Family Law

Family Law News 2017, Issue 1, Volume 39, No. 1

Message from the Editor

Dawn Gray

Welcome to 2017. As I reply when I am told to "act my age," I have never before been as old as I am today, so every day is a new frontier, and I am unexplored and evolving. Family law is also in some ways unexplored and evolving, which is one of the most interesting aspects of this area of practice. In that spirit, this issue of Family Law News deals with some very cutting-edge and timely family law topics. One of those issues is gender identity, a topic that has ramifications for custody and dependency practice, but one that many of us may not have considered. In their article, Avi Levy, CFLS, and Nathan Gabbard, CFLS, review current statistics on transgender youth and discuss legislation impacting them as well as associated legal issues. What might a judicial determination of a child’s best interest look like when parents do not agree whether the minor child should be allowed to identify as a gender other than what he or she was assigned at birth? This is one issue raised in their excellent discussion.

Deborah Wald, CFLS, AAARTA, ACAL/ACFFL, together with Richard B. Vaughn, a founding partner of the International Fertility Law Group, have updated their 2015 article on Assisted Reproduction law, including legislation effective on January 1, 2016, involving egg donation and other topics. They also discuss very recent cases involving custody disputes over frozen embryos and where statutes have not caught up with changes in assisted reproduction technology. You can earn one hour of self-study MCLE credit by taking the short quiz after reading the article, but whether you need the credit or not, this article will update you on an ever-evolving area of family law.

How should you respond to a negative online review from a client? As attorneys, we are not free to disclose confidential information imparted by our clients, and our avenues of response are limited by the Rules of Professional Conduct. In his extremely timely article, Stephen Hamilton, CFLS (FLEXCOM) discusses what we can and can’t do in response to negative reviews, discusses the latest ethics opinions on the subject, and offers suggestions for responses that won’t run afoul of the Rules.

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