I know we're directed by Avvo not to be too specific with our cases. I will respect this requirement, but I have to be somewhat specific in order for you to understand the full impact of what Karen Schoenau has done for me and my family.
I'm a disabled father who has to use pain medication just to get around from day to day. Once a year I have spinal blocks/injections to keep the pain at bay. Karen told me that I have to release all of my medical records to the courts. I knew the court would scrutinize them and the stigma that comes with pain control. It looked bleak to me, but I did what Karen instructed me to do and she upheld my rights as a father. I ended up getting joint custody/primary residence with final decision making and a whole lot of stuff in between. That was huge! I was so grateful! Karen was everything she was cracked up to be!
But, this is where the story gets nasty! If I didn't have Mrs. Schoenau I don't know what I would've done! About a year later I ended up in the hospital due to physical complications with my kidneys. This happened on the day of a hearing where my ex was asking for restoration of some of her parental rights. Mrs. Schoenau explained my situation to the judge and why I was absent. My ex wife contradicted Karen and informed the judge that I was being guarded by police at the hospital. She continued to explain that they were nursing me back to health so they could put me in jail for being a drug courier. The hearing, mind you was about restoring some of her rights that she lost because of her issues. Well, instead of verifying any of this information my ex was giving, the judge took ALL CUSTODY away from me and gave my ex wife sole custody of the children. I practically lost all of my parental rights. All the while I was unconscious in a hospital bed!
Mrs. Schoenau assured me that she was strenuously objecting to the judge’s decision. She attempted to calm me down while I was in the hospital, reassuring me that there was nothing that we couldn’t fix. She said to me, “Don’t worry about it, I’ve got it!” Ha, ha, ha! I pretended like I believed her and I promised I’d rest up. All I could think was, “How could this happen!” My youngest son says to me that night on the phone (7 years old), “Daddy, when can we come home?” That was the most painful thing I had ever experienced in my life.
Now, here is why I view Karen as not only an outstanding lawyer but a phenomenal human being! I went into a depression, the likes of nothing I had ever experienced before. I did not know what depression felt like and I had no idea how debilitating it could be. I could barely move because my body was wracked with physical and emotional pain! Was that an overreaction? I don’t know, but that’s what happened.
Immediately Karen responded by filing a plea or motion claiming a violation of my constitutional rights. She cited cases, codes, laws, and just the plain immorality of the whole situation. It was a masterpiece. It brought tears to my eyes because I saw hope. To our surprise her pleas in my behalf fell on deaf ears. Two judges ignored her. It just so happened due to a misstep by mother, another judge had to hear our case and make some adjustments to the parenting time. It was at this time that Karen was able to present the facts in my defense and I ended up with joint custody again! That was a relief.
To make a long story short, we had to go back before the court again and I NOW I HAVE BEEN AWARDED SOLE LEGAL/PRIMARY CUSTODY. The lies that were told were eventually disproved. My random urine/hair testing came always came up negative for drugs. I remember a few years ago having a big disagreement with Karen about volunteering to undergo random drug testing twice a month. It was a great idea because it cleared my name.
Karen Schoenau's approach:
NO MATTER HOW BAD IT IS, TELL HER EVERYTHING SO SHE CAN PUT THE PIECES BACK TOGETHER. Thank you Karen just doesn't seem to cut it, but thank you Karen!