Sometimes supportive, sometimes not supportive: Ambivalent relationships

Written on November 11, 2015 by David C. Sarnacki

The New York times features an item on research distinguishing between the good, the bad and the indifferent in marriages, and their effect on your health.

Tara Parker-Pope writes (excerpt):
That said [the Brigham Young University study], the conclusion that the health benefits of marriage are dependent on the quality of the relationship has been borne out in other research. For instance, a University of Utah study found that a marital fight that lacked warmth or was controlling in tone could be just as predictive of poor heart health as whether the individual smoked or had high cholesterol. Ohio State University researchers found that wounds heal more slowly when couples have hostile arguments compared with couples who manage conflict without hostility. At the University of Virginia, studies showed that when happy couples held hands, the calming effect on the brain was similar to that caused by pain-relieving drugs. But unhappy couples did not show the same benefit.

Review of David Sarnacki, Grand Rapids Divorce Lawyer, Best Attorneys of America

Written on November 4, 2015 by David C. Sarnacki

Best Attorneys of America selected David Sarnacki to be a “Best Attorney” Lifetime Charter Member based on his “extraordinary level of legal expertise, competency, professional reputation and ethical standards.” The organization selected and extended invitations to “less than 1% of lawyers in America” to be members of Rue Ratings’ Best Attorneys of America.

Staying away from abusers and batterers: tips from the trenches

Written on November 3, 2015 by David C. Sarnacki

CNN published tips on domestic violence from a person with experience in 911 emergencies, relationship coaching and her own troubled marriage.

Tamara Neal writes (excerpt):
. . . But take time to get to know a person in every season to get their full measure. Some partners may be very good at hiding their shortcomings for a long time, but not forever. . . .
. . . Be wary if your partner constantly blames you and others for all of his shortcomings, character defects and problems. . . .
. . . Women suffering from low self-esteem will often settle for abusive relationships and consider themselves lucky to have a man at all. . . .
. . . Once you have warned a person several times that the ship is sinking [due to substance abuse, including drinking problems] and they refuse to get off, it’s time for you to do so.
. . . True love should never make you feel frightened, alarmed, disrespected or concerned for your well-being.

Professional Rating and Review of the Sarnacki Law Firm, US News-Best Lawyers

Written on November 2, 2015 by David C. Sarnacki

U.S. News-Best Lawyers in America completed its review and professional rating of law firms and announced that The Sarnacki Law Firm in Grand Rapids, Michigan was awarded the Tier 1 ranking in the 2016 Edition of U.S. News-Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms.”

Building relationships: how to talk with your kids . . . your husband, your wife, your everyone

Written on October 25, 2015 by David C. Sarnacki

On Being offers tips for engaging another person in conversation, especially those within your family.

John Sarrouf writes (excerpt):
1. Choose a time and space that works — for all of you.
2. Use questions that invite more than the monosyllabic.
3. Be an active partner, not an inquisitor.
4. Ask for stories.
5. Tell our own stories.
6. Use a structure to ensure everyone is heard.
7. Actually listen.
8. Silence is more than not talking.
9. Don’t just accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative.

Parenting plans for divorce and paternity

Written on October 7, 2015 by David C. Sarnacki

The AAML developed a downloadable parenting time brochure labeled “Child Centered Residential Guidelines.” The Guidelines provide some information and options for developmentally appropriate parenting plans. They consider the “best interests of the child,” a standard applied in many States to the family’s facts and circumstances.

Review of David Sarnacki, Top 10% Lawyers of Distinction

Written on October 5, 2015 by David C. Sarnacki

Lawyers of Distinction nominated David Sarnacki of The Sarnacki Law Firm for its Top 10% attorneys in the United States. The organization seeks to promote distinguishing lawyers “in a very crowded and competitive legal landscape.”

How to try a case, presidentially

Written on September 17, 2015 by David C. Sarnacki

CNN looks at the recent Republican primary debate and, in the process, offers several good trial advocacy principles.

Todd Graham, Southern Illinois University’s director of debate, writes (excerpt):
[On the "less is more" technique]
Sometimes, you make your arguments weaker by talking about them until you’ve confused people. When debaters forgot the “less is more” concept, their arguments spin around and around so much that they lose points.
[On the echo effect]
Begin and end on the same idea. . . . “Go back to your major premise.”
[On picking your battles and not being dragged down]
My advice is always to rise above it. But — and this is important — there is a time and place to fight the good fight.

To be or not to be: a good legal writer

Written on September 1, 2015 by David C. Sarnacki

Business Insider culls 6 writing tips from Bryan Garner’s interview with Supreme Court justice Elena Kagan.

Jacob Shamsian captures the tips as follows (excerpt):
1. Be a good reader — don’t skim
2. Write so normal people can understand you
3. … But don’t dumb yourself down too much
4. Have fun!
5. Explain your reasoning
6. Get feedback from people you trust

Mom, Dad, Junior: Being direct is healthy!

Written on August 26, 2015 by David C. Sarnacki

Love and Logic reminds us that we should share concerns directly, rather than aligning with someone else and dragging him or her into the problem.

Dr. Charles Fay writes (excerpt):
Fortunately, mental health experts have learned a great deal about how to help families operate in healthy, happy ways. One of the most helpful discoveries involves who family members talk to when a problem arises.
• In healthy families, Mom talks to Dad when she is upset with Dad.
• In unhealthy families, Mom talks to the kids when she is upset with Dad.
• In healthy families, Dad talks to Mom when he’s upset with Mom.
• In unhealthy families, Dad talks to his friends when he is upset with Mom.
• In healthy families, Junior talks to Dad when he wants something from Dad.
• In unhealthy families, Junior talks to Mom when he wants something from Dad.
• In healthy families, Junior talks to his teacher when he doesn’t understand an assignment.
• In unhealthy families, Mom and Dad talk to Junior’s teacher when Junior doesn’t understand an assignment.

Professional Rating and Review of David C. Sarnacki, Best Lawyers

Written on August 22, 2015 by David C. Sarnacki

Best Lawyers in America completed its peer-review assessment process and announced that it selected David C. Sarnacki of Grand Rapids, Michigan for its 22nd Edition of The Best Lawyers in America. Mr. Sarnacki’s expertise was confirmed in the following practice areas:
• Collaborative Law: Family Law
• Family Law
• Family Law Mediation

Review of David Sarnacki, “Michigan’s 10 Best”

Written on July 10, 2015 by David C. Sarnacki

The American Institute of Family Law Attorneys announced that David Sarnacki of The Sarnacki Law Firm PLC was nominated as one of its “10 Best” family law lawyers for client satisfaction in Michigan. The Institute seeks to recognize excellence through its impartial third-party rating service.

Marriage is for Old Folks? U.S. Supreme Court says No, disagrees with Nina Simone

Written on June 26, 2015 by David C. Sarnacki

From today’s United Supreme Court decision in OBERGEFELL v. HODGES Justice Kennedy offers these comments on marriage (excerpt):
. . . Marriage is sacred to those who live by their religions and offers unique fulfillment to those who find meaning in the secular realm. Its dynamic allows two people to find a life that could not be found alone, for a marriage becomes greater than just the two persons. Rising from the most basic human needs, marriage is essential to our most profound hopes and aspirations.

. . . Since the dawn of history, marriage has transformed strangers into relatives, binding families and societies together. Confucius taught that marriage lies at the foundation of government. 2 Li Chi: Book of Rites 266 (C. Chai & W. Chai eds., J. Legge transl. 1967). This wisdom was echoed centuries later and half a world away by Cicero, who wrote, “The first bond of society is marriage; next, children; and then the family.” See De Officiis 57 (W. Miller transl. 1913). There are untold references to the beauty of marriage in religious and philosophical texts spanning time, culture and faiths, as well as in art and literature in all their forms.

Review of David Sarnacki, Top 100 Lawyers, Divorce and Family Law

Written on June 11, 2015 by David C. Sarnacki

The National Advocates invited David Sarnacki of The Sarnacki Law Firm to join its “Top 100″ as part of a premier group of matrimonial and family attorneys in Michigan. Mr. Sarnacki was recognized for exemplifying “superior qualifications and leadership.” The National Advocates’ mission is to seek to promote excellence in the legal profession.

Rebounding from hard times: how do I bounce back from adversity

Written on May 25, 2015 by David C. Sarnacki

The June 1, 2015 issue of Time Magazine has an article on The Art of Resilience (page 36), which includes a sidebar with 10 expert tips (page 42).
The top three tips for rising above difficulties, setbacks, stress, loss and suffering were (excerpt):
1. Develop a core set of beliefs that nothing can shake
2. Try to find meaning in whatever stressful or traumatic thing has happened
3. Try to maintain a positive outlook

Writing “longer, easier to understand — and grumpier” court decisions

Written on May 5, 2015 by David C. Sarnacki

The New York Times notes three trends in U.S. Supreme Court opinions (length, clarity, tone) and references Brown v. Board of Education’s 4,000 words with Citizens United’s 48,000 words. The article discusses a linguistic software study scheduled for publication in the Washington University Law Review (computer scientists Daniel Rockmore and Keith Carlson, and law professor Michael A. Livermore).

Adam Liptak writes (excerpt):
Five current members of the court claimed spots in the top 10 list for grumpiness: Justices Samuel A. Alito Jr., Stephen G. Breyer, Anthony M. Kennedy, Scalia and Clarence Thomas. (Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Ruth Bader Ginsburg were in the middle of the pack. Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan joined too recently to be ranked.)

The evolving future of marriage

Written on April 19, 2015 by David C. Sarnacki

In case number 14-571 , the U.S. Supreme Court is considering the case of Michigan residents April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse. Arguments are scheduled for April 28th, and a decision is expected by late June.
The briefs submitted to the Supreme Court highlight two issues:
1. Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to license a marriage of two people of the same sex?
2. Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to recognize a marriage of two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-state?

Krista Tippett interviews David Blankenhorn and Jonathan Rauch about the gay marriage debate, the institution of marriage and one way of discussing divisive social issues.

From courtroom to the capitol: Fathers rights in custody cases

Written on April 16, 2015 by David C. Sarnacki

The Wall Street Journal covers the push for legislation in about 20 states to give fathers more child custody rights in divorce cases.

How does it feel to be you?

Written on April 8, 2015 by David C. Sarnacki

On Being highlighted Bill Murray’s answer at a 2014 Toronto International Film Festival press conference.

Trent Gillis reports Bill Murray’s remarks as (excerpt):
So, what’s it like to be me? You can ask yourself, “What’s it like to be me?” You know, the only way we’ll ever know what it’s like to be you is if you work your best at being you as often as you can, and keep reminding yourself: That’s where home is.

Top Grand Rapids Divorce Attorney and Mediator

Written on March 31, 2015 by David C. Sarnacki

David C. Sarnacki, of The Sarnacki Law Firm PLC, has been selected to the 2015 list as a member of the Nation’s Top One Percent by the National Association of Distinguished Counsel. NADC is an organization dedicated to promoting the highest standards of legal excellence. Its mission is to objectively recognize the attorneys who elevate the standards of the Bar and provide a benchmark for other lawyers to emulate.

Members are thoroughly vetted by a research team, selected by a blue ribbon panel of attorneys with podium status from independently neutral organizations, and approved by a judicial review board as exhibiting virtue in the practice of law. Due to the incredible selectivity of the appointment process, only the top one percent of attorneys in the United States are awarded membership in NADC. This elite class of advocates consists of the finest leaders of the legal profession from across the nation.

David C. Sarnacki concentrates his practice in the areas of family law, mediation, and collaborative divorce. He is a past chairperson of the Grand Rapids Bar Association’s Family Law Section (2003) and of the State Bar of Michigan’s Family Law (2006-2007), Litigation (2000-2001), and Law Practice Management (1995-1996) sections. A frequent commentator on trial advocacy, family law, and mediation, Mr. Sarnacki has served on the faculties of the National Institute of Trial Advocacy/Hofstra University School of Law, U.S. Attorney General’s Advocacy Institute, and Davenport University, and is a regular speaker for ICLE. He has been selected as one of “The Best Lawyers in America,” a “Michigan Super Lawyer,” and a Member of the “Nation’s Top One Percent” in the National Association of Distinguished Counsel. Mr. Sarnacki has discretely handled high-income, high-asset divorce matters, with an aggregate estate value measured in billions.