Moulton Lava

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Location: New England, United States

Monday, November 14, 2005

Legal Abuse Syndrome

Yesterday I was invited to attend a small meeting at Boston College, hosted by a faculty member of the Department of Psychology.

The people at the meeting all had something in common. They all lived in condominiums in Massachusetts, and they all had hair-raising horror stories to report regarding the corruption and racketeering they had encountered while dealing with the politics and legal wrangling in their condo associations. The stories all had a common denominator — each of the unit owners had become ensnared in a dysfunctional, costly, corrupt, and crazy-making legal process that spiraled out of control without resolving the basic issues that the unit owners had been fighting over.

One of the participants at the meeting was Chester Chapulowski, whose horror story has been made into a novel, a play, and even a movie. He describes his experience in terms of Legal Abuse Syndrome — a variety of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder arising from going through the meatgrinder of dysfunctional legal process.

Legal Abuse Syndrome is defined by Karin Huffer, who has written a book about it.


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