Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Rich and Stubborn - Bad Combination

When a party in litigation refuses to do something a court orders, the court can hold that party in contempt, placing him in jail until the party submits to the court's will. The idea is not to punish the recalcitrant party, but to make life so unpleasant as to compel the party to change their tune. That usually takes a period of days (months, at most), at which point either the party submits or the court decides that no amount of jail is going to change things. At that point, everybody goes home.

But it doesn't always work that way. Read the story of H. Beatty Chadwick, a wealthy attorney who has been held in contempt for refusing to comply with the order of a divorce court judge for 10 years! At some point, don't you just have to admit that Chadwick's won and go on?

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