I did it merely to one-up her.



* * *

Re: Recommendation Sought

From: Maggie Pfeiffer

To: Sophie Diehl 

Date: Wed, 24 Mar 1999 15:26:43

Topic: Re: Recommendation Sought 3/24/99 3:26 PM


I can’t imagine you’re disenchanted in DG, or shocked. (Anger, I settle for.) What did you count on him to do? He’s your boss, for Lord’s sake, at a agency that makes some huge cash and, not by the way, pays you a much bigger wage than anybody else I do know. Matt received’t make as a lot as you till he’s 60, if then. Have you learnt how a lot a second-year affiliate architect makes?

As I recall, you all the time determined to do what your mom needed “plus tard.” “Who is aware of,” you’d say, “I might be useless later and never should do it.”

How about coming across the drama college Friday night time and watching The Actual Factor rehearsal? We will get a drink after. I’d such as you to fulfill the director, Harry Mortensen. He’s third-year and really gifted. Everybody needed to work with him. He’s additionally darkish and brooding and sensible and witty. Should you fell for him, he might simply break your coronary heart. Proper up your alley, sweetie.

Love and kisses,





(393) 876-5678


Legal professional Work Product

From: Joe Salerno

To: Sophie Diehl

RE: Request from David

Date: March 24, 1999



David has requested to borrow you for five–15 hours every week for the following a number of months. He stated it was an vital case, and he wouldn’t ask except it was vital, would I thoughts? I don’t see why he put it to me as a request. We’re normally not so punctilious with one another. However do you thoughts?

I do know you’ll get all of your work for us executed, and I received’t assign you a brand new case with out first discussing it with you. I obtained the sense from David’s testiness that maybe he didn’t have that form of dialogue with you. However a managing accomplice has to handle. I don’t envy him his job.



Matter of Durkheim

* * *

From: Sophie Diehl

To: David Greaves 

cc: Hannah Smith 

Date: Wed, 24 Mar 1999 18:26:22

Topic: Matter of Durkheim 3/24/99 6:26 PM


I’ll need assistance with the Durkheim divorce. Will you do it? Felix? I don’t assume Fiona would need the job, however I could also be incorrect. What are the following steps?





(393) 876-5678


Legal professional Work Product

From: David Greaves

To: Sophie Diehl

RE: Matter of Durkheim: Legal professional Task; Use of Electronic mail; Assembly

Date: March 24, 1999


Hannah printed out your e-mail. I’ll work with you on the Durkheim case. Felix is as much as his ears in divorces for the time being, and, as you wrote, Fiona will not be a sensible choice. It wouldn’t work good, a junior affiliate taking the lead over a junior accomplice. I’ll clarify it to her.

We must always meet this Friday to speak in regards to the case. (I’ll be out of the workplace tomorrow.) What about 3 p.m. in my workplace? Within the meantime, look over a number of the separation agreements we've got within the information. Along with the Habermans’, I like to recommend the Colliers’, Jason and Rebecca Peele’s, the Crawfords’, and the Goldsteins’. And, most vital, the Peele file, in its entirety. Kahn & Boyle had been the attorneys for Jason Peele. They play by their very own guidelines. It is best to know what you’re up in opposition to. They’re not good attorneys, solely imply ones, however the latter typically passes for the previous.

Sooner or later, please don't use e-mail to debate a case, irrespective of how insignificant the knowledge you might be conveying might strike you. I've considered this an excellent deal; I'm not merely being a Luddite. I acknowledge e-mail’s makes use of, however I persist in considering that the majority communications between attorneys and between attorneys and their purchasers shouldn't be transmitted electronically. It’s too straightforward for e-mail to be misdirected, forwarded, hacked into. There's all the time the chance that somebody aside from the designated recipient will learn your e-mail. I fear not solely that confidentiality can be damaged however that through the use of e-mail, we're enjoying quick and unfastened with the lawyer-client privilege and presumably forfeiting claims to protected lawyer work product. Have you ever been following the Microsoft antitrust trial? Microsoft was hoisted by itself petard. There was a mountain of incriminating emails. Becoming in that case, maybe, however not ours. I acknowledge that your message might compromise nobody, however I would favor that we stick with interoffice memoranda.

* * *

Re: Re: Recommendation Sought

From: Sophie Diehl

To: Maggie Pfeiffer 

Date: Wed, 24 Mar 1999 18:36:57

Topic: Re: Re: Recommendation Sought 3/24/99 6:36 PM

Oh, Maggie,

I can’t imagine I ever had a crush on that man. What a skunk. Boy, did he have me snookered. I despatched him an e-mail saying I’d tackle the case and obtained again a lecture on emails and the risk they pose to the attorney-client privilege. It was so infuriating. I do know the principles—and the dangers. There was nothing in my e-mail that compromised anybody or something. (Simply my luck, he’ll intercept THIS e-mail.) And, he by no means stated “Thanks,” or “I do know this isn't one thing you signed on for.” In fact, if he doesn’t acknowledge a debt to me, then it doesn’t exist. After which there’s Fiona; she’s not going to take this good. I can hear her now: “You Yale Regulation grads knock me out. There’s nothing you may’t do. Habeas corpus with the fitting hand, alimony with the left.” She’ll little doubt accuse me of poaching her case. It is a royal screwing.

I’ll drop by your rehearsal round 9:30 on Friday. I can’t wait to fulfill this Harry fellow. Is he extra Rochester or Heathcliff?



P.S. Would I've had a crush on DG if he didn’t appear like Jeff Bridges? (Rhetorical query. Don’t reply. My power weak spot for sturdy males. And Starman Bridges NOT Lebowski.)

Be part of the E-Era

* * *

From: Sophie Diehl

To: David Greaves 

cc: Hannah Smith 

Date: Thu, 25 Mar 1999 10:10:16

Topic: Be part of the E-Era 3/25/99 10:10 AM

Pricey David—

Millennium Approaches. I feel it’s time you bit the dumdum and entered the digital age. We don’t must be bombarding one another with fixed streams of memoranda—like 18th-century courtiers sending notes spherical by hand. All that letterhead paper, submitting, and so forth. I'll make a promise. I'll by no means ship you an e-mail that couldn’t be learn by both opposing counsel or your mom. (The 2 negatives make an supposed optimistic.) Electronic mail could be very helpful for making appointments, sending reminders, and the like. And if you wish to make an e-mail a part of the report, you may print it out and have Hannah file it.

I received’t have the ability to make the Friday appointment. I’ll be out of the workplace all day, interviewing attainable witnesses for the Trilling case. How about Monday morning? I can do anytime till 1 pm once I’ve obtained to go away for an evidentiary listening to.

I’m cc’ing Hannah so she will be able to test your calendar.



P.S. Atticus as Jewish. I have to see that. I've seen The Third Man. It’s my mom’s second-favorite film after Smiles of a Summer time Night time. I’ve additionally seen Paths of Glory, which is my father’s favourite film, not counting Chariots of Fireplace, that useful British weeper. So, do you watch The Simpsons?

Mr. Watson, Come Right here

* * *

From: David Greaves

To: Sophie Diehl 

Date: Fri, 26 Mar 1999 18:32:11

Topic: Mr. Watson, Come Right here 3/26/99 6:32 PM

Pricey Sophie—

I hope your Trilling interviews went good. I’ve slotted you in at 9:30 Monday. Do you test your e-mail over the weekend?

What do you consider my maiden e-mail? I used to be taken by your lavish model—particularly after that first terse, unfriendly (in all probability, deservedly so) message. What with the courtiers, the dumdums, and the bombarding streams, I used to be immersed in a soup of metaphors. Will e-mail do that to me, too?

You is perhaps  to know that my mom will not be a prig; I can’t think about something you’d say in your most indiscreet moments that will shock her. She’s like Grace Kelly’s mom in To Catch a Thief, very down-to-earth, a bourbon drinker. You’d like her. She’d such as you. My starchiness can’t be laid at her toes.

I'm sorry you’ve been roped into this matter. I do know I promised. On the very least, I ought to have requested you in particular person.


P.S. I do know who the Simpsons are. I've sons, keep in mind.

P.P.S. Don’t assume I didn’t catch the Tony Kushner reference. I feel Angels in America is the nice American play of the second half of the Twentieth century. First half: A Streetcar Named Want.


* * *

From: Sophie Diehl

To: Maggie Pfeiffer 

Date: Sat, 27 Mar 1999 11:32:54

Topic: Males 3/27/99 11:32 AM


I'm worn out. I crawled in at 4 a.m. I haven’t stayed out, not to mention up, that late since your wedding ceremony. What can I say? Harry is terrific. I might fall for him, closely and bodily. I didn’t see any of his darkish, brooding aspect. In all probability blinded by these shoulders. He was humorous, sensible, attention-grabbing—and . He appreciated my purchaser tales, particularly the Trilling saga; however then what’s to not like a few case the place a sociopath kills his neighbor as a result of his Pekinese shat on his garden? I’m seeing him once more tonight after the rehearsal. My fantasy life might begin taking a backseat to my actual one. Though that has been resurrected. I’ve resumed my crush on DG. He wrote me an e-mail in his outdated unconsciously (?) flirtatious manner. Or, perhaps not. Perhaps he was simply being teasing and playful.

I've to enter the workplace this afternoon to work on the Trilling case and tidy up my common workload, since on Monday I start divorce element. I’ll see you this night. I’ll come by on the finish of rehearsal to observe the final act. I feel the play can be an incredible success and you might be fantastic as Annie, although not very likable. It’s attention-grabbing {that a} play about love is about adultery. I do know you may’t do a wedding play with out adultery—no plot—however there are much less merciless methods of doing it (although little doubt much less dramatically attention-grabbing). Maybe for Stoppard, solely the love for youngsters is the true factor. My favourite bit is the second scene, the place the playwright’s first spouse says about him and their daughter: “He’s in love together with his [daughter].” (I’m improvising.) And also you (second spouse) say: “Isn’t that ordinary?” And the ex-wife says: “Regular is the opposite manner spherical.” I ponder why he picked this play? Does it resonate with anybody who wasn’t divorced or whose mother and father weren’t divorced? I’m considering I ought to ship my new purchaser and her husband (and his new sweetheart) complimentary tickets to your play. I’m additionally considering I ought to cease fantasizing about Mrs. Greaves’s husband. God, he’s as outdated as my father. I'm disgusting.

However then there’s Harry. Have you learnt once I noticed him, I might really feel the hairs on the again of my neck bristling? I haven’t felt that manner since eleventh grade once I sat throughout the aisle from Jack within the theater class at Collegiate. I used to assume I’d fall off my chair. I’d misplaced all will; I used to be pure need—and need couldn’t sit up or take note of Joe Egg. Will we ever really feel that intensely once more? No. Solely youngsters kill themselves for love; Maman says, Anna threw herself beneath the practice not as a result of she misplaced Vronsky however as a result of she misplaced her son. There we're once more: the love for youngsters.

I want extra sleep.

Kiss Matt for me. Love,


* * *


* * *

From: Harry Mortensen

To: Sophie Diehl 

Date: Sat, 27 Mar 1999 15:01:53

Topic: Hiya 3/27/99 3:01 PM

Candy Sophie—How are you feeling? Did you get any sleep? I’m wrecked. And you probably did it. You might be coming by rehearsal tonight, aren’t you? It needs to be over by 12:30, however you’re welcome anytime.





(393) 876-5678


Legal professional Work Product

From: Sophie Diehl

To: David Greaves

RE: Matter of Durkheim

Date: March 29, 1999


At our assembly this morning, we mentioned the following steps to be taken within the Durkheim case. Within the subsequent few days, I shall attend to the issues that want attending to and do extra studying and analysis. You'll take care of Fiona in a manner that can mitigate any ailing emotions this project might have inadvertently engendered.

Issues That Want Attending:

1. Letter to Mrs. Durkheim/Addendum to the Payment Settlement

I shall write Mrs. Durkheim right now explaining the situations beneath which I'll characterize her. I shall advise her in opposition to utilizing me and provides her many cogent the explanation why you or Fiona would higher serve her (by no means mentioning my very own disinclination). I shall say that if in opposition to recommendation of counsel, she nonetheless needs me to characterize her, I'll do my greatest. I will even say that due to my inexperience, I'll frequently seek the advice of with you to ensure that she is getting one of the best authorized recommendation. If she chooses to retain me, I shall ask her to signal an Addendum to the Payment Settlement, which spells out that she can be charged to your time in addition to mine. We agree that it's higher that I write the letter. Mrs. Durkheim may interpret a letter from you to that impact as patronizing, insensitive, and dismissive. (“Father’s Lawyer Is aware of Finest.”)

2. Discover of Look; Acceptance of Service; Reply to Grievance

We have to settle for service and file a Discover of Look with the Courtroom and Okay&B; we must also reply the criticism: nothing too particular, boilerplate.

3. Discovery

After the matter of illustration is mounted, we have to start discovery. Mrs. Durkheim is within the technique of assembling a monetary historical past of her marriage and a proposed post-divorce funds for herself and her daughter. She doesn't imagine it will likely be tough to assemble the knowledge and supporting documentation. She dealt with the household funds, saved the books, paid the payments. She doesn’t imagine her husband has any hidden property. Is she being naïve? Doesn’t she know in regards to the Caymans? When we've got a greater concept of earnings and bills, property and liabilities, we are able to start to formulate a suggestion.

4. Movement for Momentary Help

Mrs. Durkheim’s present earnings won't help her and her daughter. Whereas her father would little doubt assist her out till a settlement is reached, we should always in all probability start to consider making a movement for short-term help. Within the Peele case you had me learn, Jason Peele (a Okay&B purchaser) closed the joint checking account, canceled his spouse’s bank cards, and emptied out the protected deposit field—every week after the summons was served. And he or she had no job in any respect.

5. Continued Residence within the Household House

Even when she doesn’t wish to, Mrs. Durkheim wants to remain put within the household dwelling till a settlement is reached. It will possibly’t look as if she’s deserted him. Additionally, since he’s so connected to the home, it could present us with some leverage within the negotiations. We must be vigilant right here. Earlier than he made any form of supply of settlement, Jason Peele made a movement to exclude his spouse and kids from the household residence and altered the locks.

Narragansett Statutes

Title 33 of the Narragansett Code, Sections 801ff.

Dissolution of Marriage, Annulment, and Authorized Separation

Sec. 833. Momentary alimony and help and use of household dwelling or different residential dwelling.

At any time after the return day of a criticism, short-term alimony and youngster help could also be awarded to both of the events. In making an order for short-term alimony, the courtroom shall contemplate all components enumerated in part 832 (everlasting award of alimony). In making an order for short-term youngster help, the courtroom shall contemplate all components enumerated in part 834 (everlasting youngster help). The courtroom can also award unique use of the household dwelling or every other dwelling that's out there to be used as a residence previous to dissolution of the wedding, authorized separation, or annulment to both of the events as is simply and equitable with out regard to the respective pursuits of the events within the property.




(393) 876-5678


Legal professional Work Product

From: Fiona McGregor

To: David Greaves

RE: The Meiklejohns

Date: March 29, 1999


What's going on? I'm going off to Eire for 2 weeks and return to seek out that Sophie Diehl is doing a Meiklejohn divorce. I had barely sat down at my desk this morning when Jennie burst in to inform me the information. (She was all wide-eyed, breathless; you’d assume we’d been retained by Jerry Corridor.)

It's irresponsible, to not say insulting to the divorce follow companions of the agency; an embryonic prison lawyer who is aware of nothing about household regulation and who has been practising regulation for 10 minutes is assigned the agency’s largest, most vital divorce case in years, and I'm not consulted and even notified. How did this occur? Is it now agency coverage that solely Mather or Yale Regulation College graduates can characterize the likes of the Meiklejohns? I can’t imagine that is the best way to run a regulation agency. I'm surprised. There’s no different phrase.

cc: Jason Bell

William Frost

Proctor Hand

Virginia Ladder

Felix Landau

Frank O’Keefe

Joseph Salerno

Katherine Gross sales

John Wynch




(393) 876-5678


Legal professional Work Product

From: David Greaves

To: Fiona McGregor

RE: Within the Matter of Durkheim: Authorized Illustration

Date: March 29, 1999


At my request, Sophie did the consumption interview since you had been out of city. A couple of days later, Maria Durkheim wrote me, asking for Sophie to characterize her within the divorce. Should you’d prefer to learn Mrs. Durkheim’s letter, ask Hannah for a duplicate. You couldn’t be extra sad than Sophie, who has no real interest in doing divorces, not even a Meiklejohn’s.

When a purchaser asks for a selected lawyer, the purchaser will get that lawyer. That’s how this agency is run.

cc: Jason Bell

William Frost

Proctor Hand

Virginia Ladder

Felix Landau

Frank O’Keefe

Joseph Salerno

Katherine Gross sales

John Wynch

All About Eve

* * *

From: Sophie Diehl

To: Maggie Pfeiffer 

Date: Mon, 29 Mar 1999 16:14:55

Topic: All About Eve 3/29/99 4:14 PM

Pricey Mags—

That divorce I’ve been roped into doing is heating up—not between the sad couple, as you’d count on, however within the workplace. Fiona is hopping mad. She wrote a memo to DG that was bristling with indignation and despatched cc’s to all of the companions. 4 of them went out of their option to present it to me. Joe stated it was All About Eve with the gloves (white or boxing?) off. I haven’t seen him so cheerful since we received the massive WMU case. For sure, I'm an object of her wrath—although DG obtained a dose of it as good. I don’t know why she dislikes me a lot. She made a crack about Yale and Mather attorneys, however then everybody does. We will’t move the bar, however we all know our Rawls. I want to speak to my mom. She’ll inform me it's going to all be all proper.





(393) 876-5678


Legal professional Work Product

From: Sophie Diehl

To: David Greaves

RE: Within the Matter of Durkheim: Authorized Illustration

Date: March 29, 1999

Attachments: Letter to Maria Durkheim

Connected is a draft copy of my letter to Maria Durkheim. It's maybe not strictly right for a authorized doc, however in its manner it's conscious of Mrs. Durkheim’s and she is going to, I imagine, take it within the spirit during which it's supplied. Let me know what modifications you assume I ought to make.

I’ve requested all of the Catholics in my household to gentle a candle to Saint Jude.





March 29, 1999

Maria M. Durkheim

404 St. Cloud Road

New Salem, NA 06556

Pricey Mrs. Durkheim:

I'm writing in regard to your request that I characterize you in your divorce. I can be completely straight with you. I’m not one of the best particular person for this job. I'm a prison lawyer. I'm not solely ailing ready to behave in a matrimonial case, I'm barely on talking phrases with the principles of civil process. I've by no means litigated a civil motion; I've by no means drafted any of the related paperwork or negotiated a separation and custody settlement.

I can perceive the impulse that drove you to ask for me. You don’t wish to have to inform your story over once more. I feel the identical impulse makes remedy sufferers follow a therapist irrespective of how ineffective or damaging the remedy. The working—and pessimistic—concept appears to be that the satan you already know is healthier than the satan you don’t. Don’t make that mistake on this occasion. You've a lot better choices. (And also you received’t should retell your story; the taped and transcripted variations of your interview are in your file on the agency.)

There are in our workplaces three attorneys who're educated and skilled in matrimonial regulation, all of whom would do a wonderful job for you: Fiona McGregor is a acknowledged authority who has written articles for The Narragansett Lawyer and taught the state bar evaluate sections on divorce and dissolution; Felix Landau has been practising matrimonial regulation for 25 years and is an ace negotiator; David Greaves, our managing accomplice, is an outstanding litigator and one of the crucial revered attorneys within the state. My greatest authorized recommendation 

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