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Question for those of you who have had some court action:

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dbellanon posted 7/1/2014 17:33 PM

How do you get relevant communications between you and your ex (or stbx) to your lawyer?

It looks like XWW and I are going back to court (We went through mediation the first time. No lawyers). I've wanted to do a detailed post on what is going on on SI, but it's just so damn complicated and I have so much going on. Maybe I'll get to it at some point.

But one thing I am doing is sifting through the e-mails that have gone between XWW and I over the past year. A good number of them may end up being relevant to the case, so I want to send them to my lawyer, but I'm not sure the best way to do this. I use gmail, and I want to find a way to send a large number of e-mail threads to her without having to send her a hundred forwarded messages. I asked her, and unfortunately neither she nor any of her clients appear to have been tech savvy enough to come up with a standard solution this kind of submission.

Does anyone have any experience with this. When you have to give your lawyer access to emails (and text messages) that may be relevant to your case, what have you done?

Thanks for the help.

[This message edited by dbellanon at 5:46 PM, July 1st (Tuesday)]

Floppy123 posted 7/1/2014 17:51 PM

Have you tried saving the emails to your computer then compressing them into a zip folder, may have to be done in parts but the result is the same, alternatively, save them to USB and post ?

ButterflyGirl posted 7/1/2014 17:51 PM

My way was probably too tedious, but I copied and pasted the actual emails into a Word document (like from Gmail, the print version with all the information on it).

I also separated the emails into groups of what they "prove," with a different Word document for each..

I had one for money, including sending him receipts. I had one for involving the kids in the schedule. I had one for letting him know about school and extracurricular activities. Etc...

I also did this with our texts, grouping them by subject. The SMS Export program I use is 5 bucks and could bring it in Excel format for me, which I'm familiar with, so I was easily able to pick and choose the strings of texts I wanted..

The more organized you are, the better. Definitely do something like this if you're going to court..

[This message edited by ButterflyGirl at 5:53 PM, July 1st (Tuesday)]

Nature_Girl posted 7/1/2014 19:25 PM

Sorry, but I just forwarded the emails to my attorney. I wanted there to be an electronic trace available so my ex couldn't claim I just made shit up on the word processor & printed it out. Yes, this was an expensive choice.

TrustedHer posted 7/1/2014 19:48 PM

If you install Outlook (and maybe even the free Outlook Express) or a similar mail client, like Thunderbird, then you can connect to your gmail via IMAP.

You probably need a trusted tech helper to do that.

Then you can use that client to select the mails, put them in a separate folder, and then paste them all into one big message you can send.

Might be too much trouble, but it's an option.

Dark Inertia posted 7/8/2014 22:01 PM

Have you considered putting the documents on a jump drive?

dmari posted 7/9/2014 03:21 AM

Wow ~ you have 100's of possibly relevant emails? I think of you want to be sure your L receives them and have her decide it's relevancy, then you should just forwarded them or start BCC'ing them. Like NG stated, that is an expensive choice.

crisp posted 7/9/2014 06:20 AM

I have extensive litigation experience. When going through client records there are many factors to consider. Without getting bogged down in details, I suggest you go through the emails yourself and copy/save (in the easiest format for you).

When you provide the copied emails to your attorney he/she will be able to determine which communications are useful and can then decide the best to way/format to present them for court. This tact will save you money initially since providing the raw data would require the attorney to wade through material at your expense. It may be that the attorney will have to do some of that anyway, but at least you are starting out conserving.

nekorb posted 7/9/2014 08:34 AM

I plan to print out the emails and then scan them in to my computer as PDF files. Probably grouped by date.

As far as text messages, I have a program ($30) that will copy them from my iPhone/iPad and save as PDF files. Love it.

ButterflyGirl posted 7/9/2014 08:51 AM

Just to expand on what I said before, I didn't copy and paste "ALL" of my emails and texts to my lawyer. I went through and grouped threads that I would be pertinent to my case, saving the rest just in case..

Some of the extremely nasty ones my ex wrote to me, just bashing me and putting me down, I saved those for my counselor to deal with. The ones I organized and showed my lawyer, and eventually the judge, were the ones where he refused me a phone call with my kids, where he refused to take the boys to school/Cub Scout emails, where he refused to pay child support for over a year and a half, where he refused to pay his "half" or medical bills and/or extracurricular activities, the ones where he tried to go through my son to change the schedule.

Of course there were emails like, "Well YOU are a fucking asshole," and then he would reply, "No, YOU are a fucking asshole." The lawyer, the judge, the court reporter, no one really wants to hear or read through that shit. Everyone has arguments.

Just pick the MOST PERTINENT emails/texts where she is breaking the rules. The ones where you KNOW the judge is going to come down on her.

Save the rest on your phone or a jump drive to dispute any lies or twisting of your words that the other side might use against you. I brought a whole laptop just so I could refer to any communications he wanted to bring up. My ex tried taking some of my words out of context, and he when he saw the entire conversation, my ex got berated by the judge AGAIN.

Please, DO NOT send every last communication and waste your lawyers' time and money OR the judge's time and money. The judge wants simple, to the point proof that your wife is NOT following the rules. Give it to the judge the easiest way possible.

This is NOT the time to prove to the judge what a nutcase your ex is. It's the time to prove that they have broken the law of the rules, the administrative rules, and the temporary orders already in place.

No one ever comes out smelling like an angel. Just prove, AS SIMPLY AS POSSIBLE, that YOU are the one focused on the children.

Sending ALL your emails and texts to your lawyer and having them go through them is an expensive nightmare. Figure out what you really need to be proving, then prove it as simply as possible.

I think the judge liked me so much because I didn't spend hours proving what an asswipe he is. He liked me so much that I was calm enough to take his abuse towards me, but when it came to the kids, I was prepared to bury the fuck out of that piece of shit with my evidence..

HopeImOverIt posted 7/9/2014 15:35 PM

Ask Google (or Bing) how to save multiple emails from your particular mail program to a single file.

For example, since I use Outlook I would put the following into the Google search

Outlook save multiple emails

dbellanon posted 7/9/2014 18:46 PM

ButterflyGirl: you were able to bring a laptop into the courtroom?

ButterflyGirl posted 7/9/2014 19:51 PM

Yes, dbellanon. Perhaps an Ipad would have been easier, but I just brought an old small laptop, big enough to have wi-fi and handle all my downloaded texts, emails, and important documents like the financial affidavit.

I also brought binders full of printed *pertinent* information that proved my ex was breaking the law. I like using colors for clarity and the "Times New Roman" font, in something like a 12 or 14 so the older people can read it

But I had EVERYTHING on my laptop. Whatever evidence my ex brought, I was going to be ready to dispute it with everything I had documented.. He's tried taking my words out of context numerous times, so I was ready to go if he tried that shit.

The courtroom was rather small, and I just waited with my lawyer on the long benches at the back of the room (with my ex not daring to sit anywhere near me). When it was our turn, I found the plug on the wall next to our side and kept my laptop handy. I didn't end up using it, but I wanted everything at my fingertips. Being able to use "search and find" in a document saves so much time..

Lawyers and judges are busy, and they HATE hearing, "Just a second, I have that somewhere..." I think they subconsciously find the people who are organized more trustworthy. I think knowing the items I needed to legally prove my case really helped me.

The judge and the lawyers really don't care if your ex is "mean." They care if they are breaking the law. And my ex broke the law NUMEROUS times, including giving my DS10 a phone, then being stupid enough to text him things like, "Your mom is a bitch, I don't trust your mom, I blocked your mom's phone, tell her if she wants to talk to me to write me a letter through the mail, ask mom if it's okay if I come get you, do you want me to come get you, go tell mom I'm coming." After that, the judge was ready to rip my ex a new one. I don't think the judge cared one bit if my ex was mean to me (hell, I was mean back to him), but when the kids were involved? THAT is fucked up and breaking the law.

I don't even think I needed my lawyer. The judge berated my ex for his actions and gave me everything I asked for.. Cause I had PROOF. Not just lies out of his mouth.

dbellanon posted 7/9/2014 21:39 PM

Thanks. It's really helpful to visualize the inside of that hearing. XWW and I went pro se at our divorce hearing because we had worked everything out in mediation. We didn't have to fight over anything (though if I had had the foresight, I might have), so this is really a new experience for me.

I hate to spend all the money on printer ink, but a binder might be helpful, as well as a computer or tablet.

My situation is a little different because I'm not suing XWW for contempt. She's not in breach of our agreement (and neither am I), but our agreement does need to be modified/amended because we failed to agree on where to send our daughter to school.

That being said, XWW wanted to throw a custody contention in with the mix when she threatened to take me to court, which is one of the reasons I got out ahead of it and filed first. I'm not particularly interested in jockeying for primary custody if we can get this school issue resolved, but I'm sort of bracing myself for the possibility that she'll get some scummy lawyer who will try every dirty trick he can think of. And I'm hoping and anticipating that this will be an obvious waste of the judge's time.

Still, I want my lawyer to be aware of, not only things that are actually relevant to the case, but anything XWW might try to throw at us. That being said, I can probably trim the list down a bit, especially if it's acceptable to look things up in the middle of the hearing.

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