Pasadena Family Law Blog

Pasadena Family Law Blog

  • I Am Looking To Get Sole Custody of My Son

    || 6-Nov-2015

    The following is an inquiry that was just posted on Lawyer.com and an example of the kind of thinking that tends to harm children: "I need a lawyer for a child custody case. I am looking to get full custody." Please don't think that such a statement is unusual. In fact, not a day goes by in which I don't receive such an inquiry from a potential client. It's all about what ...
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  • Can't We Learn from Other People's Mistakes?

    || 2-Nov-2015

    Using a retired judge or anyone else to "evaluate legal positions" is NOT mediation, regardless of what people may call it. Anyone can very easily look up the definition of mediation and what is involved. Mediation 101 is to get people off of their positions by flushing out what lies beneath those positions. There are only so many ways to try and convey the information I keep sharing ...
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  • " New State Bar president pushes for legal services, court funding " I am an advocate for increased access to legal services and I believe that increased funding for the judiciary accomplishes just the opposite. I am therefore a strong advocate against increased funding for the judiciary. The courts and the litigation process have been overused for a VERY long time. " Abraham ...
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  • The Cost of Court Inefficiencies

    || 26-Oct-2015

    I felt compelled to document on my blog the Facebook status update I posted while in court this morning for people to more easily find. The posting was as follows: I'm in court to walk a stipulated judgment through. It is now 9:52 a.m. and the judge has yet to take the bench for the 8:30 a.m. calendar. Meanwhile, people are paying their lawyers to sit and do nothing while the judge takes his ...
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  • Last night, I was interviewed by Jan Stevens on KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO - CBS Los Angeles. The topic was what must be done in order to properly address the police abuse issue and establish trust between the police and the citizens they are employed to serve and protect. I was appalled over the weekend, when I read articles which stated that law enforcement officers are not able to properly perform ...
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  • On January 13, 2011, in Michael Cassel v. The Superior Court of Los Angeles County, the California Supreme Court held that mediation confidentiality prevents the admissibility of evidence relevant to a legal malpractice claim if that evidence involves attorney-client communications "for the purpose of, in the course of, or pursuant to" mediation. Since that time, there has been a huge ...
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  • Litigation Is One of Life's Most Stressful Experiences

    || 13-Sep-2015

    On September 13, 2015, I received an email that said in pertinent part the following: "The big stress items in life are often listed as marriage, divorce, birth, death, and moving. Litigation should be included. Wow. You can 'know' it, but until you live it you can never really 'know' it." Truer words have never been spoken, as they say. Litigation is such a costly ...
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  • " A legendary hostage negotiator put feelings first... Feelings can cloud our judgment." IMAGINE THAT! “The very good negotiators, I think, are the ones with the life stories,” he concluded." SURPRISE! An "empathetic negotiating style" enables tapping into another's "life experiences." WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT? You should "deal with emotions ...
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  • "Mediation" as an "Alternative Form of Litigation"

    || 12-Sep-2015

    Last night, someone was telling us that she "mediated" her divorce many years ago and that her ex-husband failed to comply with the "mediated" agreement. I then told her that I found that odd because the research is very clear that when people enter into agreements in mediation through self-determination, the compliance rate is significantly higher than when people are ordered ...
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  • Family Law Cases Are the Vampires of the Legal Field

    || 10-Sep-2015

    On May 27, 2015, I attended the Beverly Hills Bar Association's monthly Family Law Section meeting. The topic on that date was "Post-Judgment Spousal Support: Creating Predictability on an Unpredictable Issue." One of the presenters, the Honorable Robert A. Schnider (Retired), commented that family law cases are considered the vampires of the legal field because the cases never die. ...
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  • On August 31, 2015, the United States Supreme Court " ruled against the Kentucky county clerk who has refused to issue same-sex marriage licenses." Let's decipher what occurred: The full U.S. Supreme Court denied the stay without comment. Kim Davis, the Rowan County, Kentucky clerk's request for "asylum for her conscience" that was filed by her lawyers with the Liberty ...
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  • I don't see why unnecessarily aggressive family law litigators should feel threatened by those of us who are assertive and yet psychologically-minded and child-centered in our approach, especially considering the power that "fear" and "anger" hold on us (if we allow such a hold). For example, last week, someone contact my office for a consultation on a matter because she ...
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  • On July 12, 2015, Laurence Kotlikoff published an article in Forbes titled " Is It Time For A National Divorce Law Too? " In that article, Mr. Kotlikoff describes just how arbitrary our laws are from state to state and how that impacts people who are divorcing, for example. He demonstrates how spousal support that would be awarded in the exact same case varies from state to state with ...
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  • Commentary on "Boy is cut off from friends"

    || 4-Aug-2015

    Boy's mother referred to him as "my son" three times, "our son" once and "our kids" once. When she used the phrase "our son," it involved the court battle with his father over custody. When she used the phrase "our kids," she was referring to kids she has with her husband, in addition to this particular boy. She also refers to the boy's ...
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  • At 8:20 a.m. on August 1, 2015, I was interviewed by Bob Brill on KNX News Radio. The topic was "Compared To A Lawsuit, Mediation Is Swift, Confidential, Solution Oriented, And Low Cost." Apparently, people seem to think that lawsuits can typically be resolved within 6 months, which is far from accurate. Lawsuits tend to take several years to resolve and people can resolve their issues ...
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  • On July 18, 2015, the New York Times published an article titled by Penelope Green titled " A New Cadre of Experts Helps Women Navigate Their Divorces." I am well aware of the existence of such so-called "experts." Having been through a divorce does not make one an "expert." In fact, some of the most destructive family law attorneys, mediators, divorce coaches, ...
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  • Is Ordering People to Have a Relationship Effective?

    || 10-Jul-2015

    On June 24, 2015, Lisa Gorcyca, Judge, Oakland County, Michigan family court, ordered " three kids, aged 9, 10 and 15, to Children's Village for civil contempt of court when they refused to talk to their father." You see, the judge had ordered them to have a "healthy relationship with their father" and they refused to even talk to him. The father stated that "the last ...
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  • On July 7, 2015, I read an article titled "Legal Ethics and Confirmation Bias " by Jayne Reardon, Executive Director at Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism. I shared that article, along with the following comment: "You will note that a solution involves EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE (EQ), something which lawyers tend to lack. Fortunately, EQ can be learned." The ...
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  • People should start being honest, for a change.

    || 5-Jul-2015

    The Confederate flag ceased to fly on April 9, 1865 and flew again in 1956 in opposition to Brown v. Board of Education. The Civil War was fought over slavery. When the South surrendered, the flag came down. The South then had Jim Crow laws in place, until the U. S. Supreme Court ruled to end segregation in public schools. As a sign of opposition, the Confederate flag was raised for the first time ...
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  • The LinkedIn Discussion over marriage equality that I shared in my prior post continued and the issues raised warrant sharing. I received the following response to the comments that I made: "Mark. Never meant to throw rocks, so I apologize if you feel I have done that. No offense meant for sure. My wife is very happy and our marriage is one of equality and unity. We walk together in agreement ...
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  • On February 14, 2014, the New York Times published an article by Eli J. Finkel titled " The All-or-Nothing Marriage." It is an article about how marriage has evolved over time in the United States. In that article he references a new theory of marriage that he developed with the psychologists Chin Ming Hui, Kathleen L. Carswell and Grace M. Larson, which was to be published later that ...
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  • I had a very interesting breakfast meeting this morning with two mental health professionals, both of whom have been involved with situations in which the State has taken custody of children away from the parents because of their substance abuse. They were telling me that an increasingly large number of grandparents are receiving custody of their grandchildren. I told them there was an aspect of ...
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  • Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner Should Be Proud

    || 30-Jun-2015

    Although I am a famiy law attorney and mediator, I am rarely pleased to hear when a couple is divorcing and the same is true for Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner. My thoughts are with both of them because regardless of how amicable a couple may be, divorce is tough, extremely stressful, and involves a great many losses. I am thrilled to hear that Ben and Jennifer are mediating their divorce. I am a ...
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  • I just had my interview with Jan Stevens on KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO - CBS Los Angeles. The topic was premarital agreements. We discussed the reality that everyone who marries has a premarital agreement, whether or not they realize it. They either accept the "default" prenup, which consists of the Family Law Code in existence in the jurisdiction in which you reside, at the time of the divorce, ...
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  • On June 23, 2015, I was the guest-of-honor at Michael Levine's monthly "City Talk" at Luna Park and the topic was conflict resolution. After everyone had introducted themselves, Michael asked me to briefly explain my path to conflict resolution and why I am so passionate about it. I explained the impact my parents' litigated divorce had on our family dynamics, how it led to our ...
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