I stopped Annie on her way out the door, suggesting we chat for just another minute after she told me she and Sam had not been intimate in a long time. I gave her the name of several good therapists with whom she could discuss the issues in her marriage that had led her to our office. Annie was a little panicked because she felt like she had so much to do to respond to discovery, find a therapist, find a job, support her children, and just get out of bed every morning. I assured her the therapist would help with all of those feelings.
Three weeks later, Annie sent us all of her discovery responses and the financial documents we needed to move forward. The 30-Day Status Conference was only five days away, and we had a lot of work to do to prepare. Sam had hired an attorney, and we had agreed that Sam would move out by the end of the month. We also had scheduled Annie and Sams’ depositions for after the Status Conference and agreed to ask the Judicial Officer at the Status Conference to order the parties to attend mediation.
I met Annie at the courthouse about 30 minutes before the Status Conference was scheduled to begin. Annie was a mess. I did my best to calm her and told her that I would do all of the talking. I then found Sam and his attorney and handed him our discovery responses. Unfortunately, Sam had not completed his discovery, so his attorney had nothing to offer me in return.
When we were called into the Status Conference, the Judicial Officer asked what the issues were, and Sam responded by begging Annie to take him back. Sam said he would do anything Annie wanted if only she would agree to reconcile. The Judicial Officer cut Sam off, but it was too late. Annie was in tears again, but at least did not start screaming at Sam. I placed my hand on Annie’s arm and hissed at Sam’s attorney to please keep Sam quiet. I told the Judicial Officer that Sam had not provided his responses to the mandatory discovery yet, and she told Sam’s attorney to get us the responses within 10 days. I then outlined the facts and issues that would eventually need to be resolved, Sam’s attorney agreed with my statement, and we asked for an order to have the parties attend mediation within 90-days. The Judicial Officer entered an order to that effect, and entered an order to attend the 60-Day Status Conference.
We were then excused, and I took Annie out to the hall to talk through what had happened and to calm her down. Annie was furious that Sam would think that she could forgive him again for his affair. As far as Annie knew, Sam was still seeing the woman. “Typical Sam,” she said. “Have his cake and eat it, too. Even if he gave up that other woman, it is too late. I can’t take him back.” I walked Annie to her car and she seemed to be feeling a little better. We scheduled a time to get together to prepare her for her deposition and to discuss more about what information we wanted to learn from Sam at his deposition.