For a job that will offer no pay.
The case will be in the family courts and involves a divorce petition but its not clear that the lawyer needs to have any family law experience as this will be like no prior family law case.
A number of posts on RxISK and davidhealy.org over the years have raised a problem that is new to the SSRI group of drugs – treatment related divorce applications.
Note this does not say marital breakdown. The cases involve either a woman or a man who finds their partner has been put on an SSRI and changes personality and linked to the emotional detachment and personality change these drugs can cause wants out of the marriage. The remaining partner is convinced that but for the drug the marriage would remain intact, and at least wants the person on treatment to stop for a period to see how things look to them when drug free.
Many cases have come our way, some of which one or other of us have had a chance to explore in detail. These involve cases where one partner is helped by the brazenness SSRIs can cause to leave a marriage they were trapped in but wouldn’t have had the courage to leave otherwise. After stopping treatment later they figure they made exactly the right decision.
But more often than not (at least at present), the cases have involved people where the case for stopping the drug has been compelling and in some cases on stopping the affected partner has agreed that they were changed by treatment and has returned to the marriage.
Things can get very complicated if for instance someone leaves a marriage while on treatment but then falls in love with – rather than just gets involved with – someone else.
Building a Case
So if you are in a situation like this, what can you do? One step is to approach your partner’s doctors who are likely your doctors also and tell them how things look to you.
In 9 cases out of 10, they will likely say they cannot interfere with the sanctity of their relationship with your partner. That is what has happened in this case.
You can approach someone like Healy who has said this can happen. If you catch him on a good day he might write to your doctors and tell them what you suggest is a real possibility but adding in that a real possibility does not mean that this is what should happen.
That is what happened in this case. There was no response from the GPs.
Out of interest someone like Healy might take it further and write to the Medical Defence Unions and General Medical Council to see if they have any advice to offer on this novel situation.
That is what happened in this case. None of these bodies have any advice to offer.
Your partner is likely to view any efforts to explore the cage in which you are trapped as harassment and these efforts may trigger a divorce filing. This is what has happened.
In this case, particularly if you are short of money, you may have little option but to represent yourself.
If your luck holds out someone like Healy might offer to do a report for you for free and even attend court, but even with these advantages if you are going to get anywhere realistically you need a lawyer to manage the process.
What’s in it for the lawyer? The case is likely to have a high media profile. It takes the law and court processes into areas they have never been before, areas that have far-reaching implications for civil law more generally – not just family law.
Who might take something like this on? Perhaps someone young who has time on their hands and nothing to lose.
But when the Healy case against the University of Toronto blew up, the person who took the case said that a good lawyer – anyone really interested in the law – would take a case like this on for free.
So perhaps someone winding down, with an interest to do something out of the ordinary.
We need anyone reading this post to spread the word among any lawyers they know at whatever stage of their career they may be at.
We also want your comments as to angles on the case and any leads to resources that might be useful.