I am Anthony Wright and I love studying the history of our laws and understanding why we do what we do in court. Many may not care, but I have a passion for knowledge and it fascinates me to know things like why lawyers are called "esquire," how our courts were formed in the first place, why lawyers were invented in Dark Ages England, and, in the context of family law, how the ancient Visigoths of Spain contributed to the community property laws of the Western United States.
My logo for my firm was an attempt to bring a lot of history into crisp focus, which you may see in the video below.
Did you know that attorneys first were professional fighters back in the Dark Age days of Trial by Conquest and Trial by Ordeal? Those professional champions evolved from ruthless killers to intellectual and erudite scholars when the Courts of Equity sprang up because Trial by Conquest lost its appeal over time.
The Visigoths, hundreds of years ago, were a tribe in Iberia who believe that husbands and wives had equal but different responsibility. The women tended to the home and village affairs and the men brought back the spoils of war. When they wanted to divorce, they created the body of law we call community property, which essentially means that whatever was acquired during the marriage was split equally upon divorce.
Guess who eventually owned and controlled the western part of America? Spain. And so the Spaniards brought this contribution of law to the Americas so that when the USA expanded west, the community property idea was so entrenched that it remained. Now, much of the rest of the country has seen the wisdom of the Visigoths and made their States was a little more like the western states, but there is still enough difference to not call it “community property.”