Rick Harman is on a mission to answer some of the most difficult legal questions. On this show, you’ll hear Rick interview some of the best legal experts in the industry. For the first episode, Rick is interviewing Liz Courtney in her office. She is one of Rick’s longtime friends and the person that originally introduced Rick to the legal community. They talk about her well-established family law practice in California and the challenges that come up when family and probate law collide. How many legal disciplines can be involved in cases? Family law touches on to almost every area, not only the children but there is often business division issues, property issues and more. Foreclosures will only complicate the process. What seems to be the commonalities of all these cases? The way people invest and spend their money affects their marital relationship. When it comes to the house, it’s not obvious who gets the house and in many cases, it’s about who can buy out the other side. When you bring in bad credit, the house often has to be sold. The most difficult part of the puzzle is how to get both parties to agree to a solution. Liz relates a story of a case where the marital property between a divorcing couple was divided into two equal parts of 25 acres each by a marital judgment. The trouble was they didn’t do the necessary documentation to get the title procured. After the wife divorced the second husband, the process became extremely complicated and took nearly two years to resolve. The story of the Gordian Knot originated, supposedly, a few thousand years ago. It begins with a Phrygian king trying to marry off his daughter but would only the marriage if a particular knot could be unraveled by the suiter. No one could untangle the knot until one man came along and cut the knot cleanly in two with his sword, and legend has it that man was Alexander the Great. What first got you into law? Liz did watch quite a bit of Divorce Court while it was on television when she was younger but it was during the Gubernatorial race between Ronald Reagan and Pat Brown that really put her on the path of becoming an attorney. Her teacher suggested they hold a debate during the race and she did such a good job that she went on to join the debate squad in High School. It was there she learned that was what attorneys do and set her on her path towards law school. After landing her first job as a lawyer in a civil litigation firm, the lead partner that didn’t enjoy doing divorce work put her on a crazy divorce case and she became hooked. Working in a major law firm before going out on her own and starting her independent practice taught Liz many valuable lessons about how to run an efficient business. What are some of the craziest cases you’ve had? Liz worked on one case where the father abducted the child and left for Wales. But one of the most complicated kinds of cases she’s encountered is when your client dies in the middle of a divorce. Rick tells a story of a divorce case where both the husband and wife die from unrelated causes at separate times and each own individual properties. He ended having to get another attorney involved as well as a fiduciary to settle the case and figure out how to deal with the estate. Links To Resources Mentioned (No links were mentioned) Thank you for listening! If you enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe and leave a 5-star rating and review on iTunes!