The "temporary incompetence" of clients due to their emotional state and the attorneys' paternalistic attitude toward clients create a lack of understanding on the part of both the attorney and the client. This is the legal equivalent of a ship that hits rocks, runs aground, veers off course, and possibly sinks.
Punishing court orders pelt you until you can hardly see straight. The motions keep coming; you're in court all the time. Child Protective Services is pounding down your door and your in-laws are pressing charges. You're broke; you're incarcerated; you're terrified. Sound like a nightmare? For many, it's reality.
Throughout the conference, the panelists kept reiterating that what occurs in court is state specific, "locale specific," and jurist specific. In other words, results vary from judge to judge based upon the judge's biases, beliefs, assumptions and values. I think this should really scare anyone and everyone.