Monday, August 3, 2009

How Divorce Is Done Elsewhere: Scotland

One great advantage gained from writing this blog is learning about family law in other states and countries. I will admit nowadays that this blog has allowed me to see both the trees and the forest, and that was not so true as before I began writing this blog.

Which brings me to CaseCheck(tm) Case Reports and its family reports. It would be nice to such a thing in Indiana (or the United States).

I took the time to skim (sorry but moving stuff out of the house and to new apartment left me way too tired to study) Watt v. Watt. What I learn is that the underlying substance does not really change. The talk may be of fishing and ships but disputes about valuation remain the same.

I have read Scottish law cases before and was struck from the beginning of by a difference of tone between American and Scottish legal writing. Would that American judges could write this well about the process of judging:

I have given careful consideration to the matters raised by the pursuer. I am not, however, persuaded that the difficulty Mr Hermse had over this matter casts doubt on the credibility and reliability of his valuation evidence. I was impressed by his careful and thoughtful approach when it came to valuation. He was not dogmatic. He did not seek to overvalue. He has been keeping in close touch with quota values for many years. He had exercised independent judgement as to a fair value drawing on that experience and drawing on information not only about sale transactions at about the relevant time but about valuations.
Yes, that sort of thing does apply here and is as good a description of judging credibility as any I have read.

I remember reading William James on perspectives. This foreign reading does give a new perspective on our family law, a reminder also of its similarities, and a reminder of things we do not always consciously remember during the press of maintaining a practice.

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