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An open letter to lawyers who have clients involved with sociopaths

Dear Mr. or Ms. Esquire,

When a client tells you his or her opponent is a sociopath, please be aware of the ramifications for your legal case.

First of all, do not disregard the statement just because the opponent hasn’t killed anyone. A common perception is that sociopaths are all deranged serial killers. This is not true—only a small percentage of sociopaths commit murder. But all sociopaths are social predators, and live by exploiting others.

Frequently this is financial exploitation—many sociopaths are skilled con artists—but not always. Sociopaths also target people who can provide them with a place to live, business connections, sex, housekeeping or other support services, children, or a respectable image in the community while they live double lives.  The point is that sociopaths intentionally use manipulation and deceit to hook their target. They continue the manipulation and deceit to keep the exploitation going, bleeding the target until there is nothing left. At that point, some sociopaths abandon the target, moving on without a backward glance.

Sometimes, however, the target gets wise to the sociopath, and wants to end the involvement. At this point, some sociopaths become enraged at the possibility of losing control, and set out to crush the target. They are not interested in compromise or equitable distribution. They do not want to give the target whatever he or she is entitled to. They want to grind the target into the dirt.

What you need to understand about sociopaths

1. A sociopath’s prime objective is power and control. All they want is to win.

2. Sociopaths love the drama of court because it gives them an opportunity to win. They do not consider the possibility that they may lose. If they do lose, they view it a bump in the road, and figure out how to attack the target again. Forcing the target to incur steadily mounting legal expenses is considered a win.

3. Sociopaths lie. They lie convincingly. They have no qualms about lying in court documents or on the witness stand.

4. Sociopaths manipulate other people to lie for them. These witnesses may not know they are lying—they may simply believe everything that the sociopath has told them, because sociopaths are so convincing.

5. Sociopaths feel no obligation to follow court orders or the law. They only follow court orders or the law if they perceive an advantage in doing so. But they are experts at figuring out ways to use the law to further their objective, which is to crush your client.

How people become targets

Most of us believe that people are basically good inside and everybody just wants to be loved. Because we do not know that there are exceptions to these beliefs—namely, sociopaths—we have huge blind spots that these predators can exploit.

No normal person intentionally becomes involved with a lying, manipulative sociopath. So when your client tells you outrageous stories of the sociopath’s behavior, and also says he or she never knew about the behavior, or accepted the sociopath’s explanations, your client is most likely telling the truth.

How do these entanglements happen? Sociopaths are always on the lookout for people they can use. When they encounter someone through any social interaction, they quickly evaluate whether that person has something that they want. If the answer is yes, they assess the person for vulnerabilities. Then they figure out how to exploit the person’s vulnerabilities to achieve their objective.

Sociopaths engage in calculated seduction. If you’re handling a divorce case, the seduction was romantic. If it’s some other type of case, the seduction may have involved shared beliefs, aspirations or goals. Either way, in the beginning of the involvement the target is subject to a wonderful honeymoon of admiration and promise.

Once the target is hooked, the sociopath begins the exploitation, while simultaneously ramping up manipulation to keep the target under control. This may involve:

  • Isolating the target from his or her support network
  • Emotional, psychological, verbal, physical, sexual or financial abuse
  • Gaslighting—making the target doubt his or her own perceptions

What you need to understand about the target

1. Involvement with a sociopath is like living in a black hole of chaos. Your client, the target, has probably had every aspect of his or her life disrupted:

  • Career interrupted
  • Finances ruined
  • Health compromised
  • Home and property neglected
  • Relationships shattered

By the time the legal action commenced, your client may have already been in free fall for a long time. He or she may feel overwhelmed by the magnitude of the issues that need to be addressed.

2. Involvement with a sociopath can cause post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). At one time PTSD was diagnosed only in relation to a single traumatic event that involved risk of serious injury or death, coupled with intense fear, horror or helplessness. A new definition identifies a type of PTSD that results from cumulative trauma and long-term injury.

3. PTSD is a psychiatric injury (not a mental illness). PTSD causes biochemical changes in the brain and affects certain areas of the brain’s anatomy. Common symptoms include intrusive thoughts, nightmares, flashbacks, difficulty concentrating and exhaustion.

4. The litigation against the sociopath makes your client re-experience the underlying trauma and triggers the symptoms of PTSD. Dr. Karin Huffer, in her book Unlocking Justice, explains what happens:

Mentally reliving the trauma during legal proceedings simultaneously activates parts of the brain that support intense emotions while diminishing the functions of the central nervous system that controls motor output, regulates physiological arousal, and impedes the ability to communicate in words. Memory fails and intrusive emotions sabotage concentration on the task at hand. Litigants feel incapable of the spontaneous verbal response and interaction required in typical courtroom exchanges. As a result, the litigant with PTSD might be driven to avoid topics. They literally do not hear them. They disconnect when they need to engage. And, at times, they clearly are nonfunctional and are unable to communicate their symptoms and needs in a formal manner accepted by the courts.

5. Targets of sociopaths have been deceived, betrayed and perhaps subject to violence. They approach the courts expecting justice, which sociopaths actively thwart. When justice is denied, and targets instead experience profound and prolonged injustice, their PTSD takes on another dimension, which Huffer identifies as “Legal Abuse Syndrome.”

Your client’s experience

The goal of this letter, Mr. or Ms. Esquire, is to help you understand what your client has experienced. My objective is to explain why he or she may be having difficulties with the litigation process, and difficulties moving on in life. The sociopath intentionally used your client—perhaps for years—and may be intentionally attempting to destroy him or her now.

Your client is not irrational, lazy or obstinate. Your client is having a normal reaction to profound betrayal.

Sincerely,

Donna Andersen
Author, Lovefraud.com, and a former litigant against a sociopath



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61 Comments on "An open letter to lawyers who have clients involved with sociopaths"

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I left my husband two and a half years ago. And I have to say that the way my case was handled I would not recommend a woman to leave her abusive husband and I am in a profession that this is likely to happen. My husband WAS also clergy as well and he managed to play the charm card and won the magistrate and guardian ad litem over before they even had a chance to meet me. He got custody of our kids in huge part because the only police report was the one the day I left (I knew he would be fired and he was), and I lost the protective order. From then on I was told that I had kidnapped the kids by taking them to the shelter with me and I would never have custody or more than visitation.

My lawyer lied to me in the court house and told me that he had worked out a deal for me get the kids 51% of the time so a social service organization could help me get housing. A letter stating as much was sent to this agency. But my lawyer never filed anything in court. My lawyer “forgot” to tell me about a hearing, I heard about it from my ex, because a doctor’s appointment for our son had to be changed. The lawyers secretary knew nothing about the hearing and I got a call at 5pm on Friday to arrange my own witnesses for Monday morning. My lawyer demanded I pay another $1000 with less than 24 hours to go in order to represent me at a hearing. He tried to get me to sign a letter that was not on letter head, that did not list an amount owed or an end date again to represent me at a hearing (This the day after I was actually able to come up with the $1000). He messed up the witness list at the main hearing and subpoenaed 10 people (the wrong people) and then subpoenaed the right two. 11 people showed up and he interviewed them all which made the magistrate mad. He actually walked out of the court room once after the magistrates opening statement and went to another trial, until the magistrate called him and demanded he come back. He misfiled the final divorce decree and it did not get signed for 4 months. And then only after I called my old legal advocate from the shelter I had been at and she got the mess straightened out. He filed two motions dismiss, even after the first time he was told it was too late in the case to do so. The second motion was accepted and then overturned when the new judge realized the old magistrate had rejected his first motion. I have many other instances I could lift up about this lawyer who was supposed to be representing me!!!

The guardian ad litem point blank told me I “Must like living in the shelter and was not trying hard enough to get out”. This was on the day I started a full time job, six weeks after I left. He also would not allow my children to visit me at the shelter, not even for day visits.

The magistrate even put in the divorce decree that I had made a “very poor decision” in leaving my husband. He was fired part way through our case, I do not know why. A retired judge from another county was put in charge of our case.

My ex’s lawyer called me an “unfit” mother and my lawyer did nothing to refute him.

The court mandated counselor point blank told my youngest she did not believe her when she told her that her dad hit her. When apparently my husband admitted spanking her, at the next session she told her she believed he had spanked her, but she never wanted to hear the word hit again. She was also fired, and I do not know why.

When I had to turn the kids back over to their dad near the beginning of this whole mess,I was told that the exchange had to happen in the parking lot of the shelter we were staying at. And it DID happen there! In all fairness this was in part due to a snow storm, but I had been told even the police would not be told I was staying there. Much less the man I was hiding from!

The police forgot to take pictures of the bruises, so no pictures were taken until 5 days after I left.

My case is the ultimate example of how things are not supposed to happen. I have stumbled my way through. I love my ministry and I am also about to graduate from a program I have been in throughout this whole ordeal. I hope to use the training from this program to help others going through similar things. At this point I do not have the strength to even consider entering another relationship with another guy though and I have grown to very much distrust every aspect of the legal system in this country.

A friend of mine is from Uganda and she has told me that she thinks that women have more rights there than here from what she has experienced through my case.

Trust me through this whole mess I must have made 200 phone calls trying to find a new lawyer. I heard every excuse under the sun as to why no other lawyer would take my case. The most creative was “we are going out of business.” I have put together everything I need to turn my old lawyer into the supreme court of the state I live in. And I finally found a new lawyer two weeks ago!

I do have custody of my kids again. But only because my ex was homeless for several months. We have a court date pending at the moment with yet another motion for custody on his behalf. Two weeks ago his lawyer subpoenaed my church for any document related to me, even my pension. The subpoena was received on a Thursday and everything was due to his lawyer 4 days later. It was pure harassment. But the leaders of my church did not want to hire a lawyer, they did not feel like they needed drawn into my divorce at all. So everything was quickly put together and mailed off. I had a clear feeling if it happened again my ministry could be in peril. My ex seems to believe he should get the kids simply because he now has a job earning more than twice what I am. The courts are again buying his argument enough to consider the hearing, even though nothing has changed in my circumstances or that of the children. (AND he is in arrears with child support).

I continue to receive harassing emails from my ex constantly, where he calls me names and makes all sorts of legal threats towards me. Since I left he has threatened me with bodily harm and I even got him on a voice recording threatening to kill me (The police said it was a figure of speech and they could do nothing). Even this far out I keep bars on my downstairs windows and my doors at night. I lock my car constantly and am hyper vigilant outside.
I am very aware that he will never let me out of his sights, at least not for 9 more years when our youngest is 18.

I agree with everyone elses comments. Sociopaths attract to law like flies to ****. Very few are in it because they are honest and want justice. The rest of them love the manipulation, lies and financial gain, it feeds them. My daughter want to be criminal lawyer and I told her to take care, because you dont know the client your representing. You have to be unfeeling and detached to your client. Its a job.

The truth be known…many lawyers are sociopaths. I was married to one. What other kind of person can have a career where winning is more important than justice. There are of course exceptions but the entire legal system is stacked against victims. That is what our so called justice system has become. People without ethics or morals are attracted to law school where they learn deception and schemes to avoid worries about ethics or morals and learn to focus on winning at any cost. They learn nothing about justice except that it is blind and they interpret that as meaning it doesn’t matter. It is not even the law that matters, it is winning the case to make themselves look good in their community of reprebates. The bar indeed, you will find more ethics, honesty and justice in a typical barroom. BTW, Donna, excellent article for those in the field who are real human beings.

It’s true what some people on here have said. Lawyers tend to be evil and it’s no surprise that many sociopaths can be found in that profession. As I am currently in the process of working with a lawyer regarding my run-in with a sociopath, I am learning that this lawyer is not on my side, only concerned about the money she is getting, and is a liar. I was lucky enough to know someone who works in mediation who is willing to help me with this case. My lawyer told me at first that we should be getting a lot of money from this case, and after just two emails and a phone call with the other side’s attorney, she gave up and tried to pressure me into taking a very small settlement. My advice to everyone is to either attempt mediation first before hiring a lawyer or to ask around and get reviews from friends before using a lawyer. As others have said, they charge you for every little thing they do, even calling you and leaving a message. It’s sad because people have been so traumatized already and the lawyer who is supposed to help them just hurts them even more.

I have to say I have seen both the good and the bad lawyers. When my child informed me of inappropriate behavior I borrowed money from my sister and hired an attorney. She was a lifesaver. When my retainer ran out long before the court case ended my attorney kept going pro bono. My case went on for almost 4 years. My attorney saw what I was up against with my ex and saw the danger he posed to my child and myself. She told me that with the education and training she had the privilege of having that it was useless if she couldn’t help someone like me. She actually got 2 other attorneys to jump on board with her on this case. My case has been over for 2 years now but I am still in contact with her I consider her a friend. It was because of her that I found out that my ex had been accused of molesting several other children over the past 20 years. Nothing has been done to him yet for the abuse of my child, who was only 3 1/2 years old at the time of the abuse. He still has visits with my child now unsupervised, which brings us to the other kind of lawyer. The attorney that was appointed for my child is evil and may be a sociopath herself. This attorney was ordered to transport my child to the trauma evaluation that had been ordered. My child told the evaluator what happened to her. The evaluator filed with dcf that dad not have contact with the child due to the disclosure made by the child. The attorney for my child, threatened my child telling her what to say to the evaluator. My child was told she would never see me again if she did not tell the evaluator what the attorney told her to say. My child then went back and recanted the truth, my ex got what he wanted to make my child look like a liar and to make it look like I made the whole accusation up. I can only hope and pray there are more decent attorneys out there like mine.

Atozmom – MONSTERS!!! unbelievable – Im so glad you had a good atty – but the appointed one.. obviously got into the profession to cause more chaos – I could never imagine hurting a child on purpose.. I hope that person burns in Hell and is given the mind of a helpless and abused child for eternity. Come to think of it, that wouldnt be punishment enough!! God bless the victims of monsters everywhere. God help them.

I had the good fortune of meeting an incredible woman recently who is a civil rights attorney. I met her from Craigslist of all places. She is buying my Italian leather furniture set from me. We talked for several hours when she came down to give me the deposit. She often represents battered spouses and wrongful employment victims. She takes the cases on a contingency and has a very high success rate. She is very sensitive and compassionate but knows how to handle sociopathic attorneys in the courtroom. If anyone here lives in Colorado and needs a civil rights attorney, I can forward her information. This woman is amazing. I’d hire her if I had any cause to.

HI, could you forward the attorney’s information to me, please? Thank you so much.

I have been cyber stalked and gaslighted for so many years and the FBI nor police can seem to help. I have had to relocate and go in hiding and now it has stopped. However my children can’t reach me and my life has been turned upside down. I want to file a civil suit against my x and he resides in Colorado. Can u please forward me the attorney’s contact info

Thank you

Could I please get this attorney’s contact info from you as well?

Hi,

THE LARGEST ONGOING, RECORDED AND DOCUMENTED SMEAR CAMPAIGN OF ALL TIME! 3 years and going…. LIVE!

Includes dozens of Manufactured Witnesses, Identity Theft, Even from a supposed family friend who is a retired Appellate Court Judge, whose name was used to manipulate other Judges, without his knowledge of course. Video evidence of scenes setup and carried out to manipulate (so called friends) into thinking something false, therefore, voila, a witness. All caught on tape and in transcripts, and in voice-mails, and in false criminal filings.

What happens when you have more than one Unconscionable at work?
What happens when you have many, like the attorney and others?

What if the entire event, still going was documented, with over 4,000 pieces of evidence all ignored for profit?

What if they extorted around $500,000 in fees, when evidence (dozens and dozens of video clips, emails, etc) was provided in the beginning, proving every single allegation was not only false, but proven to be? Kind of hard to prove a negative, not in this case.

What if all of the “evidence” is so overwhelming, and they can’t turn back from the “financial profiling”, and for almost 3 years, they kept driving the fraud train, day in and day out?

What if everything they did and didn’t do, said and didn’t say (like speaking on behalf of the kids) was meticulously documented.

WHAT IF AT THIS VERY MOMENT I TOLD YOU I HAVE SETUP A LIVE SCENE FOR PEOPLE TO WATCH THEM COMMIT CRIMES?

Being off the grid until this post and only for this post.

WHAT IF I TOLD YOU THEY ARE GOING TO DO EVERYTHING POSSIBLE TO PREVENT ME FROM INFORMING THEIR (Witnesses), I MEAN VICTIMS, WHAT THEY DID TO THEM AND WITH THEIR NAMES, AND WALK INTO COURT TO OBTAIN A PROTECTIVE ORDER ASKING ME TO STOP, LEAVING OUT THE TRUE REASON AS TO WHY, THEREFORE LYING TO THE COURT AND COMMITTING ANOTHER CRIME.

What if I told you they are stealing children and using the entire community to assist, without their knowledge of course, however, fully documented.

There are over 1,500 documented counts of perjury in this case.

What have we in the corruption net? Poison Ivy, the Joker (attorney), Mr. BIA and Dr. VDP (Voodoo Psychology), Judges and more, promise. It’s a live show, you can see for yourself.

What is currently happening will shock even those that think they have a clue about Unconscionables. I don’t like the word “sociopath”. Psychopath is fine as it properly resonates. Sociopath, on the other hand is basically the same exact thing, yet has the crazed part removed. The real scary part. The part that has most people assume, are the ones in prison. Besides, the one saying it to anyone not familiar as you all are, looks like the possible problem. Many hear a sociopath being mentioned, which winds up equating to white noise.

You see, CON-ARTISTS constantly roam the streets. Very few are realized by society being behind bars. Pathological liars, same thing. The word Sociopath, moved too far to reflect it’s true meaning. In the public’s mind, it underestimates the reality, therefore, counter productive.

It needs to be simplified and direct. Unconscionables. Simply described as; “Does not possess a Conscience, Con-Artists and Pathological Liars”.

What else does anyone need to know?

They are invisible rats.

It’s way too much to post on someones site, no doubt. It will go on http://www.covertcounty.com which they will swear in some court somewhere, they are being harassed, and basically the reporting of their crimes and corruption is bad for business, but they are simply committing another crime by lying in court, again. The fact is, they are trying to prevent those they used for their scam to find out about any of it.

Evidence times ridiculous was presented to the Judgetice. Who has old friends in that town, who were too roped into this scam and could not get out, so she jumped in. So, she was knighted Judgetice. There is Justice, then there is Judgetice. All documented.

Ongoing 3 year research is very interesting in how it relates to the Psychology industry (who are the least likely to spot an Unconscionable). to legal aspects and and useful tools. A free seminar is being offered which will be placed online soon.
….

I’m going to the lawyer tomorrow and will carry this with me. Thanks, Donna.

Many times I wondered if i could take my sociopath to court and get some retribution. When I first met him he borrowed $300 for tires. Shortly thereafter, he needed an emergency tooth extraction and no one in his family had the where with all to take him, nor expend the funds which were nearly $800.00.

The first year he lived on and off at my house and was fed well. I would have to drive to pick him up as he feigned he did not know how to get to my house. I made him drive to get accustomed to the road and because he does not read English so I would point out the names of the roads. So I was put many miles on my car and of course exhausted gas. He had expensive taste in food and we would go to specialty stores and he never paid for anything (my bad). Once he realized I would pick up the tab he never paid for anything. He never had money in his pocket other than an occasional few dollars. He began asking me for a few dollars here and there and I would be somewhat resentful. We went to many fine restaurants and some less expensive ones. He frequented two clubs and we would go there and it was always my credit card. Occasionally i would give him cash so not to look like the sugar mama.

His teeth began to bother him and we went to the dentist. Again no money for co-pay. I got him to apply for Care Credit so he could get a root canal and a cap. We went to the doctor for a check up and again no money for copay. Then the eye doctor the same thing. I asked him does he ever get money from his paycheck? He would conveniently ignore the question. Another tact was that if I gave him something and we had a fight I would raise the fact he never paid for anything. His response was he did not like things thrown under his nose. Amazing letting me pay his way and I could not say anything to get a dime out of him. I had many fights and he enjoyed it. Reasons to break up and make up.

A year ago June he tormented me to go car shopping. I knew better I knew he thought I was so stupid I would co-sign for a car. I learned he had two repos, his last girlfriend bought the car he was driving and later learned she paid $9000.00 for it. He only paid back $1500 and she gave him the title to get him back. I was able to get him a car on his own volition by filling out the paperwork. It was not a great deal but he got a new car with the trade in. His ex was suffering as I was as they were together seven years. I believe he continued his contact with her this last year and lied and lied. I also learned he was in contact with another woman he went with before the last one.

Last Christmas he drove himself to my home and he basically live free here with the exception of a few jobs he did. Poorly mind you. He made me fire my lawn people after 11 years because he insisted I had something go on with one of them. This was laughable. He caused me to buy lawn equipment to the tune of nearly another $1,000 and said he would cut the lawn and save me money. Guess who did the lawn? That’s right yours truly.

I bought him clothes, shoes, and just about anything he needed. He smoked like a fiend and always needed to stop and get cigarettes so stupid me began buying cartons.

Then after owning the car for six months he began complaining about the car and he needed a different car. I knew he was so upside down that there was no way they would take a trade. He tortured me so and then his new tact was that his son needed a car so he could get a job (33) loser married to a 49 year old bigger loser. So now the trade was off the table. He began going to dealerships and when they saw he had the other car in his name they would turn him down. In one dealership he went walking with the salesman all over the parking lot. They tried to to film flam me/him offering one car at the same price as a car that was a leftover because they had so many incentives. Then they bring us into the office where the guy mentions me co-signing. My stomach began to turn. But then they were not even giving the car in the showroom but the leftover. He then asked if I owned my own home and then I went into action. I told them they were film flaming us and walked out. Oh my sociopath came outside and I should have gotten an academy award for my performance and got the hell out of there. Months went by and we went to dealership after dealership and he was wearing me down. Finally I got him a car but it was a lease in my name making it my car that he swore he would pay for insurance included. He made two payments since April. By September while at his son’s house I went into the garage to find a new car and the old car in the driveway. I immediately knew what was going to happen next. His son gave him the car to give me up and go back home. He swore to his wife he was never coming back to me. He stalked me and even though he was blocked he would use pay phones and coworkers phones to contact me. He began manipulating me once again and move back in and his wife was upset according to him.

He and his wife are two con people and I would equate them to gypsies. I think the daughter in law is very clever too. She bought me lunch one day to reciprocate for my kindnesses to her children. I had no business getting involved with the family. The children call me Tia and she claims to rely on me because her English is so bad. I think I was the reason why she and her husband were able to move out of the house and buy a house one hour away from that crazy house.

I bought Christmas gifts for the kids last year when they were all living together and I bought him gifts. This year I vowed I would buy him nothing as he never bought me anything except flower twice I believe with my own money.

It is doubtful I can gain anything back because he is so clever he keeps just under the radar. But, his young son is another story. I believe he took that Chevy and chopped it up and sold it for parts because the daughter in law told me he was going to put it in a storage unit. I said if that was the case it is a federal offense punishable by jail and he already is on parole for wielding a gun at his now wife’s daughter. They got married after he was arrested and it is my understanding the judge was pissed.

This last time he came back was to con me into paying for a washer and dryer because his son and daughter in law took the washer and dryer and they have been living without one since JUNE. i played along and after two day his personality changed and again was being ugly to me. I called and cancelled the deal and block him from both phones. He had the nerve to ask why did I do that. Well he acted like he was moving back here an then I said I was cooking dinner an no show. I had the feeling with his personality what was going on. I did not cook and I had already cancelled the deal.

I swore to myself he would never ever come back into this house again and I don’t want anything to do with him.

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