Family Law

Family Law News Issue 3, 2020, Volume 42, No. 3

Message from the Chair

Stephen A. Montagna, CFLS

Historically, the fourth chair message is the last message of the outgoing chair, marking the change of the guard which occurs at the California Lawyers Association Annual Meeting. My predecessors have used their final article to touch on an array of issues, provide their final thoughts on important topics, thank those within the section who have helped them along the way, and to wish luck to the incoming officers, members, and advisors. When I started out my term, I had planned to follow suit and continue on in this tradition as it seemed to be a fail-proof format. However, much like all things in 2020, things have not gone as planned.

Earlier this year CLA voted and approved a measure which allowed the individual Sections the ability to suspend bylaws and extend term limits for officers, members and advisors, by one year. FLEXCOM was one of the Sections that chose to move forward in this fashion, which means this will not be my last message as Chair. If you recall from one of my previous chair messages, I have an uncanny ability to make a Godfather reference in any situation. This not being the exception, what comes to mind is a famous Godfather III quote, "just when I think I’m out—they pull me back in".

If I’m being honest with myself and to you, our section members—extending the term was not something I was overly enthusiastic about. There is, after-all, a lot of work both on the surface and behind the scenes, which normally comes with being a volunteer on this committee. We participate in the legislative process by reviewing and providing input on proposed family law legislation each year. We draft affirmative legislation, with the hopes of fixing areas of the law needing to be fixed. We put together and provide educational programs across a variety of platforms aimed at elevating the standards of practice in family law. Our target audience ranges from the brand-new attorney to the seasoned specialist. Every year we hope to expand our list of members and continue to build off the foundational work each previous year has accomplished.

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