Message from the Chair
I wish all of you a very Happy and Healthy New Year!
2017 will be a year of achieving Honor and Excellence in Family Law.
Our incoming Supervising Judge, Judge Thomas Trent Lewis, already has
issued a "Call to Excellence" to all Family Law practitioners and Members of our
Bench. We have been met with an initial challenge by Judge Lewis—to state
three problem areas with three solutions which we believe impedes our goal of being the best we all can be in our field. Judge Lewis is holding his first town hall meeting
on January 23, 2017 at 4:00 p.m. in Department 2. All of us have been given the opportunity to participate in shaping the future for family law and to join with the Bench to discover what is needed and most importantly, the road to answering those needs,
for everyone who accesses our courts, from the solo practitioner to the large firms and
from the well-represented to the self-represented. Our challenging economic times
not only have left our courts with limited resources but have created a lower and middle class constituency of litigants who no longer can afford access to justice. However, our
Courts must be efficient for All. Judge Lewis' leadership brings with it the balance which is so desperately needed between the Bar and Bench and, we, as seasoned practitioners, have the concomitant duty and commitment to foster that balance.
On February 4, 2017, the Family Law Section will finally takes its leap into
the future by having our first Webinar. The focus will be on complex law and motion practice. We are very fortunate to have a panel of seasoned practitioners and judges at the forefront of this first Webinar. Judges Bruce Iwasaki, Timothy Dillon and Virginia Keeny will be joined by Mel Goldsman, Anne Kiley, Ira Friedman, Mark Gross, Claudia Ribet and Stephanie Barnett, all experienced practitioners. Paula Kane, the Chair of our Continuing Education Committee, has worked tirelessly on this program as well as on the upcoming Sorrell Trope Trial Institute which will be held on March 11, 2017.
As 2017 proceeds, we all will be part of the new age of paperless filing as
the Los Angeles Superior Court goes boldly into the future of a paperless courthouse.
Our Executive Committee is fortunate to have a group of attorneys on the forefront
of working with our Courts on this new system. We thank Steve Mindel, Ana Storey,
Marshall Waller and Steve Cawelti as our pioneers in this area.
As we leave 2016, I want to thank all of you for your hard work and dedication
to the field of family law. I especially want to take this opportunity to thank Judge Maren Nelson for her many years of commitment and work in Family Law. Judge Nelson will be sorely missed and we wish her only the best in her new venture.
I especially want to thank all of the Members of the Executive Committee who
work so hard for all of us. I am very honored to serve with each member on our journey to excellence and thank you for the privilege of serving our community.
Chair, Family Law Section
Los Angeles County Bar Association