The "Dads Law School", available from http://www.DadsDivorce.com. $55.00 plus $10.00 S&H. Written and narrated by by attorneys Joseph Cordell and Michael P. Cohan. Run-time: approx. 4.5 hours.
The Dads Law School is a set of six tapes, with a total run-time of about 4.5 hours. The tapes cover a variety of subjects of interest to fathers involved in divorce and custody issues. The subjects covered are:
Tape 1: Positioning Yourself Early / Orders Of Protection
Tape 2: Petition and Counter-Petition / Temporary Motions / Settlement Conference / Change Of Judge
Tape 3: The Discovery Process / Understanding Hearsay / Deposition Strategy
Tape 4: Deposition Topics / Testifying At Your Deposition / The Day Of Trial
Tape 5: Enforcing the Order / Motions To Modify
Tape 6: Appellate Decision Making / The Appeals Process
The tapes have good sound quality overall, with only minor instances of extraneous noises or low sound levels. One complaint is that the 'lead-in' music occasionally comes on rather strong, but other than that the audio quality is very good. The tapes come packaged securely in an attractive and durable plastic clamshell that protects the tapes well during transport or shipping. It's evident that a fair amount of thought was put into the entire package.
The tapes lead you through a logical progression of the subjects, and each subject is covered adequately. Some subjects are covered in more detail than others, but none are lacking in depth. The more complex subjects get more time allotted to them, as they should.
The format is ideal for anyone whose reading time is limited; you could listen to most or all of one side of a tape during your morning or evening commute. If you don't completely understand a particular portion, it is relatively easy to back up and listen to it again. The tapes are easy to understand, and the relaxed 'conversational' format prevents them from being a chore to listen to, unlike many other taped-format subjects.
Attorneys Cordell and Cohan know their subject matter very well, and take pains to ensure that they explain everything in terms suitable for the average father who is caught up in a divorce or custody situation. Numerous anecdotal examples drawn from their experiences in litigation make the subject matter easy to relate to real-world practice.
Although not as good as a personal session with an attorney, this runs a close second. Interactivity is, of course, not possible, but we found that most if not all of the questions we would have asked were addressed and answered in the tapes. At the very least, the tapes will give you a tremendous head-start when you do speak with an attorney, and will keep you from wasting valuable time and money asking background or 'orientation' questions.
There are only two complaints we have with the Dads Law School tapes. One is that, in our opinion, too much time is spent on matters relating to an actual trial. The vast majority of divorce cases (about 98%) never go to trial. The discussion time could have been spent more profitably on subjects like settlement issues or custody evaluations. The second complaint is more a matter of format- unlike a book, there is no easy way to return to a particular subject of interest- you have to remember which tape it is on, and then hunt around on the tape to find it. This is true of all taped-format materials, but is worth mentioning as a matter of reference and usage.
We think the DadsDivorce tape set is a little pricey at $55.00, but still well worth the money.
Based on price (moderate) as well as content (good), we rate "Dads Law School" as a 4-star resource (on a scale of 1 to 5).