Monday, June 23, 2014

Press release -Cambridge Who's Who for member Susan T. Glascoff - legal/media accountabilty & win/win ideas

Posted by susan titus glascoff at 11/25/2008 7:40 PM

For Immediate Release by Cambridge Who's Who for member Susan Titus Glascoff re court and media accountability and compassionate, constructive win/win ideas and solicitations for national dialogue

Respected Advocate Calls for Court System Accountability

WESTPORT, CT, November 25, 2008, Susan Titus Glascoff, founder and executive director of the National Coalition for Family Justice’s National Advisory Board, passionately believes that life's challenge is to see if we can improve the human condition -- and she has spent the past 40 years successfully pursuing that goal. She has tirelessly advocated for healthcare, education, business and legal reform. Currently, she is advocating accountability in our court systems, especially as it impacts on families in divorce courts. “Credible statistics prove entire families become impoverished, but primarily mothers and children,” she stated.

In 2005, Ms. Glascoff sent over 100 copies of her highly researched report on legal accountability (Assessing the Big Picture Re: Urgent Need for Broad Family Court Reform), which also included letters from noted authors with reform ideas, to media outlets and politicians, including Barack Obama. President-elect Barack Obama’s response letter stated, in part, “It is unfortunate that family courts can often be places that hinder, rather than help, the broken families who enter them, and this situation must be addressed…. I can tell you care deeply about the situation and have many good insights on what can, and should, be done.”  Although he also noted that some reform legislation was pending across the country, Ms. Glascoff and numerous other reform-minded people have observed scant improvement.

One divorce case in which Ms. Glascoff is closely involved is the Taub case in Brooklyn, NY. The complex case involves the division of assets and properties worth an estimated $41 million. The divorce proceedings began three-and-a-half years ago and appear nowhere near resolution. Ms. Glascoff has been attending the hearings since February 2007 and has concluded from her up close view of the proceedings and others that our legal system sorely needs checks and balances. One example of legal abuse in the proceedings to which she points involves the fact that although Judge Carolyn Demarest ordered that the husband get his and his wife’s contested home out of foreclosure, she did not enforce this ruling and others, forcing the wife to file for bankruptcy.  “Our entire financial crisis is intertwined with legal dysfunction,” explains Ms. Glascoff. “We are bailing-out multi-million dollar corporations, yet courts are forcing people into bankruptcy and taxpayers are paying an estimated $4,500 per day for this one courtroom. Surely, we have better things to do with tax dollars. To date requested recusal for Judge Demarest has been ignored.”

To raise awareness of these issues, Ms. Glascoff, Chana Taub, and two others sat with Ruth Padawer, a freelance journalist for The New York Times, for seven hours presenting documentation for the case.  Simon Taub was interviewed separately. The article, entitled “Chana and Simon Love Their House, but . . . They Loathe Each Other” ran on October 5, 2008. Says Glascoff, “The article totally skewed the facts, painting the wife as mercenary and the husband as mostly fighting for his rights, downplaying official abuse testimony, misleadingly mentioning a sexual libel suit, and casting the judge as neutral. Biased editing erodes trust in good authors and the media. Ignoring court abuse in any case impairs the ability of the many good judges and lawyers to function.” Ms. Glascoff firmly believes that we need national sustained dialogue, not only about legal and media dysfunction but about compassionate constructive ideas for conflict management and the challenges of good partnering and parenting. She suggests that think tanks be formed and incentives given to the country’s leading intellectuals to solve these problems.  State and other contests could also be initiated. Programs like Lynn Gold-Bikin, Esq’s “Partners,” (high school charades about personal relationships) should be required and extended to K-12.

Ms. Glascoff maintains,  “I’m trying to draw attention to the fact that there is huge taxpayer impact from ignoring legal dysfunction. Simon Taub caused three foreclosure proceedings by not paying the mortgages on three buildings -- and bankruptcy costs everyone! It interrelates to all issues, but is systematically avoided. I want good judges and lawyers to clamor for justice. I’m determined to incite meaningful dialogue to establish enforceable legal accountability regarding all topics. Our system is increasingly about who can win, not fairness. Excessive hourly billing that’s hard to verify and huge awards that can’t undo wrongs but don’t benefit society and do line lawyers’ pockets comprise a significant part of our gross domestic product.  Excessive pay for the top tier has pushed up housing costs via McMansions, suppressed others’ wages, and is protected by legal contracts.” Ms. Glascoff suggests: “How about a fund of give backs be established to help reduce mortgages or increase others’ pay to restore balance and faith in our system?”

“Solutions must be compassionate and constructive,” she continues. Ms. Glascoff points to several books that embrace this theme including “Anyway, The Paradoxical Commandments, Finding Personal Meaning in a Crazy World,” written by Kent Keith, a Ph.D. lawyer who participated in her 2005 report. He writes: “Nothing is more important than what happens to the children. If there is hope for our children, there is every hope. If there is no hope for our children, there is no hope at all. The future of the world depends on the kinds of people today’s children turn out to be.”

Ms. Glascoff points to other books that espouse minimizing conflict/maximizing the positive including “Positive Parenting for a Peaceful World,” by Ruth Tod, Amy Sutherland’s “What Shamu Taught Me About Life, Love, and Marriage – Lessons for People from Animals and Their Trainer,” Dov Seidman’s “How: Why How We Do Anything Means Business (and in Life),”  and Susan Pinker’s “The Sexual Paradox – Men, Women, and the Real Gender Gap.”  She suggests a list be promoted and include videos as well, such as “Pay It Forward.”

We need to make a major effort to factually state problems and genuinely admit that we are all in this together, and that when one part doesn’t work, the entire system is sickened. Americans are ready for change -- that was made clear with the election of Barack Obama. Let’s extend that concept to include legal accountability and a genuine effort to interrelate all key issues,” she says.

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