Legal Talk

JohnFulweiler_2012 Should civilians get medals?

November 15, 2012

This Gen. David Petraeus thing got me thinking. Wouldn't it be nice if in the civilian world we got medals for our endeavors? I'd wear them on the left side of my suit. There'd be a service ribbon for endless weekends in the office, a bronze-looking gavel for the trial that shaved years off my life, a badge for having suffered insufferable opposing counsel, a couple of oak clusters for meritorious service, and maybe a silver anchor signifying master lawyering. Why, when I walked into a courtroom, boardroom, barroom or bathroom, people would know something about this admiralty lawyer, right?

OK, so maybe medals aren't coming to lapels anytime soon, but I wonder whether Petraeus and crew know about the civil remedy of alienation of affections? That's a cause of action allowing a party to sue the person who interfered with his or her domestic relations. Not every jurisdiction allows such lawsuits, and they tend to be rare birds. Still, Holly Petraeus might want to ask her local attorney whether she has grounds for a lawsuit against the bicep-curling author Paula Broadwell. 

My opinion about this circus? Back in law school I watched the Dean duck and weave hanger-on students with grace. She likely knew full well the problems that could ensue from such fraternization. So it strikes me as incredible that the commanding officer of soldiers in the line of fire and the helmsman of this country's spy agency both allowed themselves to get tangled up in this nonsense. Writing letters to a family court judge over custody issues? Gmail accounts? Come on. 

Underway and making way. 

Expand/View Comments -  1 Comments
11/19/2012 17:02:15 Thomas Hudson says:

Consider what happened with Gen. Petraeus as you read this article. Did his wife adore him as she had 30 years ago? Did anyone see how amazing he was? Then he was thrown together with one who was interested. News flash - he is a human being!


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