Here is a little detail you didn’t know until now in my divorce case – I was going up against what I saw as a pretty ruthless anti-male (specifically anti-Black male) divorce lawyer here in Atlanta. I was taking some serious losses and setbacks early on because the lawyers I retained where too weak to compete with this ruthless lawyer in and out of the courtroom. I realized I was not in control and these weak lawyers were going to hand my ass on the platter and bill me at the same damn time.
That lawyer was Lisa West and I’m not scared because I took her on pro se in my divorce case – that means I represented myself in a 4-hour plus trial. Yes, this is the same Lisa West that had Usher in the courtroom crying and acting distraught about being a bad daddy or whatever.
Don’t get it twisted; this Ms. West is not a lawyer you want to have as your opposing counsel in a divorce case, especially if you got a weak lawyer more interested in billing you than defending you in court. I got a briefing that there is an “underground network” in Atlanta for Black wives to basically go through key steps with these courts to frame their Black husbands as angry and violent and as a result, take the kids, the assets and expensive child support and this was leaked to me not only by some attorneys I talked to but some trifling ass sistas that did the same thing to their husbands here in Atlanta.
I believe very strongly it was Lisa West “script” to create data manipulation to record me arguing to claim I’m this angry Black man to the courts, have me removed from the home with a protection order after the divorce is filed to establish a possession is 9/10 rule and hope I do not have the resources and capability to fight and defend myself against the onslaught. Well, she obviously wasn’t advised that I was a hustler from the West Side of Chicago and also someone who knows a little about game theory.
The thing I noticed about Lisa West ability to run rings around the crappy lawyers I retained was she was using the very same strategy I talk about on this blog to take on the establishment and powers that be. I realized Lisa West enters the zero-sum game theory at a lower sum than the other lawyers and that was her ace in the hole running rings around the garbage lawyers I retained against her. She also appear to use a lot of John Nash ruthless game theories but what she didn’t know was I’m well versed in those strategies and use them in my technology profession to get mine and deal with adversaries.
So I thought about it and sought the counsel of an unnamed legal guru who told me how to handle Ms. West and I realize the strategy I had to take. The only real way to take on Lisa West is to go pro se at a lower sum in the game theory in the courtroom. But I cannot go into that courtroom sounding like one of those clowns on those TV court shows, I had to present a compelling case on my behalf and that’s when I turned to FreeMind as the tool of choice to strategize.
What is FreeMind?
FreeMind is a mind-mapping software that allow you to organize concepts around a central theme. This is originally what is known as a brainstorming diagram when you get people in a room to throw random stuff on a white board, circle the ideas and try to organize them into collectives to find a common thought process. In the image above, you are looking at the retail point-of-sale application for the hood that will be released soon, thanks to the divorce being final.
However, with mind-mapping software, you can go beyond brainstorming to actual execution and strategy development. FreeMind is one of the required open source software I required for starting your hustles with anything I present here and it can be used to start your side business or any large campaign you are doing.
Creating the Mind Map
What you are looking at in the above image is the actual mind map I created to prepare myself for my upcoming divorce trial. I cannot open up the nodes any further as it will give away too much strategy although I may do this at a later future date. You should notice that I have broken down the actual hearing and the substance that matter to trial. I can care less about the back and forth nonsense, what matters was having the right things to say at trial in front of the judge.
If you look on the right side of the mind-map, you see my opening arguments and underneath that was everything I was requesting in the divorce processing and there are further nodes to justify why and had facts to back up and support statements. The same for my argument and closing nodes, having nodes underneath that were talking points and another level of nodes that shows supporting facts and statements to support my arguments and my closing statements.
On the other side of the mind-map, you see I was well-prepared for what the other side was going to bring to the game. I basically mind-mapped what they want and I speculated on their strategy to support their arguments on the nodes below. Then I provided my counter arguments so I can quickly reference them when I cross-examine any of their points that I already researched. GAL means Guardian Ad Litem and I had cross examine nodes underneath – if you explode this whole diagram out, you would see a large branch going after the GAL, the real target I was going to go after in the trial.
Then you see their testimony node and underneath that node is all the things I assume they were going to say, make claims or make up in court based on whoever get on that stand. So I was prepared for anybody that would have got on that stand and was ready and very organized to bring out facts and supporting statements to either impeach them or draw their arguments to support my arguments in the proceeding.
After creating the mind-map of my trial and having a full understanding of what I’m after and what the other side is after, I was extremely comfortable with the case and believe I was very thorough. I was not nervous because I had all of the data in the mind map and looking at the big picture, realize all of the possible outcomes would not be a bad outcome.
Keep in mind that representing myself had one strong advantage – I knew things about the other party I can go after better than the counsel who may not know such details being loaded with multiple cases. See, if I had an attorney, even my attorney may not use or pick up these details because they are representing other people and don’t focus on such details they may deem petty. All of that details was in my mind-map diagram to use at my disposal when I was in court, that was my advantage.
So when I went to court, I held my own, had all of my talking points and facts in order and represented myself with confidence with all of the data I had in my mind-map. Prior to court, I studied my mind map extensively and every time I thought of something, that talking point went to the right place in the mind-map solidifying a talking point.
So as a result, I believe and looking at the final decree, it went my way because I got what I ask for and what I didn’t get, I already decided it would not be a bad outcome. So I went into court already knowing the possible outcomes and realize I was going to win regardless because I accepted the outcome scenarios from the mind-mapping diagram. So I basically got what I wanted and what Lisa West was asking for on her client behalf, she didn’t get. And I didn’t have to pay some lawyer $15,000 or $20,000 to do this either.
One of the things I thought about when I left the courtroom was all of the brothas and sistas who get jammed up in criminal court and have to plea bargain because they have a sorry public defender that can careless if they are innocent. I’m going to be real with a cat and be controversial – it may be better odds for someone to represent themselves with the talking points and supporting facts organized than have some lazy weak lawyer speak on your behalf when your life depends on it.
Lisa West is a good lawyer and fight for her client at a lower zero sum game theory level which I recognized as her advantage she was using against me. My lawyers were incompetent and weak and I realize I did not have control to fight effectively with them in the way. By using the same zero sum strategy to make her fight a pro se defendant who is not scared and very well prepared with data points using Freemind mind-mapping software, I think I did a pretty good job and the outcome in my opinion, I’m extremely happy with all around.