•   Volume I, Number 6   •   February 2011   •   Archives of Past Issues   •


Message from the Chair

Dear Members,

As Chair of the Los Angeles County Bar Association Family Law Section, I am pleased to announce that our Executive Committee unanimously approved a letter to be sent to the Judicial Council commenting on Juvenile Law: Sibling Visitation - W11-04, Child Support: Revised Forms to Implement Changes to the Family Code and Improve Administration of Title IV-D Cases - W11-05, and Family Law: Live Testimony at Hearings and Declarations - W11-06, the new proposed Rules of Court 5-119 and amended rule 5-118. The letter, among other issues, addressed the concerns of the Committee regarding the limitations on the length of declarations while addressing significant issues that the Judicial Council should address. The full letter is attached below.

The Family Law Section has also voted to directly support the important work of LACBA's Domestic Violence Project ("DVP"). Therefore, the Section will donate $5.00 from every paid registration to support the operations of the DVP at the Mosk and Pasadena Courthouses. Learn more at the LACBA website.

On Thursday, March 3, 2011 the Los Angeles County Bar Association's Domestic Violence Project (DVP) will hold a reception to celebrate 25 years of providing legal assistance to victims of domestic violence and their families. Last year alone, the DVP helped more than 10,000 victims of domestic violence.

We have also been asked by the 4th Appellate District to prepare an amicus brief on a case before them. The case essentially asks the question, what are the FC 721 fiduciary duties to account between the date of separation and date of division.

The Court of Appeal has invited various organizations, included ours, to file amicus curiae briefs on the following questions:

"Recognizing that spouses have a fiduciary duty under Family Code section 721, subdivision (b)(2), to "[r]ender[] upon request, true and full information of all things affecting any transaction which concerns the community property," but that statute does not impose a duty for either spouse to keep detailed books and records of community property transactions," does a spouse have a duty to keep some records regarding community property transactions post-separation? If so, what is the nature and extent of that post-separation duty to account, and what remedies, evidentiary or otherwise, are available for its breach. For example should a spouse suffer some penalty, evidentiary or otherwise, if that spouse fails to keep any books or records showing the postseparation use or expenditure of community assets in his or her management and control at the date of separation and those assets are nonexistent or substantially depleted at the dateof marital property division?"

The Family Law Section is very active and we welcome your involvement.

Sincerely,

Debra S. Frank, Chair, Family Law Section



In This Issue



Events Coming Soon

View All Family Law Events 

February 5, 2011
When Court Proceedings Do Not Go as Planned, What Do You Do Next?
An expert panel will discuss the options and approaches that a family law attorney must consider when the court has made unfavorable findings or rulings against your client. The panel will also provide tips on presenting your case to the court to ensure that the court understands what you want to achieve on behalf of your client.
Click here for more information


March 3, 2011
Domestic Violence 25th Anniversary Celebration
On Thursday, March 3, 2011 the Los Angeles County Bar Association's Domestic Violence Project (DVP) will hold a reception to celebrate 25 years of providing legal assistance to victims of domestic violence and their families.

Since its founding in 1986, DVP has helped more than 100,000 victims of domestic violence – many who just suffered abuse – navigate the legal system at a critical point in their lives. Many victims are referred to DVP by law enforcement, shelters and social workers, while others are driven by their personal desire for help. Our DVP staff and attorney volunteers assist victims at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse in downtown Los Angeles and the Pasadena Courthouse in obtaining Temporary Restraining Orders, preparing for Judicial Preparation Hearings and understanding their legal rights.
Click here for more information. 

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News

The Los Angeles County Bar Family Law Section wrote a letter to the Judicial Council regarding the Proposed New Rules

Chair Debra Frank is pleased to announce that our Executive Committee unanimously approved a letter to be sent to the Judicial Council commenting on Juvenile Law: Sibling Visitation - W11-04, Child Support: Revised Forms to Implement Changes to the Family Code and Improve Administration of Title IV-D Cases - W11-05, and Family Law: Live Testimony at Hearings and Declarations - W11-06, the new proposed Rules of Court 5-119 and amended rule 5-118. The letter, among other issues, addressed the concerns of the Committee regarding the limitations on the length of declarations while addressing significant issues that the Judicial Council should address. The full letter can be read by clicking here.

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Special Note


News and Review

The California Conference of California Bar Associations, commonly known as the Conference of Delegates, is an organization that develops resolutions to be introduced as legislation. Here is a link to the website: http://www.calconference.org/main.html

The mission of the Conference of Delegates of California Bar Associations is "to serve justice in California by bringing together attorney volunteers from across the State representing diverse backgrounds, experience, and expertise to seek, debate, and promote creative, non-partisan solutions to law-related issues."

Each Bar Association each year receives proposals for resolutions from attorneys who are members, the proposals are vetted and submitted to the statewide conference. The resolutions are then debated at the annual meeting which is usually held at the same time as the State Bar meeting. Once the resolutions pass the Conference, the lobbyist for the Conference, currently Larry Doyle, tries to place them with legislators as sponsors. Last year in 2010, eleven resolutions proposed in 2009 were signed into law.

Currently, the resolutions from 2010 are now being placed with legislators in order to become bills for the 2011 legislative season. To view the 2010 family law resolutions that may become bills, go to http://www.calconference.org/res_2010_03.html All eight of these family law resolutions passed the Conference and are currently being circulated by Larry Doyle to find sponsors. This year, Family Law Executive Committee member Claudia Ribet has submitted a family law resolution to the Los Angeles County Bar Conference of Delegates. Her resolution seeks to amend Family Code section 3041.5 to allow the introduction into evidence of the underlying data for alcohol and drug tests. Even when a test for drugs or alcohol comes back as negative, that is because an arbitrary line has been established, and the underlying data may show that drugs or alcohol were actually present, just not up to the line that has been established by the federal guidelines for employment, which are the reference for the statute.

The Family Law Executive Committee Legislation Committee seeks to have a more active role in this process. It is an excellent path to get affirmative legislation passed. The deadline for submitting resolutions is usually December. If you have ideas for new legislation in the coming year, contact Barbara Hammers or Lynette Berg Robe, and we will try to get them submitted for next year.

Thank you,
Peter

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Case Summaries

Find more case summaries in LACBA's eBriefs.
To review only family law cases, 
first go to
 LACBA's eBriefs
and then go to:
 Search by Key Word/Subject Area 
and select "Family Law."
The case summaries and published opinions are archived from the past 90 days.


Failure to keep promise to add spouse's name to title is a breach of fiduciary duty rendering quit claim deed void. Attorney fees mandatory when one spouse found to have breached fiduciary duty pursuant to FC 1001 (g).
In re Marriage of Sandra and Edward Fossum.
     filed January 28, 2011, Second District, Div. One
    
Trial court erred in including children within the scope of a permanent domestic violence restraining order where it had previously found that it lacked emergency jurisdiction over those children under Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act because mother, who was the petitioner, already had initiated divorce and custody proceedings in a foreign country. California court was not precluded from revisiting issue of whether to exercise temporary emergency jurisdiction over the children under Family Code Sec. 3424(a) after it made findings that husband committed acts of domestic violence against wife witnessed by the children and that husband took the children without a court order and kept wife from seeing them for over three months, but where the court neither based its decision on that section nor followed its requirements when it included the children within the permanent restraining order, and where it effectively ignored the jurisdiction of the foreign court, prudence required appellate court to reverse the permanent restraining order as it pertains to the children, custody and visitation, and to remand the matter with instructions.
In re Marriage of Fernandez-Abin and Sanchez
     filed January 12, 2011, Fourth District, Div. One
     Cite as 2011 S.O.S. 240
Failure to register a marriage certificate did not invalidate a1991 marriage--which was solemnized and between consenting adults--under the Family Law Act.
Marriage of Cantarella
     filed January 11, 2011, Fourth District, Div. Three
     Cite as G042957
Family Code Sec. 1615(c)(2)--which provides that a prenuptial agreement is not enforceable unless the court finds that the party against whom enforcement is sought had at least seven calendar days between the date he or she was "first presented" with the agreement and advised to seek independent counsel, and the time he or she signed the agreement--does not apply where the party against whom enforcement is sought was represented by counsel throughout the transaction.
In re Marriage of Caldwell-Faso and Faso
     filed January 11, 2011, First District, Div. Four
     Cite as A126524

Trial court lacks jurisdiction to modify a pendente lite support order. Prospective modification of pendente lite support order exceeded court's jurisdiction where no motion or OSC for modification was filed after the order was rendered.

In re Marriage of Goodman and Gruen
     filed January 4, 2011, Fourth District, Div. One
     Cite as 2011 S.O.S. 100

Trust deed securing a promissory note issued in connection with a family law judgment may expire under provisions of the Marketable Record Title Act, despite Family Code Sec. 291, which provides that a family law judgment is enforceable until paid in full. MRTA and Sec. 291 do not conflict because a debt evidenced by a note and secured by a deed of trust is still owed even after the note expires under MRTA and the deed of trust is no longer enforceable. Application of Sec. 291 to a judgment entered prior to the section's effective date did not substantially interfere with debtor's rights where enforcement of that judgment would not have been subject to a time limitation under prior law.
Schelb v. Stein
     filed December 17, 2010, Second District, Div. Four
     Cite as B213929

Father's failure to provide for child prior to learning he was the biological father did not create a substantial risk that the child will suffer serious physical harm in the future. Child, however, remained a dependent of the court based on the sustained allegations against mother.

In re X.S.
     filed November 17, 2010, publication ordered December 13, 2010, Second District, Div. One
     Cite as B221851

Judgment on the pleadings for defendant in ex-wife's tort action based on alleged domestic violence was erroneously granted on ground that the issue was litigated in connection with ex-wife's claim for spousal support in the parties' divorce proceedings, where the divorce judgment was on appeal and thus not "final," and because request for spousal support was not based on the same primary right as the tort action.
Boblitt v. Boblitt
     filed November 30, 2010, Third District
     Cite as C061307

While federal law treats military allowances for housing and food as non-taxable and not subject to wage garnishment, it does preempt states from including such allowances in a party's gross income for purposes of calculating child and spousal support.
In re Marriage of Stanton
     filed November 24, 2010, Fourth District, Div. One
     Cite as 2010 S.O.S. 6647

Note: Juvenile and Dependency Court Cases are not included


Los Angeles County Bar Association
2010 to 2011 Family Law Section Newsletter
FAMILY LAW SECTION eNEWS
Peter M. Walzer, Editor


SECTION OFFICERS EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEMBERS

Chair
Debra S. Frank

Chair-Elect
Robert C. Brandt

Vice Chair 
Lynette Berg Robe

Treasurer
Peter M. Walzer

Secretary
Seth Kramer

Immediate Past Chair
Roberta B. Bennett

Section Administrator
Gail Coleman

Andrea Balian
Judy L. Bogen
Ronald F. Brot
Gary Fishbein
David H. Friedman
Rosemarie Gallegos
Raymond R. Goldstein
Christiaan J. Gordon
Richard F. Gould-Saltman
Barbara K. Hammers
Paula Kane
David S. Karton
Connolly Oyler


Cari M. Pines
Lucia A. Reyes
Claudia N. Ribet
Glen H. Schwartz
Roslyn S. Soudry
Joseph P. Spirito
Jeff M. Sturman
Evan T. Sussman
Sorrell Trope
Heidi S. Tuffias
Charles Wake
David K. Yamamoto
SUBSECTION MEMBERS

Judicial Liaison, Commr. John Chemeleski
Judicial Liaison, Commr. Scott M. Gordon
Judicial Liaison, Hon. Mark A Juhas
Judicial Liaison, Hon. Maren E. Nelson
Judicial Liaison, Hon. Marjorie S. Steinberg
Liaison, Noel H. Appelbaum, CPA
Liaison, David Kuroda
Liaison, Margaret A. Little, Ph.D.
Liaison, Mary Lund Ph.D.

Liaison, Paul J. White, CPA
Barrister Liaison, Kelley Finan
Past Chair, William J. Glucksman
Past Chair, Harold J. Cohn
Past Chair, James R. Eliaser
Past Chair, Ira M. Friedman
Past Chair, Dianna J. Gould-Saltman
Past Chair, Dvorah Markman
Past Chair, Leonard J. Meyberg Jr.

 


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