Navigating False Allegations, Legal & Administrative Abuse, and the Role of Lawyers: Insights from Dr. Sue Whitcomb

How Lawyers Deliberately Abuse the Legal System for Financial Gain at the Expense of Children and Families


The legal profession plays a pivotal role in ensuring justice, protecting individuals’ rights, and maintaining the rule of law. However, as in any field, there are instances of abuse and misconduct. Dr. Sue Whitcomb, an authority on legal ethics, sheds light on a concerning aspect of the legal system: how some lawyers deliberately abuse it for financial gain at the expense of children and families. In this extensive exploration, Fathers 4 Justice will delve into the tactics employed by lawyers to prolong the legal process and exacerbate conflicts, all with the intent of generating fees over the longest period possible.

I. Delay Tactics and Their Consequences

1.1. Procedural Maneuvers

Lawyers may employ a range of procedural tactics to delay the legal process. These include requesting extensions, filing numerous motions, and continuously raising objections. While these maneuvers may be legally justified in some cases, when used solely for the purpose of prolonging the case, they undermine the efficiency of the legal system.

1.2. Financial Implications

Delays in legal proceedings can have dire financial implications for families. The longer a case persists, the more expensive it becomes. Legal fees accumulate, and families are forced to expend significant resources, depleting their financial well-being. This extended financial strain exacerbates stress and can lead to detrimental effects on children’s well-being.

1.3. Emotional Toll

Legal delays also exact an emotional toll on families. Prolonged legal battles intensify conflict and emotional distress, harming both parents and children. These consequences can include anxiety, depression, and strained parent-child relationships.

II. Inflaming Conflict to Generate Fees

2.1. Aggressive Litigation Style

Some lawyers may adopt an aggressive litigation style that actively provokes conflict between parties. They may do so by using hostile language, making unreasonable demands, and exacerbating disputes over trivial matters. This approach is intended to create a contentious atmosphere that necessitates prolonged legal intervention.

2.2. Billable Hours

Lawyers typically bill clients by the hour, which can incentivize them to extend cases as long as possible. Each hearing, deposition, or negotiation represents billable hours, making it financially advantageous for lawyers to maintain conflict and prolong the legal process.

2.3. Impact on Families

The deliberate inflation of conflict in legal proceedings takes a toll on families. It not only prolongs the emotional stress and tension but can also lead to estrangement between parents and their children. The legal system, which should aim to resolve disputes in the best interest of the children, can inadvertently perpetuate the very conflicts it seeks to resolve.

III. Ethical and Regulatory Framework

3.1. Ethical Considerations

Dr. Sue Whitcomb emphasizes the ethical considerations that lawyers must uphold in their practice. The American Bar Association’s Model Rules of Professional Conduct, for instance, stipulate that attorneys have a duty to act in their clients’ best interests but also to promote the efficient and cost-effective administration of justice.

3.2. Regulatory Oversight

Legal professionals are subject to regulatory oversight by state bar associations. The legal community must hold lawyers accountable for unethical or abusive practices. This includes reviewing and addressing complaints related to delay tactics and inflaming conflict with the sole purpose of generating fees.

3.3. Legal Reforms

To address the abuse of the legal system, legal reforms may be necessary. These reforms could focus on streamlining legal procedures, reducing billable hours, and promoting alternative dispute-resolution methods that prioritize the interests of children and families.

IV. Proposed Solutions

4.1. Promoting Mediation and ADR

Promoting alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods, such as mediation, can significantly reduce the need for prolonged legal battles. ADR emphasizes collaboration and conflict resolution, rather than adversarial litigation.

4.2. Legal Fee Structure Reforms

Reforms to the legal fee structure, such as introducing flat fees for certain types of cases or capping billable hours, can help mitigate the financial incentives for lawyers to prolong cases.

4.3. Increased Transparency

Increasing transparency in legal proceedings can help ensure that lawyers are held accountable for abusive practices. This includes requiring lawyers to justify delay tactics and assess the impact on children and families.


Deliberate abuse of the legal system for financial gain at the expense of children and families is a complex issue that demands careful consideration. Dr. Sue Whitcomb’s insights bring to light the tactics employed by some lawyers, the consequences of their actions on families and children, and the ethical and regulatory framework that should govern legal practice. To address these challenges, legal reforms, increased transparency, and a shift toward alternative dispute resolution methods are necessary. By prioritizing the best interests of children and families, the legal system can serve its intended purpose of delivering justice and resolution while avoiding unnecessary harm and prolonged conflicts.

Written By Gary Da Silva
Chairman: The Official Fathers 4 Justice South Africa

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