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Murder and Other Reasons 'Family Law' Is a Euphemism

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By William Vogeler, Esq. on June 27, 2018 6:56 AM

Antonio Mari was shot and killed by a client's estranged spouse.

Sara Quirt Sann was shot and killed by a client's estranged spouse. Two murders, same story. Antonio and Sara were both family lawyers.

It's a tragedy all the way around, and a sad reminder that divorce is like a grenade that takes out anybody in the area. So why do we call this ongoing war "family law"?

Family Law

Antonio Mari was a nice guy, especially for a lawyer. He didn't deserve a bullet just for doing his job.

The same for Sara Quirt Sann, gunned down in a rampage that left four people dead. She was in the wrong place at the wrong time -- her office.

By now, every family attorney should know that it happens all the time. In 2011, for example, the National Law Journal reported that five family lawyers had been killed or attacked in the previous year.

"In criminal court, dangerous people are in handcuffs," Texas Supreme Court Judge Debra Lehrmann said at the time. "In family court, you don't have any idea who is dangerous."

Not Family Law

Too often, family cases become domestic violence cases. At that point, it's not really family law anymore. It's criminal law.

Of course, there are many other casualties in "family law." Children, for example, are always caught in the cross-fire of divorcing parents.

Perhaps it's too hard to call family law what is really is -- a euphemism. But lawyers can do a better of job of facing the reality of the practice.

For most of us, it's not too late.

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