MCLE SELF-STUDY ARTICLE: Integration of the Family Code, Evidence Code, and Code of Civil Procedure for Effective Discovery Pursuant to the Fiduciary Duties
Jill Hersh is the managing attorney for the Hersh FamilyLaw Practice, a trial and appellate family law practice. Jill is a Certified Family Law Specialist whose firm specializes in a wide variety of family law matters. Jill has argued before the Supreme Courts of California and Vermont and was the lead trial and appellate lawyer in published appellate decisions, She is the 2006 recipient of the CLAY award and is a fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and the International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.
(Check the end of this article for information on how to access 1 hour of Legal Specialization in Family Law and 1 hour of general self-study credits.)
Family law attorneys have the unique opportunity to conduct discovery within a statutory scheme that is not available to lawyers practicing in other civil actions. Effective discovery in a family law case requires an integration of the Fiduciary Duties, the Evidence Code, and the Civil Discovery Act (Code of Civil Procedure sections 2016 through 2036.030, ("Discovery Act")). Family Law practitioners need to understand how to utilize this integrated system of statutes to maximize the benefits of the Fiduciary Duties and to cure their limitations as a discovery tool if used in isolation from the Evidence Code and the Discovery Act. The purpose of this article is to discuss how to integrate these three statutory schemes effectively on behalf of your clients and to the advantage of your practice.1