America’s Mayor, Rudy Giuliani, was reportedly yelling and cursing his way through his recent divorce court hearing in New York. The judge blasted both the ex-Mayor and his wife, Judith Nathan, for turning the room into a divorce court circus.
Big Apple Circus
According to news reports, Giuliani snapped “Goddamnit!” at one point when accused by a lawyer for Nathan of failing to pay a $21,000 in nursing home bill arrears for her mother, as promised.
“That’s total bulls–t! That’s total bulls–t!” he hissed at another point, when the opposing lawyer, Bernard Clair, later suggested that Giuliani’s reported mistress, Maria Ryan, could be the one to grant appraisers access to multiple Florida properties they’re fighting over.
How do you avoid turning your trial into a divorce court circus?
If criminal court judges see the worst people acting their best, family judges see the best people acting their worst. Divorces are stressful, and issues like child custody, relocation, and domestic violence can take their toll on people.
I’ve written about courtroom behavior before. Since you’re always being evaluated in court, and in light of the Giuliani divorce antics, what follows is a list of “dos” and “don’ts” to avoid your own divorce court circus. (These are true stories by the way.)
- Don’t – Come to a custody hearing wearing your Nazi uniform – complete with swastika patch on the arm and leather boots – and demand a family court judge let you see your son.
- Do – Dress in a neat and professional manner.
- Don’t – Speak on your cellular telephone because judges hate ringing cell phones. Judges hate ringing phone during your testimony.
- Do – Keep your cell phone ringer off, and if you absolutely need to have your phone on, put it on vibrate.
- Don’t – Take off your pants and show the judge your rear end.
- Do – Keep your pants on.
- Don’t – lose your temper in court, give the middle finger salute, dare the judge to hold you in contempt while holding your arms out as if you are being handcuffed and then contact the judge’s judicial assistant, and call her: “You little mother******; you and the judge, that mother****** son of a b****.”
- Do – Be Courteous to the Court staff. Court personnel make the courts run efficiently, and angering court officers won’t help your case.
Sadly, these are cases of what people have actually done in court, and all of these instances are documented. Consider the seriousness of the divorce process and the stress family everyone is under to do the right thing.
A New York State of Mind
Acting as the divorce court circus master, Supreme Court Justice Michael Katz chided:
“Mr. Giuliani!” “Don’t interrupt the proceeding. You have lawyers representing you”.
The Giulianis don’t get along well together. For example, he alleges that Nathan approached him at the Emerald Dunes Golf Club in Florida and took his photograph. Nathan’s side said it never happened and that Giuliani shouted at her and insisted he was at the club buying items for his girlfriend’s daughter.
The judge reluctantly stepped in to play peacemaker.
“Whoever is in the room first gets to stay in the room. If Mr. Giuliani is in one room in one of their common clubs, he can go to a different room and visa versa.”
Earlier, the judge scolded at the parties and lawyers:
“At this juncture in a case — it’s been almost a year since filings — the process calms down. Yet it’s still a circus.”
Asked outside court what was holding up the divorce, Giuliani said, “Her.”
The New York Daily News article is available here.