Minnesota Litigator (“ML”) normally steers clear of news and commentary on issues of family law, as outside the areas of practice of its principal author. This is unfortunate because family law is undoubtedly, along with employment law (now the subject of ML guest posts by T.J. Conley), one of the most heavily lawyered aspects of life in Minnesota civil litigation (for better or for worse, in sickness and in health).
Again, Minnesota Litigator issues a call to a Minnesota family litigator (and other practitioners looking to give their insights and commentary on aspects of Minnesota civil litigation) to guest post on Minnesota Litigator. In the mean time, we’ll muddle through as best we can…
Throughout the fourth quarter of 2010, counsel for Brian Matthew Goerges and his ex-wife Taffie Lynn Goerges were in trial intermittently before Crow Wing County District Court Judge David J. TenEyck. The Judge recently lowered the boom on Brian Goerges, awarding conduct-based attorney fees for committing a fraud on the court, when he brought a successful motion to lower temporary maintenance based on a false affidavit. The husband and his brother, along with Brian’s counsel, appear to have continued to assert the positions at trial that the Court found baseless.
Taffie Goerges, through counsel Bill Skolnick and Amy Joyce of Skolnick & Shiff, P.A., scored a resounding victory.
In the Judge’s seventy-three page “FOFCOL,” Judge TenEyck eviscerated Brian Goerges’ testimony (see pages 9-10, 57-67) and held him accountable in the bluntest terms. “Besides the foregoing excerpts there were numerous other times at trial that it became apparent that the Petitioner was prevaricating or outright lying. The Court wants to make clear that the foregoing are not the only instances when such conduct occurred.”
The lengthy opinion may be useful to Minnesota family practitioners, as it illustrates the basic application of family law to specific facts and offers a useful cautionary tale to litigants who seem to sometimes think they can brazenly and transparently disobey court orders, lie, and play games without paying the price for their shenanigans.