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Viral case: No free speech for post-divorce Philly parrot

Update: Wednesday, 11:22 a.m.

The breaking point for one Philadelphia couple getting a divorce was the parrot.

In the last few weeks they had been separating real estate assets, art and other items you’d traditionally consider part of a divorce. But they weren’t sure what to do with the pet.

So their lawyer, Michael Adler, came up with the obvious solution: Visitation, plus prohibiting each man from teaching the parrot negative phrases about the other.

Adler said disputes over dogs are relatively in common in divorces, but the parrot provided a new challenge… verbalization. In other words, they can talk. Therefore, they can talk shit.

So he spoke with other lawyers for advice this morning before coming up with “the idea of just agreeing not to say anything nasty in front of the parent.”

“You have to use creative skills to get at what is bothering the other side,” he said. “Having to dissolve emotional disputes.”

Adler’s tweet about the case has gone viral, racking up about 1,500 retweets and 2,000 favorites and counting as of 5:30 p.m. As we spoke, his phone kept buzzing with Twitter activity.

He’s used to this, though. Adler, who has his own law practice and also serves on boards for Temple and the Philadelphia Bar Foundation, had another tweet go viral earlier this year:

That one registered 27,000 retweets, including from Steph Curry and Rosie O’Donnell.

He said he got 700 new followers from the lottery tweet and already has about 80 more new followers from today’s parrot tweet.

“This has been a way to brand myself,” Adler said.

As Adler’s tweet went viral, it started attracting suspicion from Twitter. His tweet appears nearly identical to one two months earlier from @parkerlawyer. 

Adler stood by his story and denied stealing the tweet.

@parkerlawyer declined to comment.

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