Family Law News Monthly, Editor: Jillian E. Atuegbu, firstname.lastname@example.org
Family Law News Monthly, Assistant Editor: Craig Pedersen, email@example.com
Family Law News, Executive Editor: Nathan Gabbard, firstname.lastname@example.org
Family Law News, Assistant Editor: Alexandra O'Neill Muller, email@example.com
The Family Law Executive Committee of the California Lawyers Association (FLEXCOM) is the governing body for the 4,000 plus members of the Family Law Section. FLEXCOM is currently comprised of 5 officers, 12 members, 8 advisors and 11 liaisons who come from diverse practices throughout California. FLEXCOM meets approximately 8 times during a term, which typically begins and ends in September.
The Family Law Section was organized, and the first FLEXCOM board established, in 1978. For the first 40 years of our existence, FLEXCOM was part of the California State Bar. With the separation of the sections this year, FLEXCOM joined the other 16 sections as part of the new and dynamic, California Lawyers Association (CLA).
FLEXCOM provides support and services to attorneys whose practices address any of the issues under the Family Law umbrella. This includes marriage, dissolution, parentage, custody and support, community property, adoptions, marital agreements, mediation and other alternative resolution mechanisms. We address any issues or matters affecting the rights, privileges, duties and responsibilities to the members of families.
We carry out these functions through our publications, educational programs, commenting on and proposing legislation and public outreach. The Family Law News is printed and delivered to all section members and family law judicial officers through the state on a quarterly basis. Family Law News Monthly, which you are reading now, is published monthly. Both publications contain scholarly articles, announcement of events and other information helpful to anyone engaged in the practice of family law.
Our educational programs include live education, which is provided throughout the state as stand-alone programs (e.g. “Family Law Essentials” or in 2019 the San Luis Obispo County Third Annual Minor’s Counsel Symposium) or as part of the educational programs provided at the CLA Annual Meeting (which will be held in Monterey from October 10-14, 2019). We also deliver education to you several times a month through our webinars. As a section member you receive regular e-mail notice of those webinars.
FLEXCOM addresses legislation in two ways: We review all legislation introduced to determine if it impacts Family Law. If it does, we determine as a committee whether we should take a position on that legislation. If so, our position is set forth in a letter which is delivered to the Legislature. We also regularly meet with legislators at stakeholder meetings to discuss any concerns, comments or suggestions about pending legislation, and appear at committee hearings to express positions on behalf of FLEXCOM.
We also propose legislation as part of our affirmative legislation function. In recent years, this has included the anti-Davis legislation. This is an important function of FLEXCOM that works best when we have input and suggestions from our section members.
First and foremost, remain a member of the Family Law Section by checking the box on your annual dues statement. Second, encourage other family law practitioners to join the section if they are not already members. Third, help FLEXCOM by identifying attorneys, judicial officers or court staff who you feel are worthy of receiving recognition from FLEXCOM. The awards and application process is set forth on our web site here. Fourth, attend one or more of the educational programs offered by FLEXCOM during the year, including our Minor’s Counsel Training or Essentials program. Fifth, become a volunteer. FLEXCOM is always looking for new members or liaisons. Applications will be made available by next month and a link included with our next FLNM.
Omne Trium Perfectum
Stephen D. Hamilton
Chair, Family Law Executive Committee of the
California Lawyers Association
Thursday, December 6, 2018, 12 noon - 1 p.m.
This program offers 1 hour participatory MCLE credit and 1 hour legal specialization credit in Family Law. You must register in advance to participate.
A discussion about successful and unsuccessful strategies for attacking expert opinions will be reviewed. Current research on Daubert challenges to financial experts will be discussed. Attendees will learn about the objective and subjective decisions experts make when valuing a business interest and how these decisions effect value. The mathematics of the double‐dip of business income and its corresponding effect on support calculations and business value will be explained.
Moderator: Kelly Robbins
Speaker: Frank Wisehart
Thursday, December 13, 2018, 12 noon - 1 p.m.
This webinar is a follow up to the three-part evidence series published in the Family Law News. Topics which will be addressed include cross-examination tips and tactics, voir dire of expert witnesses, objecting to evidence and how to apply several new cases to overcome People v. Sanchez objections to vocational evaluations and real estate appraisals.
Moderator: Stephen Hamilton
Speaker: Hon. William Howatt, Jr.
Thursday, January 10, 2019, 12 noon - 1 p.m.
Divorce is often a long and complicated process even between couples of the same nationality, but the problems grow exponentially when couples have connections to different countries. With divorce rates still hovering at 50% globally, and increasing numbers of people with spouses from another country, Global Family Wealth Strategist Joan Crain explores the issues when, inevitably, some cross-border marriages breakdown. Key issues include:
Speaker: Joan Crain
Recent 2018 Family Law Case Law (current through 11/11/18)
[Opinions available at here.]
By Stephen D. Hamilton, CFLS
A.G. v. County of Los Angeles
10/1/18, CA 2/7: B282023
A.G., daughter of decedent’s partner, sued LA County in claim for wrongful death. Trial Court dismissed A.G.’s claim based on lack of standing, even though decedent raised and held AG out as his own. “With apologies to Sigmund Freud, biology is not destiny. We reverse.” CtA held that Decedent, “having accepted A.G. into his home and held him out as his natural son, was A.G.’s presumed father” based on Cal. Fam. Code 7611(d). A.G. was therefore entitled to pursue wrongful death claim.
In Re G.B.
10/19/18, CA 2/3: B284833
Dependency petition filed on behalf of G.B. based on allegations of sexual abuse by M’s boyfriend. F not named as offending parent in petition. After finding allegations untrue, trial court on its own motion added three allegations of emotional abuse against F based on belief F had coached G.B. to lie about the sexual abuse allegations. Court sustained one of the allegations, declared G.B. a dependent and issued exit order awarding M sole physical custody of G.B. Reversed. Trial court “erred in establishing jurisdiction based on factual and legal theory not raised in the original petition.” Disposition orders and jurisdiction finding as to F vacated and matter remanded.
In Re Maria Q.
10/23/18, CA 4/1: D073206
The preferential consideration to a relative seeking placement of a child under WIC 361.3 does not apply to relatives seeking placement of a child in continued foster care pursuant to WIC 366.26(b)(7). “A placement request by a relative after a permanency hearing is essentially a request to modify the child's permanency plan and must be heard under the statutory framework of sections 366.26 and 366.3.” Although that did not occur in this case, the Court of Appeal found the procedural problems in the case were harmless error.
S.V. v. Superior Court of San Bernardino County
10/24/18, CA 4/2: E070931
M appealed denial of reunification services by trial court under WIC 361.5(b)(3), the bypass provision. M argued that the 361.5(b)(3) only applies to children who have previously been removed from the home and are subsequently the victim of physical or sexual abuse by a parent. In this case, M was accused of being physically violent to a removed child’s half sibling. The Court of Appeal disagreed and affirmed. “The statutory language does not specify that the additional abuse must have been inflicted on the child who is being removed, as opposed to a sibling. Had the Legislature wanted to so limit this statutory provision, it could have done so. The Legislature chose not to, which was in keeping with the apparent goal of the provision– to protect children against recidivist abusive parents.”
In Re Bruno M.
11/2/18, CA 2/3: B287537
F contested permanent restraining order issued in favor of children as part of juvenile court’s dispositional orders, solely contending on appeal the order protecting the children was not supported by substantial evidence because the children were “never in the line of fire” when he beat mother. CtA disagreed. “We conclude the children were indeed at risk of physical harm and, in any event, father’s lengthy history of domestic violence against mother and the parents’ frequent reconciliations justify the minors’ inclusion in the restraining order.”
On Friday, November 16, 2018, the Executive Committee donated its time and energy by volunteering at Project Angel Food. Project Angel Food cooks and delivers over 500,000 nutritious meals each year, free of charge, to the homes of men, women, and children affected by life-threatening illnesses. Project Angel Food’s vital food and nutrition services, including medically tailored meals and nutritional counseling, help underserved people throughout Los Angeles County who are too sick to shop or cook for themselves. Created in response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic, Project Angel Food expanded its mission in 2004 to help locals who are struggling with any life-threatening illness burdened by hunger and malnutrition. Project Angel Food delivers more than 11,000 meals every week to people in need. This was a rewarding and transformative experience for the Executive Committee members.
FLEXCOM has four questions for you to consider:
If you answered yes to any one of those questions, we seek your nomination for the 2019 Family Law Section Awards.
The Executive Committee for the Family Law Section (FLEXCOM) of the California Lawyers Association is seeking nominations for outstanding contributions to the practice of family law for 2019 in the following categories:
Family Law Judicial Officer of the Year: The award is intended to recognize excellence on the Family Law bench. Particular focus is paid to outstanding service to the practice of Family Law, career achievements, or a distinguishing singular act or performance of the nominee.
Family Law Lifetime Achievement Award: Designed to honor and recognize the most distinguished long term achievements and sustained substantial contributions to the substance or practice of Family Law in the State of California over the recipient's career or lifetime.
Excellence in Family Law: The award is to honor and recognize recent notable acts or outstanding service that contributes substantially to the improvement of California Family Law substance or practice. Recipient need not be a lawyer.
Court Staff Award: The award is to honor and recognize sustained superior performance or extraordinary efforts in the recipient's performance of his or her work with the Family Law courts. Nominations shall be solicited from Family Law bench officers. Nominees shall be deserving court personnel, which may include (but not limited to) clerks, judicial assistants, Family Law Facilitators, DV counselors, court reporters, bailiffs, administrative personnel and Family Court Services employees.
Barrister Award: The award is to recognize outstanding contributions to the practice of Family Law or outstanding performance in the practice of Family Law for barrister lawyers. The recipient of this award must be a lawyer who practices primarily in the area of Family Law and who has been a member of the State Bar of California for five (5) years or less. The recipient need not be a member of the Family Law Section.
Nominations are due by March 1, 2019. FLEXCOM members will vote on the nominations at their April meeting. Please submit your nomination to Stephen A. Montagna, CFLS, FLEXCOM Vice-Chair.
Are you a Section member who wants to be reminded of all the benefits? Do you have a colleague on the fence about joining the Section? Being a Family Law Section member offers a number of great benefits. Read More.
View Family Law Section programs over the internet for participatory MCLE credit . Choose from hundreds of hours of official State Bar of California MCLE programs. For more information, see streaming audio and video, and select Family Law Be sure to check out CLEtoGo , downloadable podcasts you can listen to while commuting.
Who said family law lawyers weren’t social? A reminder, our Family Law Section is on Facebook and Twitter - join us! The Section sees social media as another way to connect our members with information as it develops. Stay in touch with us to learn about the great work being done by Section members across the state. You can Like us on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter.
Family Law Section
California Lawyers Association
180 Howard Street, Suite 410
San Francisco, CA 94105-1639