Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Misery Loves Company

Stiles Parsons met with Bonham Trudeaux
Stiles Parsons had not heard from Arcadia Thiessen since well before he visited Tabernacle Calderone at his home and told Calderone what he knew of Arcadia. Nor had he heard from Bonham Trudeaux since they had lunch together at the Hard Slog Café and Bonham gave Parsons a copy of the photographs he had of Arcadia. Parsons was surprised when Bonham telephoned him and suggested they have lunch again at the Hard Slog Café. He agreed and arrangements were made to meet at 1:00 pm the next day.

Both men were in good spirits when they arrived at the Hard Slog Café. There were only a few patrons and they easily found a table away from other ears. After ordering their food and drink, the conversation soon turned to Arcadia. Parsons saw the mood of Bonham dip as soon as he started talking about her.

Bonham said, “I have not really heard from Arcadia for some time. I have telephoned her a few times, but she always says she has not got time at the moment to talk with me and she has never called me back. She does not reply to my text messages either.”

Parsons was very interested to hear this news about Arcadia and he decided not to tell Bonham about the divorce of Arcadia, unless it was absolutely necessary.

“How did you meet Arcadia?”, Parsons asked.

Bonham: I had dinner at a hotel near my work and I noticed Arcadia was sitting with another woman, apparently having dinner also. On my way to the toilet I overheard some of the conversation they were having.

“Arcadia told her companion, ‘I am trapped in a bad marriage’.

“Her companion replied, ‘I know what that is like’.

“Neither woman appeared to notice me, but I noticed they were each wearing what appeared to be wedding rings.”

“When I was returning to my table after I had been to the toilet, Arcadia was sitting alone and she made a point of saying hello to me as I walked past her table. After I had finished my meal, I went to the bar to get another drink and I noticed Arcadia was sitting alone again at her table. After I bought my drink I walked over to her table. She invited me to sit down and talk with her. Her wedding ring was very visible.”

“It did not take Arcadia long to tell me she was ‘trapped in a bad marriage’. I cannot remember the specific details of the story, but I remember she had a good story to go with her ‘trapped in a bad marriage’ line, so I believed her. I got the impression I was not the first man she had picked up in a bar. I recall her companion was still around at the time of that conversation, but I am not sure precisely where. I think she was talking to some other men.”

“In seemingly no time at all she agreed to go to my place with me. She did not seem to have any difficulty telling her female companion either. From what I could see, her friend had no objection to Arcadia leaving with me.”

“When we got to my house, sex started almost as soon as we closed the front door. The sex did not last very long. Arcadia said she had to go home to her husband and children. Before she left we exchanged contact details.”

Parsons: “When did you see her after that night?”

Bonham: “We exchanged text messages the next day and for several days afterwards. We saw each other again about a week and a half later. Again we went to my house and Arcadia was a very willing sex partner.”

Parsons: “When did you go to her house?”

Bonham: “About three (3) weeks later Arcadia said I could see her at her house because her husband and children would not be around for several hours. So I went to her house and we had quite a lot of sex there.”

Parsons: “How often did you go to her house?”

Bonham: “I went a few times. I think it was the third or fourth time when I took photographs of her. They are the photographs you have seen. She was not shy about any of it.”

Parsons: “Did the ‘trapped in a bad marriage’ topic come up much?”

Bonham: “It came up a couple of times, but it was never a significant topic of conversation. All I really know is that Arcadia was a very willing participant when ever we spent time together. I had quite a bit of contact with her and then it stopped, without any explanation.”

Parsons thought this was not the right time to tell Bonham about the divorce of Arcadia. He also thought it might help the mood of Bonham if he changed topic of conversation.

It seemed to work. They spent about thirty (30) more minutes having lunch at the Hard Slog Café talking about happier topics and then they both went their separate ways.

The Babysitter Contacts Arcadia
Isabella Evanescence, the babysitter, thought to herself, she had not heard from Arcadia for ages, so she decided to call around to see her. Arcadia was home and invited her inside.

Isabella could tell immediately that something was wrong with Arcadia. Her clothes were dirty, her personal hygiene was poor and she had a significant smell of body odour.

Isabella ask Arcadia what was the matter and Arcadia told Isabella about the divorce.

Isabella said, “Arcadia, you are a mess. Why don’t you have a shower and clean yourself up? You can talk to me while you are doing it.”

Arcadia was not very responsive. Isabella been took her by the hand and lead her to the bathroom.

Once they were inside the bathroom, Isabella said to Arcadia, “Do not make me undress you”.

As Arcadia was undressing, Isabella turned on the water in the shower. Arcadia got in the shower and started cleaning herself and washing her hair.”

Isabella said, “Now Arcadia, tell me what has been going on.”

Arcadia told Isabella, “I will tell you some of what I told May Huddersfield, my relationship counsellor. Calderone accepted a job at a catering company in Cairns, North Queensland and relocated to Cairns with the children. My only physical contact with the children now is during holiday periods. He has also formed a relationship with Friday Rauschenberg, who works for a florist and has no children of her own. In fact Friday has moved in with Calderone and our children.”

“Because I am not employed, I am finding it difficult to fund the necessary air travel between Melbourne and Cairns, which would enable me to have contact with the children. So at the moment contact consists of telephone calls, video calls, email and text messages.”

“I am not coping very well at all with my new family situation. There had been a series of abusive telephone calls, text messages and email to Calderone because I could not see the children. Calderone said he would suspend all contact until they stopped. I went to pieces and caught a train out of town. After about a week away I returned home.”

Isabella said, “I assume Calderone left you because he found out you were cheating on him?”

Arcadia: “In his Court documents Calderone said that for at least eighteen (18) months prior to our separation I had been having an affair with Garlick Duckworth, a guy from Sydney. I travelled often with my work to see him and spoke with him most days by telephone. We also sent lots of text messages to each other.”

Isabella replied, “It was obvious to me you were cheating on your husband. All those times you rang during the babysitting and asked me to look after the children for the entire night. It was very suspicious behaviour on your part. I also saw you a couple of times when you came home and you obviously were not wearing underwear. That you were having an affair for eighteen (18) months with a guy from Sydney is not really surprising to hear. I am surprised your husband did not know about all your men here in Melbourne.”

As Arcadia got out of the shower Isabella could see that Arcadia heard what she said and was having trouble saying anything in reply.

Isabella: “So I guess I will not be getting any babysitting jobs from you any time soon?”

Arcadia did not answer.

Calderone Telephones Arcadia
Their conversation was interrupted by the telephone of Arcadia ringing. Isabella answered it and discovered it was Calderone.

“I did not expect you to answer the telephone, Isabella”

“Arcadia was in the shower. I put her in there. She is a mess”, Isabella said spontaneously.

Calderone: “I am not surprised to hear you say that. I suppose by now you know what has happened between Arcadia and I?”

Isabella: “Yes. Arcadia has just told me. I am glad that you have found some happiness.”

Calderone: “Thank you. Arcadia is supposed to ring the children today and speak with them, but she has not been doing so and I have had to ring her and get her to talk with the children.”

Isabella: “I will put Arcadia on for you”.

Isabella then handed the telephone to Arcadia and she had a conversation with Calderone. Isabella could hear Calderone reminding Arcadia that she was supposed to ring the children for contact and she has not been doing so.

Arcadia said little in response and then had a brief conversation with the children.

When the telephone conversation ended, Isabella said to Arcadia, “You really need to get yourself together. Your life is now a train wreck. Your children deserve much better from their mother.”

Arcadia looked at Isabella, then looked down at the floor. She said nothing in reply.

Isabella said, “Arcadia, I am leaving. Maybe we will talk later.”

Isabella then left the house and drove home.

Augustina Fotheringham Visits Arcadia
Four (4) days later Augustina Fotheringham visited the home of Arcadia. Arcadia was wearing the same clothes she had on when Isabella left.

Augustina said to Arcadia, “You have lots of dirty dishes in the kitchen sink and you do not seem to have done any washing for a while. You also look and smell like you have not showered for several days. That in its own way that explains to me why I have not heard from you.”

Arcadia said, “I am not coping very well.”

Augustina: “It is hard to know where to start here. Can you manage to stack the dishwasher whilst I get some washing started?”

“OK”, Arcadia replied.

Augustina: “We have made some progress. Do I need to put you in the shower as well or can you manage to do that by yourself?”

Arcadia was a little shaken to hear the suggestion that Augustina put her in the shower. That would be the second time in a week a friend and visitor had put her in the shower.

She said, “No, Augustina. I can do that myself and I will do it when you leave.”

Augustina: “What a transformation you have made. From a great life with wonderful privileges and perks to this, were apparently even basic household chores are now beyond you. All because you had to indulge yourself indiscreetly with just about all the male attention that was paid to you.”

“Since we last spoke, I have made more enquiries about you. It seems you have been unfaithful to every partner you have had, except that horrid Garlick Duckworth, who was only interested in free food and easy sex. Leaving aside your husband for a moment, it seems it never occurred to you to spend time with the very small number of nice men who have been in your life from time to time. Had you done so, the situation in which you now find yourself may have been avoided.”

“I have seen this before, you were drunk on the attention and thought you were untouchable. Rarely does that situation end well. I cannot spend any more time with you at the moment, but I can see you again next week. Hopefully we can make some progress with you.”

As soon as Augustina left the house, Arcadia went and had a shower.

A Birthday To Remember
The next day Bonham Trudeaux remained perplexed by and unhappy with the lack of real contact he was having with Arcadia. He decided to go to her house and see if he would have any better luck with that approach.

When Arcadia greeted him at her front door Bonham could see there was something different about her, but he was not sure what it was. He told Arcadia he had wanted to see her for some time, but she would not have any significant conversation with him.

“I have been going through a difficult time”, Arcadia replied.

Bonham made it clear he wanted to have sex with Arcadia and she did not object.

Their uninspiring sexual encounter had not been underway long when the mobile telephone of Arcadia rang. Bonham could see that the caller was Calderone. Neither of them stopped having sex because of the telephone call. The ringing stopped and then shortly thereafter recommenced. Arcadia fumbled to answer the telephone call and Bonham endeavoured to continue with the sex.

Arcadia told him to stop, which he did.

Bonham could then hear all of the conversation between Arcadia and Calderone.

Calderone: “What have you been doing? Today is the birthday of your son and you were supposed to telephone him”.

Arcadia did not bother answering the question of Calderone. She just said, “Put him on the telephone.”

During the conversation between Arcadia and her son, Bonham got dressed and went home.

When the telephone call with her son was completed Arcadia did not want to speak with Calderone, so she hung up.

Calderone Wrote To Arcadia
Arcadia was used to Calderone writing to her by e-mail. Hard copy mail was new territory for them. The contents of the letter was new territory for them too. In short Calderone told Arcadia he was very concerned about her behaviour and the impact it was having on their children.

“I want you to consult a psychiatrist. I want to know what is going on with you. Your decline has been significant and you seem unstable. I think you need professional help. Unless and until I see a satisfactory psychiatric report on you, I will not make the children available to you for any contact whatsoever.”

When Arcadia finished reading the letter she fainted.

Monday, 15 December 2014

Who Bears The Costs?

Family law litigation is often attendant with high emotion and all too often lawyers who put amassing fees ahead of acting in and advancing the best interests of the client.  One such matter found its way to the desk of Daniel Soames on the day it was due in Court.

Conference In Chambers
Upon being apprised of its history, he was not surprised to see that the client thought she could act for herself to save herself some considerable money in the process. However once the first conference between Mrs Cudmore, her solicitor and Daniel, got reasonably underway, Mrs Cudmore found she was well out of her depth and understood nowhere near enough of the crucial matters and issues to continue to act for herself.

During that conference, in an attempt to give Mrs Cudmore an appreciation of the reality of the world into which she had now ventured, Daniel shared with her his observation of the realities of judicial appointments.

“Mrs Cudmore, as careful as any government might be in selecting its candidates for judicial office, the one criteria that can never be predicted and it may even be the most important, is the effect judicial office and its attendant power will have on the individual office bearer.  Accordingly you need to accept the reality that now Federal Magistrate Cloak has charge of this matter, he can do pretty much whatever he likes with it and in my experience, that is precisely what some judicial officers do.

“Cloak FM has a reputation of being an interventionist judicial officer and my knowledge of and friendship with him is no guarantee that any bee he may get in his bonnet about your case is able to be controlled by us, if he determines that a particular result ought occur in this case.  Some people seek to justify or at least rationalise that behaviour with the explanation that it is behaviour that seeks to encourage people to settle their matters, rather than have judges decide them in Court.  I offer no opinion on that theory. Feel free to make up your own mind in respect of it.”

Daniel continued, “Notwithstanding that you say you have reached agreement with your former husband in respect of the property settlement and the orders you want the Court to make in respect of that property, I expect Cloak FM will tell you that he needs to be satisfied as to the justice and equity of the orders sought by the litigants and that will involve him assessing the material that has being placed before the Court. If he feels that the relevant material provided is not sufficient, then he will not make the orders and will adjourn the matter to allow proper material to be filed and served.

“The material in your case appears to have been prepared entirely by you and in my view may well be seen by the Court as being deficient. That could lead to the orders not being made and an adjournment of the matter to improve that material, as I have just indicated. That will be a judgement call by Cloak FM and we will only know his view on it when he tells it to us.  For your sake I will endeavour to convince him that no adjournment is necessary.

“That adjournment may also lead to a costs order, which would probably be made against you, if the adjournment was thought necessary by the Court and once again that will be a matter purely in the discretion of the Court.  Having said all that, I will do what I can to finalise this matter for you today.”

Court - Day 1
Once the matter came on in Court Cloak FM was not happy with the material filed by Mrs Cudmore, whom he openly observed was a litigant who prepared the documents by herself at the relevant time, even though she had legal representation in the early stages of the matter from a firm who proudly touted that they possessed an accredited specialist in family law on staff.

Cloak FM said, “The material filed by the mother did not satisfy the criteria of justice and equity in property settlement matters, so even though the parties have apparently agreed on a settlement and the orders they sought from the Court, the matter will have to be adjourned, so that the material of the mother could be amended to reach the relevant standard.”

Cloak FM made enquiries of the mother and her preparation for the application, particularly in relation to her legal representation and the assistance and advice that was given to her by her former legal representatives.

Cloak FM: “I am inclined to order the costs of the adjournment be paid by the former solicitors of the mother, particularly as they were apparently accredited family law specialists.  Those costs would not only be the costs of the of the adjournment of the mother, but also the costs of the father.”

“I make Orders requiring the attendance of those solicitors to the Court on the next occasion this matter is before me and will hear them on the issue of costs. It is unlikely that I will be persuaded against making the foreshadowed costs orders. The quantum of those orders would be significant. I expect, perhaps $12,000.”

Court - Day 2
When the matter again came before Cloak FM he was satisfied the material of the mother now met the requisite standard and the consent Orders sought by the parties were made by the Court, without further delay.

His Honour then said, “In terms of the costs issue, I take the view that the solicitors who had previously acted for Mrs Cudmore, the mother, did not properly discharge their professional duty in advising the mother in relation to this property settlement, nor did they take proper instructions from the mother to properly prepare and advance her property settlement matter.  Accordingly the employed solicitor handling the matter and the supervising partner, who was an accredited specialist in family law, would be jointly and severally liable for the costs thrown away as a result of the inadequate preparation of the material of the mother. Those costs would be fixed in the amount of $12,000.”

His Honour continued, in open Court, “I will happily tell all of my colleagues of:
The standard of preparation undertaken and advice given by this firm;
The delay that inadequate preparation and advice necessitated; and
My response to that unsatisfactory professional behaviour.
I will also encourage my colleagues to take a similar approach, should such behaviour present itself in their Courts.”

Outside Court
When the matter was finalised in Court Daniel, Mrs Cudmore and the solicitor adjourned to one of the nearby conference rooms to discuss the proceedings and the impact upon Mrs Cudmore.

Daniel said to Mrs Cudmore and her solicitor, “Ordinarily one might expect to hear a little chatter in the back of a Court when matters such as this are proceeding. However on this occasion there was an unusual, almost deathly, silence and the audience appeared to be captive, as well as more than a little stunned, by the proceedings.  Perhaps Mrs Cudmore this might lead to some solicitors actually taking their responsibility to you and those like you more seriously.

“What it means in reality for you is, for all intents and purposes your former solicitors will make a significant financial contribution to your legal costs for these proceedings. I expect that was an outcome that was in no part on their radar when they took on your case and when they were acting for you.”

“It is one thing for a judicial officer to threaten such an Order, it is quite another for them to actually put it into practice.  Needless to say it is an Order and an approach I endorse wholeheartedly.  I expect your current solicitor will receive correspondence from your previous solicitors in the near future in relation to that costs Order.”

“If either of you have any trouble in relation to that costs Order, please do not hesitate to contact me and we can discuss whatever problems might arise.  Other than that and the logistics of implementing the Orders that were just made by the Court, this matter is finalised.  If neither of you have any other questions, then we are all free to go.”

The solicitor said he had no questions and was happy with the outcome.

Mrs Cudmore said, “I have no questions and I am happy with the outcome. I am also very happy that I got you two as my legal representatives because I realised that after everything that had gone on, I was well out of her depth. There was no way I could not have done justice to my case on my own.”

Daniel said, “Well then I think I will return to Chambers. Thank you both for the brief and I wish you both well.”

Daniel then walked alone back to his Chambers.

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Reap What You Sow

Hope Cavendish at The Loaves and Dishes Café
Hope Cavendish, a female former work colleague, telephoned Arcadia Thiessen and invited her to lunch. Arcadia accepted and they met in the Loaves and Dishes Café about ninety (90) minutes later.

After some initial pleasantries and ordering their food and drink, the conversation turned serious.

Arcadia told Hope, “Tabernacle Calderone accepted a job at a catering company in Cairns, North Queensland and relocated to Cairns with the children. My only physical contact with the children now is during holiday periods. He has also formed a relationship with Friday Rauschenberg, who works for a florist and has no children of her own. Calderone told me Friday has met our children on several occasions and everyone has got along well together.”

“Because I am not employed, I am finding it difficult to fund the necessary air travel between Melbourne and Cairns, which would enable me to have contact with the children. So at the moment contact consists of telephone calls, video calls, email and text messages.”

Hope replied, “The news on the job front is not good from my end. It is common knowledge that you abused your work travel entitlements chasing after that appalling man in Sydney. One reason I know about that horrendous man is that you tried to get him a job with us and I was given the task of doing a background check on him.”

“I am also well aware of your behaviour when you travelled for work and so are many other people, that you always cheated on your husband. You had a great job and you abused its privileges. Men still ring from time to time wanting to speak with you, by the way. More than your extensive infidelity, the chat about you is your exceptionally poor judgment. I am ten (10) years older than you and have been in the industry longer than you. I expect that your poor judgment will be a factor in you getting or rather not getting employment in our industry.”

Arcadia: “I have an appointment to see a relationship counsellor tomorrow. She was recommended to me by a friend.”

Hope: “I think that is a good move on your part. Something tangible needs to change for the better in your life.”

As Hope was speaking Arcadia received a text message from O'Jones Delahunty, a man she had met at her gym, asking her if they could have sex again.

Hope heard the sound of the text message notification and asked Arcadia about the message. Arcadia told her.

Hope told Arcadia, “I am happy to try to help you, but you have to make an effort too. Guys like him are unlikely to do anything positive for you.”

“I have to go back to work, Arcadia. Maybe we can catch up again soon.”

Hope then left the Loaves and Dishes Café and returned to work. Arcadia stayed there for about another twenty (20) minutes thinking about what Hope had said to her. Then she went home.

May Huddersfield - Relationship Counsellor
When Arcadia walked into the office of May Huddersfield, she noticed the relationship counsellor was not wearing any make up. That was an indication of what was to come. A candid interaction, which dealt with things as they really are.

“Augustina Fotheringham has told me a little about you. How are you coping with your new family situation?” Huddersfield asked Arcadia.

“I am not coping very well at all”, Arcadia replied.

Huddersfield: “Is it true that you disappeared for a short time?”

Arcadia: “Yes. There had been a series of abusive telephone calls, text messages and email to Calderone because I could not see the children. Calderone said he would suspend all contact until they stopped. I went to pieces and caught a train out of town. After about a week away I returned home.”

Huddersfield: “I am not surprised contact with the children was suspended by Calderone”

Arcadia: “It is made more difficult for me because Calderone seems to be coping well with the new arrangement and so are the children. Friday Rauschenberg, his new girlfriend, also seems to be getting along well with everyone.”

Huddersfield: “You brought this on yourself. When you were sleeping with all of those men, you did not want to be with your husband and children. You were pursuing your own entertainment. Were any of the men with whom you were sleeping at all interested in forming a family with you and your children?

Arcadia: “No.”

Huddersfield: “They were only interested in having sex with you?”

Arcadia: “Yes.”

Huddersfield: “I thought so. Your situation has got worse since your husband introduced his girlfriend, Friday, to the children.

Arcadia: “Yes.”

Huddersfield: “Now you have been separated from your children and they seem to be doing well in the company of their father, you have changed your attitude.”

Arcadia: “Yes.”

Huddersfield: “We need to talk about:

  • Why you thought it appropriate to be unfaithful to your husband with these men, especially as none of them were interested in forming a family with you and your children.
  • Why did your focus move from your children?
  • Why did you put your job at risk in acting this way?”


Huddersfield: “There are other questions too. But that is somewhere to start. That will give you something about which to think before we next see each other.”

Arcadia then walked out of the office of May Huddersfield and sat on the bench in a park nearby. She was overwhelmed by what Huddersfield had said to her. She was trying to take it all in, as well as compose herself. It was another demanding experience for Arcadia.

After about forty (40) minutes, she made her way home.

A Visit To The Doctor
Once she was home Arcadia stayed home. She ventured out three (3) days later to see her doctor. The news was not good. Her doctor informed Arcadia she had contracted genital warts and would need to have them treated immediately.

When the doctor asked from whom Arcadia might have contracted them, Arcadia was surprisingly candid about her sex life.

She said, “I have had too many sex partners for me to know.”

The doctor, “You need to contact them, so they can seek medical treatment, if necessary”.

Arcadia could see the doctor was taking detailed notes of what was discussed during their consultation.

Make a List, Check It Twice
The pain and inconvenience of treating the genital warts she had contracted was minor compared to what was involved in telling her sex partners she had contracted them. Arcadia knew the most difficult person to tell would be her husband, Tabernacle Calderone.

When Arcadia arrived home from the doctor she started to compile a list of all her sex partners who may have caused her to contract the genital warts and to whom she may have transmitted them. Whilst their contact details were rarely important previously, they were vital now. She realised that her list was far from complete.

None of the telephone calls were pleasant for Arcadia. In fact some were extremely unpleasant. With each unpleasant telephone call, the thought of telling Calderone about her situation became even more difficult. Arcadia knew that after all her abusive telephone calls, text messages and email to Calderone, nothing about this news would be received well by him.

The next few days were very difficult for Arcadia. After contacting several, but by no means all, of the men on her list and enduring the unpleasantries of the conversation, Arcadia decided to send Calderone a short email to tell him. She knew she did not have the strength to tell him by telephone.

It did not occur to Arcadia to contact Augustina Fotheringham or Hope Cavendish and discuss the situation with either of them until after Arcadia had sent the email to Calderone informing him about her genital warts. When Arcadia contacted Augustina, Augustina said she would visit Arcadia and support her whilst she made the remainder of the telephone calls.

It was clear from the telephone calls that there would be no relapse into careless sex for Arcadia, at least for the time being.

Bad News Travels Fast
Calderone was not a happy man when he read the email from Arcadia informing him she had contracted genital warts. He expressed his displeasure loudly and Friday Rauschenberg enquired as to why he was making such a fuss. An angry Calderone immediately showed Friday the email from Arcadia. The response from Friday was a little more subdued.

“So now we have to go to the doctor because of your wife”, Friday said to Calderone.

“She did not get them from me”, Calderone said to Friday, not really in reply to her remark.

Friday and Calderone then had a discussion about Arcadia and her sex partners, which lead to a discussion about their own respective sex partners. Candour was the order of the day, inspired by the surprise news from Arcadia.

The mood of Calderone and Friday improved when their respective doctors told them they did not have any genital warts, nor did they have any other such infections.

Calderone made it clear to Friday that he thought Arcadia had several more sex partners during their marriage than she had previously admitted to him. Friday said she had similar thoughts. Friday could see Calderone was angry about the betrayal by Arcadia. She acknowledged his distress and disappointment and tried to change the topic of discussion to something more pleasant. After about ten (10) minutes she was successful and the mood of Calderone significantly improved. Friday felt her mood improve too.

A New Dawn, A New Day
The next morning Calderone was in much better spirits. The children were playing happily in the back yard and Friday was in the kitchen drinking a cup of tea.

Calderone said to Friday, “I would like you to move in here with the children and I, permanently”.

Friday responded, “Is this because of the news about Arcadia?”

Calderone: “No. I have been thinking about it for some time. I believe it is the correct thing to do. The recent events with Arcadia merely confirm my view”.

Friday: “Have you discussed this with your children?”

Calderone: “I asked them if they had any objections. They both said they had no objections.  They seemed to like the idea.”

Friday finished her cup of tea and said, “I would be very happy to move in here permanently with you and the children”.

There was then an extended passionate kiss between Calderone and Friday. When it was finished Calderone called the children into the kitchen. They came without much delay.

He told them, “Friday is going to be living here permanently with us”.

The children were excited by the news and spontaneously hugged both Calderone and Friday.

“I think we can call that a yes”, Friday said to Calderone.

“It seems so”, Calderone happily said to Friday.

Calderone Wrote To Arcadia
Arcadia had not heard from Calderone since she wrote to him informing him about her genital warts. She had completed her task of contacting all of her sex partners for whom she had contact details and telling them about her genital warts situation. None of it was a pleasant task. Most of the men were not happy to hear the news and made sure Arcadia was aware of their displeasure.

Arcadia was not keen to hear any more bad or unpleasant news.

She was devastated by the news which greeted her when she opened the latest e-mail from Calderone. It read, “Friday Rauschenberg is moving into the house with the children and I. The children are very happy about the news.”

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Change The Tide

Relocation Plans For Calderone and The Children
A couple of months after the Court ordered that the children lived with him, rather than Arcadia Thiessen, Tabernacle Calderone went to see his solicitor, Zorgarn Kreptic.

Calderone told Kreptic, “I have been offered a job at a catering company in Cairns, North Queensland. I want to accept the job offer and relocate to Cairns with the two (2) children. I have family there and they can offer us support. The children and I have visited several times in the past.”

Kreptic said, “Do you realise that unless Arcadia also relocated to Cairns, it would mean her physical contact with the children would be reduced to only during holiday periods?”

Calderone: “Yes”.

Kreptic: “I will write to the solicitor for Arcadia and endeavour to ascertain her attitude to your North Queensland relocation plans. I note that we have not been provided with any significant details as to the Duckworth character with whom Arcadia was spending a considerable amount of time. She was supposed to provide you with details as to the extent to which he might have contact with your children.”

Calderone: “I am not surprised you have not heard from her”.

Kreptic: “I will let you know when I get a reply about your proposed relocation. For your sake, I hope you will not be required to make an application to the Court to approve the relocation.”

Siobhan Blanco Contacts Arcadia
When Siobhan Blanco read the letter from Zorgarn Kreptic proposing Calderone relocate to Cairns with the two (2) children, she was not surprised. She also thought the failure on the part of Arcadia to provide any significant details regarding Garlick Duckworth and the extent to which he might have contact with the children was unlikely to be helpful for her.

Blanco telephoned Arcadia and was blunt with her. “It is time you realised that you cannot do whatever it is you like, without the possibility of adverse consequences resulting. On its face, the proposal for Calderone to relocate to Cairns with your two (2) children seems worthwhile. If you wish to resist that relocation, you are going to have to do provide cogent reasons for so doing. In that regard the fact that you have effectively provided no significant details regarding Duckworth and the extent to which he might have contact with the children is definitely going to be unhelpful for you.”

“You also might wish to turn your mind seriously to how you both propose to fund the necessary air travel between Cairns and Melbourne which would enable you to have contact with the children.”

“I will contact you again in a few days, Arcadia. Hopefully you will have something useful for me.”

Blanco promptly ended the telephone conversation with Arcadia.

Augustina Fotheringham Reappears For Arcadia
Augustina Fotheringham was a friend of Arcadia from their university days. They had not been in contact with each other for several years. Upon hearing about the divorce of Arcadia, Augustina made a concerted effort to track down Arcadia. The plan was to have a serious conversation with Arcadia about the situation in which Arcadia now found herself.

Roughly two (2) hours after Arcadia ended her conversation with Siobhan Blanco, Augustina telephoned Arcadia at her home. It did not take Arcadia long to realise this was to be another taxing conversation.

After some initial brief pleasantries, Augustina shared with Arcadia her sobering view of the circumstances in which Arcadia now found herself.

“If you have designs on dating, now that you are single, you might wish to seriously consider your situation. Your dating story will be that your husband left you after twenty (20) years of marriage because you were unfaithful to him for at least the last eighteen (18) months. It is unlikely too many men are going to enjoy hearing that story.”

“Trying to hide Garlick Duckworth from scrutiny was also not a clever move on your part. Calderone is understandably concerned about whom might have contact with your children and it is hard to imagine he will give up easily his request that you to provide significant details about Duckworth or anyone else who was likely to have contact with the children.”

“You denying you were involved with anyone other than your husband when the divorce proceedings started also significantly hurt your credibility. The Judge made it clear to you and it is something Calderone will be able to use in respect of you for some time to come.”

“Apart from Calderone, none of the men you have been with are in any way good role models for your children. The few decent men who have appeared in your life, you have actively alienated.”

“You abused your work travel privileges by chasing after that ridiculous man in Sydney, who dumped you like a hot potato once you were no longer dishing out the freebies for him.”

Arcadia then told Augustina, “Now Calderone wants to take a job at a catering company in Cairns and relocate there with the two (2) children. If he does that the only physical contact I will have with the children would be during holiday periods.”

Augustina was a long way from sympathetic. “Who could blame him, after the way you have behaved? I am prepared to help and support you, but only if you are prepared to make a concerted effort to improve your situation.”

“You would do well to acknowledge the criticisms of you levelled by Calderone during your divorce proceedings. They were sufficient to convince the Judge to order that your children live with Calderone rather than you. A more prudent approach for you would be to demonstrate improvements in your life, such that those criticisms are no longer valid and you are now a much more positive parenting prospect.”

“The choice is yours, Arcadia. Let me know if you want my assistance.”

Arcadia was taken aback by this conversation and struggled to say much in response.

“I will call you again in a couple of days and you can tell me then what it is you wish to do.” Augustine then ended the telephone call with Arcadia.

Alone with Her Thoughts
It was a restless night for Arcadia as she reflected on the conversations she had with both Siobhan Blanco and Augustina Fotheringham. She could see that her current situation did not look good to the outside observer. There seemed little alternative to accepting the assistance of Augustina Fotheringham.

Early the next morning Arcadia telephoned Augustina Fotheringham and told her she would accept her offer of assistance.

Arcadia said to Augustina, “I do not know what I am going to tell my solicitor, Siobhan Blanco, in relation to opposing the request by Calderone to relocate to Cairns with the children. I also do not have anything useful to tell her in respect of Garlick Duckworth.”

Augustina replied, “If it were my decision, it would be simple. I would stop having anything to do with Garlick Duckworth and all men like him. They seem to have caused you far more trouble than any pleasure they could have given you. There also seems little constructive opposition you can mount to Calderone relocating to Cairns with the children.”

“One step at a time is the best you can do, Arcadia. I have got something I need to do. We will talk later.”

Augustine then ended the conversation.

Arcadia rang Siobhan Blanco shortly after that telephone conversation and told her, “My friend from my university days, Augustina Fotheringham, has said she is prepared to help and support me. I told her I am prepared to work with her. I cannot tell you anything more constructive at the moment in relation to opposing the request by Calderone to relocate to Cairns with the children.”

Blanco said, “I will draft a letter in reply to his solicitor, Zorgarn Kreptic, and I will tell you when it is prepared. I have a commitment now, so I cannot talk to you anymore at the moment.”

Blanco then ended the conversation.

Calderone Takes The Job In Cairns
Two (2) days later Calderone contacted Kreptic and told him, “I am tired of the lack of any useful information from Arcadia. I have accepted the job at the catering company in Cairns and I will relocate there with the two (2) children in three (3) weeks.

At the end of the first term at their new school, Calderone wrote to Arcadia and said the children had settled in well in Cairns. This was supported by the pleasing report cards the school gave both children. He happily included those report cards with his letter.

It was about that time when a work colleague introduced Calderone to Ms Friday Rauschenberg at a small casual dinner. Calderone and Friday got on well together and agreed to meet again the following week, without anyone else accompanying them.

Calderone was fairly candid with Friday about how and why he found himself in Cairns with the children.

He told Friday, “I do not want a repeat of how I was treated by Arcadia”.

Friday replied, “I do not have any children, but I have endured my share of appalling treatment by people who claimed to care about me”.

The evening was not all heavy discussion, but their respective candour added to the comfort they felt in each other’s company. They both felt the evening went well and they continued seeing each other.

Friday and The Children Meet
Roughly three (3) months later, Calderone told Friday he thought it was appropriate for her to meet his children.

“I am aware of the significance of what I am suggesting, Friday. I have been on the other side of this discussion earlier when I said Arcadia needed to demonstrate that the people meeting our children needed to be appropriate and did not expose them to any unnecessary risk.”

Friday replied, “I am happy to meet your children and we shall see what happens. Hopefully we will all get along well.

Calderone and Kreptic Discuss Informing Arcadia
Calderone telephoned Kreptic and told him about his relationship with Friday. “It is progressing very well and she has met the children on several occasions. I anticipate she will continue to do so. I would like you to write to the solicitor for Arcadia and tell her about my friendship with Friday and her interaction with the children”.

The response from Kreptic surprised Calderone a little. “I think you could write the letter yourself. Not only would it save you some money, but it would demonstrate some relationship responsibility on your part. That is relationship responsibility between you and Arcadia.”

“Thank you, Mr Kreptic. That is an approach I had not considered, but one I will adopt.”

Arcadia Gets a Letter From Calderone
Arcadia had received several letters from Calderone since he relocated to Cairns with the children. They were all about how the children were progressing at school and in their new surroundings. She was not surprised when the latest letter from Calderone arrived. Her mood changed significantly when she read the contents of that latest letter.

Relevantly it read:
“There is a new significant person in my life. A work colleague introduced me to Ms Friday Rauschenberg at a small casual dinner. We got along well and have continued seeing each other since then. Friday works for a florist and has no children of her own. She has met our children on several occasions and everyone has got along well together. Friday and I have no significant plans for our relationship at this stage, but I expect we will continue seeing each other and I expect her to continue seeing and interacting with our children.”

“Given what has gone on between you and I, it seemed appropriate to inform you of my relationship with Friday Rauschenberg and her involvement with the children.”

It took Arcadia about twenty-five (25) minutes to read the letter. She found it hard to read through her tears. By the time she had finished, she was sobbing.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road


Bonham Trudeaux and Arcadia Thiessen
Unaware of her divorce situation, Bonham Trudeaux telephoned Arcadia Thiessen, with the hope of seeing her and having sex with her.

“Can I come over and see you?”, he said. Better to do it at her place, he thought. I do not want to spend any money on her.

“I cannot talk to you, at the moment. I will call you later”, Arcadia replied.

Bonham thought nothing unusual of the conversation and organised to do something else.

Stiles Parsons Contacts Tabernacle Calderone
When Stiles Parsons heard that Arcadia had separated from Tabernacle Calderone, he contacted Calderone to see what was going on, notwithstanding the difficulties they had endured in the band.

A very different picture was now emerging about Arcadia, Parsons thought. She always contended that she was a loyal wife, yet Bonham Trudeaux contended Arcadia was his girlfriend and Bonham showed Parsons pictures on his mobile telephone of Arcadia naked and also of her performing oral sex on him, with her wedding ring clearly visible.

“We have separated and I have commenced divorce proceedings” Calderone told Parsons.

Calderone continued, “It seems for at least eighteen (18) months Arcadia has been having an affair with Garlick Duckworth, a guy from Sydney. She travelled often with her work to see him and spoke with him most days by telephone. They were also very good at texting each other.”

Parsons said to himself, So Arcadia was involved with Bonham Trudeaux and Garlick Duckworth. Her loyal and faithful wife story is now in tatters.

Stiles Parsons Meets Bonham Trudeaux
Angered by the way she treated him, Parsons decided to contact Bonham to see if he could get Bonham to give him a copy of the photographs of Arcadia naked and her having sex with Bonham.  He would then give those photographs to Garlick Calderone.

Parsons telephoned Bonham and asked him if he would like to have dinner at the Hard Slog Café near where Parsons lived. Bonham agreed and arrangements were made to meet at 7:00 pm.

There were very few people at the Hard Slog Café that evening, which suited both Parsons and Bonham.

After they ordered their meals, Parsons asked Bonham, “Are you still seeing Arcadia?

Bonham replied, “I have not seen her for a couple of weeks, but yes, I am still seeing her”.

Parsons: “Have you still got those photographs of her?”

Bonham: “Yes I do”.

Parsons: “Would you mind if I saw them again?”

Bonham: “No, not at all. Here they are on my telephone”.

Parsons was prepared on this occasion to see the photographs of Arcadia. He did not find them as distressing as he did the first time Bonham showed them to him. He calmly looked at the photographs and he did not tell Bonham that he knew Arcadia.

Parsons then asked Bonham, “Do you mind giving me a copy of those photographs?”

“No trouble at all”, Bonham replied and he sent a copy of the photographs to the mobile telephone of Parsons.

Parsons looked at his telephone to confirm that the photographs had been received and then he thanked Bonham. Parsons then changed the topic and Arcadia was not further discussed that evening.

Stiles Parsons Meets with Tabernacle Calderone
Parsons decided to visit Tabernacle Calderone at his home and try to tell Calderone what he knew of Arcadia, at least insofar as the relationship with Bonham and the photographs were concerned.

Calderone agreed to invite Parsons into his house and have a conversation with him about Arcadia.

Parsons said, “We have had our differences in recent times. I do not wish to cause any more aggravation. However there is something I thought you should know in relation to your separation and divorce from Arcadia. A guy I know has some photographs of her and I got him to provide me with a copy of them. I think you should see them. I doubt that you will find them pleasant viewing.”

Parsons then showed the photographs he had on his telephone to Calderone.

Calderone looked at all of the photographs. It was apparent to Parsons that Calderone found them upsetting. Parsons did not say anything, he waited for Calderone to speak.

After several minutes Parsons noticed Calderone seemed to be trying to speak, but could not get out the words. Parsons then said to him, “If you like, I can give you a copy of photographs and then I will leave”.

Calderone said, “I will take a copy of the photographs, but please do not leave. I would rather you stayed and kept me company than be alone this evening”.

Parsons was surprised to hear that response from Calderone. It was a very long time since he had shared emotions of that kind with Parsons.

Once the logistics of sharing the photographs had been negotiated, Parsons told Calderone briefly what he knew about the photographs and then changed the topic of conversation immediately.  He did what he could to not discuss Arcadia in any way for the rest of the evening. Calderone was unusually and understandably subdued in his interaction that evening, but Parsons was not going to use that as an excuse to leave early.

After about two (2) hours he thought they had spent enough time together and Calderone said he was leaving. Calderone did not object and thanked Parsons for visiting him and supporting him. Parsons then walked to his car and drove home.

Tabernacle Calderone Meets with His Solicitor
The next day, a still unsettled Calderone contacted his solicitor, Zorgarn Kreptic, and told him about the photographs of Arcadia and Bonham Trudeaux.

Kreptic said, “Those photographs may strengthen your contention that the focus of Arcadia was on her social life, not her children. It is also the case that denial by Arcadia of this affair with Bonham Trudeaux would further erode her credibility.”

Kreptic continued, “I will add them to the draft affidavit I have prepared for you. They will augment the telephone records and room service bills which suggest Arcadia was having an affair with Garlick Duckworth. We will use them to support your contention that the focus of Arcadia was on her social life, not her children”.

“As we have discussed previously, Mr Calderone, it is my view that the denial by Arcadia of the affair with Duckworth hurts her credibility. Her involvement with this other guy, Bonham Trudeaux, adds to her difficulties.”

“In the profile of Garlick Duckworth we had compiled for your matter, we have discovered that he is a vain, self-promoter, who likes to put other people down and who apparently has no interest in anyone but himself, especially the children of Arcadia.”

Calderone said, “I still believe what I have said many times before, the primary focus of Arcadia is her social life, not the children. Her involvement with these men confirms that view, in my opinion.”

After discussing the situation with Kreptic, Calderone said he wanted Arcadia to clarify her relationship with Duckworth.

“I do not want Arcadia to have contact with the children, if there is a chance Duckworth will see them, because Duckworth is an unknown and a risk. In my view it is dangerous to expose the children to any significant relationship with Duckworth, when he has not been tested with them or as a parent”, Calderone said firmly.

“Arcadia also has low self-esteem now, which is bad for the children to see”, he added.

Kreptic replied, “I will write to the solicitors for Arcadia and outline your position in relation to Arcadia having contact with your children, bearing in mind her involvement with Duckworth. If and when we get a response, you and I can discuss that issue further.”

“I expect to have your draft affidavit ready for you to read in a couple of days. I will include in it the new information you have provided to me today.”

The telephone call then ended.

Arcadia Meets with Her Solicitor, Siobhan Blanco
When Siobhan Blanco read the letter from Zorgarn Kreptic in relation to Arcadia Thiessen and Tabernacle Calderone, she was surprised by its contents. Blanco was completely unaware of any involvement on the part of Arcadia with Garlick Duckworth. The letter did not have all of the details of that involvement, but it had enough for Blanco to treat it very seriously.

Shortly thereafter Blanco contacted Arcadia and expressed her anger about the dishonesty of Arcadia proved by Calderone and his solicitors.  Arcadia had no good answer for her deception regarding her relationship with Duckworth.

Blanco told Arcadia, “It seems to me that you are going to have to provide significant details about Garlick Duckworth to satisfy Calderone that it is appropriate for you to have contact with the children, if there is a chance Duckworth will see them. Your credibility is also now squarely an issue in this matter.”

This news surprised Arcadia and she was struggling to say anything in response. The divorce was not going according to her plan, she thought.

Arcadia provided some sketchy details of Duckworth to Blanco, but very little of substance.

Arcadia Contacts Duckworth
Arcadia decided to telephone Duckworth and inform him of the developments in her divorce. She said to him, “My solicitors have received a letter from the solicitors for Calderone and they seem to be completely aware of my relationship with you over the last eighteen (18) months

“My solicitor said that I will have to provide significant details about you to satisfy Calderone that it is appropriate for me to have contact with the children, if there is a chance you will see them”

Duckworth was of little help to Arcadia with his reply, “I guess with losing your job, you will not be coming to Sydney any time soon?”

Arcadia became angry with him, “Can you stop thinking about yourself for a while and try to concentrate on what I am saying?”

The response from Duckworth was again unhelpful, “I am not in a position to have a discussion with you at the moment. I have something that needs my attention. Perhaps we will talk later.”

Duckworth then ended the telephone call.

Arcadia was stunned by the response of Duckworth and it took her some considerable time to compose herself after the telephone call with him.

Arcadia Seeks Out Stiles Parsons
Stiles Parsons may be helpful, Arcadia thought, so she contacted him in the hope of obtaining some support from him. Arcadia told Parsons the hard-done-by story. She was unaware Parsons knew about her affairs with Garlick Duckworth and Bonham Trudeaux. Parsons was no longer buying her hard-done-by story. To his surprise, Arcadia revealed that the divorce litigation with Calderone had uncovered her affairs with Duckworth and Trudeaux. She did not reveal any other lovers, but Parsons suspected that there would be more.

Parsons was somewhat subdued in his conversation with Arcadia and he ensured he did not reveal the assistance he provided to Calderone in relation to her. He thought, it was noticeable that her conversation with him lacked any apology to him for all the previous deception she had perpetrated upon him by continually contending she was a loyal and faithful wife. Arcadia was still only thinking of herself.

After a short time, Parsons found a way to politely end the conversation with Arcadia.

Parish Garner Rang Arcadia
Several days later Parish Garner from Perth rang Arcadia on her mobile telephone. He said, “I really enjoyed meeting you at the Adelaide Business Development Conference. Are you going to be in Perth any time soon? I also have a friend who knows I shared you with Thackery Versailles, he would like to meet you too”.

Arcadia did not want to have this discussion, nor did she want to reveal that she had lost her job and her divorce was now rather difficult for her.

She told Parish, “I am not in a position to speak with you at the moment. I might call you later.”

She then ended the call.

Interim Court Hearing
Tabernacle Calderone filed an Application for Interim Parenting Orders and it subsequently came on for hearing.

After reading the affidavit material submitted to the Court by both Arcadia and Calderone and then hearing submissions on that material by their respective barristers, relevantly, the Judge hearing the Application found that:
  • The telephone records, room service bills and photographs were compelling evidence of the involvement of Arcadia with other men
  • Arcadia was not a witness of credit
  • The primary focus of Arcadia was her social life, not the children
  • Arcadia has no job
  • It was in the best interests of the children that they live with the father, Tabernacle Calderone
  • Arcadia is to tell Calderone whenever Duckworth is to have any contact with the children.

Arcadia was devastated to hear the decision of the Judge. In contrast Calderone was very happy.

Friday, 21 November 2014

The Second Opinion


Daniel Soames was in his Chambers when he received a telephone call from a woman whose business provides him with some of his office supplies.

Brenda said, “I am involved in some litigation where I am seeking a little short of $6,000 and I would like a second opinion as to whether the case was viable.”

Daniel said, “I will happily look at the matter for you. Can you provide me with all the relevant material from that litigation.”

Brenda said, “That will be no trouble. I will courier the material to you this afternoon.”

When the material arrived it took Daniel just under an hour to read and come to terms with it. Once he had done so he had a chat with a colleague in Chambers as to what he made of the facts as told to him by Daniel.  Both barristers agreed that the litigation was in two (2) parts and the legal proceedings drawn by the solicitors were defective in not making the dichotomy in respect of those two (2) parts to the litigation.  The trial was listed to proceed in about two and a half (2 ½) weeks time and the small amount of money the subject of litigation meant it was really not commercially viable to redraw those legal proceedings. In pragmatic terms, it was really best to just proceed with the matter in its current form and endeavour to perhaps make an application to correct any errors at the trial.

Armed with that appreciation of the case Daniel telephoned Brenda.

Daniel: “I have read the material and believe I understand the issues involved in the litigation.  In my view it would be prudent for you and your solicitor to attend my Chambers and have a conference with me to discuss the litigation in some detail.

Brenda replied, “I agree. I will contact the solicitor to see if that conference could be arranged and occur by the end of the week.”

Daniel: “I am happy to leave you to make those arrangements. I expect I will hear from you shortly.”

Within half an hour Brenda had again telephoned Daniel to tell him that the conference could occur at his Chambers in two days time at 3:00 pm, subject to his availability.

Daniel said, “Those arrangements suited me fine and I will note my calendar accordingly.”

Conference
Brenda and her solicitor arrived at the Chambers of Daniel shortly before 3:00 pm and the conference proceeded without delay.

Daniel said, “As I understand the matter, the litigation was effectively in two (2) parts, the major part for just over $5000 and the minor part for just over $500. There was then also the issue of costs.  The matter had already endured an application for summary judgement by Brenda, which was unsuccessful. It seems me that a significant consideration for the Court during that application for summary judgement was the way the Court documents had been drafted.  In articulating the claim of Brenda the documents did not make the dichotomy between the two (2) parts to her claim.

“On the material supplied to me, it seems that the Defendant really had no defence to the major part of the claim and the only reason she ought not be successful was that the Court was not minded to give her the justice she sought. The lesser amount of the litigation was less certain in terms of the ability of Brenda to obtain judgement in her favour. There were certainly some arguments the Defendant could raise in response to her claim and they may well be found to be valid.  Nevertheless the Court documents being drafted the way they were, it appeared that the defence of the Defendant in respect of that lesser claim may well be a defence to the entire claim, so no summary judgement could be awarded at that time.”

“There were good reasons to think that the trial on the larger amount would largely mirror what Daniel expected would have been discussed during the summary judgement application, because nothing had really changed in that regard and the real question continued to be whether the Court was minded to give judgement in respect of Brenda.”

“Interestingly the part of the litigation over which the controversy would be the greatest was the lesser amount and it hardly seemed worth spending the money it was likely to cost in pursuing such a small amount.”

Daniel asked, “Brenda, how much have you spent on the litigation thus far?”

Brenda replied, “Including the cost of the present conference, $3,000.00.”

Daniel: “If the matter were to proceed to trial, you could expect to spend that much again and, for the reasons that have already been outlined, there is no guarantee you would be successful. The outcome in those circumstances may very well be you would spend $6,000.00, effectively speculating on being awarded a judgement in the sum of $6,000.00 by the Court. Does that seem to make any commercial sense to you?”

Brenda: “No, it did not”.

Daniel noticed that during this conversation the solicitor was sitting and listening, but not actively participating in the conversation. There was very little he could say to change the course of the conference and the conversation, Daniel thought.  It was his inept drafting that put billable hours and his ego ahead of the interests of the client and that led to the situation that was now confronting this litigation and therefore Brenda.

Daniel continued, “In the circumstances, Brenda, now might be a good time for you to consider cutting your losses in respect of this litigation and endeavouring to move on with your life.  Perhaps through your solicitors you might contact the Defendant and offer to settle the litigation by discontinuing it and each side being responsible for their own costs incurred thus far?”

Brenda said, “That advice makes sense. It is an approach I will to seriously consider.”

The solicitor spoke for the first time, also agreeing there was some sense to adopting that approach.

Spotlight On The Solicitor
Having arrived at that position Daniel thought how lucky Brenda was to have contacted him and asked him to provide a second opinion on her litigation, an opinion different to and independent from the advice she was getting from her solicitors.  Daniel also thought it was typical of so many solicitors to have taken the best part of $3,000 in legal fees from the client in respect of some litigation, hardly advanced her case at all, perhaps even hurt it, and want the client to continue to retain them and fund that obviously ineptly prosecuted litigation.

Given his good business relationship with Brenda, it was taking Daniel some effort to not make his feelings in that regard public, but rather keep them to himself.  However several times during the conference he looked at and thought of the solicitor and said to himself, you are not entitled to any fees in respect of this, because your work has hampered it, rather than helped it.

Brenda then said she needed to go to the toilet and she asked for directions as to the location of the ladies toilets.

Daniel gave her those directions and the conference was adjourned to accommodate Brenda.

Whilst she was attending to nature there was no conversation about the litigation between Daniel and the solicitor. There was some general conversation about their respective practices other than that litigation and that conversation merely served to confirm the view Daniel had of the solicitor, his ability and his contribution to this case.

Conference Resumed
Upon her return to the conference Brenda said, “I have considered your advice about trying to settle the litigation by discontinuing it and each side bearing their own costs. Seems now is an appropriate time to cut my losses and move on with my life, so that is the approach I wish to take in respect of this litigation.”

Daniel suggested that the solicitor then write formally to the Defendant and make an offer of settlement in those terms.  Both Brenda and the solicitor were happy with that approach.  There was then some discussion as to what might be the contents of that letter, notes of which were taken by the solicitor, and at the conclusion of that discussion the conference ended.

Brenda and the solicitor then returned to their respective places of work.

Three Days Later
Three (3) days later Daniel received a telephone call from Brenda about the conference and the litigation.  She was a very happy woman.

Brenda said, “I have been contacted by the solicitors, both on the telephone and in writing, informing me that a settlement had been reached with the Defendant in the terms we proposed.”

“Plus I have more good news.  When the letter from my solicitors arrived informing me of the settlement I was also pleasantly surprised to read that, as the matter had proceeded in the way it did, the firm felt it was not appropriate to charge their normal fees for the work they had done in respect of this matter, but rather a fee of $500.00 would be all they would seek from me.  They enclosed a cheque for the balance of the money I had paid to them up to that point, less the cost of the fees for you, Daniel, for the conference.”

“I was very happy to have involved you in the matter, Daniel. Thank you for all your assistance.”

Daniel said, “It was no trouble, a pleasure in fact. I am happy you got an outcome to her satisfaction.”

After the telephone conversation with Brenda was over Daniel reflected upon her situation. He was happy for both her and himself that he was apparently able to assist the solicitors in arriving at the correct decision in respect of Brenda and her litigation.  He did not expect to get any further work from that firm of solicitors, although stranger things have been known to happen in the law.  At least he was able to put his mind skills to good use on this occasion and for a very deserving recipient.

Lunch with Morris
Shortly after telephone conversation ended Daniel saw one of his Chambers colleagues Morris and shared with him the developments in relation to the Brenda litigation.  Both of them were happy with the outcome.  They took their glee with them as they had lunch together discussing the Brenda case at some length, as well as a few other tasty morsels they found amusing.

During that lunch Daniel noticed Derek, the solicitor colleague with whom he had a conversation a few days earlier, walked past and say hello to him. What was surprising was that Derek then came over to him.

Derek said briefly, “I have a matter I would like to discuss with you with a view to briefing you in it. Are you available for me to come and see you about it this afternoon?”

A more than a little surprised Daniel said “Yes, I am available all afternoon. Is 2:00 pm convenient for you?”

Derek said “Yes, it was”.

Daniel said “I will see you my Chambers at 2:00 pm”.

Derek then left Daniel and Morris to their lunch and went on his way.

Daniel then said to Morris, “Who can understand the reasons that motivate a solicitor to brief a barrister?”.

Morris said “The sun will stop rising in the East and setting in the West before that enlightenment arrives.”

They then continued their lunch and after about half an hour returned to Chambers.

Monday, 17 November 2014

Fools Gold


Danesh Selkirk
“I am 5 hours from most places of significance, but tomorrow I will be in your City. Can we get together? Danesh Selkirk said to Arcadia Thiessen when he rang her Monday morning. Danesh had heard about Arcadia through work and he wanted to meet her.

“We will see. Contact me when you get here. I have to go to a meeting now,” Arcadia replied.

Another brief telephone call, we have had several of them. Will we ever meet?, Danesh thought to himself.

Garlick Duckworth
During her meeting Arcadia was thinking about her Sydney boyfriend, Garlick Duckworth.
Unperturbed by her ongoing divorce proceedings, which she was going to discuss with her solicitor, Siobhan Blanco, later that day, Arcadia decided to concoct another flimsy excuse to justify her employer sending her on a business trip to go Sydney to see Duckworth. She planned to tell him she does not intend to reveal him to the world as her boyfriend until her divorce is finalised.

Arcadia was well aware that her plan would deny any consideration of her relationship with Garlick Duckworth in the divorce proceedings and his suitability to have any interaction with the children. She decided that was something that the divorce proceedings did not need to know.

When her meeting ended, Arcadia returned to her office and asked her assistant to make the usual arrangements for her to travel to Sydney tomorrow. Ninety (90) minutes later she received an e-mail from her assistant, confirming that the requested travel arrangements had been made.

Meeting with Siobhan Blanco
At her meeting with her solicitor, Siobhan Blanco, Arcadia did not tell Blanco about all her boyfriends and sex partners. She maintained the line that she was a faithful wife and her husband had been cheating on her for many years. She proffered a couple of historic stories to support her claim, but nothing in recent times. Blanco and Arcadia prepared affidavit material to file in the Court to support the case of Arcadia. It contained the same narrative as Arcadia told Blanco, that she was a faithful wife and her husband had been cheating on her for many years.

In the process of preparing the Court material Blanco told Arcadia how an alternate argument to hers may see her spend less time with the children. Arcadia ignored the advice and maintained her position.

Danesh Selkirk
As Arcadia was walking to her car after seeing Siobhan Blanco, she received a telephone call from Danesh Selkirk.

“You know from our few telephone calls that I have been trying to meet you for some time. I will be flying home tomorrow. We can meet at my hotel tonight.”, Danesh tells Arcadia.

“You are trying not to waste the opportunity, are you? I can be at your hotel in forty (40) minutes”, Arcadia replied.

Arcadia sent Danesh a text message as she approached his hotel. When she arrived, he was waiting for her in the foyer. There was a brief greeting and then they proceeded to his hotel room. Once inside his hotel room, Arcadia put her handbag on the table.

Danesh then asked Arcadia about dinner.

“Food is not the real reason you invited me here, is it?”, Arcadia asked.

The initial response of Dinesh was stunned silence.

Arcadia continued, “We can deal with food afterwards”.

She removed her shoes and started to remove her dress. Danesh said nothing, but he too got undressed.

Their sexual encounter lasted about twenty (20) minutes. As they were putting their clothes back on discussion ensued about going down stairs to the restaurant in the hotel and eating dinner. They then made their way to the restaurant.

During dinner Arcadia told Danesh that she would have to return home straight after dinner. Danesh did not try to persuade Arcadia otherwise.

As she was leaving Arcadia said to Danesh, “Thanks for dinner. I guess we will speak again, sometime”.

Arcadia then left the restaurant, walked to her car and drove home. Danesh stayed at the restaurant for a little longer, then returned to his hotel room.

Tabernacle Calderone Meets with His Solicitors
In contrast to Arcadia, her estranged husband, Tabernacle Calderone, did not think he knew better than his solicitors when it came to their divorce. He did not try to control the narrative. They had long discussions on what might be included and what might be discovered in the process.

Calderone was uncertain as to whether he wanted to follow the suggestion of his solicitors and obtain surveillance video of Arcadia to see if it would support any of his claims of Arcadia having extramarital affairs.

It was a much easier decision for him to allow his solicitors to search the hotel records of where Arcadia had stayed on some of her business trips. That investigation proved fruitful, insofar as several of the room service bills showed that Arcadia ordered meals consistent with two (2) people being in the room. By the size of the meals, it appeared that her companion was male.

It was also an easy decision for him to allow his solicitors to obtain the telephone records of the second mobile telephone Arcadia had for some considerable time. In the process he said he was happy to disclose his telephone records, because they revealed no improper behaviour on his part.

Calderone was surprised to see that those records revealed almost daily contact between Arcadia and Garlick Duckworth, both by telephone calls and text messages. They also revealed every time she was in Sydney, she had contact with Duckworth.

When his solicitor, Zorgarn Kreptic, revealed this information to Callderone, they discussed the use to which it might be put in his case.

Kreptic asked Calderone, “Do you know Garlick Duckworth?”

“I have no idea who he is”, replied Calderone.

Kreptic: “Would you like me to make some further enquiries in relation to him? I do not expect it to be an expensive exercise.”

Calderone: “Yes.”

Kreptic: “In all the correspondence I have received from her solicitors, no mention is made of Arcadia being involved with Garlick Duckworth in any way, shape or form. I suggest we not say anything about him, at least until I have completed my enquiries in relation to him.”

Calderone: “I am happy to adopt your suggested approach in relation to him.”

Kreptic: “When I get the results of those further enquiries in relation to Duckworth, we can also discuss the utility of obtaining surveillance video of Arcadia.”

Calderone: “OK”

The conference with his solicitor then ended and Calderone went home.

Sydney
Upon arriving in Sydney Arcadia checked into the same hotel she always stays at when she sees Garlick Duckworth and as usual she proceeded to her room where she made herself reasonably comfortable.

Not twenty (20) minutes after checking into her hotel, Garlick Duckworth sent a text message to Arcadia asking if she had arrived at her hotel.

“Let me know when you are in the foyer and I will come down and get you”, Arcadia wrote in reply.

Arcadia had just got out of the shower when she received a text message from Duckworth telling her he was in the lobby of the hotel. She put on some casual clothes and went down to the foyer to meet him. Then they proceeded to her hotel room.

As they had done many times before, almost as soon as they entered the hotel room their sexual encounter commenced. Whilst enthusiastic, it was a far from torrid encounter and it ended unremarkably after about fifteen (15) minutes.

Arcadia ordered room service for dinner because she wanted to talk with Duckworth about her plans to keep him secret from her divorce proceedings. It was obvious from the room service bill that Arcadia had company for the meal. Discussion ensued during and after dinner, as Arcadia wished, however whilst Duckworth listened, it was clear to any independent observer that Duckworth really only wanted to talk about himself. That was absolutely in keeping with his character.

Before they went to sleep Arcadia ordered room service for breakfast in the morning, as she had an early start for her work meeting, ostensibly the reason she was attending Sydney. Again it was obvious from the contents of the room service bill that Arcadia had company for the meal.

The next morning was like an instant replay of many of their previous encounters. They awoke and there was another brief sexual encounter. They then had breakfast. After she finished her breakfast, Arcadia had a shower, then got dressed and left for her work meeting. At the end of her work meeting, she would return to Melbourne.

As she left for her meeting Arcadia left Duckworth in the hotel room to finish his breakfast.

Tabernacle Calderone Again Meets with His Solicitors
Calderone met with his solicitor, Zorgarn Kreptic, again and discussed the new information which was to hand.

Kreptic said, “I have some results of those further enquiries in relation to Duckworth I can share with you. We have a modest profile on Garlick Duckworth. It seems every time Arcadia went to Sydney in the last eighteen (18) months, she met Duckworth. It seems he also spent quite a bit of time with her in hotels. That is in complete contrast to her story of being a loyal, faithful wife. I believe we can use this information to support your contention that the focus of Arcadia was not primarily on the children and parenting the children, but rather on her social life. Accordingly you should have more time with children than is currently being offered.”

A somewhat stunned Calderone said: “It is one thing to suspect this stuff. It is quite another to have it confirmed. How do we go about this?”

Kreptic told Calderone, “I already have a draft statement from you. I will use the information and knowledge we have obtained to develop and support your arguments in the affidavit material we will file in the Court for you. I will prepare a draft affidavit for you and you can see then if it is the approach you wish to take.”

“Also given that you and Arcadia are now separated, surveillance video of her now is unlikely to reveal much useful evidence, unless it concentrated upon Duckworth.”

“I will also try to frame your material so as to put the credibility of Arcadia in issue and help you in the process. It seems to me Arcadia is going to have to concede at least some involvement on her part with Duckworth. The process may appear uncomfortable for Arcadia, but I do not intend to lose focus from our ultimate goal, which is to present your case in the best possible way and to achieve the best outcome we can for you.”

Calderone replied, “By the time you have a draft affidavit ready for me to read I will have processed the news you have just told me a little more and will be in a better position to decide how I wish to proceed with the case. At the moment I am happy with your suggestions.”

The conference then ended and Calderone went home.

Arcadia Returns To The Office
Arcadia returned to work after her Sydney business trip. In making her way to her office, she walked past several colleagues gathered around a computer screen.  She could see that something had captured their attention, however she was not able to see what they were watching. Things became a little clearer in that regard when she arrived at her office. She noticed there was a video playing on her computer. The video was of her having a sexual encounter with Bonham Trudeaux, her Melbourne boyfriend. She felt numb, put her bag down and slumped in her chair.

Within moments her assistant approached her and handed her a piece of paper. The message on the paper was simple, it was from the big boss, “Clean out your desk”.