Judge Riff and the little old lady

As anyone will tell you, my knowledge of the world of DIVORCE and the dirty tricks and games that lawyers, as well as their clients, will try to play is second to none. I have spent 25 years sitting in courtrooms across America and listening to those who have the duty and power to make the decisions out of the nonsense aka evidence and testimony that is brought before them, Judges. Keep in mind, please, that most DIVORCE courts are truly the palaces of perjury.

Welcome to Department 22, the court of the Honorable Lawrence Riff, Judge of the Superior Court here in Los Angeles.  Little did I know that I would get to meet the Honorable Judge Riff as I had known of his judicial rulings already.  This was the judge that ripped through the nonsense of the Mel B v Stephen Belafonte. As far as I am concerned, this man is what makes my days at the Superior Court worth listening and writing.

My opinion is that Judge Riff’s calls were similar to hitting grand slam home runs, had he been a ballplayer.  Judge Riff’s prior work as a managing partner with Steptoe and Johnson LLP and his specialty at that firm, in my opinion, has given him a crystal ball like mentality.  “Crystal Ball.” It would appear that he is a wise man, and now sitting as a judge knows the game of what lawyers and their clients are capable of.  The defense of petroleum, energy and chemical industry, not exactly a specialty that would require a higher degree of knowledge. This is my initial knee-jerk reaction after being aware of Judge Riff’s take and decisions on the Mel B and Belafonte case….decisions that were right on point.

Not being a fan of Governor Jerry Brown as to most of his policies, I must say he got the appointment of Lawrence Riff to the court right!  From Judge Riff’s humble beginnings, from attending the University of Michigan for a BA and off to the opposite end of the country attending Oregon School of Law where he earned his JD.  And again, Congratulations to Governor Brown for doing something right. Once again, we have a bench officer who was meant to be a judge. What I see is a high level of being compassionate and civil and a level of competence that is refreshing.

While roaming the halls the other day I happened to sit in on a case that had me highly entertained. Eiland, Adele E. v Eiland, Joe Frank. What I was hearing was very entertaining. This was just a never-ending feat of an X wife who was wanting her money from the 60’s. Adele had a colorful background of fraud and time spent in the county jail as well as the state prison for fraud.  This old jailbird also had another interesting side of her, a humorous delivery. She acquired a JD when she had attended law school. She did not pass the BAR, and with that fact in mind, she was giving the attorney on the other side a bad case of the “blues.” This was so good that at certain times the attorney appeared tongue-tied. This is why I walk the halls of America’s courts. BTW, I also love visiting cemeteries whenever I travel and get a chance to see the ending places for the once living.  Odd, I sometimes get this same feeling sitting and listening to court proceedings.

Is it happy hour yet?

When asked by opposing counsel if she was ever known as Dr. Jeter, Adele let loose with “So what?” She has a Juris Doctorate and unless you asked what kind of a “doctor,” how was this her problem? This was exactly her point!  The attorney at times appeared to be grabbing at any straw he could to show that this little lady still has a “fraudulent vein” running through her.  All I will say is that she gave the other side a run for the money, literally.  Another character trait I loved was that she had no problem with eye contact, and at times looked at the attorney becoming flustered, even to the point of adjusting her stare to do just that.  Not a huge sum of money at stake here, but with interest and penalties, it was enough to make a senior citizen pretty happy.

It will be Judge Lawrence Riff’s decision to make the call, the facts and docs were all put into evidence. Judge Riff could not have been more accommodating in making sure the playing field was level and fair. Keep in mind one side was represented by a real lawyer and the other side was a “pro per” with a law degree and a pretty damn good memory for an ‘Old Doll.’   Note: personally, I think she did a pretty good job of making her point and was not rattled by being asked the same question different ways.  You could also still see the “ con,“ and the life skills that have gotten her to where she is today. Any bets on the decision?  No, I am not going to guess, as I have been wrong so many times in the past as to what I thought…..Terry Christensen was a big one I got wrong!

 

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By John Nazarian
©Straight Talk with John J. Nazarian, Private Investigator
May 14, 2018
All Rights Reserved, do not reproduce in whole or in part without the express written consent of the author

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