Fadness v. Fadness (Va. Ct. App., Record No. 0231-08-4, November 4, 2008) is a model for excessive attorney fees and lack of substance. The divorcing husband and wife filed a 66-paged table of contents and more than 6000 pages of appendix, but failed to connect any document or meaningful legal argument to a reason for overruling the trial court.

             The Court of Appeals quoted Judge Stanley P. Klein of Fairfax Circuit Court:

                         "Hollywood had its War of the Roses, and Fairfax County has had
                         its war, and continues unfortunately to have its war, of the Fadness’s.

              . . .  Each has attempted to affix virtually all, if not all of

             the blame on the other spouse."

 Then, the appellate court continued:

             “The parties in this case have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on attorney’s fees, and    years in protracted litigation… The ‘throw everything at the wall and hope something sticks’ approach utilized in this appeal is as unappreciated as it is ineffective.  If the parties were unable to find legal support for any of their eleven questions presented, or their numerous sub-questions, they should not have included those questions presented in their brief.”

            “Appellate courts are not unlit rooms where attorneys may wander blindly about, hoping to stumble upon a reversible error.”

             This is a toxic mix of ineffective advocacy and blind emotional fury. The message is clear: If parties do not establish reversible error, the Court of Appeals will not find it for them.