Only a fool would represent himself in Family Law Court.  Just ask Robert N. Greenberg.  He’s the attorney/Appellant who represented himself in a case recently Certified For Publication by the Second Appellate District out of Santa Barbara, California.  In Marriage of Greenberg, B226064, April 28, 2011, Greenberg (husband) appealed an order awarding $2,800 in attorneys fees and sanctions to his former spouse.  It seems Mr. Greenberg had stubbornly failed to honor a 2008 judgment dividing community property with the Missus, and he was not about to let her get away with it.  The trial court wasn’t about to let Mr. Greenberg get away with that, so it sanctioned him per Family Code § 271, and then Mr. Greenberg filed his appeal.  And that’s when his problems really started.

You see, the Second Appellate District didn’t really appreciate Mr. Greenberg’s attitude.  It determined that Mr. Greenberg “lacked objectivity” in his exercise of the appeal process, which they considered an exercise in frivolity.  The court iterated that “any reasonable attorney would have advised (Mr. Greenberg) not to pursue his appeal.”  To make sure the message got across, the court not only affirmed the judgment order awarding $2,800 fees and sanctions, it awarded to the wife costs on appeal.  That was probably about a $10,000 tab, and as if to add insult to injury – and to help pay the ultimate fool’s price – the Second Appellate Court ordered the clerk of the court to send a copy of the court’s opinion to the State Bar for review.  Hmmm.  Poor Mr. Greenberg.  So much for out-of-control emotions against the ex – and representing oneself in Family Law Court, even if you are an attorney.

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