Just What Did the Doctor Order?

The fewer words we use to describe this here, the better.

The more time you spend understanding what went into this article being shared around the globe, the more you can help solve this mystery in your own backyard.

Professionals focused on improving protections: please connect on these issues.

This is quite simple:

Ask court professionals to put protections over profit, rather than the other way around as they appear on this Cobb County, Georgia case.

Another expensive report in the way of protecting children? $$$

Another expensive report in the way of protecting children? $$$

 

Child abuse is a crime, and preventing crimes from being investigated and blocking the protection of children is a crime.  It’s time to stop calling this something that it is NOT.  

What is it?  #GALmisconduct  

What do we do?  We ask that the authorities #ReviewCases flagged for professional misconduct. That is step one.

What is a Guardian ad Litem?

Question Number One: What is a GAL?

Now that we see how prevalent the misconduct is and how extreme and lasting the damages are, we are developing the dialogue about what to do next.

You have to understand what a Guardian is and what they are supposed to be doing before you can properly review and judge their work, so let’s start here.

The news station reporting on the GAL misconduct and the bad case outcomes in Augusta, Georgia, asked us to explain more about the GAL program in Georgia.

They asked us, “What is a guardian ad litem, and is what we are seeing in Augusta the norm?”

We are opening the discussion for professionals and parents to work together to help improve this situation. The Augusta Chronicle ran a great summary of the GAL program, so please read that and let’s revisit how to improve this system so that we can avoid more of the same, and improve outcomes for children and families.

Please also connect with us via LinkedIn, and professionals may join the Counsel for Change group to contribute privately as we work on answering and correcting what is is wrong.  

Help Break the Silence about GAL misconduct that has been leading to harm to children and good parents.

Help Break the Silence about GAL misconduct that has been leading to harm to children and good parents.

The Price of Bug Repellant

A father asked us recently, “What is a good way to explain to others what this family court trap is like?”

He asked for the best way to explain to his cousin what is happening with certain Georgia family law practices.  His cousin is interested in being supportive but he doesn’t “get” the legal world, let alone this divorce business.

Cousin Joe, however, lives in a big neighborhood and can’t stand the power-hungry HOA president:

You and your neighbors are going about your yard projects, and you get into an argument about a fence.  You go to the head of your HOA to help resolve the situation.  (You can’t stand your neighbor’s bad comb-over or his beer breath, but that’s besides the point.  He doesn’t want you to paint your fence!)

What you don’t realize is that “HOA Guy” has started selling products to deal with mosquitos.  “So what?” you say.

While trying to make your very important point about your RIGHT to paint your fence, with HOA Guy calmly listening, swarms of mosquitos start circling your head and attacking every body part.  Now you’re REALLY annoyed.  And really distracted, and you can’t function let alone work out an agreement with beer-breath.  …and to make things worse, beer-breath and HOA Guy are asking you what YOU did to bring on these nasty bugs.

Thankfully HOA Guy has a solution!

He rolls out the repellant and zapper equipment, and you quickly shell out $350.00 since that’s what he charges and you don’t see any other options at that moment. (These are BIG mosquitos & they feel like they are shredding your skin and going for your dog next.)

What you can’t see at this point is that he is growing those mosquitoes in tubs around the corner and turning them loose on you every time it appears your argument might be winding down.

This conversation is not only going nowhere fast, you and your disgruntled neighbor grow increasingly agitated – with each other.  You both give up in a huff and leave, but are told to come back the next morning (when the mosquitos probably won’t be so bad, HOA Guy calmly says.)

You’re so emotional and worried that you don’t realize the mosquitos are only going after you and your “difficult” neighbor…  The next morning you are relieved to learn there is a stronger version of the repellant you can now buy that he didn’t have the day before.  Another check is written, this time for $650.00, but you have hope you’ll get through the discussion this time.

And so on.

Before too long you’ve turned over your nice watch and your bank account is empty.  (So there is no money left for you to paint that fence you were fighting over!  Problem…solved.)

This is a silly and somewhat harmless picture, right?  Just bugs, an opportunist HOA president, a fight over a fence and a few bucks.

You get it now, right?

Or…not on board yet?  Not enough to go confront and oust HOA Guy and turn his tubs of mosquitos on him?

What if this were a true high-stakes game, and it involved losing your children, your home and your health?

If this were happening to YOU, could you explain that to someone?  Or would you be too ashamed to admit you couldn’t see it coming to be able to stop it?

Right now I bet you’re thinking that you would not shell out money like that for bug repellant?  No, we wouldn’t either, but we’re really talking about people who are told to fear they will lose their children and everything they’ve worked hard for…if they don’t “buy” and “just do what I tell you…”

When you’re under attack, and someone with authority – whom you voted for and therefore TRUST – lies to you and takes everything from you…you react and comply with what you’re told, because you are READY to be delivered from what is attacking you.

Yes, it is that simple.  If you get the wrong attorney, and they do not advocate for you with the Judge like you believe they will, and they tell you to hire the WRONG custody expert, there’s basically nothing you can do…

Or is there?  And is there something we can do together to help those who are being subjected to this?

If you understand this, then you can help us act on it:  this is the reality many parents around you are facing.

Imagine you are a loving parent who just wants to do right by your kids and your soon-to-be-Ex.  You hear about a “good attorney” from a friend, so you go ask for help and write a $4,000.00 check.

While promising to “help you through this tough time” this attorney, and then his preferred child custody “expert,” take a position of authority over you.  Now the judge, the attorneys and the custody expert are all selling you repellant to fight off the bugs they didn’t tell you about.   They will keep taking from you while putting you in a worse position, but you had no way to know this was coming.

This is the easiest explanation for why this continues, because it is so hard to believe…and it is happening in plain site.  As easily as the HOA guy who happens to have bug repellant handy when you come to him for help.  As easily as the guy who sells you the solution to the problem that he created.

Divorce is tough enough, without feeling the need to stay quiet because others know you are just going through an “ugly divorce.”  Can you see how this might be hard to explain, or to know where to turn and how to ask for help?

This is why we are asking you to learn and to offer support.

This is happening to so many around your community, and just like it is hard to avoid mosquitos, it is virtually impossible to stop what is happening to anyone faced with a legal conflict like this.  It doesn’t matter if you are a man or a woman, or what kind of neighborhood you live in.  And, it can happen to you.

Some parents are in much worse shape, and are not allowed to nurture and provide for their own children.   This is the really tough part of this — that children are often a price or the “collateral damage” that you can’t even fathom.  Those situations require a higher level of support and commitment, but these cases range from simple to the extreme.

What is happening to good mothers is also happening to good fathers, and vice versa.  There have been enough tragedies coming from this scenario to wake us up and move us into action, as a state, as parents, grandparents and community leaders or professionals.

We just need to know what YOU can handle, and what you believe is right for you to do.

Whatever your comfort level is, just do something to help us get HOA Guy where he belongs?

 

Atlanta News: CBS Asks Why the Need for Family Court Reform

You may have learned over this past year that just because police and DFCS substantiate claims of child abuse, that does not mean the judge and custody experts will use this evidence to protect a child.

It does not even mean that the child’s THERAPIST will take the evidence seriously in order to protect the child…how is that even possible?  This therapist was chosen by the mother, but only because she had a credible background and substantial role in advocacy for children.  However, when money becomes an issue…it appears evidence and the medical needs of a child do not carry much weight.

This therapist would not listen to police, the child, other real doctors and is not trained to treat dissociative disorder.  This disorder can manifest for victims of severe and prolonged abuse.

This medical disorder and the signs of trauma are glaring in a number of cases in Georgia that are being handled much like this one.  Should our healthcare community and educators be made aware, so they can get involved to help stop this?  We think so.

Dr Danielle Levy decided that overwhelming evidence of abuse & trauma should be ignored.  $$$

Dr Danielle Levy decided that overwhelming evidence of abuse & trauma should be ignored. $$$

 

My Advocate Center has been researching cases across counties and collecting data, and unfortunately the pattern is the same.  If certain attorneys and select custody experts get together, they can put profit over protection.

By hosting the world premiere of the Divorce Corp. film narrated by Dr. Drew, Atlanta was able to bring together parents and professionals to expose the truth and discuss reform.

Continue reading and watching our news coverage as there is much more to report that will help drive change, should you choose to understand and then act on it.

 

 

This is the second in a series of interviews on this case, but the start of a national movement with My Advocate Center to help fathers understand what mothers like this one are going through.  We are all on the same team around protecting children who are being harmed by unethical court practices, foul play, and the “Pay to Play” system.

Guilty parties will pay large amounts of money to have evidence suppressed, and to retain access to their victims.   It is a “Pay to Play” system that allows violent or abusive parties to use children as pawns and to use the process to hide crimes and punish parents seeking protection from the court.

This “Pay to Play” concept also works in reverse, where certain attorneys counsel clients to lie to police – wasting our law enforcement resources – and use false allegations to gain advantage or punish the other party.  Either way, children are harmed, as is our State.  The case revealed in our local coverage fits the Pay to Play concept, and foul play is involved, but it is not a false allegations case as the father’s attorney is asserting.  Look at the facts of the case, the record, and what the professionals were paid to keep the available evidence and testimony – including from police – OFF the record.

There is more to follow, including the tactics of working to deny a litigant the opportunity and right to appeal.

Now is the time to get involved, and save these children and the good parents counting on our Courts and laws for protection.

Please follow updates about Family Court Reform and ask your legislators to help see this through.

Twitter: Follow @MyAdvocateCentr  using #FamilyCourtReform #ImproveFamilyLaw #NeedsofChildren #MyAdvocateCenter — and help stop these #shenanigans.

 

Atlanta News Radio – Family Court Reform

The gavel dropped to open the 2014 Georgia legislative session, right after this brief segment aired.

All News 106.7 and Scott Kimbler reveal what is going on behind the scenes at My Advocate Center regarding Family Court Reform.

Help us serve the real needs of children who are not being protected due to foul play and hidden influence in certain family court cases.

Play

New Series: What Lawyers Say

Day One:  Lawyer Quote #1

Social Media Rocks.  Why?  Good lawyers are getting the word out.  We are listening.

It is NOT all attorneys and judges involved in wreaking havoc on unsuspecting citizens.

This is anonymous for now, until we have permission to use his name:

“Reforms are definitely needed in [my state]. To establish reforms that benefit the parties will require the participation of family law lawyers who support certain changes, too many which can be listed here.  (MAC: we agree) That said, it’s no secret that the family law system is a business. Additionally, it should be generally understood that model does not serve clients well, unless a client gets lucky and hires a highly ethical and competent family law lawyer who is more interested in resolving the divorce as amicably and efficiently as possible, rather than generating the most billable hours. I’ve seen far too many examples of the latter.

I was told by prior employers that I solved cases too quickly, and that by doing so, I cost that employ tens of thousand of dollars that could have been generated from the case (had I not resolved the parties issues so soon). That’s the primary reason I decided to work for myself, so my hands would not be tied, in terms of helping people resolve their divorce without costing so much, and without the unnecessary generation of conflict.

To put out a fire, one should apply water, not gasoline. Many family law lawyers apply gas to increase the fire. The brighter and longer the fire burns, the more money they make. Of course, one who has a conscience (such as myself) finds this approach beyond deplorable.

Again, it’s no secret (at least within the industry) that most family law lawyers don’t bend over backwards to resolve conflict as quickly as possible, whether their reason is to generate more billable hours, or they lack the skill (professional/legal or interpersonal) to help parties resolve conflict in a competent manner.  (MAC note: why should this secret be kept from the public?)

Most lawyers are adept at conflict. Also, many get into family law for the wrong reason (because there’s plenty of work and it seems like an easy area of law, and it’s also easy to start a solo practice). Hence, parties are at high risk that once they initiate their divorce process and hire a lawyer, that their problems will escalate.”

* This is just one sample: lawyers all over our country are stepping forward to say they are OVER being labeled along with those who commit fraud, breach fiduciary duty, commit legal malpractice…or who are just plain lazy or greedy, or all of the above.

Keep it coming!

#Courage #ThrowawayClient

problem_solved

What many lawyers – not all – want you to do

Fulton County: Pay to Play (Part Two)

 

Why raise the issue of “Pay to Play” on these child custody cases?

It’s a simple matter of the public wanting to know why the damages to good parents and to so many children are what they are during and following a legal conflict:

Some of the questions the public is asking include, “How many high-paid attorneys and custody experts does it take to influence a judge to ignore evidence and the wishes of a child?”  This is a fair question raised in Fulton, Cobb, Forsyth and Dekalb counties in similar cases involving child abuse.  It is fair to ask also, “Should this influence be allowed to stay hidden?”

It is a bigger question because many of these cases had possible outcomes that were faster, less traumatizing and expensive for the parents and children.

But the damages are not just happening to children, or around cases involving abuse.

Evidence of addiction and other misconduct / foul play is being ignored where it will allow a healthy and innocent parent to protect themselves. This is while certain professionals on those cases earn higher fees from that keeping that parent caught in the process.  It just takes lying to the innocent parent in saying “Oh, that evidence doesn’t count, or that misconduct won’t matter to the Court,” then creating more uncertainty by faulting the innocent parent instead of using available evidence, and the perfect storm is ripe for increased professional gain.

Parents are being told that the “trends” in family law mean that leaving out evidence is appropriate, and that means the financial losses & physical / emotional harm to good parents and children…is all fine, too. So we invite the press to ask, are these “trends” in line with our laws?  We know for sure they are not in line with common sense or with what our children need to be healthy and supported.

So this question on this Fulton case becomes fair game:

Does it really make sense that a GAL on a case like this one is billing over $133,000.00?    Wouldn’t the evidence on its face suffice to provide the right answers to the court?  How is this “trend” good for our children or our state?

Because of this coverage on these unusually high custody expert bills, many more cases have surfaced revealing that “things just don’t make sense” around amounts billed and by whom, and when compared to the evidence and facts of the case – and when seeing the damaging outcomes for children.

See the story posted below for the reason reporter Jeff Chirico did a follow up story on billing records and money.  Note that we have not seen one case with an innocent parent where these same professionals worked this hard to use their influence over a judge.  If they have such a case, our analysts would welcome the chance to compare billing records and the advocacy involved.

There is nothing wrong with making  a great living, or with paying experts when you need and can afford them.

The issue we are raising is that “neutral”  or “child-focused” professionals and their billing practices are doing harm in ignoring evidence that would end litigation and provide protections.

The results are reflecting that more innocent parents are being damaged in spite of evidence that supports them, while the actual perpetrators are able to get evidence ignored.  Either way the children are harmed.

Based on what we’ve seen in this case and in others, if you are guilty of something, then you have a clear path to follow in how to avoid losing in court.  Our point here is that the evidence of this case is impossible to argue with; and certain professionals are working hard to keep out the evidence, even those whose job it is to be “neutral” and to protect the child. (This statement is true and is based on the analysis of dozens of local cases, so we are not amending this statement until we see evidence to the contrary – which we hope will be the case in this next trial.)

If you are a good, innocent parent working to protect a child and to protect your rights, then hiring is a very different matter.  Having significant financial resources and connections as this father does, does not guarantee that the professionals you hire will advocate as needed on your case.  Money does not buy loyalty, but apparently it can buy a cover-up.  The cover-up can work in favor of a parent who is guilty of abuse, but in a number of cases brought to us the cover-up is done to protect a parent and professionals who have lied to police in bringing false allegations.

This means that in other cases, the professionals hired by affluent fathers are allowing their innocent clients to be set up to fail around false allegations.  So, if you are a father who has been falsely accused and lost big, do not make the mistake of thinking that this case may be like yours.  It simply doesn’t work that way – not based on a large number of case evaluations done over a period of several years.

So here is a tough question that is asked of us repeatedly:

Why is it that fathers who have been arrested in different jurisdictions, with reports of abuse substantiated, can use these professionals to hold a child hostage and harm an innocent, nurturing mother?  Then on the flip side, why are fathers who have done nothing wrong and have supported the mother and children (even in the face of adultery and addiction), being condemned and destroyed?

This is happening because it is profitable, and because there is no transparency on these cases.  The next question obviously is “where is the accountability” – does it exist?  The recording and reporting of these hearings is critical for both the public safety – especially that of children who barely have a voice to be able to ask for help – and also for the sake of the public trust in our legal system and judiciary.

If you are a professional who wants to see these cases adjudicated according to evidence and laws, and to ensure the safety of children and the rights of good parents, please look into this case and attend the hearing if possible.

If you are a parent who is uncertain about where to turn to safely navigate situations involving real or false allegations, contact us first.

* This post and this story are posted here together so that following the outcome of this case is easier.  CBS Atlanta did a thorough job investigating and reporting, and was threatened by Dr. Howard Drutman.

 

This is an excerpt from CBS Atlanta’s coverage on this story:

FULTON COUNTY, GA (CBS ATLANTA) –

CBS Atlanta News has learned attorney James Holmes is revising his $133,000 bill in a custody case, in which he served as a guardian ad litem, after reporter Jeff Chirico questioned his fees and his recommendation.

As a guardian ad litem, Holmes is responsible for advocating for the best interest of a 10-year-old girl whose identity CBS Atlanta News is withholding.

Last month, Fulton County Superior Court Judge John Goger ordered the girl live with her father despite allegations he had sexually abused her. Holmes and a court-appointed custody evaluator, Howard Drutman, recommended that the girl’s father receive primary custody of his daughter.

CBS Atlanta News obtained an e-mail Holmes sent to the parties, indicating his fees for working on the case from Spring 2012 through April 22, 2013 totaled $133,000.89.

The Rachel House, aka Rachel Foundation

This place in Texas is not a hospital or a real therapeutic environment subject to the normal oversight you would expect of a medical or psychological facility that treats children.

Everything about it is suspect at best, and there are known investigations into this facility related to child trafficking.  This was stated on the record in Forsyth County if you want to see the transcript.  Aside from that statement, when you hear teens and young adults reporting back about what they’ve been put through there and at other “deprogramming” and “reunification” camps, all doubt will be removed.

So why would judges, attorneys and custody experts in Georgia be so comfortable in taking children away from healthy parents and forcing them out of state to this place?

Why would Georgia divorce attorney Tera Reese Beisbier write to a New Jersey judge that her friend Judge Bagley would be willing to get on the phone about his recommendations for sending children to the Rachel House?

Why would Dr. Howard Drutman be named as the “doctor” in Georgia to use to enforce Rachel House recommendations during child custody cases?  (see below the examples of professionals associated with the Rachel House and the descriptions of their misconduct)

It is important that Georgia recognize why Dr. Drutman is used on this case and others involving damages to children, even though he doesn’t have the credentials to support his involvement.  It is also important to note that he has been investigated for billing fraud by an insurance company, and that he has committed billing fraud according to visible records. But these select attorneys still pay him top dollar on sensitive cases, and certain judges accept his recommendations in spite of overwhelming evidence against his positions.  Why is that?

Dr. Howard Drutman: why is it noteworthy that this is the “doctor” trusted by these judges?  Let’s take a look.  Reviews such as this one are telling:

“Doctor Drutman was unprofessional, biased, and writes his opinions in child custody to favor known proclivities of the court judges, not as an uninfluenced professional. He damages children’s lives by falsifying reports, skewing information and failing to follow established APA guidelines. His work is an embarrassment to the profession and he should be barred form child psychology evaluations.”

We can only imagine what their motives are, but we thought you might want to hear more specifics on why we were drawn to Forsyth County Superior Court to learn more about this case.  A case involving a teen girl pleading for her freedom from abuse.

If you have been reading our posts here, you will recognize the patterns across several cases, from Fulton, to Cobb to Forsyth…around how select custody experts and attorneys ensure that evidence does not work in favor of children or support the parent the evidence is actually in favor of on these cases. *In some cases the evidence supports the father as the healthy/nurturing parent, but the custody experts are going against that evidence also; it is not that they are against women, or in favor of affluent fathers with status. Select experts just choose to do the wrong thing, as apparently that ensures the need for their ongoing services.

We are asking our leadership and authorities to pay close attention to what makes sense here – and to compare the law to the conduct of these professionals.  Things do not match up, and it is way too easy to spin messaging and create glossy brochures that put a happy or normal face on top of the abuse that is being enabled and covered up using this and similar facilities. (Not all wrongdoing by professionals involves sending kids to these camps; they are just one method used to increase fees and to further destabilize children and nurturing parents.)

 

The following statements are excerpts from this news story, in which an investigative reporter in FL went after the facts surrounding the Rachel House.

From kids who were subjected to therapy here – therapy that is less humane that what arrested criminals are allowed to have done to them:

“The Rachel Foundation is a scary organization. It’s taken every day of my life since to put myself back together in a way I see fit.’

The Hochs “told us that if we didn’t obey our dad and if we didn’t agree to act happy with him that we would never see our mom again,” testified Kelli Carr, now 17.

She said she and her sister weren’t allowed to eat until they agreed to say positive things about their father.

“How many days did you go without being fed?” the judge asked.

“Just the first two days, because then my sister and I just started . . . making things up.”

More:

The foundation falls through licensing cracks because it is not a hospital, group home or mental health facility — all of which are regulated by Texas. Professionals connected with the Rachel Foundation are licensed, but several have run afoul of regulators.

The former clinical director, California psychologist Randy Rand, is on five years’ administrative probation for “unprofessional conduct” in child custody cases in Orlando and California.

A former member of the foundation’s advisory board, J. Michael Bone of Orlando, lost his Florida mental health counselor’s license in 2007 for failing to act in the child’s best interest in a custody case.

A Texas psychologist who has worked with the Rachel Foundation was put on probation for failing to disclose a DUI arrest and submitting a custody report with “numerous inaccuracies.”

And a California psychologist who has been to the Rachel House several times to help the Hochs does not have permission to practice in Texas, state regulators say.

“There are scientific standards and practice standards for how to go about delivering therapy to children,” Silberg of the Leadership Council says, “and nothing I’ve seen from the Rachel House follows any known standards about the delivery of mental health care.”

Stranger, and more disturbing yet, is the fact that one of the pro-pedophile “leaders” in the US was instrumental in making Rachel House so well known:

A onetime Columbia University professor, Richard Gardner thought society is too harsh on adults who have sex with kids.

“What I am against is the excessively moralistic and punitive reaction that many members of our society have toward pedophiles . . . far beyond what I consider the gravity of the crime,” he wrote in 1991.

Gardner argued [about pedophilia] that it’s common in many cultures and that children might be less harmed by sex abuse than by the “trauma” of the legal process.