Nathan Fletcher’s divorce reveals a deep misunderstanding of Family Court

On March 2, 2015, the San Diego Reader barely reported former California State Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher filed for divorce.

Instead, the report detailed Fletcher was a former protege of Randy Duke Cunningham, (once voted America’s most crooked politician; since released from prison.)Nathan and Mindy Flectcher

The reporting covered that Mindy, Fletcher’s soon-to-be-former wife, was a long-term employee of Karl Rove.  The report mentioned when the couple became engaged George Bush himself offered his blessings.  The article largely ignored the divorce to focus on Fletcher’s party jumps from staunch Right Wing Republican to Middle Republican, to Independent to Democrat and now Qualcomm executive.  But there was scant information regarding the actual divorce.

Which is the problem

I rated the story a D+ for not revealing the basics:  Such as who was representing the parties or the judge.  (See  Ironically, both the story and the comments equally revealed the deep gap between the reality of family court and general public awareness.

Considering Family Court is the largest, busiest, most used – most often court in the country, it’s frightening to learn 24 people “liked” a comment representing a complete ignorance of the law.

Family court ignorance - Jennifer Ball Reinebach

Note the 24 “Likes”  They illustrate a profound lack of awareness that custody matters in California are a matter of public record.

This stems from a lack of civic education, and quite possibly, general media disdain.  Years ago, on the rare occasion family court was featured in the news, it was always featured with the phrase, “disgruntled litigant.”  However, the remaining problem is reporters generally only speak with attorneys, who aren’t terribly interested in revealing the dark side of family court and damage relations with their peers, and of course, judges.

William Rodriguez-Kennedy doesn't understand law

Please please don’t run for office!

Still, media not assigning a “beat” reporter to cover the workings of family court – in which nothing is what it seems; (Check the “Bailiffs” section) remains one of the great mysteries of life.  As they say in the South,

“It’s a true fact any reporter worth their salt knows family court always about money.” 

Possibly the best Court of Appeal decision coming out of California in twenty years evidenced that one, true fact:  It’s all about money.

(Professional tip:  Ix-nay on therapists as a waste of money.  Turns out the state agency overseeing therapists doesn’t care when they lie.  Exhibit A:  Randy Rand!)

It turns out “In the best interest of the children” is just a catch phrase. However, on the plus side, smart reporters know Family Court is where many a juicy business story, can be unraveled.

It wasn’t until Jane Welch divorced GE’s Jack Welch that the public learned of his fantastic, golden retirement parachute.  (Herself an attorney, Jane was smart enough to insert a termination date into their Pre-Nuptial Agreement.)  That story was in the news for months.  Changes were made in retirements because of that story.  Of course the rich and famous try to docket secret hearings to broker confidential deals.  The courts are sometimes accommodating.  Still, it’s hard to imagine a news bureau not assigning a beat reporter to work the family court.

newspaperoncomputerWill media ever choose to include the most used court in their daily or weekly coverage?  Probably not.  However, while attorneys are mostly my clients, sometimes individual litigants hire me due to my successful track record in bringing media attention to unfair and unjust situations in a way that ended their problem.

So far, just one death threat!  🙂



About bonnie russell

It's not about’s always about people.
This entry was posted in Business, California Court of Appeal, child custody, Divorce, Finance, Government, Judges, Law, Media and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Nathan Fletcher’s divorce reveals a deep misunderstanding of Family Court

  1. Jenifer Reinebach says:

    Just because custody matters are public record doesn’t mean they should be reported on in a newspaper publication. This type of reporting is what creates disdain for the media.


    • You couldn’t be more wrong. Seriously. Custody matters are behind many other crimes. Also, a regular part of divorce. Google Tharp vs. Tharp to see what I’m talking about.


  2. Jason Macdonald says:

    How about this for an explanation for divorce. Some guys never change. With his uncle Mark he regularly went to Hooters, strip clubs and brothels in Northern Nevada. The son of a mother who had sexual relations with more than 12 members of the Carson City Nevada Sheriff’s office. A dude who as a child inflicted physical injuries to his step brothers and sisters. Who had to have mental health visits as a child. Some people never change


  3. JonaB says:

    This blog is so wonderful that its amazingness HURTS! I love it! I cannot believe I just found it now. The job your doing covering the Vanderbilt rape is superb. I love all the evidence you have gathered and how you deconstruct all the morons involved in it. I just watched the 20/20 special, but I must say I love how you show us how that young man was allowed to have such a devious conduct over the years. I hear they are sentencing him today… I mean: are they gonna announce how many years he’s gonna spend in jail, right? Anyway… don’t stop what you’re doing… I love it. We need more blogs like this one.


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