Mar 2011 14

Co-author Diana Mercer investigates whether Making Divorce Work is actually in stores on December 7, 2010, the publication date.

Diana Mercer is the co-author of Making Divorce Work

I look like trash and I’m on my way to another meeting (virtual, no dressing up required) but the Barnes and Noble in Manhattan Beach has the book!

Sometimes people are curious as to why I got out of the litigation business. Here’s a TRUE STORY from my first big trial back in 1989:

Once you’re in the middle of your divorce, it’s important that you cooperate with your lawyer. Everyone’s done things they’re not proud of, and it makes sense to share most of those with your lawyer, before you’re confronted with them in open court.

When I first started practicing, I had a contested custody case. To me, my client looked like Laura Ingalls Wilder, and she seemed pretty convincing.

Imagine my dismay when, on cross examination, the husband’s attorney starts shaking a videotape in her direction, shouting, “and isn’t it true that this video tape, made for commercial distribution, depicts you having sexual intercourse with a chainsaw?”

My jaw dropped, my face turned ashen, and the room started to spin. The judge, knowing I was just a Baby Lawyer and sensing I didn’t deserve to be pummeled publicly over this, dropped his gavel onto the bench with a bang, calling “recess! I’ll see counsel in chambers!”

We settled that case.

Lesson to be learned: If you used to be a porn star, it’s unlikely your ex will forget that little fact, so tell your lawyer about it before cross examination starts.

Diana Mercer is the co-author of Making Divorce Work: 8 Essential Keys to Resolving Conflict and Rebuilding Your Life (Perigee 2010). Join the conversation and community on our video blog and check out Diana’s divorce blog on the Huffington Post

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