Seven Candidates for Judgeship

Seven people are seeking to be named the new Albemarle Circuit Court judge, NBC 29 reports:

Those people include Albemarle County Commonwealth’s Attorney Jim Camblos, Charlottesville general district court judge Robert Downer, Assistant Albemarle County prosecutor Jon Zug, Cheryl Higgins, Lee Livingston, Patricia Brady and Claude Worrell.

Whoever ends up with the gig will replace Judge Paul Peatross, who recently announced his retirement.

8 Responses to “Seven Candidates for Judgeship”


  • Patricia Brady was my divorce attorney nine years ago. Divorce is a nasty & brutish affair with the lowest common denominator being how expensive and dishonest one party wants to make it. My ex and his attorney chose to make it grotesquely expensive and tremendously dishonest. Patricia was both inclined and able to help me keep our focus on honesty and clarity in as cost-effective a way as we could. I spent less than a quarter of what my ex did on legal fees and though I, of course, did not get everything I hoped for out of the proceedings, I did get what was most vitally needed: and so did my daughter.

    My understanding is that Patricia became an attorney specializing in domestic law after being on the receiving end of a challenging divorce proceeding herself. Her goal was to reduce the trauma of divorce without reducing the effectiveness of legal representation. My experience with her is that she actually practices law in a clear, humane, and effective way.

    Nine years after being her client, she still asks after my daughter when she passes me on the street. She is thoughtful, fair, and vitally intelligent. I think she would make an excellent judge.

  • I want to see Debbie Wyatt throw her hat in the ring. That would be fun to watch.

    Jim Camblos would make a great judge in Utah or Texas. But not Albemarle. The man is hopelessly out of step with this County. I don’t think it would be out of line to suggest that he is probably the least popular politician in Albemarle County right now.

  • Elizabeth Says:
    ”Patricia Brady was my divorce attorney nine years ago. Divorce is a nasty & brutish affair with the lowest common denominator being how expensive and dishonest one party wants to make it. My ex and his attorney chose to make it grotesquely expensive and tremendously dishonest. Patricia was both inclined and able to help me keep our focus on honesty and clarity in as cost-effective a way as we could. I spent less than a quarter of what my ex did on legal fees and though I, of course, did not get everything I hoped for out of the proceedings, I did get what was most vitally needed: and so did my daughter.”
    ________________________________________
    .
    So, your ex spent 4x more than you on legal fees, yet you and your daughter did end up “getting what was most vitally needed”. I suspect that’s a great big child support and alimony check, monthly, and if your child is under 15, sole physical custody whereas he’s only got visitation rights. Excuse me, Elizabeth, but your ex must have committed repeated adultery or he used to beat you or you were bringing home the paycheck yet still caring for the kid or SOMETHING that would qualify you for such a victorious outcome! Please pardon me if my presumptions are false, but have you not given a second thought to the mockery of justice in Peatross’ court or are you simply too self-absorbed to even ponder this?

    Unless Elizabeth infirms my suspicion of complete sexual discrimination with lifelong unfair handicap to her ex-husband, her story is an indictment of Peatross and Virginia defacto practiced law as inequitable and damaging as any racial or other prejudice. Many fathers in this predicament may consider suicide or flight (aka “deadbeat dad”) should their pre-divorce income be in jeopardy. One of Peatross’ favorite ‘gotchas’ is “imputed income”: if the father’s income falls, the court would simply enforce the same level of income and dad will just have to find a way to continue same support and alimony checks. You can imagine the dire consequences this can have, especially if the father is self-employed and his income isn’t keeping up or is seasonal dependent. In the meantime, mom can just enjoy the checks. In fact, as she has no obligation to prove usage of the child support funds, the kids can be eating macaroni and cheese every night while she gets a boob-job and vacations in Acapulco with a new beau.

    I know this is a rant, but the general public is blind to these matters. And I apologize to Elizabeth if non of this is valid in her case.

  • Peatross was not the judge in our case, so all assumptions there are off-kilter. My daughter was 7 months old at the time of our separation. I had given up a very good career thousands of miles away to move here, get married, and have & at-home parent what we assumed would be two or three children: decisions made jointly by my ex and I before marriage. My old career doesn’t exist here in Charlottesville so returning to it is not an option. I had a few years of spousal support and am still supposed to be getting child support. Child support is determined by a formula here in Virginia, so it is what it is. Unfortunately, my ex (at the moment) is nearly a year behind in child support. He has quit his last two jobs, no longer has a checking account, and sporadically tosses some cash our way. With child support, my daughter qualified for reduced lunches at school: without it she qualifies for free lunches at school. I do not have the financial resources to haul him into court to have the situation corrected. I have never been to Acapulco nor had a boob job. I currently have three part-time jobs that offer flexibility around my daughter’s school schedule.

    Despite your repetition of the urban myth that divorced women enjoy wonderful, unearned financial rewards, my actual circumstances demonstrate the hard, statistical reality: single, divorced mothers experience a profound drop in their incomes and standard of living.

    For me, the worst part of the divorce is that there is a restriction on my residence: I must live in Charlottesville or Albemarle County. This restriction was predicated on my ex-husband’s “stable employment history”, “significant ties to the community”, and “family in the area”. At least two or those things have changed in the last nine years. I recently discovered that my daughter hadn’t seen any of her paternal relatives in over two years and have been taking her to visit them myself for several months now.

    Imputed income is not just a Peatross “gotcha”. It’s part of the fabric of Virginia law. My ex-huband hired experts who testified that my income could be imputed to be higher than it was before I moved here. I was simply fortunate that my particular judge didn’t buy that testimony.

    Raising children takes both time and money. The fact that I am the one providing the overwhelming amount of time involved in parenting comes at a financial cost both now and in the future: what I’m not earning today also impacts my potential future social security benefits and potential retirement savings. Of course we sacrifice for our children: it’s in the job description.

    Most families make the individual decision about who will do the parenting based on who’s earning what and how much or how little is needed to get by. That small ‘individual’ choice is overwhelmingly impacted by the hard, cold fact that women are still earning significantly less than men for the same work. I strongly feel that people who are outraged that men ‘lose’ custody and are ‘forced’ to pay child support should put their energies into equalizing pay rates so that families have the opportunity to make a truly individual choice about who’s going to parent.

    All of this aside aside, Patricia Brady is, in my opinion, an extraordinarily fair-minded attorney who would make an excellent judge.

  • Thanks for the reply Elizabeth.

    You state:
    “Despite your repetition of the urban myth that divorced women enjoy wonderful, unearned financial rewards, my actual circumstances demonstrate the hard, statistical reality: single, divorced mothers experience a profound drop in their incomes and standard of living.”

    I can personally assure you this particular “urban myth”, as you call it, is not a fairy-tale story for middle-class America. Let’s start with Virginia Child Support Guidelines, available at http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000 cod 20-108.2

    Let’s suppose your income is $30K and your ex is $50K for a combined income of $80K. Looking up the schedule, for *only* one child, the Basic Monthly Child Support Obligation is $2,224. So, your monthly gross income is $2,500, then add $2,224 for a total gross monthly income of $4,724. Let’s check your ex’s now: $4,167 from which we take out those $2,224, making $1,943.

    * Single mother with only one child: $4,167/month
    * Single father who can no longer be a real dad: $1,943/month

    After taxes, this example ex-dad must live on less than $1,500 disposable income per month even though he’s got a job paying $50K gross! And if alimony is involved, take that out of him and add to hers… Now as if this nightmare isn’t already enough, if there’s 2 or 3 kids involved, the ex-dad might as well slit his own throat! His life has no meaning other than sending a monthly check to his ex-wife. Do you think your “standards of living” should be ensured no matter what? The end result is she lives a relatively normal life while he must slave away and lives in the woods bicycling to work.

    And what about dad’s fatherhood? If she remarries well, she’s got it made in the sun, perhaps forming the perfect Brady Bunch, while he can watch his kids play baseball with their new step-dad. When the kids turn around 10, they’re not interested in visiting dad anymore, as he can’t even afford more than canned soup, with no videogames, wishing they were “home” with their own stuff back with mom.

    Could this all be what happened to your ex that he lost several jobs? You say you “do not have the financial resources to haul him into court to have the situation corrected”. Oh lucky him!

    You write:
    “Imputed income is not just a Peatross “gotcha”. It’s part of the fabric of Virginia law. My ex-huband hired experts who testified that my income could be imputed to be higher than it was before I moved here. I was simply fortunate that my particular judge didn’t buy that testimony.”

    Hmmmm…. “the fabric of Virginia law”. Yet, in your case, your judge didn’t “buy that testimony”. Peatross certainly “buys’ it” when the tables are reversed and it’s the dad who must have his income “imputed”. No testimony needed, guaranteed.

    You write:
    “Most families make the individual decision about who will do the parenting based on who’s earning what and how much or how little is needed to get by. That small ‘individual’ choice is overwhelmingly impacted by the hard, cold fact that women are still earning significantly less than men for the same work. I strongly feel that people who are outraged that men ‘lose’ custody and are ‘forced’ to pay child support should put their energies into equalizing pay rates so that families have the opportunity to make a truly individual choice about who’s going to parent. “

    Ah yes, here’s a real good old urban myth! Elizabeth, with all the wonderful resources available to divorced dads, we’ll have a mighty coalition up and running any day now to solve this problem. :rolleyes:

  • Sorry, but the figure I discovered for those two incomes is $517 per month — assuming no allowances for childcare or the child’s health insurance. Couldn’t follow your link. Try:

    http://www.alllaw.com/calculators/Childsupport/virginia/default.asp

    It seems you’re very emotional on this topic, so this’ll be my last response, unless you insist on tossing out more insanely inaccurate disinformation.

  • The link I gave is directly from the Virginia Code Legislation Information System. The forum software didn’t accept the ” ” symbol. Here is a more sure-fire way to access it:

    http://leg1.state.va.us/000/lst/LS413346.HTM
    then click on the 20-108.2 link, for the Guideline for determination of child support.

    Elizabeth, I made a big whopper mistake in my presentation as I [incredibly] put in $80K combined income as a “monthly” gross! Big booboo on my part. I apologize profusely.

    That said, the law would yield $823 basic child support, which is without counting childcare expenses or health insurance. I think the calculator you use separated them out. The end result is the dad has approx. $500 more per month than the mom. I’D SAY THAT’S MORE FAIR SINCE SHE’S BRINGING UP THE CHILDREN. In fact, due to the involvment and parental limitations on the single mother, he’s getting off lightly.

    My only excuse for the disinformation I provided is that this all changes dramatically with many children, which are the cases I refer to. With 3 children, the tab is $1,597/month in child support checks, which brings the scenario closer to what I was alluding to in my 1st post. Also, alimony can often be quite heavy, so that just depends on the case.

    Again, I apologize as I was way off base in your case with 1 child.

  • Thanks for apologies, S. There is so much disinformation on this topic that the clarification is greatly appreciated.

Comments are currently closed.

Sideblog