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

The separation contained a novel twist: A bird that can talk, and therefore talk shit.

parrot-gavel
Wikimedia Commons

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.

Mornings in the know

Sign up for Billy Penn’s free morning newsletter for a daily roundup of Philadelphia’s most pressing news, top interesting stories, fun tidbits, and relevant events.

Thanks for reading another Billy Penn article!

We don’t have a paywall, and never will. Instead, we depend on readers like you to keep our newsroom jamming on stories about Philadelphia. If you like what you see, will you support our work?

Thanks for reading a Billy Penn story

We don’t have a paywall, and our daily newsletter is free. Instead, YOU are key to keeping our nonprofit newsroom running strong. If you like what you see, will you join as a member today?

This story was powered by readers

Readers like you make articles like this possible, so thanks for your support. Want to make sure we stick around? Become a sustainer with a recurring contribution!

Tell a friend about Billy Penn

Thanks for reading another article — and we’re grateful for your support! Want to help a friend start their day with Billy Penn? Send them to our newsletter signup page.