A legal battle that has lasted for 17 years between two professors of law in Ohio over their divorce and other arising disputes has received a lot of criticism from judges who have said that both professors are setting a bad example in the legal profession. The divorce case between the two has lasted 7 years longer than their ten-year marriage. The case which the two professors filed contained more than 1,400 entries of which most of them had to do with the dispute concerning the custody of their children who are currently aged 17 and 20. In the 17-year long legal battle, financial dispute is still one of the issues that are still being brought before the court.
Judges who have heard the case have complained that both professors abused the system or broke the rules during the hearings. Judge Leslie Ghiz of the Hamilton County Common pleas has said that it frightens the court that both parties are currently teaching law students on the ethics and the boundaries of the legal profession. The judge further said that both professors should be ashamed and embarrassed for their behavior.
One of the parties, Christo Lassiter, who is a professor at the University of Cincinnati, has however questioned the manner in which the judges have handled their divorce case claiming that his motivation has always been to be a good parent and not ill will or seek revenge. Mr. Lassiter has claimed that if the courts had stepped in to resolve the major issues of their divorce early enough and cleanly, the voluminous legal filings currently being experienced would not have risen. When the journalists tried to contact Mr. Lassiter’s ex wife, Sharlene Boltz (a professor at the Northern Kentucky University) to comment on the matter, she did not immediately return a call placed at her office.
The two have been heavily criticized by the judges with Judge Ghiz saying that the Ohio State Bar Association should give a warning to both professors due to their conduct. Judges from other courts have also reprimanded the couple heavily due to their long-drawn-out legal feud. In the year 2002, the Ohio 1st District Court of Appeal wrote that it had not seen many cases related to domestic disputes that were more controversial and spiteful than the one between the couple. The court further wrote that since the parties were law professors, they should know better than to engage themselves in unsuitable behavior that would be disadvantageous to the solving of the case and also the well being of their children whom both parties have claimed was their primary concern.
The divorce between the couple itself lasted for five years which according to George Maley, a veteran attorney, is five times longer than a normal divorce case which involves children. During this time, Boltz called the police several times on Lassiter and Lassiter paycheck was garnished back for child support. Lassiter also claimed that Boltz owed him money. The court has set the next hearing for the case at September 6th.