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Family Law

Message from the Chair

Flexcom’s Past, Present & Future

My chair message practically wrote itself this month due to the confluence of several events in March. It also easily let me continue my theme of threes. This month’s subject is the Family Law Executive Committee’s Past, Present and Future.

Flexcom’s Past

Our history was visited during the Family Law Executive Committee’s first ever Past Chair Dinner. All surviving past chairs of the Family Law Section were invited to observe part of our meeting and attend a special dinner in their honor.  The past chairs who attended were:

2006-2007

2008-2009

2010-2011

2011-2012

2012-2013

2013-2014

2014-2015

2015-2016

2017-2018

Mary Molinaro

Jill Barr

Sherry J. Perterson

Chris C. Melcher

Mark Ressa

Andrew Cain

Raymond R. Goldstein

Vanessa Kirker-Wright

Avi Levy

I greatly appreciate the Past Chairs giving up their time and counsel to the current members of FLEXCOM. It also gave our current members the opportunity to recognize the Past Chairs’ contributions to the practice of family law in California over the past four decades.

Flexcom’s Present

The Executive Committee’s present consisted of a two-day meeting held on March 8 and 9, 2019, in Pismo Beach, California. One of the benefits of being Chair is selecting the meeting locations. I took advantage of this opportunity to invite the current FLEXCOM members to my hometown. 

This was our first big legislation meeting for the year. During the meeting, we considered 56 different bills that could impact the practice of family law.  These bills included:

  • AB 455, which will allow a court to issue an ex parte order enjoining a party from remotely controlling connected devices in the home of the protected party. 
  • AB 1165, that would prohibit a person from serving as a professional supervision provider if they are required to register as a sex offender and require professional providers to complete a LiveScan criminal background check before providing supervised visitation services.
  • SB 435, which would allow expert witnesses in family law cases to consider hearsay evidence in formulating their opinions. The bill also includes provisions which ease the burden of introducing financial records, health care records and other documents regularly relied upon in family law litigation. The bill is intended to limit the application of People v. Sanchez in family law matters.

This is just a sampling of the bills considered by FLEXCOM, and by no means an exhaustive list. However, they give you an idea of the types of legislation FLEXCOM considers annually. As a section, our input is not only given high regard but also sought out by the Legislature.

Flexcom’s Future

Our future as a section is you. Maintaining an active and engaged membership is critical to our success now that the practice sections are independent from the State Bar. Your comments and contributions are needed, and will help us remain a viable and strong voice. You can contribute by authoring an article for either the Family Law News (print) or the Family Law News Monthly (electronic).   You can also contribute by attending our webinars or live education events.  Or if you really want to take the deep plunge, submit an application to join FLEXCOM.  Applications can be found here.        

Applications are due April 5, 2019. Although the application states the deadline is March 1, 2019, the Family Law Section requested an extended application period, as we will not be selecting our new members until our April meeting. 

I can say without equivocation that being a part of FLEXCOM has made me a much better family law attorney.  It has also allowed me to make contributions to family law beyond my local area of practice. So, if you would like to be a part of FLEXCOM’S future, I strongly encourage you to submit your application.

Omne Trium Perfectum

Stephen D. Hamilton
Chair, Family Law Executive Committee of the
California Lawyers Association

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