Let's Get Honest! Absolutely Uncommon Analysis of Family & Conciliation Courts' Operations, Practices, & History

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Archive for December 2009

Stocking Stuffers: 2009-2010 Status of Women, if Jesus had been born in CPS era, and Jurisdictionary plea.

with 2 comments

 

California Commission on the Status of Women 2009

http://women.ca.gov/images/pdf/issues/1073.2009.2010publicpolicyagenda.pdf

 

Public Policy Agenda

and Proposals

to the

Governor and State

Legislature

2009 – 2010 Session

 

 

 

HERE is the list Family Law is 9th.

 

 

2009-2010 Priorities • 1
Child Care • 2
Civil Rights • 3
Economic Security • 4
CalWORKS • 5
Education • 6
Employment • 8
Family Law • 9
Health • 10
Substance Abuse and Mental Health • 13
Long Term Care & Aging • 14
Reproductive Health • 15
Crisis Pregnancy Centers • 16
Teen Pregnancy and Parenting • 17
Violence • 17
Sexually Exploited Minors • 19
Teen Dating Violence • 20
Women and Girls in the CriminalJustice System • 20
Women and Corrections • 20
Girls in the Juvenile Justice System • 22
Women Veterans • 23

================

 

This would be good reading, for sure…..

 

Family Law

 

California is failing to protect its most
vulnerable children.

 

[[Not that this is exactly breaking news…]]

 

Whether it is child support enforcement, the foster care system, or the family courts, the rights and safety of many women and
children are at risk.

 

[[In a masterful understatement, not mentioned here — many have also died, probably needlessly… Others remain in the custody of their abusers…In truth “at risk” is a diversionary phrase.  They have died.  What about THOSE?  So, as to the living ones, then…]]

 

Courts are overburdened and
court personnel often lack knowledge and
resources needed to address the complex issues
of domestic violence and child abuse. [*] Women
often suffer financially and emotionally as a result
of unjust rulings
. In order to improve outcomes for
children and families, the Commission supports
the following agenda:

Legislative Proposals
1. Establish an independent state-level oversight
committee/commission to review child custody
proceedings to better inform public policy, with a
particular focus on cases with allegations of
child abuse or domestic violence (Priority)

2. Establish a multidisciplinary team of professionals
with expertise in assessing child abuse
and domestic violence to evaluate cases when
child custody is in dispute and such allegations
are made against one of the parties
3. Strengthen the right of custodial parents to
relocate without the risk of losing custody of
children
4.Support a State General Fund appropriation to
backfill lost federal matching incentive funds for
administrative costs in the child support program**
5. Require judges, mediators, custody evaluators,
law enforcement officers and social workers to
receive education on how to coordinate and
interface with all appropriate agencies in child
custody cases as a means of preventing
systems from failing to meet the needs of
families

If you know my blog, you know I’m not into this solution, because I don’t think that’s the problem. I think that if these personnel receive MOTIVATION (not “education”) to do the right thing, when evidence is on the record, that would be a nice gift for this season….

 

6. Allow children the opportunity to speak directly to the judge regarding their custody and visitation wishes and needs

 

 

And just hope that no undue influence has been applied outside the court…. (??? in a DV case??)

 

 

Administrative Proposals
7. Require judicial education regarding
• the dynamic of domestic violence and child
abuse, including the invalidity of the
“Parental Alienation Syndrome” (Priority)
• transgender individuals to prevent
discrimination in child custody matters due
to a parentʼs transgender status
8. Support a request for a Joint Legislative Audit
Committee to audit child custody cases involving
allegations of child abuse or domestic violence
9. Establish a judicial performance evaluation
system for appellate and trial court judges and
commissioners using American Bar Association
guidelines…

 

Study Proposals
10. An update of the 1987 “Senate Task Force On
Family Equity” report on family law
11. A study of gender fairness in the California
family courts

 

 

[added in 2011 commentary:]

[*]Viewing this post, over a year later, again (as then) phrases pop out, that somehow we, the public, are to understand ( believe) that Judges DON’T understand what we do —  behaving like an out of control kindergartner in a marriage (or after sex has produced a child, producing whats’ called a mother, and a father, if not a family) and asserting dominance over pregnant, nursing, or mothers of young children — is wrong and dangerous to others than just the pregnant, nursing or mother of young children.  Or, to fail to understand that real adult men, really do (and sometimes women, I fear & hear) molest children, and that’s a euphemism.  IN such case, to continue this, they have to get rid of any parent who would stop this.  The venue where this happens is “family” court.

 

All these people wanting to reform family court, and keep the professionals, while tossing off lives left and right (and some of the damage hit sthe community) and failing to account for usage of grants to the California Judicial Council/Administrative Office of the Courts / Center for Families & Children in the Courts (CFCC, or whatever the acronym) and from there, at a minimum, the “access/visitation” grants system spinning off of welfare reform, which criticizes women of color (primarily) for being poor, and determines to help men of color that have been made poor by the same type of mentality — and this system to supposedly reform welfare and help poor people, is being exploited by very RICH people, and a lot of powerful, white males, to keep their kids.  See Nassau County, (NY). wife jailed for ‘alienating” her children.  Nassau County, people….Different coast, same mentality.

 

Also (I learned in this 2010) the “fatherhood commissions” are legislated into various states.  Now it’s time for “You, the people” to figure that out.

 

Or, keep paying taxes without expecting ANY, and I mean ANY accountability in a timely fashion to what the hell they are being used for. YOU take one day a week out of spa, or whatever (or something — like church, if it applies? — and get on-line and fact-check organizations like “Kids’ Turn” or others that are being marketed worldwide (now, in other countries) and funded by U.S. Federal $$, then having parents ordered into counseling, education, and in essence becoming the permanent “infants” (no matter their ages) to the everpresent BigBrother/”fatherland.”

 


[end of, added in 2011 commentary]


Ah, well.

 

No, This is closer to my legislative proposal, taken from an email from the author of “Jurisdictionary [TR]”. He waxes eloquent, but he talks about loving JUSTICE in addition to the natural human love we have for each other. He is talking about getting ourselves educated on how the justice system works. Not paying taxes to hire experts to talk to experts about how it SHOULD work and why it doesn’t (only). There is something individuals can do; teach themselves how it works! (Should be required with the marriage certificate, probably).

 

Love is manifested in many strange and wonderful forms.

There is the unmistakable, mystical love of a mother for her offspring, incomparable, impossible for us men to ever comprehend.

There is the love of a soldier for his comrades at arms, a power deep within the heart that motivates the impossible and sometimes galantly gives the soldier’s final gift.

And, there are other forms of love too many to list here.

Yet, in that mix of many forms of love there is an adoration that dwells deep in the breast of every one of us: the love of honor, the love of peace, and the love of justice that has rules by which our peace and shared prosperity can be fashioned and preserved both for ourselves and those who follow after, justice that is not perverted by the persuasion of power nor undermined by the influence of base motives.

Justice is, perhaps, the greatest of our American ideals.

We must immediately decide for justice that has rules.

We must unquestioningly decide and seek every practical mechanism we can find to promote the ideal of justice that has rules … not for one or a few but for everyone.

. . .

The American Dream is an Holy Experiment, a Republic under law and not an oligarchy of powerful men free to do as they choose and justice be damned.

The American Dream is a Wise People.

  • A People who care for those who are unjustly treated.
  • A People United.
  • A People united by a vision that puts honor first, with love, mercy, kindness, courage, and justice constrained by rules.
  • Whatever your faith this Season, whatever your political persuasion, whatever notions you’ve picked up from others about the horrors we are threatened with at the hands of those who hold ideas contrary to our own, remember this:

We are One People United by Our Ideals!

We are one precisely because we share ideals, of which the chiefest is that justice must have rules, and those who judge must obey those rules to-the-letter!

Cling to those ideals as dearly as you embrace your own children, for they preserve your children more than anything that you alone can do, more than any army, more than any doctor, more than anything you can imagine … for those ideals we share as Americans are the very hope of the world!

Tell everyone about us, please, and do what you can to help us promote your ideals!

… Dr. Frederick D. Graves, JD

www.Jurisdictionary.com

www.AmericanJusticeFoundation.com

Yeah, it’s an item for sale. But it’s designed for the general public, not the experts, and it teaches principles.  I don’t have to share his faith to share the concept that there are rules we ALL should know and hold our appointed officials to by any means possible, and send a strong message that we are NOT their property, they are our paid servants, by law.

 

to do this, more people need to actually understand the financial systems also..

 

 

 

 

And a final thought for the evening — suppose Jesus had been born in a manger, and CPS had caught wind of it?  Oh my God, Mary would never see him again.

 

Plus, part of his childhood, it appears he went to sleep in a fatherless home.  Well, at least somewhere in there Joseph disappeared.

 

I think Jesus did all right, don’t you?  He had a Father figure, at least….

 

More irreverence later….

 

THESE are a START in understanding WHASSUP with “women and Children” — learn the origins of this CFDA, the promoters, what else they promoted, and how they have changed the face of litigation throughout this country.  Here’s TAGGS.hhs.gov, ALL I did was sort on “CFDA 93.597.”  I learned this at NAFCJ.net, talked to the site author, and fact-checked  Wake up!

S

tate = CALIFORNIA
CFDA Number = 93597

Recipient: CA ST DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES
Recipient ZIP Code: 95814

FY Award Number Budget Year
of Support
Agency Award Code Action
Issue Date
Amount
This Action
1998 9701CASAVP 1 ACF 2 05-31-1998 $1,113,750.00
1998 9801CASAVP 1 ACF 1 09-01-1998 $1,113,750.00
1999 9901CASAVP 1 ACF 2 08-16-1999 $987,501.00
2003 9801CASAVP 1 ACF 7 02-24-2003 ($250,805.00)
2003 9901CASAVP 1 ACF 5 02-25-2003 ($139,812.00)
2009 9901CASAVP 1 ACF 8 09-14-2009 ($38,917.00)
Award Subtotal: $2,785,467.00

Recipient: CA ST DEPT OF CHILD SUPPORT SERVICES
Recipient ZIP Code: 95741

FY Award Number Budget Year
of Support
Agency Award Code Action
Issue Date
Amount
This Action
2000 0001CASAVP 1 ACF 3 08-24-2000 $987,501.00
2001 0001CASAVP 1 ACF 4 10-06-2000 ($987,501.00)
Award Subtotal: $0.00

Recipient: CA ST JUDICIAL COUNCIL
Recipient ZIP Code: 94107

FY Award Number Budget Year
of Support
Agency Award Code Action
Issue Date
Amount
This Action
2001 0010CASAVP 1 ACF 5 10-10-2000 $987,501.00
2001 0110CASAVP 1 ACF 1 08-23-2001 $987,501.00
2002 0210CASAVP 1 ACF 2 08-06-2002 $970,431.00
2003 0310CASAVP 1 ACF 1 09-11-2003 $970,431.00
2004 0410CASAVP 1 ACF 1 09-15-2004 $988,710.00
2005 0510CASAVP 1 ACF 1 09-14-2005 $988,710.00
2006 0610CASAVP 1 ACF 1 09-19-2006 $987,973.00
2007 0710CASAVP 1 ACF 1 07-20-2007 $950,190.00
2008 0810CASAVP 1 ACF 1 01-30-2008 $957,600.00
2009 0010CASAVP 1 ACF 8 09-14-2009 ($48,827.00)
2009 0110CASAVP 1 ACF 4 09-14-2009 ($26,938.00)
2009 0210CASAVP 1 ACF 6 09-14-2009 ($46,392.00)
2009 0310CASAVP 1 ACF 2 09-14-2009 ($15,092.00)
2009 0910CASAVP 1 ACF 1 12-23-2008 $942,497.00
2010 1010CASAVP 1 ACF 1 11-25-2009 $946,820.00
2011 1110CASAVP 1 ACF 1 10-08-2010 $928,087.00
Award Subtotal: $11,469,202.00
Total of all awards: $14,254,669.00

 

Recipient: CA ST JUDICIAL COUNCIL
Address: 303 SECOND STREET, SOUTH TOWER
SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94107
Country Name: United States of America
County Name: SAN FRANCISCO
DHHS Region: 9
Type: Other Social Services Organization
Class: State Government

Award Actions

FY Award Number Budget Year
of Support
Award Code Agency Action Issue
Date
Amount This
Action
2011 1101CASCIP 1 1 ACF 12-10-2010 $ 799,429
2011 1110CASAVP 1 1 ACF 10-08-2010 $ 928,087
Fiscal Year 2011 Total: $ 1,727,516

WONDER WHAT 1101CASCIP (court Improvement Program) is?  Well, so do I.

 

THIS SITE CONTINUES TO EXPAND, AND PEDDLE THE “YOU MUST GET ALONG WITH YOUR PERP” MENTALITY; “HE WAS YOUR PURP, NOT YOUR CHILDREN’S, RIGHT?”

 

http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/programs/cfcc/

HOW COME THE STATUS ON WOMEN DOESN’T REPORT ON THIS?

 

This is the “official” view:

http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/programs/cfcc/pdffiles/Snapshot2008SummaryFindings.pdf

Key Findings

 The majority of mediation sessions involve clients who are self-represented. The proportion of cases involving at least one self-represented party has increased steadily over time, from 52 percent of cases in 1991 to 75 percent of cases in 2008.

 The population of mediation clients is ethnically diverse, the majority being non-White. The proportion of Hispanic/Latino clients has increased since the 1991 survey.

 The mediation population includes many non-English speaking clients who may be in need of special language services. Mediators reported that special language services were used in 10 percent of mediation sessions. Approximately one out of ten clients indicated that they would have benefitted from, but did not receive, this sort of language assistance—including more bilingual staff, and bilingual interpreters or mediators.

Many families have been seen multiple times by family court services and are in mediation to try to reach agreement on more than one type of order and to discuss a wide range of concerns. The most frequent issues cited by mediation clients are problems with visitation arrangements not working, the other parent not following the order, and child emotional adjustment and behavioral concerns.

Not cited– threats to kidnap, actual kidnappings, and child abuse, stalking, or death threats from the other parent, which we are told happen, after a case becomes a “statistic.”  This report dates to 2008.  In 2008, in Contra Costa County, there was a triple-homicide/femicide, DV-& divorce-related.  In 2007 in Oakland, there was a church-parking lot gunning down of a woman who was trying to stay alive, on a mid-week morning with lots of witnesses.  In 2006, there was a woman who disappeared (mother of two young kids) on a routine exchange, when her ex was thousands behind on child support (Reiser).  In 2005, there was (I believe in SF), a man who’d been stalking just a temporary GIRLFRIEND (not even a parental situation) who was ‘diverted into” domestic violence counseling, like many fathers are.  Days after he got an A+ from that sesssion, her body shows up in a trunk.  (McAlpin).  We have had little girls show up in suitcases in ponds (Sandra Cantu), young women kept captive in back yards, giving birth to and raising children by their captor/rapists (Garrido) and all kinds of horrible events happen.  The treatment of women throughout this Bay Area has been horrific.  Meanwhile, many of the justice NONprofits (vs. “agencies”) are in it for themselves (see my “Dubious Doings by District Attorneys” post.  The CEO is a plum position, and the women needing the protection are at the bottom of the barrel.

These reports here are meaningless to many women in my situation.  We personally know mediators that regularly lie, fail to do intake forms, and break rules of court designed to protect children, in particular, when writing orders.  This creates chaos in their lives, and chaos in the community, and increases poverty — of the affected parites, and those helping them.  It creates “business as usual” for the court.    Look here — they say it, right up front:

Family violence is a common issue among mediation clients. More than half of the families reported a history of physical violence between the parents.

THE FAMILY COURT paradigm is “Families” and “between the parents.”  When one is assaulting another, the only thing “between them” is not enough airspace, and not enough distance.  The blows are typically going ONE way, not both ways.  The word “family violence” is to replace the term “domestic violence” which is a misdemeanor, or felony, in this state.  It is no accident.  MORE THAN HALF the FAMILIES reported — means typically ONE parent reported first, and possibly obtained a civil, or criminal, order — at which time the other would be foolish to fail to acknowledge it.  That’s how the term “families …. reported… a history of physical violence.”  Moreover, if the children were not interviewed by this mediator, then it’s only adults reporting.  This phrase is a coverup of an ugly reality.

Approximately 15 percent of both mothers and fathers indicated that there was a current restraining order in place. Concern for future violence with the other parent was common, as was the concern for possible child abuse by the other parent.

 

Let’s see how oblique and indirect a “report” can get.  What does the  phrase of both mothers and fathers need to come in here for?  The very grants system that ensures lots and lots of mediation happens (see this same site, Access/Visitation programs) does NOT say “mother and fathers” much at all — but “parents” or “Noncustodial” etc.  Why stick it in here, haphazardly?  To show that Dads get restraining orders too now?  Well, they do, but why mention it here, and retain the same consistency of saying the word “mother” throughout, then?

 The length of the mediation session and time spent preparing for mediation varied. The median face-to-face service time was 90 minutes and the median preparation time was 15 minutes.

The words “physical violence, history of” equates to “domestic violence.”  There are lethality risks involved here, and there typically has been some serious physical injury, though not also.  MOreover, physical violence indicates other forms of intimidation and coercion, generally speaking.  And to resolve this potentially life-threatening (and childhood stultifying lifestyle of WHICH parent, primarily, against the other — or is fighting back to protect oneself also “mutual violence”?  — the litigants get a whopping 90 minutes (we didn’t — the one joint sessions, more like half that, and subsequent separate sessions I swear it was a half hour, at most, and a farce at that).  There are two ways to do this:  Jointly, in which case a woman sits with her batterer or abuser that she just confronted by filing a DV order, in the same room, and attempts to “negotiate” with the mediator, which I did.  Never again!  NO way can you keep those thoughts on target that early in the game after separation.  the other way — (all subsequent mediations), separate.  In which case, there is NO real recourse for a party whose mediation report has factual errors, material ones, or was out of compliance.  Why?  Because if that family court judge bases an order on that mediator’s report (which they will, typically), then the life goes through another immediate upheaval.  She (or he) has to deal with that upheaval FIRST, and appeal, if possible — second.

 

OK, stop, look, and listen.  HALF had domestic violence (excuse me, “a history of physical violence” .. “family violence.”)  Don’t think it’s an accident that the word “domestic violence” (which might point one to somewhere in the family, or criminal code, with defining terms…) is NOT used here.  But MORE than 50% had a history of physical violence, and of those, only 15% had a CURRENT restraining order.  So, who didn’t get restraining orders, or who took them off?

Family court judges, after these cases went through mediation, right? . . . . . Get it??…..

 Overall, parents reached agreement in slightly less than half of cases. Agreement rates were higher for parties who were working on initial orders than for those who were working on modified orders.

OK — over 50% had a history of physical violence “between” (i.e., two sets of attacks met mid-air, collided, and none hit another body?? That’s “between” — or, blows were equally exchanged, like in the movie Crouching Tiger, til both lay exhausted?? ??? I don’t think so.)  And UNDER 50% (“slighty less than half”) “reached agreement.”  In any classroom, this would be a definite fail-rate on the part of the mediator.  This means that in less than half the situations, one parent took a stand on some issue.

 

Reading further on this pdf report, it seems that mediators spent more time on the study than they did per client (15 minutes, average).

 

Clients rated their experiences in mediation very positively. For example, three-quarters or more of the clients provided favorable ratings on items related to procedural fairness.

What about other items?  Which 3/4 or more (which — was it?  75% or more than 75%?  Is this summary typical of how accurate a mediation report is?)

Parent Survey

This survey was completed by parents prior to their mediation session. The Parent Survey covered topics such as the purpose of the mediation session, issues to be discussed during the session, family violence history, legal representation, and parent demographics. Parent Surveys were completed by 3,176 clients representing 1,741 families. One or both parents completed a parent survey for 95 percent of sessions for which a mediator survey was completed.”

 

One OR Both parents in a litigation proceeding, lumped together, consisted in 95% of the sessions for which a survey was completed, which resulted in 75% satisfaction.

 

Well, in my case, the father was satisfied (and subsequently tried to derail my fact-finding in the courtroom to “the mediator’s report,” which recommended an overnight custody switch despite recently felony child-stealing, reported, by me, and obvious from the facts).  I was dissatisfied, obviously.  This is why I think vendor payments are more relevant than any organization receiving millions of $$ to increase noncustodial parenting time THROUGH mediation, in reporting on the results of Mediation.  Of course they are going to give a positive report — if not, they’ll have to go find some other nipple to nurse off, than these access/visitation grants program, administered through the OCSE to the State of California Judicial Council, etc.

 

From this 2008 pdf, still, look at what they are attempting to discuss in the FAMILY law venue:

Table 2: What Issues Are You Here to Discuss?

Parent Issues N %

Visitation arrangements not working3 717 41%

Other parent not following order 615 35%

Other parent should be supervised during visitation 294 17%

Other parent’s alcohol abuse 282 16%

Other parent’s drug abuse 279 16%

One person is moving 216 12%

Child abduction/taking child without permission 197 11%

THE ABOVE ARE “PARENT ISSUES” AND NOT “CHILD ISSUES”  — Except the first “visitation arrangements not working” which is too vague to mean much, and “should be supervised” which indicates (a) report of abuse of child during visitation, or threats to abduct OR (as equally possible) (b) Parental Alienation claims to counter (a)…an underlying criminal issues as to the first, and NOT as sto the second) and “is moving” (move-aways, which also will fall neatly under “parental alienation” claims) — ALL of these issues involved contempt of a court order (“not following is the degradation of the word “contempt of”) substance abuse — which is bad parenting — and the last one is either (a) a crime or (b) what sure looks like one, “taking child without permission.”.  These are not “parent issues” as so labeled.  They are contempt of court order issues.

 

ADD TO THIS — the court orders typically, when DV has been outed, or Child Abuse, are StiLL written so vaguely as to ensure constant negotiation needed by (when DV has occurred) a custodial parent with her (yeah, her) former abuser, which was my case.  I have never seen a more vaguely written court order, I had to go to court years later to even get a location written in.  Holiday exchanges had no location AND no time of exchange.  Summer Vacations had no stipulation and resulted in our children not being able to attend summer workshops and events which would’ve helped their college vacations, in areas of already identified interests.  I was able to do these while the RO was on, and had to stop once it hit family law, thanks to this mediator’s version of reality.  Basically, mediation is going to remove a safety boundary for the custodial parent.  Add to this, joint legal with sole physical means, there is no end of argument possible.  I cannot imagine any business, sports team, investment, or performance oriented group that would be able to operate under such circumstances, with no enforceable rules when a chaotic individual wants to pre-empt the field.  Add to this the impact of the child SUPPORT factor — which mediation refuses to address, although it’s a hot topic — and you have utter, complete, disorder — designed to bring business to the courts after one failed mediation session, to another.

Then, on the basis of “overburdened” and “overcrowded” they can ask for more grants.

 

Child Issues

Child emotional adjustment 513 29% Child behavior problems 355 20% School problems 331 19% Child refuses to visit 233 13% Child medical needs 213 12% Delay in child growth or development 99 6%

Violence/Abuse Issues

Domestic violence 318 18% Child neglect 306 18% My safety with other parent 304 17%

Child physical abuse Child sexual abuse. 159 9% 40 2%

Note: N = 1,741 families. Percentages sum to more than 100 because respondents were able to check more than one item.

I find that every single one of those items relates to children, and many of them are LEGAL issues and CRIMINAL issues.  Mediators should not be handling such matters, but they are.  These matters also should not be before family court judges, with their HUGE amount of discretion, but they are.

 

That said, District Attorneys have the discretion to not prosecute.  All in all, it’s a joke, basically.

And a “joint legislative audit” isn’t going to fix that.

 

This is where to look, for starters:

California’s Access to Visitation Grant Program (Fiscal Year 2009–2010)

REPORT TO THE CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE MARCH 2010

 

Then do the follow-up, whether in your state, or if you are California, here.

 

[I am in a real rambling, ranting mode today.  So be it! 01/2011]

 

 

Dr. [Phyllis] Chesler // Dear Alice [Walker] // Dear [Pres.] Obama

leave a comment »

 

From the Chesler Chronicles site, verbatim, except see that site for the comments…  Not timely for the season, but still a timely topic…

April 1st, 2008 11:51 am

A Letter to Alice Walker in Response to her Pro-Obama Article

Dear Alice:

Hello old friend. As you know, I have loved your writings, (I still do), both your novels and your poems and above all, your golden success. You also once blessed me personally back when you alone chose to believe my allegations of rape at the hands of a black “brother” and you reached out to me privately when our white feminist sisters did not do so. You were there for me. You told me to tell the truth, that nothing else mattered as much.

Therefore, I will honor and “hear” you even if–especially if–we disagree on particular subjects. You believe that Barack Obama can somehow save our country. You are moved by his oratory and character. I am bowed beneath the weight of tribal sorrows and fear for our country and our world no matter who becomes the next American President.

But Alice: In your piece,
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/apr/01/barackobama.uselections2008 why oh why do you single out Israel as a wrong-doer and not Saudi Arabia? Israel but not the ethnic Arab Muslims of Sudan who are perpetrating genocide against black African Muslims and black Christians and who are mass raping black African girls and women? Israel and not Rwanda; Israel and not Iran, Libya, Algeria, Afghanistan, China, or North Korea, for their grieivous crimes against humanity? Why, Alice, why? You have got to know that anti-Semitism is also racism. Indeed, today, anti-Zionism is the new anti-Semitism and this pains me as much as the white racism and sexism of our feminist sisters once pained us both.

Reverend Martin Luther King’s oratory and nobility also thrilled me. I was part of the Northern Student Movement. I volunteered in Harlem. I quickly ran into a rank, thuggish, increasingly criminal style of sexism against women, both white and black, and it drove me out of the civil rights movement at that time. It was becoming a movement that increasingly despised white volunteers, Jewish volunteers, and one in which black men viewed white women mainly as sexual prey.

Alice: We each have scars that ache when it rains.

I pray that you consider re-considering the ease with which you reflexively scapegoat Israel for the crimes of so many rogue nations.
And if you do, perhaps you might set an example for Obama who perhaps became accustomed to a Jew-blaming culture in his Chicago Church.

Yours in struggle,
Phyllis

P.S. Do you really think our imperfect America is as bad as most other imperfect countries? And Cuba? It is a totalitarian prison camp which has persecuted its own, including artists, politicals, homosexuals. Are you so charmed by Castro’s dancing that you have forgotten all this?

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    And from JUSTICE4mothers.wordpress.com, and that’s all for today, folks:

    December 22, 2009

    Alabama Mother Killed by Father During Child Exchange

    Be careful out there…this is happening way too much.  May dear Hollie rest in peace.

    Officials: Mom killed by father of kids during meeting for parental exchange

    By Tom Smith
    Senior Staff Writer

    Published: Tuesday, December 22, 2009 at 3:30 a.m.
    Last Modified: Monday, December 21, 2009 at 11:42 p.m.

    A Lauderdale County woman was shot and killed by the father of her children while they were meeting for a parental exchange Monday morning, authorities said.


    Written by Let's Get Honest

    December 22, 2009 at 7:19 pm

    Let the Blog-roll… My picks, and comments

    with 2 comments

    To tell the truth (per my handle, “Let’s Get Honest”), I’ve got something stewing under my collar. And it’s this. I didn’t bring children into this world and remove them from an abusive situation just to have them and it stuffed back into the situation, myself excommunicated for actually speaking up, and the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, So Long as We’re Not Caught” policy I just don’t think is appropriate for the topics involved in our particular family line, including: domestic violence, incest, suicide, mental illness, substance abuse (by my father, who grew up witnessing violence in HIS home), stalking, and in general shred the evidence, point the finger, and let society pick up the tab.

    Ain’t that how the cycle is perpetuated?

    Sentiments of the Seasons….

    I can remember seasons of Christmas (day after tomorrow, my hemisphere), from childhood (glitter, music, lights), from the abusive family (sometimes sullen and nothing — literally NOTHING was allowed to happen).  One year, explosive [assault & battery, I was pregnant, toddler witnessing and affected by it, reacting], I cannot forget THAT incident, which I reported to a relative, who gave a single expression of indignation, and went right back into enabling/don’t ask, don’t tell mode.   To this day…

    Less than a month later, a more dramatic repeat of nearly the identical incident, after which I told a doctor, a pastor (OUR pastor), and my mother. Similar reaction.   A pattern was established of non-intervention, and the circus was afoot. 

    And inbetween the insane, and steadily increasing control, the job sabotage, the transportation sabotage, the shutting down of access to finances, and trying to keep me at home and on my knees, cleaning, and if I got it clean, more stuff was dumped out, lest I GET out.  Sometimes it was dumped, and he’d grab the kids for some fun times.  Dysfunctional households, major functions not working, and I couldn’t fix this.  Increasing animal abuse, and when I tried to intervene, was myself threatened.   Kids witnessing this.  I kept them, and best I could us, out, and busy with more healthy activities, with strangers who were nicer than family, with classmates, with classes.   Their stuff got sabotaged too, at times.  I had to sneak, sometimes my education, their education, and bargain, negotiate, and figure it out. 

    Every possible work scenario:  employed FT office, PT from home office, unemployed stay at home Mom, business from home Mom, and no matter what I did, practically, it seemed to even out, we still had to beg for necessities more often than needed.  It wasn’t a family together holding it together, it was not a sharing situation, it was a dominance situation.  He didn’t lack clothes, transportation, electronics, or freedom to get out unpredictably.  I was to conform to this thing I wasn’t, or else… 

    Years went by, and holidays. I remember 2 days before one, we had to flee the home with a barefoot child from a well-set peaceful dinner. His rage was that I had actually visited a pastor for help (I was still dumb enough to thing that pastors might help with this criminal matter and had not yet picked up on my legal rights to ask for an arrest to STOP it!) (and the pastors, on their part, were dumb enough to counsel us both together, meaning, it wasn’t exactly safe for me to speak openly…). He was furious that I’d done this without him being there to, I guess, “interpret” and do damage control on the truth.

    Luckily this time, I actually had a car. In the dark, right before Christmas (and not having received any funds to buy them anything) The youngsters and I deliberated (in the dark), do I head for a relative (the same one who did nothing earlier), or Christian friends in a nearby city (who to date hadn’t done anything so far either, though they knew about his physical and economic in particular abuse towards me, which the little ones witnessed growing up). They didn’t ask questions when we just “appeared” at the door while they ate dinner. We stayed overnight.

    One of the dumbest things I ever did was to return home the next day, even though I called first and asked whether he could, according to his stated faith, promise to stop threatening us. I even quoted the Bible verse that said “forbearing threatening.” The answer, basically, along the lines of “the devil made me do it, and [ in short, no…] Did I have somewhere else reasonable to go? NO. So guess where I went. Back. Big mistake, I guess.

    We were great at doing holidays in front of others and pretending to be happy family (or else, I learned my lessons years earlier for failing to perform up to snuff, making him uncomfortable, resulting in a physical drubbing I shall never forget, and probably (let’s hope) the children blanked out, as one of them was not yet born, but inside at the time.

    Like a ripple in the pond, I had to keep splashing about for years, until finally one of my ripples picked up a responding resonance from a “family violence law center” which helped me out, and then sold us out, almost straight out of the gate. Nevertheless, (him) OUT was still OUT, and a definite improvement.

    After that TRO, with the energy unleashed, and a woman intent on getting her house in order, now that the chaos-creator was temporarily disabled (i.e., OUT), I most certainly had hope, and stamina and resolve, and within 3 short years (if ONLY the restraining orders had been even a single year longer, we would literally have made it!), we were just about off anyone’s dole, including child support.

    In order to become solvent, I had to increase income and reduce expenses.

    Alas, doing this meant disobeying an order (I later found out it was an order, not a suggestion) by another nearby male, no kids’ father, and who had not intervened at all (though informed of the violence, and asked for help) for years. Suddenly he became an expert, and I became a needy child (rather than the blossoming woman and mother I was at that time, and further energized by the ability to practice the profession I was trained in, which had been almost shut down by that abuse, and for a long time, too….). When I informed him and his wife that

    ~~he had no jurisdiction in this divorce/custody issue; it was between the father and me, not the whole “clan,”
    ~~a restraining order was on, and please stop sending messages from my ex via you to me, that’s breaking it…

    ~~In case you’re not watching, I have things to do, i.e., a business to rebuild (like, WORK?), and in essence….

    ~~thanks, but no thanks, and if you wish to learn more about the thing you just proclaimed yourself expert on (talk about self-anointed!), here’s where you can find out. I’m BUSY…. ”

    I had learned, now, not to take years before deducing whether this person was willing to listen, or interested in interrogating me without witnesses, and I didn’t waste much time in making an assessment. Not much time to lose, eh?

    Nor did he (not my ex, but his new “buddy” on my side of the family) lose much time in building some momentum from the anti-single-Mom, don’t let them get loose side of the family, and I experienced a new phenonenon — not just tolerance and silence, but actual flip-flopping betrayal, followed by serious aggression.   It was a win-win situation for them.  They got to be heroes, and nobody was accountable for either domestic violence, or having enabled it, or missed it.  They had a common cause enemy — derailing the conversation, and, me if I protested said derailment.

    Sensing true male support in his “let’s dominate a woman” cause (sort of like the church had given during the marriage), my ex picked up some steam himself, meaning, I had to face both of them as a single mother. Nevertheless, Dad at least paid child support steadily; apparently he understood this was an obligation. Myself, I tried to mind my own business, get along, and was in general still in “good girl” mode, but this time with more boundaries.

    Until we went into family court. Reviewing how this happened, I realized (too late) that the manner, which I hear from respectable authority locally, is common practice — that TOO violated due process. He was informed in advance, an ex parte decision was made by a judge to consolidate actions, and it was sprung on me in court when I went to renew the order. THIS was the beginning of the degradation of:

    my relationship with the children, as they watched me both prosper, rebuild, and be respected among colleagues and their friends’ parents (many of who were professionals in this, or that field), and themselves began to blossom as people, wh le still seeing Dad regularly….

    ~~due process in any subsequent court hearings
    ~~any sense of predictability and order in our lives, as court orders began to have less and less meaning, of any sort, and
    ~~first thing to go — of income, and (which family court EXISTS for, folks!)
    ~~tipping the power balance back towards the (abusive, in this case) father.

    Soon enough he picked up ANOTHER woman, this time to live with, drive her car, help with aggressions towards me, and apparently (?) pay h is bills, meaning he could afford to not work: translation: CHild support arrears began to mount, and Dad became more and more troublesome during the week, as well as weekends. Restraining order got stripped off the last round of hearings. I tried for another. This time it was girlfriend, father, and MY ( female) relative on one side of the courtroom, and me, alone, striving to protect what was left of my work life, on the other, as well as the kids’ educational alternatives (which had been a target). I lost. I was sent to debate with his lawyer, him and myself OUT of the courtroom, and for hours, I tried (alone) to stick up for my rights in front of a man who’d asssaulted me. No one — at all — was with me. As good an arrangement as I thought I had (definitely better than nothing), it was inadequate protection.

    One more year of more nightmare exchanges — weekly, any week, any holiday, and during the middle of the week (remember? no restraining order in effect, although exchanges no longer happened at my home) — could be, and many were, incidents. I gained and lost a prime music job, a car, and ground. The speed of job losses was beginning to frighten me. Oh yes, and he’d learned a new trick — sporadic child support payments. My credit had already been ruined, and this hurt us, for sure. If only, I thought, I could get some LEGAL help and get either (A) protection so I myself could work without job loss, or (B) child support enforcement, so he would work, and therefore have less time to harass me while I was working. (I was self-employed professional in the arts at the time, working with kids, and had to show up with my emotions intact and usable, and LEAD things. This is dang hard to do when safety, whereabouts of one’s own kids, and trepidation at whether or not right before or right after a job is going to escalate. I burned up the cell phone bill calling crisis lines, stayed on the internet searching for help, got validation of what was right, but no means to do anything about it (Hence, “I don’t CARE “WHY Does He DO that?” I care how to make it stop!) and so forth. My kids managed, somehow…

    I learned where help wasn’t. This is helpful, for not going there with hat in hand NEXT time round. I survived by talking to people. I was found at times crying in the parking lot right after an exchange. We went from police incident to job, or job to police incident. The same family members that enabled in the last decade did worse, this decade — they SHOWED my kids now to “Say nothing, Do nothing,” and exploited the increasing PTSD for increased bonding with themselves. I was aware of this and spoke to it; it seemed to be something of an operational plan.   Cause an incident, grab the kids, take them to the relatives, they bonded while I was in shock, rather than actually having a respite from the other parent over a weekend, or a week.  ….

    When I asked for them to support court order enforcement, as I was attempting to do, I was met with increasing anger and indignation. Expect the father to work, like I was? To behave, like I was? WHo the hell did I think I was? A citizen or something?

    I began going after the child support also, when that became a thing.  I did printouts, mailed my relatives (mistake, but i was still learning), and even attempted to tell a 911 policeman I’d called to the scene for his refusing to leave MY home (and there was only one exit from the place, and I had no car) on a non-pickup day.  I showed the nonstop calling, described it, and told the fellow (in this nice suburban town) that we had a history of violence, and I was attempting to say no to arbitrary orders on his part, no reason given (particularly in light of increasing child support arrears) and restrict us to the actual wording of this court order. 

    No deal.  The police officer let him violate, and the race was off. Oh what a season THAT was!  That’s what led me to try for a 2nd restraining order.  Jobs I got to replace jobs were being affected.  Add a new responsibility:  It became clear I was going to have to locate a domestic-violence-proof profession, and I was serious about this, and went in a certain direction.

    Now, eventually, as I’ve probably narrated ad nauseam herein, this escalated suddenly on an overnight visitation when I’d just moved — again– into another very promising housing and work situation, nearby, great schooling, great opportunities, and income (mine at least) in progress.  His actual residence, something up in the air, although my attempts to smoke it out, supported by court order, were NOT supported by him, his girlfriend, my relatives, or even police I asked to enforce THAT aspect of the order,showing it to them. No deal.   My kids, naturally, were absorbing this, and every now and then one of them would give me some very pungent analysis of the situation.  She knew they (plural) felt they needed another “win.” 

    I continued to tell, in writing at times,  the people NOT on the court order that they were NOT on the court order, and please let the Mom (me) and the Dad (him) work this out like adults;  you are supposedly also adults, and don’t you have a life, somewhere?  I do — where’s yours?  Go get a foster child, there are needy kids.  Go get a life purpose, don’t you have another one somewhere?  I said, in writing (and when we had to talk, over the phone), if you love (my daughters) as you are shouting from the housetops (and on court paperwork, to which they now began adding), how about demonstrating it in this manner:  help their Dad find a job & work.  Like I am — see?  Encourage him to obey the court order — like I am.

    No deal.  That wasn’t on the agenda.

    AND so yes, another Christmas, after my kids were kidnapped, essentially, Dad dumped out on the street by woman #2, who still won’t fork them over, and what else is new in lala land, no one even in the court OR law enforcement system appears interested in enforcing, or helping me to, any order.  Should I try for another CERTIFIABLY INSANE RESTRAINING ORDER (or anti-stalking) for what I would consider, currently to be these CERTIFIABLY INSANE policies being pursued, zealously, by this certifiably dysfunctional family line (mine, I mean)…???  Wow, that sounds like a “great” idea.  …  Someone else would have to blog any resulting statistics, as I’d be less likely to survive this round.  It IS escalating, and there are only so many more places one can escalate to, at this point…

    So, yeah, that’s in my mind today (obviously).  I do not share the “let’s not have conflict” and “let’s not talk about it” mentality. 

    Jesus Christ had a lot of conflict in his life, and ministry, surrounding his birth, and death.  And we human parents aren’t supposed to?

    Should we just go along with the crowd, like too many did until finally someone raised a ruckus, as happened in Richmond?

    Is it a family value to shut up under criminal behavior?  Or else?  No, I have daughters.  I wish them to know WHAT”s right and speak up in the face of what’s wrong, if they can do so safely.  And I want a society where they CAN do so safely.  I have XX years ahead, by the grace of God, and they have XX plus another generation or two more.  So, right from wrong counts.  Direction they are being steered in counts.  Associates count. 

    Values count.  Values about what is most important — placidity? Or integrity?  Can’t always have them both. 

    ===============

    So, I just narrated some married (WITH a father in the home) and SINGLE (without a father in the home) years.  Now, some of my fellow bloggers have a thing to say — by “fellow blogger,” I mean, probably on my blogroll, or another favorite I picked up along the way somehow. 

    I may be inactive for about a week, depends on internet access.  Have a happy season, remember those who don’t, and make plans for what to do when the tinsel comes down… And always, always count the cost of hiring Big Brother to Design, Educate, Evaluate, Raise, Adjudicate, and Legislate YOUR family.  Get YOUR family to understand YOUR legal rights (in whichever country) and carve out some time to learn what they are.

    And make a big stink about any violation of them:  “Don’t tread on me.”

    And teach your sons and daughters to do the same. 

    Beware the 2nd wives club, that’s where women can get pretty vicious, I”ve watched this, and the males involved in the background, enjoying the show, and the perks, including money, respect, and probably just the drama of it.  I hear they are, after all, visually oriented, and it’s quite a spectacle, being fought over, or fought for. 

    NB:  I’m not a second wife, you betcha.  I’m a Momma.  And what I’m steamed up about, I just found out who was carting them off where, again, this season, illegally.  Damn….

    I was just getting warmed up here.  Now for the re-post, and my repartie, afterwards:

    HERE”s RANDIJAMES.com, on Obama on Mother…  My comments below.

    Saturday

    Obama and His Fathercentrism

    It has become more than apparent that our President has some psychological issues related to his father being “absent.”

    But is it really that serious? And does he have to make the rest of us suffer with him?

    We all know that the President, in spite of having an absent father, turned out quite well. In fact, President Obama said that his mother was “frequently absent.” So, where does this leave us? Is this such an atrocity because of the racial issues? Because we knowz dat da man keeps telling us dat da Black family be damned ‘cuz of all of dem single momz.

    Obama’s father was an “intellectual” who pursued his goals, including attending Harvard. He was like many men who are committed to education and career first, and thus leaving the family behind. He may not have been “there” for Obama but Obama can still attribute some of his own success to his genes.

    How many other Black boys and men can say the same?

    And don’t go blaming single Black mothers, again. If these fatherless kids end up as troublesome youth and adults, you can likely attribute that to the characters of their fathers, coupled with the constraints of life in poverty.

    Obama described his own father as “volatile and vaguely threatening.” Would he have wanted someone like this in his life full-time?

    What Obama is doing and preaching is unfair, because he is coming from a position of privilege.

    Didn’t Obama make his family secondary to his career?

    The fact that he remains married and participating in his household [as a “father”] is related to the resources that he has had available to him (education and money for both Barack and Michelle, and a patient wife whose number one duty is the kids), coupled with his value system and self-esteem issues related to his family of origin.

    I respect that as a role model, our President is intent upon helping us reach the mountaintops through speech directed at fathers. But we would be better served if Obama focused on our educational system and jobs, respected different family styles and values, and licked and healed his wounds on his own dollar and time. By giving people the tools they need to reach their potential, everything else will fall into place. Stop legislating the family.   [end of post]

    My feedback:

    Whitehouse.gov on “Families” (notice “Women” are filed separately from “families.”)

    Guiding Principles

    A strong nation is made up of strong families. Every family deserves the chance that so many of our parents and grandparents had – to make a better future for themselves and their children. Strong families will always be front and center of President Obama’s agenda.

    This is why, while Fatherhood Folks (Jeffrey Leving, etc.) helped him get in office, and HHS of course going full steam ahead withpromoting the conservative evangelical Norman Rockwell heterosexual, a chicken in every pot and a father — ANY father, no matter the behavior, we’ll haul them out of prisons, too — in every kid’s life, because when H1N1 ain’t got nothing on fatherlessness.  On the other hand, we have a bang-up educational system where if you’re not LGBT-friendly, you’re committing a hate crime and to be feared as a religious bigot. This also applies if your kids are not attending public school where they can figure out which values apply.  Just to make sure, we have a new appointee…

    EDUCATION:  

    Invest in Education

    President Obama is committed to providing every child access to a complete and competitive education, from cradle through career. First, the President supports a seamless and comprehensive set of services and support for our youngest children, from birth through age 5.

    Yes, indeed, whose children are they?  Ask AFCC, ask any mental health professional, social worker, guardian ad lit, and family law attorney (“$$$”), they are OUR children. Forget the parents, and particularly the mothers….

    [[I blogged earlier on the absence of the word “mother” in his pages on “families.”  You can search this site.  I don’t see it currently.  Apologize for my sarcastic tone…]]

    50 Richest Congressmen

    The 50 Richest Members of Congress (2008)

    Sept. 22, 2008
    By Paul Singer, Jennifer Yachnin and Casey Hynes
    Roll Call Staff

    IN 2007, The Obamas were 10th.  Interesting, that….Not that I mind, but it’s not exactly the typical perspective….

    CommonDreams.org:

    Published on Wednesday, June 30, 2004 by the Agence France Presse

    Millionaires Fill US Congress Halls

     
    WASHINGTON – The US Congress, the domed bastion of democracy in the capital of capitalism, abounds with deep-pocketed politicians whose fortunes have made the legislative branch of government a millionaire’s club.In the 435-member House of Representatives, 123 elected officials earned at least one million dollars last year, according to recently released financial records made public each year.

    Next door in the ornate Senate, whose blue-blooded pedigree includes a Kennedy and a Rockefeller, one in three people are millionaires.

    By comparison, less than one percent of Americans make seven-figure incomes.

     

    MANY of the top 10 are Democrats, per this:

    Roll Call calculates net worth based on the minimum assets and minimum liablities listed in each lawmaker’s annual financial disclosure report. These reports exclude some assets including primary residences, however, and may not provide a full representation of a Member’s financial portfolio. Click column headers to resort the chart; click Members’ names to see descriptions of their assets; for top 10, click their net worth for PDF copies of their disclosure forms. See story for details.

    Assets, liabilities, net worth and difference figures in millions of dollars.

    Rank Member Assets Liabilities 2008 Minimum Net Worth (MNW) 2007 MNW* Difference Between 2007 and 2008 MNW Percent Change in MNW, 2007-2008 Rank in 2007 Chamber Party Date Entered Congress
    1 John Kerry (Mass.) $215.41 $47.86 $167.55 $231.88 -$64.33 -27.74% 1 Senate Democrat 1985
    2 Darrell Issa (Calif.) 164.70 0.00 164.70 160.62 4.08 2.54 3 House Republican 2001
    3 Jane Harman (Calif.) 112.13 0.00 112.13 225.96 -113.83 -50.38 2 House Democrat 1993-1999, 2001
    4 Jay Rockefeller (W.Va.) 85.70 5.25 80.45 80.40 0.05 0.06 4 Senate Democrat 1985
    5 Mark Warner (Va.) 75.77 3.40 72.37 90.80 -18.44 -20.30   Senate Democrat 2009
    6 Jared Polis (Colo.) 76.14 5.14 71.00 97.62 -26.62 -27.27   House Democrat 2009
    7 Vern Buchanan (Fla.) 85.39 35.60 49.79 65.49 -15.70 -23.98 6 House Republican 2007
    8 Frank Lautenberg (N.J.) 48.88 0.50 48.38 55.33 -6.95 -12.56 7 Senate Democrat 1982-2001, 2003
    9 Dianne Feinstein (Calif.) 43.94 1.00 42.94 52.34 -9.40 -17.96 8 Senate Democrat 1992
    10 Harry Teague (N.M.) 41.63 1.00 40.63 6.26 34.37 549.04   House Democrat 2009
    11 Michael McCaul (Texas) 38.08 0.00 38.08 23.93 14.15 59.13 11 House Republican 2005
    12 Alan Grayson (Fla.) 31.24 0.12 31.12 29.06 2.06 7.10   House Democrat 2009
    13 James Risch (Idaho) 19.49 0.20 19.29 20.21 -0.92 -4.55   Senate Republican 2009
    14 Rodney Frelinghuysen (N.J.) 18.15 0.00 18.15 22.41 -4.26 -19.01 12 House Republican 1995
    15 Cynthia Lummis (Wyo.) 18.22 1.10 17.12 17.19 -0.07 -0.41   House Republican 2009
    16 Bob Corker (Tenn.) 21.79 4.70 17.09 19.19 -2.10 -10.93 15 Senate Republican 2007
    17 Claire McCaskill (Mo.) 16.04 0.02 16.02 19.52 -3.50 -17.93 14 Senate Democrat 2007
    18 Edward Kennedy (Mass.) (deceased) 15.74 0.00 15.74 47.62 -31.88 -66.94 9 Senate Democrat 1962
    19 Nita Lowey (N.Y.) 14.38 0.00 14.38 17.77 -3.39 -19.08 18 House Democrat 1989
    20 Carolyn Maloney (N.Y.) 16.50 2.50 14.00 19.01 -5.01 -26.35 16 House Democrat 1993
    21 John McCain (Ariz.) 15.83 2.05 13.78 19.64 -5.86 -29.84 13 Senate Republican 1983 House; 1987 Senate
    22 Gary Miller (Calif.) 13.26 0.00 13.26 14.49 -1.23 -8.47 22 House Republican 1999
    23 Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) 25.28 12.75 12.53 18.71 -6.18 -33.03 17 House Democrat 1987
    24 Lamar Alexander (Tenn.) 13.04 0.91 12.13 12.43 -0.30 -2.40 23 Senate Republican 2003
    25 Kenny Marchant (Texas) 14.70 2.81 11.89 10.49 1.40 13.35 28 House Republican 2005

     

    Interesting, anyhow…

    Next Post, Dr. Chesler letter to Alice Walker re: her pro-Obama stance.

    “Here Come da Judge!”

    with 14 comments

     

    Some times, hard times, a little humor helps me.  I seem to notice things that maybe others don’t (oft-burnt, twice as observant?)…

    This is from Womenslaw.org about Custody, and a good question, plus a sidelong plug for (what else) supervised visitation. . . .  And no absolute commitment either way on this topic:

    Can a parent who committed violence get “custody” or “visitation”?

    Maybe. It is possible that a parent who has committed violence will get custody or visitation if the court determines that it is in the “best interest of the child” to do so. Generally, judges beleve it is in the child’s best interest to have frequent contact with both parents.*1

    {{so, the “court” kind of being the “judge” who signs the order, we get back to what judges generally believe…  For more of that, see the AFCC conference as to what’s being promoted among many of them…}}

    Conservatorship / Custody:

    If a person is filing for sole or joint managing conservatorship, the court will consider whether the person has been abusive toward his/her spouse, the parent of the child and any person under 18 years old within the 2 years before filing for conservatorship or during the proceeding. A judge may deny joint managing conservatorship if s/he finds that there is a history or pattern of child neglect or physical or sexual abuse of a parent, spouse or child.*2

    {{then, again, they also may not.  Sounds like a toss-up to me…}}

    The judge may not {{OR, may…}} appoint joint managing conservators if reliable evidence is presented of a history or pattern of past or present child neglect, or physical or sexual abuse by one parent directed against the other parent, a spouse, or a child. *3

    Likewise, the court [[as opposed to “the judge?”] will consider {{but will it act on?}} any incident of family violence in deciding whether to deny, restrict, or limit the possession of a child by a parent who is appointed as a possessory conservator.*4

    Possession and Access / Visitation:

    If a parent has been violent within the last two years before filing or during the court proceedings, a judge may {{or may not, we have no committed policy here, right?}} deny that parent possession of or access to the child unless:

    the judge decides that allowing the parent access is not a danger to the child and is in the best interest of the child; and
    the judge approves a possession order that will protect the child and any other victim from the abusive parent. The order may require:

    • supervised access;  {{Here’s the Business Model…}}
      exchange of the child in a protective setting
      (see note below);
      that the parent not drink alcohol and not use any drugs within 12 hours before or during the time the child is with him/her; or  {{See my comments on Oconto, Wisconsin, where the father was caught DUI with the daughter in the car, but still it was the MOTHER who was jailed for failing to force the daughter back into that situation.}}
      that the parent attend a batterer’s prevention program or any program the judge finds appropriate. *5

    Tell the judge if you have gotten a protective order within the last 2 years against the parent seeking possession of and access to your child. The judge will consider this when determining whether there is a history of family violence.*6

    {{Note:  Some women get SMART after the first several violent incidents, and survive more than 2 years in a relationship before someone shows them how to get out.  In this case, asking what happened in the last 2 years may not indicate that the father/husband/partner has reformed or settled down, or repented, but simply that the mother/wife/partner simply got cagier and smarter in how to avoid them.  As many abusers also are control freaks, as toa ccess to transportation and ways to escape their abuse, this may involve shutting down emotionally, and teaching the kids to also, i.e., “walking on eggshells.”  how many judges take the time to tell the difference?}}

    Note: If the abuser is granted possession and access to your child, ask the court or a local domestic violence program for information about visitation centers or visitation exchange facilities in your county if you think that is a good option for you.

    GOT THIS?  The judge MAY respect the danger of domestic violence, or the judge MAY instead choose to drop-kick the problem to some cronies in the supervised visitation field.

    {{Which of course they will prime you to.  . . .. . I asked for this, and was of course, not told that there is federal funding for this, but not available so readily for MOMS…  Not being incarcerated, an abuser, or behind on my child support (as the custodial mother), there was no outreach program to help me.  And as I wasn’t preventing access, that wasn’t an issue.  Thanks, dudes for rewarding me for compliance and good-faith allowing regular access to my growing (and healing) children by totally removing them from me, failing to enforce child support — at all, practically — and allowing him after custody switch to totally cut off contact, failing to report felony child-stealing (meaning, no Victims of Crime compensation), and no help after this event trashed my jobs.  Thanks.  Merry Christmas to all, and let’ em eat cake…}}

    It is assumed by the court that it is not in the best interest of a child for a parent to have unsupervised visitation with the child if there is credible evidence of a history or pattern of past or present child neglect or physical or sexual abuse by that parent directed against the other parent, a spouse, or a child. *7

    *1 Tex. Fam. Code § 153.131
    *2 Tex. Fam. Code § 153.004(a)
    *3 Tex. Fam. Code §153.004(b)
    *4 Tex. Fam. Code § 153.004(c)
    *5 Tex. Fam. Code § 153.004(d)
    *6 Tex. Fam. Code § 153.004
    *7 Tex. Fam. Code § 153.004(e)

    ======================

    (Since I’ve already dated, if not geographically marked (as to California) myself, I’ll go one step further and admit, this “well, it depends. . . .. ” approach to whether an abuser (or “a parent who has committed violence”) can get custody of a child approach reminded me (see highlit words, above) on the old comedy routine:

    “Here Comes Da Judge!”

     

    A little more judicial humor, even more dated (i.e., not my own…):

    THE INSCRUTABLE WORKINGS OF PROVIDENCE

    My last blog{{whoever this is...}}, on the rather bland exchanges between lawyers and justices of the U.S. Supreme Court, gave me a craving for red meat. So I pulled out my copy of Winston Churchill's marvelous little book, Great Contemporaries, and I turned to the essay on F.E. Smith, a lawyer who later became the first Earl of Birkenhead. Smith was famous for his stilletto wit, which once drew a pompous rebuke from a presiding judge: "Mr. Smith, have you ever heard a saying by Bacon -- the great Bacon -- that youth and discretion are ill-wedded companions?"  "Yes I have," came the instant repartee. "And have you ever heard a saying of Bacon -- the great Bacon -- that a much-talking judge is like an ill-tuned cymbal?"  Taken aback, the judge resorted to scolding, "You are extremely offensive, young man,"  "As a matter of fact," said Smith, "we both are; but I am trying to be, and you can't help it."  The judge, who apparently had never heard of citing a lawyer for contempt, came back for another drubbing: ""What do you suppose I am on the bench for, Mr. Smith?"  "It is not for me, your honor, to attempt to fathom the inscrutable workings of Providence."  That kind of exchange is something we we will never hear in oral arguments before the Supreme Court. Americans are much too dignified for any such thing. Posted on January 9, 2006 10:40 PM | Permalink 
    OR:
    If I want to quote a Supreme Court justice who was genuinely funny, I usually turn to Oliver Wendell Holmes (1841-1935).Among my favorite Holmes stories is the one concerning how he was supposed to lecture at a college, and discovered that he had arrived at an insane asylum by mistake. The justice was philosophical. “Oh well,” he said to the guard, “I don’t suppose that there is a great deal of difference.”  For once, the legal eagle was topped. “With great respect, Mr. Justice,” the guard replied, “there is. Before they let you out of this place, you have to show some improvement.” Posted on January 2, 2006 7:53 PM | Permalink
     

    More, “HERE COME DA JUDGE” info:

    Here comes the Judge!

    Here comes the judge!

    The court's in session!

    The Funky Judge! Updated 8.28.02

     
    That’s right. 1968 was the year of the funky craze (see last issue’s Soul With An African Twist). It may not have showed up on the Chinese astrological calendar, but ’68 was definitely the year of the Judge.          Dewey ‘Pigmeat’ Markham  trod the boards of the ‘Chitlin’ circuit for decades as well as appearing in many of the ‘sepia’ films aimed at forcibly segregated black audiences. In 1968 a routine of his about an angry, obstreperous judge broke into the mainstream of America’s pop consciousness.        Pigmeat, a big guy with a loud, extremely gravelly voice would enter with a chant of:       ‘Here come da judge, here come da judge! The court’s in session, the court’s in session!’ and then would launch into a hysterical tirade. In early 1968 Pigmeat and his rap found their way onto Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-in, and rapidly became a favorite, eventually becoming a regular on the show. It wasn’t long before ‘Judge’ records started to appear on the scene.        Ironically, the first hit (chronologically) was not by Markham but Motown mainstay Shorty Long. Long, who had hit before with the original versions of ‘Devil With the Blue Dress On’ and ‘Function at the Junction’, made it (in June of ’68) to #4 on the R&B charts and #8 on the pop charts with his very funky ‘Here Comes The Judge’. In Long’s record, the Judge is sentencing the defendant to various amounts of time for the boogaloo, the four corners and the Afro-twist. The judge on the record even sounds like Pigmeat.       Markham charted with his own version a few weeks later, on Chess (Chess2049). His tune ( a different song entirely) starts out with a long proto-rap speech, with exclamations from the gallery. The tune breaks into a deep, rough funk. In fact, despite the fact that he was an old fella, Pigmeat laid down the funkiest records in the entire ‘Judge’ genre (though it’s fair to mention that he had the mighty talents of the Chess house band backing him up).

    I’m not really “playing around” so much as it might appear.  Did you do your homework last few posts, and look up the L.A. County Judges Slush fund (at least acc. to Marv Bryer et al.), how it started out of the county court house, not paying taxes for years (til basically forced to), morphed into CCC then somehow AFCC, and now we have these tremendous professionals, and social scientists figuring out our problems for us…..?

    ETHICS, TRANSFORMATIONS, and Dr. JUDITH REISMAN, Kinsey, etc….

    http://www.drjudithreisman.com/archives/CaliforniaCripplesWomen.pdf

    I cannot find the exact article where Dr. Reisman was talking about the importance of ETHICS in public servants, and referring to a certain (old) law that was being undermined.  She is a controversial figure for sure, but I responded to her personal story, which you might also, and how her own world got rocked when it was discovered a relative had been molested.     …. I’d also like to note:  articles are published onto “WND” (World Net Daily) which I do NOT espouse overall….

    http://www.drjudithreisman.com/about_dr_reisman.html#journey

    Summary:

    Dr. Judith Reisman is sought worldwide to speak, lecture, testify, and counsel individuals, organizations, professionals and governments in Media Forensics, the scientific analysis of images, pictures, cartoons, illustrations, pornography and text in sexual harassment of women and children in the workplace, schools, and homes. Her Media Forensic expertise has been successful in child custody cases, examining “pseudo-child” and “virtual-child” pornography, as well as in judicial and legislative decisions about a) fraudulent sex science, sex education and b) the way in which media images restructure human brain, mind, memory, and conduct by hijacking rationality. The special emphasis of her Media Forensic research has been and continues to be the scientific documentation of the difference between public and private space human erotic displays, and the subversion of informed consent via exposure to supranormal visual stimuli.

    Dr. Reisman is a consultant and former president of The Institute for Media Education and is the scientific adviser for the California Protective Parents Association. She was Principal Investigator and author of the U.S. Department of Justice, Juvenile Justice study, Images of Children, Crime and Violence in Playboy, Penthouse and Hustler (1989), Kinsey, Sex and Fraud (Reisman, et al., 1990) and Soft Porn Plays Hardball (1991), Partner Solicitation Language as a Reflection of Male Sexual Orientation (w/Johnson, 1995), and Kinsey, Crimes & Consequences (1998, 2000) and is a news commentator for WorldNetDaily.com. She has been a consultant to four U.S. Department of Justice administrations, The U.S. Department of Education, as well as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Dr. Reisman is listed in numerous Who’s Who biographies such as: Who’s Who in Science & Engineering, International Who’s Who in Sexology, International Who’s Who in Education, Who’s Who of American Women and The World’s Who’s Who of Women. Her scholarly findings have had international legislative and scientific import in the United States, Israel, South Africa, Canada and Australia, while The German Medical Tribune and the British medical journal, The Lancet demanded that the Kinsey Institute be investigated, saying:

    The Kinsey reports (one in 1948 on males and the companion five years later) claimed that sexual activity began much earlier in life…. and displayed less horror of age differences and same-sex relationships than anyone at the time imagined. It was as if, to follow Mr. Porter again, “Anything goes”. In Kinsey, Sex and Fraud, Dr. Judith A. Reisman and her colleagues demolish the foundations of the two reports … Kinsey et al … questioned an unrepresentative proportion of prison inmates and sex offenders in a survey of “normal” sexual behavior. Presumably some at least of those offenders were also the sources of information on stimulation to orgasm in young children that can only have come from pedophiles–or so it must be hoped. Kinsey…. has left his former co-workers some explaining to do. The Lancet, (Vol. 337: March 2, 1991, p. 547).

    Tim Tate, UNESCO and Amnesty International Award-winning Producer-Director of “Kinsey’s Paedophiles,” Yorkshire Television, Great Britain, 1998: “In the course of producing my documentary-Kinsey’s Paedophiles–it became clear that every substantive allegation Reisman made was not only true but thoroughly sourced with documentary evidence–despite the Kinsey Institute’s reluctance to open its files.”

     

    HER STORY:

    By Judith A. Reisman, Ph.D.

    I have been asked to introduce myself so that you know something of my life and how I came to discover Kinsey’s child molestation protocol, his false data, his molding of modern sex education and of western sexual culture and conduct, as well as how I came be involved in international governmental hearings on science fraud, child sexual abuse, pornography, drugs and the other critical issues of our time. I will try to touch on the points in my life which may be of most use to readers of this Kinsey expose.

    I was born, Judith Ann Gelernter, in 1935 in Newark, New Jersey. Mine was a large and thriving second-generation Jewish-American family, Russian on my maternal side, German on my parental side. Both sets of grandparents had fled persecution in Europe, and upon landing at Ellis Island in New York, they thankfully embraced their adopted country, immediately took up menial labor, and raised large families of achievers.

    My father Matthew was born in Massachusetts and my mother Ada in New Jersey. They eventually owned “Matthew’s Sea Food,” which they developed into a prosperous fish business in Irvington, New Jersey. The Gelernter’s held family meetings every few months at Aunt Laura’s large home in South Orange, New Jersey. More than forty adults and dozens of children sat down to dinners tastefully arranged and served, table manners always impeccable. After dinner, without the modern invention of television, political debates raged between my parents and the family. My parents were the radicals of the family. They believed the widely publicized propaganda of a perfect new world order under socialism or communism. None of our mainstream newspapers had ever revealed the multiple millions of Russians murdered by “Uncle Joe” Stalin. Still, all was mended when cousin Ruth sat down at the piano to accompany my father and three aunts, Laura, Shirley and Mary, as they sang old Yiddish and American folk songs in four-part harmony. I was mesmerized.

    For me, they were musical giants, singing, swaying, smiling and beckoning. My dad, looked, I thought, movie-star handsome alongside my favorite Aunt Mary, a beautiful red-haired, green-eyed soprano who had rejected an offer from the Metropolitan Opera in order to marry and raise a family.

    . . .

    I lived at a wonderful time. My mother welcomed me home every day and my father supported anything I did. I was safe among neighbors, uncles or cousins due to the delightfully repressive influence of the time. I married, and the hedge of protection about my life was not breached until 1966 when my 10-year-old daughter was molested by a 13-year-old adored and trusted family friend. She told him to stop, but he persisted. He knew she would like it, he said, he knew from his father’s magazines, Playboy, the only “acceptable” pornography of the time. The boy left the country a few weeks later, after it came to light that my daughter was but one of several neighborhood children he had raped, including his own little brother. My heart was broken for all the families involved.

    This appalling event in our lives, I would learn later, was a pattern with juvenile sex offenders, as they are known in law enforcement circles.

    I might never have known anything about her violation, except that my daughter slipped into a deep depression. Only after I promised not to call the police would she talk about what happened. After assuring her this was not her fault, I called my dependable, staid aunt who listened sympathetically and declared, “Well Judy, she may have been looking for this herself. Children are sexual from birth.” Stunned, I replied that my child was not seeking sex, and called my Berkeley school chum, Carole, who counseled, “Well Judy, she may have been looking for this herself. You know children are sexual from birth.” I wondered at this same locution from two such different people so separated geographically. I recognized an ideological “party line.” I did not know it then, but as a young mother, I had entered the world according to Kinsey. I would hear and read that “children are sexual from birth” often again. But finaly I would uncover the hidden circumstances surrounding its source.Dr. Judith Reisman - 219 x 240

     

    What will your judge believe?         Suppose it was your daughter?  As a mother — like the Berkeley (female) officer who finally noticed something was “off” regarding Phillip Garrido’s twoa ccomplices, will “da judge?” be receptive to your story, your kid’s story, or your partner’s story?  Will all of them be considered “stories” and then business farmed out to a mediator, because the story now, is, equal parenting, pretty much no matter what…..  And we MUST resolve our (irreconciliable?) differences in Conciliation, excuse me, Family Court, because it’s emotionally damaging to have irreconciliable differences with real damages.

    I really believe the only way out is to find out who is paying these pipers.  My research, to date, shows that it’s NOT just the litigating parents, but the entire taxable workforce.  And the organization spouting all this stuff began by dodging taxes itself, allegedly.  Go figure!

    (THESE few from NAFCJ.net, home page — links may or may not be current, but are searchable):

    “Protective Mom Accused of Witchhunt”, 11/23/1999, By Cheryl Romo, LA Daily Journal — Karen Anderson, one of the retaliated protective mothers mentioned in the Insight story, has since obtained hard evidence (cancelled checks) that federal money from fatherhood programs was used without her knowledge to pay-off all court officials in her case. Anderson along with Connie Valentine are heading up NAFCJ’s reform action in California. 

    A Financial Fiasco Is in the Making, By Kelly Patricia O’Meara, Insight Magazine, Los Angeles Superior Court Judges Association, 2002, still slushing funds
    and not paying taxes…  

    Insight Magazine “Is Justice for Sale in LA?”, By Kelly Patricia O’Meara – Marv Bryer fights against corruption in Los Angeles County Court – the original AFCC court  judges’ association, and promoters of Dr. Richard Gardner’s discredited pedophile theory, “PAS” Parental Alienation Syndrome.  

    Insight Magazine “New Scandals in LA Courts”, By Kelly Patricia O’Meara — Continuation with more of Marv Bryer’s evidence details on an alleged slush fund for the L.A. Superior Court Judges Association (AFCC judges) and the possible extortion of civil litigants by some officers of the court.”  

    Retaliation Against Professionals Who Report Child Abuse, By Katherine Hine, J.D., Exposé The Failure of Family Courts to Protect Children from Abuse in Custody Disputes, A Resource Book for Lawmakers, Judges, Attorneys and Mental Health Professionals.

    I’m still looking at the googled “Marv Bryer” myself:  here’s a sample of printouts:

  • Videos: Interview with Marvin Bryer – Naples, Fl | Naples Daily News

    Marvin Bryer talks about getting to see Obama – Video taken in or around Naples, Florida.
    http://www.naplesnews.com/videos/detail/interview-marvinbryer/ – CachedSimilar
  • Have you Ever Heard of Marvin Bryer

    3 posts – 3 authors – Last post: Dec 28, 2008

    Have you Ever Heard of Marvin Bryer. It starts at about Minute 50 about Marvin Bryer. The below document indicates some of the stuff
    forum.prisonplanet.com › … › General DiscussionCachedSimilar

  • IRS Non-Profit Organization

    Dec 21, 1998 A letter has been sent by Marvin Bryer to the IRS alerting them of this scam; the attendant mis-use of government facilities;
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  • Bryer Tort Claim of 9/10/98

    May 8, 1999 Enter Marvin Bryer, a retired computer analyst in La Crescenta, Calif. . . . . Bryer became ensnared with the family-court system after his
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  •  

    You know what?  Maybe the love of money IS the root of all evil.  Not using it, not having it, but loving it more than, say, children.  Or oaths of office, etc.

    Exposing & Prosecuting

    Judicial Corruption thru

    Common Law Discovery

    by Marvin Bryer  [1997]

    http://famguardian.org/PublishedAuthors/Media/Antishyster/V07N4-ExposingProsecJudicialCorrThruCommLawDisc.pdf

    DISCLAIMER:  Note, this seems to be a survivalist, gun-toting, all-American (you get the picture), I’d say for sure conservative site.  I am just curious to read the Marv Bryer article, and don’t know if this represents his philosophy either.  Sort through it, though.

    THE THING IS:

    If you are going to the fruit stand in a store, are you going to sort and pick through apples for the good ones?  Or pick a pre-bagged, inspected, certified organic (etc.) one, whose packaging you trust?  Or, alternately, skip apples for today.

    They say one bad apple spoils the whole bunch.  When you get divorced and can’t figure it out OUTside court, you must go INSIDE, and in this case, you can’t forum-shop or judge shop.  Remember, if there is conflict within a family, the parents just lost jurisdiction, acc. to that old law (see last few posts).  Your kids and your life are no longer your own.

    Therefore it’s IMPERATIVE that ALL financial incentives to defraud the public be removed for ALL judges.  This ain’t going to be a walk in the park, and I wish that the Moms and Dads both (the honest ones) would quit yakking about social science studies and do their math homework.

    Hope you appreciate this sacrifice of my own internet time just made to day.  Have a nice day… and Let’s Get HONEST!  And make sure our public officials do also!

    Thanks.

     

    AAJ clocks in on Court Secrecy & Forced Arbitration….

    with one comment

     

    And maybe the clock should run out on both of those practices!

    I can’t always keep straight the Associations from the Institutes from the Foundations, from the what-nots, but this came up today from the American Association for Justice.    This post is as-is — judge for yourself.  I’m simply relaying the information….

    AAJ points out the dangers of (1) COURT SECRECY in settlements, where the defendant is large and influential, and the tort could be “tortuous” to children, adults, and the public at large.  In the family law arena — and believe me, some of my fellow-bloggers know this — it’s a gag order.  Right up there with First Amendment, eh?

    Check out the 8th Deadly secret in their list…

    and of:

    (2)  Forced Arbitration.  While I didn’t look to far into this one, in the family law venue, it’s “mandatory mediation.”  Same principle.  THIS organization spoke up against it. 

    Think about it.

    American Association for Justice.

    Eight Deadly Secrets—How Court Secrecy Harms Families and Children  

    (1) Cooper Tires Johnny Bradley became a widower on July 14, 2002, as a result of a rollover accident caused by tread separation in his Cooper tires. While litigating Johnny’s case, his attorney uncovered documented evidence of Cooper tire design defects. These documents had been kept confidential through protective orders in previous lawsuits against Cooper and Johnny’s attorney had to fight numerous uphill litigation battles to gain access to them. He only knew about these documents in the first place because he specialized in tire litigation. Prior to the end of his federal trial, Cooper Tires settled with Johnny Bradley on the condition that almost all litigation documents would be kept confidential under a broad protective order. With no access to documented evidence of design defects, consumers will continue to remain in the dark until the next tragedy. Civil Action No. 4:03cv94LN (S.D. Mississippi).

    (2) Zyprexa In 2005, drug giant Eli Lilly paid $700 million to settle 8,000 state and federal lawsuits filed by patients who had taken Zyprexa, a Lilly medicine used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Patients taking Zyprexa experienced inordinate weight gain and developed dangerously high blood sugar levels – some even developed diabetes. Zyprexa only agreed to settle these cases after all discovery documents were returned, and parties to the settlement agreed not to discuss the cases publicly.  The public did not learn about dangerous Zyprexa side effects until two years later, when the New York Times published a related article after receiving some leaked documents. Lilly subsequently settled an additional 18,000 cases for $500 million.

    (3)  Seroquel
    After two years of expensive and time-consuming litigation, recently released AstraZeneca documents reveal that the pharmaceutical giant had known about the dangerous side effects of its psychiatric drug Seroquel since 2000.  While AstraZeneca continued marketing Seroquel as safe, the corporation buried unfavorable studies linking the drug to diabetes and major weight gain.  According to the previously sealed documents, sales representatives were even directed to assuage doctors’ fears about patient weight gain by emphasizing that study results showed no causal link between diabetes and the drug.  Doctors even switched their patients from Zyprexa to Seroquel, not realizing that Seroquel caused similar harmful side effects.  Meanwhile, Seroquel topped $4.4 billion in 2008 sales. 

    (4) Cessna Caravan Airplanes A trio of successful Texas businessmen died in late 2003 when their Cessna Caravan airplane crashed as a result of the plane’s flawed deicing mechanism.  The almost-new aircraft was being flown by a professional pilot.  Only through litigation did their attorneys fortuitously uncover previously concealed evidence documenting the Cessna deicing defect and the sloppy testing that preceded certification.  All documents were produced under a confidentiality order.  The case ultimately settled in federal court but under the confidentiality order, Cessna demanded return of the key documents which were never made public.  Most of the key internal documents have never been seen by the FAA or the NTSB.  One key document suggested not telling the FAA about certain internal testing data to avoid the risk that the FAA might require recertification of the Caravan.  Shortly after the Texas settlement, Cessna began discussing a change in the deicing design such that new production aircraft would be equipped with a system similar to that advocated by the families and their experts. 

    Unfortunately, Cessna has still not addressed the deicing defect in existing aircraft, many of which are still in use today.  Furthermore, subsequent litigation has revealed additional defects in the aircraft’s stall warning system that make the aircraft even more susceptible to sudden loss of control when flying in icing conditions.  The families’ attorneys believe that the FAA’s restriction of the Caravan to flight in “light” icing misleads consumers about the safety of the plane.  The National Transportation Safety Board reports 6 fatal crashes and 1 serious injury crash since 2003 which, the families’ attorneys say, involve the same defect as that in the Texas litigation.  The most recent Cessna Caravan crash which appears to result from the defects in the deicing system occurred October 7, 2007, near Naches, Washington and killed the pilot and 9 passengers.

    (5) PPA in OTC Children’s Medicine Mrs. X gave her 7 year-old-son an over-the-counter children’s medicine to treat an ear infection. Hours after taking the medicine, Mrs. X’s son experienced a sudden hemorrhagic stroke and fell into a permanent coma. Her son died after three years of being on life support and many expensive but failed rehabilitation attempts. The stroke was induced by phenylopropanolamine, an ingredient in the children’s medicine that was later banned by the FDA. Similar lawsuits in state and federal courts had previously been filed against the drug manufacturer, but these lawsuits were settled secretly. Her son’s death occurred in a state that significantly capped damages, which limited Mrs. X’s financial ability to take this case to court and forced her to accept a secret settlement in 2005. The secrecy provision is so broad that she cannot disclose any details related to her lawsuit.

    (6) Ford Firestone Tires 19-year-old college scholarship student Daniel Van Etten was killed on March 9, 1997 when the Firestone tire on his vehicle separated. Knowing it would take years to resolve her son’s case in trial, Mrs. Van Etten accepted a settlement with Firestone in federal court that required all of the discovery documents to be kept confidential. Firestone did not recall the 6.5 million defective tires until three years later. By October 2001, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) “determined that Firestone shredding tires had caused at least 271 fatalities, most of which involved cases settled secretly.

    (7) Defective Baby Crib Linda Ginzel and Boaz Keysar’s son Danny Keysar strangled to death when his Playskool travel lite crib collapsed in May of 1998. Danny’s parents later learned that three prior lawsuits involving the same product defect had been settled secretly. Crib manufacturers Kolcraft and Hasbro also offered Danny’s parents a settlement with a secrecy provision but they fought successfully to deny the manufacturer’s request for secrecy. Danny’s family reached a $3 million settlement agreement in 2001. 

    (8) Clergy Abuse of Children Prior to the Boston Globe’s 2002 expose on the Boston Archdiocese’s clergy abuse cases, literally thousands of secret settlements and sealed court files allowed religious organizations to conceal incidents of child sexual abuse by their clergy. Attorney Mitchell Garabedian has handled clergy sex abuse since the 1980s, settling as many as 30 of these cases confidentially. Roderick MacLeish, Jr. also estimates that he represented around 400 alleged clergy abuse victims since 1991 – around 200 of these cases were settled confidentially. Some have criticized that signing secret settlements “prevented the scandal from erupting into public view sooner.

     

    Sources:
    1. Alex Berenson, Lilly Settles With 18,000 Over Zyprexa, N. Y. Times, Jan. 5, 2007,
    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?sec=health&res=9F00E5DB1430F936A35752C0A9619C8B63; Richard Zitrin, Secrecy’s Dangerous Side Effects, L. A. Times, Feb. 8, 2007, http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-oe-zitrin08feb08,0,6742226.story?coll=la-opinion-rightrail. See also Court Secrecy’s Drug Connection: Secret Settlements Used to Suppress Information on Public Health and Safety Hazards article on AAJ Web site: http://www.justice.org/pressroom/facts/secrecy/prozac.aspx (recounting how court secrecy was used to conceal the settlement of a Prozac lawsuit).

    2. Keith Bradsher, S.U.V. Tire Defects Were Known in ’96 But Not Reported, N.Y. Times, June 24, 2001, http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9A03E2D61230F937A15755C0A9679C8B63 (last accessed Oct. 24, 2007).

    3.  Richard Zitrin, The Judicial Function: Justice Between the Parties, Or a Broader Legal Interest?, 32 Hofstra L. Rev. 1573, 1567 (2004).

    4.  Jonathan Eig, How Danny Died, Chicago, Nov. 1998, http://www.kidsindanger.org/news/news_detail/1998_chicmag.pdf (last accessed Oct. 24, 2007); Also see Danny’s story on the Kids in Danger website at http://www.kidsindanger.org/pressroom/releases/20011206_pr.pdf (last accessed October 24, 2007).

    5. Sacha Pfieffer, Crisis in the church;  Critical Eye Cast on Sex Abuse Lawyers Confidentiality, Large Settlements Are Questioned, The Boston Globe, June 3, 2007.

  • AAJ News
  •  

    (2) on FORCED ARBITRATION:

    (A)  A woman was drugged, raped, beaten, and put in a container, and had to FIGHT to get access to justice. 

    If we understand this in a CIVIL format, why should vulnerable populations who are within FAMILIES take on the entire weight of the professional experts (supposedly) to protect themselves, or their children, from rape, abduction, harassment, stalking, and assault & battery issues?

    EVERYONE seems mad at the family court venue, and evaluations/mediations (I refer to litigants, the parents).  Father’s groups AND mothers’ groups. ….  Well, maybe that’s because the entire system is an offence to due process.

    When you consider that the basic premise of this family law venue is (see my last post, history of it) mediation, and reconciliation — not due process — going in the doors to start with is like hoping to find some good apples in a barrelful of those who are profiting off family distress.  It’s a crapshoot!  Children grow up fast, and no one has time for that in their brief childhoods!

  • Sexual Assault & Discrimination Victims Protected From Defense Contractor Forced Arbitrations
    October 6, 2009
    Washington, DC— Jamie Leigh Jones was raped, drugged, beaten, and then confined to a shipping container by KBR/Halliburton employees while working in Iraq.  Because of a clause placed in her employment contract, KBR forced her to submit to a binding, secret, non-appealable arbitration.  Jamie had to fight to obtain access to the justice system because she unknowingly signed an arbitration clause as part of her 18-page employment contract.
  • But an amendment passed today by the U.S. Senate (S.A. 2588), as part of the Department of Defense Appropriations Act (H.R. 3326), will prevent other defense contractor employees from being forced into arbitrations as a result of sexual assault, harassment or other forms of discrimination.  Upon the President’s final signature of the bill, the amendment – sponsored by Sens. Al Franken (D-Minn.) and Mary Landrieu (D-La.) – would bar defense contractors from imposing forced arbitration clauses on their employees for sexual assault claims or Title VII violations.

    “No corporation should ever be able to force their employees or customers into these biased, one-sided proceedings,” said American Association for Justice President Anthony Tarricone.  “But this one amendment goes a long way in protecting the rights of defense contractor employees, who should never endure what Jamie did to receive justice after such a horrific ordeal.”

    Jamie will testify tomorrow at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in support of the bipartisan Arbitration Fairness Act (S. 931 / H.R. 1020) at 10am in 226 Dirksen.  Sponsored by Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) and Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.), the Arbitration Fairness Act would ensure that the decision to arbitrate is made voluntarily and after a dispute has arisen, so corporations cannot manipulate the system in their favor at the expense of consumers and employees.

    ###
    As the world’s largest trial bar, the American Association for Justice (formerly known as the Association of Trial Lawyers of America) works to make sure people have a fair chance to receive justice through the legal system when they are injured by the negligence or misconduct of others—even when it means taking on the most powerful corporations. Visit http://www.justice.org/newsroom.

     

    http://www.justice.org/resources/searle_arbitration_rebut.pdf

     

     

     

     .

  • AAJ Calls on Congress to Restore Americans’ Basic Legal Protections
    November 19, 2009Washington, DC—A bill introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives today will restore standards required to file court cases and strengthen Americans’ basic legal protections.  The “Open Access to Courts Act of 2009,” introduced by Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA), and House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers (D-MI), will address recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions – Bell Atlantic v. Twombly (2007) and Ashcroft v. Iqbal (2009) – which irrationally raised the bar for Americans seeking justice in employment, discrimination, and other civil cases.
  •  

     (A)

    Searle Institute Report Shows Mandatory Arbitration Favors Corporations Over Consumers

    A Searle Civil Justice Institute report on mandatory binding arbitration clearly indicates the process is stacked against consumers and overwhelmingly favors the corporations that utilize its services. While the authors try to paint a rosy picture of the mandatory arbitration process, the data actually illustrates otherwise.

       

     

  • Business claimants win overwhelmingly more cases than consumers.
  •  

  • Searle’s data shows that consumers won some relief in 53.3% of cases they filed; however, business claimants won relief in 83.6% of cases.
  •  

  • Business complaints receive drastically higher awards in cases they win compared to consumers.
  •  

    1. In 41 of the 51 cases in which a business claimant won, the business recovered between 90 and 100% of the amount they claimed. Conversely, in the 119 cases won by consumers, the individual was awarded only 20% or less of their claim in 36 cases. In only 37 cases did consumers receive between 90 and 100% of the amount claimed. The rest, 46 cases, had the consumer winning anywhere between 11 and 89% of their original claim.
    This data shows that businesses win far more often than consumers in mandatory arbitration and in much higher amounts. Consumers win less, and when they do prevail, receive much lower awards compared to their original claim.

     

    1. It is likely that consumers have a much lower “win rate” than Searle’s 53.3% result.

     

  • As stated above, consumers are receiving less than 20% of their claims in a large amount of mandatory arbitration cases. Therefore, if a consumer is to claim $5,000 and only win $10, this counts as a “win” by Searle’s calculation, therefore inflating its 53.3% “win rate” figure.
  •  

  • Opponents of making arbitration voluntary, instead of mandatory, wrongly claim that the process is fair for consumers who don’t have an attorney.
  •  

    1. When business is the claimant, consumers have virtually no chance of prevailing without an attorney, losing 93% of the time. With an attorney, consumers can defend themselves successfully against business claimants in 38.9% of arbitrations.  Regardless of the statistics above that show how mandatory binding arbitration is stacked against consumers, Searle’s
       

       

     

    data is narrow and hardly representative of all arbitrations. Searle looked at only 301 arbitration cases from one arbitration company (American Arbitration Association). This data is NOT

    accessible to the public; AAA selectively gave Searle data to inspect, which raises questions as to the validity of the sample.  Additionally, if Searle’s determination is that arbitration is fair and a useful remedy for consumers, this does not explain why corporations and their front groups are lobbying for these clauses to be

     

     

    MANDATORY in consumer contracts. Arbitration should be VOLUNTARY, not forced upon consumers and hidden in contracts, even before a dispute arises.

    About Searle Civil Justice Institute

     

    : This institute is a creation of the late conservative philanthropist Daniel Searle. Searle donated to a long list of conservative organizations, including American Enterprise Institute, Manhattan Institute, and the Pacific Research Foundation. All of these groups have worked to undermine the civil justice system and prevent everyday Americans from holding corporations accountable via the legal system. This report from the Searle Institute follows in that same vein.

    For press inquiries, please contact Ray De Lorenzi in AAJ Communications, 202-965-3500 x369

     

    and, as to an individual:

     

    AFCC Feb. 2010 Presenters — Family Law Vocabulary 101…

    with 3 comments

    This is a “drive-by” {{not polished…}} post.  It took me quite a while simply to get access to the internet here, and wasn’t easy. Not a best post, but I encourage us each to take a more detailed look at the array of professions and professionals (and the language that goes with them) in this conference, the conference that declares the clear and present danger to “our children” is that the family law venue is going to run out of money.

    Well, what happened to the last thousands and millions that were spent there, and where’s the bang for the buck?  What lives were fixed?  Where’s the EVIDENCE that lives were fixed?  And is that what courts are for? 

    Origins of AFCC and Family Law, for that matter:

    Here’s the old, old California NOW Family Law page, but this hefty, but clear and readable, report is very informative.  {Any font/style changes, I added.}  I think I’ve blogged or quoted this report  before:

    CA NOW 2002 Family Court Report

     From the founding of the women’s movement, feminists have worked for equity in divorce, child  support and custody.The struggle to move women and children from the status of men’s property to citizens in their own right continues today.

    Over the last many years it has been brought to the attention of CA NOW that there are serious problems with the family court system for women and their children.

    After investigating over three hundred cases–through online questionnaires and case studies–we determined that the family court system is wrought with gender bias, due process violations, incompetence, conflict of interest and in some cases corruption.

    Although it is true that women, who are predominantly the primary caregivers of children, are awarded sole physical custody in about 80 percent of cases (according to Census data), contested cases often evoke inequities in {1} legal representation, {2} discrimination from a system not immune from sexism, and {3} the influence of fathers’ rights groups

    (Some excerpts from this report, but for a better (visual) overview of these issues, and a RARELY-discussed angle, read the whole thing.  Although it’s now 7 years old, the issues of due process AND dubious financial origins of both the AFCC, read it all.  ):

    9 a.
    Conflict of Interest and CorruptionCourt Cancer Metastasizes

     b. Audit of Los Angeles Judges Fund  {{below, notice how many of the professionals are from the L.A. area, although this AFCC is an international organization of, I heard, over 3,000 members…}}
     
     

    10a.
    Custody Cases
    Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS)Parental Alienation Syndrome and Parental Alienation: Getting it Wrong in

     b. NOW Position Paper on PAS
    c. American Psychiatric Association denies validity of PAS
     {{although this is obviously a hot topic, I am less interested in the PAS debate, at this time, than financial fraud and violation of due process… read on…}}
     

     

     From the section “Loss of Due Process” from this 2002 report:

    In response to the data we collected, CA NOW set out to examine a pattern of loss of due process. The findings suggest the move to streamline family courts by engaging extrajudicial professionals to assist the judge in assessing cases has resulted in a loss of due process.
     
    {{for example, see the job titles of many of the presenters below}} When of the maternal custodian, such as those espoused by psychologists Judith Wallerstein and Joan Kelly of Marin County, California and New Jersey psychiatrist Richard Gardner, they purported that children suffered irreparable damage to their development as a result of sole maternal custody.

    With the publication of the ideas of these experts, the fathers began aggressively asserting that a presumption in favor of sole maternal custody was irrational

    and

    XXX[FIX QUOTE]XXX toward the presumption that it was in the child contact

    dissolution, vis a vis parenting. It was at that time that father

    in getting put into place access and visitation moneys to help them gain custody of children {{what I keep squawking about, and showing!}}

      

    studiesbegan to emerge challenging maternal sole custody, theories denigrating the rolerights advocacy movementunfair. In the mid 1980s, it was the fathers rights movement that was instrumental in drivings best interests to have frequent and continuingwith each parent after divorce and that both parents were magically equalupons rights movements were successful

     

    On page 50ff herein, Marv Bryer   states the timeline and audit of the predecessor of CCC, which had a bank account and address basically at the LA County Courthouse, but was not incorporated.  ..

    {{Who is Marv Bryer?  Well, google him — I did, and from the link above:

    INSIGHT MAGAZINE

    Update 4/11/99

    Published in Washington, D.C.. . . . Vol. 15, No. 16 — May 3, 1999 . . . .
    http://www.insightmag.com

    Insight Magazine

    Is Justice for Sale in L.A.?

    By Kelly Patricia O’Meara

    An alleged slush fund for the L.A. Superior Court Judges Association is at the heart of a scandal involving possible income-tax evasion and gifts that may affect judges’ rulings.

    . . . Parents with business before the Superior Court say they feel caught in a web of judicial deceit that borders on an organized racket. But for years their requests for an investigation fell on deaf ears, as elected officials and law-enforcement agencies did nothing. Enter Marvin Bryer, a retired computer analyst in La Crescenta, Calif. …}}}


    . . . . Bryer became ensnared with the family-court system after his daughter, Karen, was faced with losing custody of her 2-year-old son. Having spent nearly $100,000 on attorneys and research fees, Bryer took matters into his own hands and has been campaigning for a probe of a system that he claims “purposefully profits off the conflict of the families in litigation.” He says, “I felt violated, almost numb, when I learned that the judges were making money through the child-custody system. The judges have too much power, and nobody is monitoring these guys.”

    So, unless you think that a retired computer analyst father is a feminazi, perhaps we might want to look at the $$ and cents; apparently this section was done by him….  It’s also better read at the original site…

    1939 Judges, lawyers and mental health professionals got State law passed (SB 737).

    The 53rd Session of Legislature.  The court became a lobby group.

     Section 1740 et seq formed The Childrens Courts of Conciliation, which was later repealed. 

    {{Maybe that’s where the “Our” children concept got in there.  Kind of like, if there is an automobile accident, the participants th
     
    {{Can you see where this MIGHT pose a problem, even long before laws against domestic violence (as far as I know) were passed?  ???}}}

     

     
    Section 1760 Article III Whenever any controversy exists, disruption of household with a minor child, the Court of Conciliation takes jurisdiction: to create a reconciliation

     

     A Los Angeles judge formed the  the first Conciliation Court

     

    as per this law in Los Angeles.  {{one, single, lone judge forms a court?}}

     

    1958 The Los Angeles County courthouse at 111 Hill Street was dedicated.

    1962 The Conference of Conciliation Courts (CCC) established a bank account at Security First National Bank Pacific Bank)

     

     

    (which later became Security

    Evidence: CCC 1968 Financial Statement. A balance from 5th Annual Conference is described.

    1962.

    This indicates the account probably began 6 years before in

    1963 Conference of Conciliation Courts, a private organization, was

    formed.

    the LA County public courthouse.

    The address of record was 111 N Hill Street, Room 241, which is

    which was later repealed.

    P A G E 4 9

     

    No incorporation documents on file, and no registration with Secretary of State, Franchise Tax Board or IRS.
     

    Evidence: Statement from IRS that there is no such entity and corporation papers in 1969.
     

    The founders of CCC were Los Angeles judge Roger Pfaff and Meyer Elkin. Six (6) California counties were involved
     

    Los Angeles County

    Imperial County
    San Mateo County
    San Bernardino County
    Sacramento County – Albert H. Mundt, Phillip Schleimer
    •  San Diego County 339 W Broadway
     
    The incomes of Blacks, Hispanics, Orientals, Caucasians were profiled  {how lovely…}}
    . . . MORE (best read on the original link, and I do not have time to clean up the formatting here…)

    1975 Association of Family and Conciliation Courts of Law was incorporated in Illinois
     

    Registered with IRS and Secretary of State in Illinois, but claimed they were a charity and were brand new. {{i.e., LIED!}} But Meyer Elkin takes charge shortly after their incorporation. (NOTE: he is the co-founder of the CCC) Shortly afterwards they changed to Association of Family and Conciliation Courts
    (dropped “Law”) (Not supposed to use a misleading name, claiming they are

    At the same time the Conference of Conciliation Courts was still operating in California and was not registered with the IRS.  {{Moral:  The same group (CCC will morph into AFCC soon enough) claiming that the “clear and present danger” to “our” children (see “jurisdiction wherever there is a dispute,” concept, above….) was itself — if this report is correct — cheating the IRS.  Does this mean that the professionals are not nice or smart people?  Not necessarily; but it reflects on the history of the organization they are profiting from…}}

    a court, but are not.) 

    1981 The Association of Family Conciliation Courts {AFCC} was established as a foreign non-profit corporation
     

    Located at 111 N. Hill Street, LA (no room number, but in courthouse) Headquarters in Cook County, Illinois They are an Illinois corporation doing business in California

    Margaret Little is a custody evaluator since 1986 until now she is the child custody evaluator and the head of family court services in LA, and is the local agent/president, corporation head of the AFCC)
     
    {{AND on the Elkins Family Law Task force…}}}
    Jessica Pierson [sic:  It’s “Pearson”] is also an agent and incorporator outside of CA in Colorado  {{Center for Policy Research, Denver — recently blogged, again..}}.

     

    1978 Child Custody Colloquium had their first conference.
    1979 Conference of Conciliation Courts was suspended by Franchise

     

    Each and every county would pay for marital counseling to help unclog the court system from divorce cases.

      

     

     

    Readers:  Obviously I’m having a heck of a time with the paste function, above.  Basically, I’m saying, read that section — at a minimum — of this California NOW Family Court Report of 2002.  Unless you have a spare lifetime, or income….

       

    AFCC 2/2010 PRESENTERS BIOS, again:

    I am simply going to highlight some common terms, possibly hyperlink a few cited organizations.  Again, a close reading of who’s here will tell a lot about the field.  

    Also, if you are one of those here, or associated or working with them, please understand that my point of view is as a parent (I have — er, had — different professions as well) and is not meant to disparage anyone involved simply because of involvement.  Do not take my comments personally.  Also, have a heart — some of us have lost, literally, everything. 

    I am clear when, where, and how the downhill slide began, and did not find out the driving professionals until AFTER all that had been lost, including employment, contact with children, and the infrastructure of life, including that which is required to stay housed, fed, and transported from Point A to Point B on an average day. 

    Part of abuse is economic abuse; another part is isolation.  Accordingly, we are not always in the circles where we even hear about these conferences!  That would require consistent access to internet, knowing what to look for (i.e., some guideposts) and a critical eye as to what is NOT being told.  In addition, a parent would have to find the time to do some of the research — not always easy while fighting a court battle, with visitation exchanges (if they still exist) and trying to retain a living.

    BUT . . . .  this is a serious matter, turning legal courts into therapy centers.  The Declaration of Independence, it seems, runs contrary to that.  To me, that’s a confusion of boundaries, and one characteristic I’m told (and know) about domestic violence, is that an abuser often has blurred identity, and cannot recognize the other as a separate individual, with rights, feelings, concerns, and privileges to exist separately.

    So if a group of professionals of this collective weight get together and throw that weight behind blurring the boundaries of law — WITHOUT TELLING THE GENERAL PUBLIC — and posting this clearly in the courtrooms — yes, I have a problem with that.

    More Vocabulary Lessons (Family Court Matters 101)….

    I read every single bio below (see last post).  Some, I knew already, some, I had heard speak, others, I had read their materials.  (That’s just my manner in life…)

    In reviewing the printout of the speaker bios, it is an impressive array of professionals, and associations.  Some people are specialists in one area, some have moved easily from one to another.  Others are founding members of prime organizations, including AFCC.  There is a Judge who is a member of the Elkins Family Law Task force (now reviewing California Family Law issues), which to me seems something like a conflict of interest.

    There are some men and women with experience in domestic violence and rape or sexual assault, although clearly not the majority.  I saw just a smattering whose experience mentions “child abuse” although this primarily might be called (along with domestic violence) among THE scandals of this entire court venue, and central to the wars between men and women.  This includes women standing with the men against former partners, and sometimes men standing with battered women or “protective parents” (a term you won’t find much here below) with the women.

    Major affiliations are listed, and of course what they have published.  As we see, this venue is a thriving business, with thriving conferences where things (including concepts) are indeed promoted and marketed. 

    Noticeably absent are litigating parents, or parents who LOST custody (whether mother or father) either at separation, or after t he case was in the courts for a while, i.e., after custody was switched.  When I review all the degrees, and decades (in many cases) of professional experience, I ask this question:

    (1)

    If you were standing in front of a judge, parent educator, mediator, custody evaluator, parenting-plan coordinator, guardian ad litem (in a custody hearing, obviously), and so forth – – – or any of these people as being your attorney, or the opposing attorney, and presented your case — particularly if you’d been through significant trauma from one source or another — or if you had come to a stance based on what worked for your and your family’s SAFETY — and your views DIFFERED from the mainstream agenda (here, it’s somewhat clear, overall) – – – – would you be considered the expert on your own experience, or would the overwhelming mass of data and experience of THESE professionals sway the case

    But wait a minute?  Isn’t this the LEGAL process?  Aren’t we supposed to weigh facts and evidence?  Are there hard facts versus soft facts, and if so, which one rules?  Are there facts that are clearly in evidence, and others which are assessment-based? 

    THEY are the experts, and consult with and among each other.  You — no matter what your personal professional expertise prior to or during the family court/divorce/custody/child abuse/domestic violence allegations court process – – – are the plebian.  Got that?  You don’t know what you’re talking about, evidence or not — this is the sense that I have gotten in court, and that such a majestic assemblage of professional expertise would bring to bear on, perhaps, one parent — or a group of them — who disagree.  With the entire system of premises!

    ============

    I believe it will be helpful to highlight some terms, provide some hyperlinks, and make a few points.  What’s below is a re-paste (verbatim) of the same speaker bios from the upcoming 2010 AFCC conference stating that the CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER in our family courts is lack of resources.

     

    Association of Family and Conciliation Courts
    AFCC-CA Annual Conference
    The Challenge of Diminishing Resources in Family Law:

    A Clear and Present Danger to Our Children.
    February 12-14, 2010

    “OUR children???”  These are the professionals deciding the futures of children.  The parents are not necessarily participating, representing, nor their attendance solicited in this conference.  I take issue with calling others’ children “our” children. ”

    {{I am going to highlight the words “high-conflict” and “parental alienation”}}

    Rhonda B. Barovsky, LCSW earned her Master’s Degree in Social Work in 1982.  Before working at Family Court Services she worked at two different shelters for battered women, at San Francisco Rape Treatment, and was the Director of the San Francisco Juvenile Sex Offender Treatment Program, which she founded in 1986.  Ms. Barovsky worked at the Contra Costa County Family Court Services for nine years and was the Director of the San Francisco Family Court Services in 2001 before starting her private practice.

    Lynette Berg Robe is a certified family law specialist, certified by the State Bar of California, Board of Legal Specialization, in private practice in Studio City, California. She is a member of the Board of AFCC California, and she has served on the Family Law Executive Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association since 1998. She also served on the State Bar Family Law Executive Committee for three years from 2006-2009 and was editor of the Family Law News during 2007-2008. A graduate of UCLA Law, where she served on the law review, she offers services in her law practice in all aspects of marital dissolution, paternity matters, premarital and other agreements, including mediation and collaborative law.

    Steven F. Bucky, Ph.D.
    California School of Professional Psychology / Alliant International University San Diego
    (1972 – present)

    Steven Bucky, PhD, is a full professor, the Director of Professional Training, Chair of the Ethics Committee, Executive Director of the Addictions Institute and was the Interim System wide Dean at the California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University.

    Dr. Bucky was on California Psychological Association’s (“CPA”) Board of Directors from 1996 to 2000, on CPA’s Ethics Committee from 1990 to 1997, Chair of the annual convention from 1999-2000 and was President of CPA in 1997. He is President/Chairman of the Board of the McAlister Institute, which consists of twenty programs throughout San Diego County that focus on the treatment of alcohol and other drug problems of women, their children and adolescents.

    {{I am again reminded of the 10-year Kaiser/CDC study, (see http://www.acestudy.org) which found, astonishingly at the time (ending around 1998?), that among the major causes of obesity were “adverse childhood events” (trauma), including physical and emotional abuse.  Stop the abuse, may help stop the addictions, to food or other substances.  There are REASONS people abuse things, or each other…To this day, they are still analyzing hippocampus size of PTSD and non-PTSD kids and declaring, (WHAT insight! ) that it actually affects their learning.  Ya THINK??  Ya THINK this may relate to some ADD or ADHD??  While that analysis is OK, and I suppose very informative, I think that stopping whatever is CAUSING the long-term trauma (as opposed to analyzing its effects) ought to be a higher priority.  And I think that either witnessing a mother being abused, and then jerked from her custody to that of the father — OR vice versa (which happens also) and then being repeatedly interviewed by experts trying to re-unify this family (per social policy, above — I think that THAT might be traumatic.}}

    Dr. Bucky has published more than 150 papers, presented at major conventions such as the American Psychological Association and the California Psychological Association and has edited the book The Impact of Alcoholism.

    Dr. Bucky is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Silver Psi Award and the Distinguished Service Award from the California Psychological Association. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and of the San Diego Psychological Association.

    Dr. Bucky also maintains a private practice that focuses on children, adolescents, families, substance abuse, forensics, and the assessment and treatment of professional and college athletes.

    Dr. Bucky is a consultant to California ’s Board of Psychology, Medical Board, Board of Behavioral Sciences, and the Attorney General’s office, has consulted with the District Attorney’s office, the US Attorney’s office, the City Attorney and numerous attorneys who specialize in the defense of mental health professionals. Dr. Bucky is also a consultant to the NFL, the San Diego Chargers, and the Athletic Department at San Diego State University

    Paula Savage Cohen is a senior attorney in the family law unit of Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles where she has worked since 1995. She coordinates the Domestic Violence Clinic at the Long Beach Courthouse, which offers free legal services and representation to victims of domestic violence. Paula counsels clients in all areas of family law with a focus on domestic violence, child custody and child abduction. Paula just completed a 3-year appointment to the Family Law Executive Committee of the State Bar of California. She received the 54th District “Woman of the Year” award (2006) from Assembly Member Betty Karnette.

    Honorable Judith Craddick was admitted to the Bar in 1980.  In 1998 she was appointed to the Contra Costa County Superior Court by Gov. Pete Wilson.  From 1980 until 1986 she was an associate at a law firm specializing in defense of medical malpractice litigation.  From 1986 until her appointment to the bench, Judge Craddick was a principal and managing attorney at the same law firm Craddick, Candland & Conti.  Judge Craddick worked on the Family Law bench for seven years, six years as the Presiding Judge and five years as the Presiding Judge, Post-conviction Misdemeanor Domestic Violence Court.

    {{for another discussion of the impact of specialized courts — see justicewomen.org}}

    Leslie M. Drozd, Ph.D. is clinician, teacher, researcher, and forensic expert with expertise in issues related to child custody including partner violence, alienation, substance abuse, and attachment. She has written a myriad professional books, chapters, and articles, and is the founding editor of the international peer-reviewed Journal of Child Custody. She has served on advisory councils for the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges. {{NCFCJ, well-funded, out of Reno, Nevada.  Information resource.  They have articles disputing PAS from a prosecutorial standpoint….}}  Dr. Drozd performs custody evaluations, co-parenting therapy, parenting coordination, reunification therapy, and expert consultations to attorneys.

    Sandra Etue has been a Family Law practitioner in Woodland Hills, for over 11 years. In addition to her representation of Family Law litigants, numerous Judges throughout Los Angeles County have appointed Ms. Etue as Minor’s Counsel, in high-conflict custody disputes. Ms. Etue believes it is important for all Minors’ Counsel to understand the developmental stages of children and to keep current with the psychological research in the area of custody and visitation. Ms. Etue is also a trained Family Law mediator.

    Judith R. Forman
    Listed in: Best Lawyers in America; Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers; Southern California Super Lawyer, 2004-2008; Top 50 Female Super Lawyers, Southern California, 2005-2008; Top 100 Los Angeles County Super Lawyers, 2006-2007.

    Author: “The Impact of Parental Alcoholism and Related Substance Abuse Issues in Custody Determinations,”; “The Effect of Parental Alcoholism in Custody Disputes,” Los Angeles County Bar, Family Law Symposium Books, 1992-1993; “Force of Habit,” Los Angeles Daily Journal, July 27, 1995; “Copyright Custody,” Los Angeles Daily Journal, Nov. 30, 1995; “Identifying and Dividing Intellectual Property: Practical Considerations at Marital Dissolution,” Aspen Family Law Update (Aspen Law and Business, New York City, 1999).

    Co-Author with Patricia Phillips: “Custody and Support of Children,” California Transactions Forms: Family Law (Westgroup, 1998).

    Stephen Gershman’s practice was founded in 1984 and is limited to family law including custody litigation, domestic violence, dissolution, paternity and complex property and financial issues in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties. Represent men and women with extensive experience in domestic violence defense including cases with accompanying criminal charges. Custody matters include experience with move aways and children with special needs. I work with and make use of mental health professionals in several areas of my practice.

    Albert R. Gibbs, Ph.D., is a psychologist practicing in Los Angeles County. He earned his Ph.D. in 1976 from the California School of Professional Psychology in Los Angeles and is currently director of Co-Parents Solutions providing divorce and co-parent education classes. He is a frequent lecturer on co-parenting issues.

    Commissioner Reva G. Goetz was appointed to the bench in November 1991. She sits in Department 9, one of three Probate Departments, in the Stanley Mosk Courthouse in downtown Los Angeles. Her calendar consists of Conservatorships, Guardianships, Trust, and Estate matters. Previously she sat in a Family Law assignment for 5 ½ years. When to the bench, Commissioner Goetz was a Deputy District Attorney assigned to the Major Fraud Unit. Prior to practicing law, Commissioner Goetz worked as a Financial Analyst and Accountant. Commissioner Goetz received her law degree from Whittier Law School where she was an Editor on the Law Review.

    Diane M. Goodman is a partner in the law firm of Goodman & Metz in Encino. She received her J.D. from the University of La Verne School of Law in 1984. Ms. Goodman is a family law practitioner, with an emphasis on representing the gay and lesbian client. Ms. Goodman has handled many child custody and adoption matters in the Los Angeles and surrounding areas. Ms. Goodman is President of the Academy of California Adoption Lawyers/Academy of California Family Formation Lawyers. Ms. Goodman volunteers at the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center Legal Clinic. Ms. Goodman served as a commissioner on the Los Angeles City Commission on the Status of Women from 1980 – 1990. Ms. Goodman is also a member of Congregation Beth Chayim Chadashim, American Civil Liberties Union, Lawyers for Human Rights and the Los Angeles County Bar Association.

    Scott Gordon is a Commissioner with the Los Angeles County Superior Court. He is currently assigned to the Family Law Department where he presides in Department 88. Prior to his election to the Los Angeles Superior Court, Mr. Gordon served with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office for sixteen years and as a police officer and detective for the Santa Monica Police Department for eight years.

    • While a deputy district attorney Mr. Gordon served in a variety assignments including: Central Trials, Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Division, Stuart House, Special Investigations and the Stalking and Threat Assessment Team.
    • Mr. Gordon has served as an Adjunct Professor of Law for Southwestern University School of Law for the past fourteen years. He teaches Trial Advocacy, Advanced Criminal Procedure, Forensic Evidence, and the Criminal Response to Terrorism Seminar.
    • Mr. Gordon was named “Prosecuting Attorney of the Year” by the Los Angeles Bar Association, “Humanitarian of the Year” by the Los Angeles Commission on Assaults Against Women and received the “Excellence in Teaching Award for 2003” from Southwestern University School of Law.
    • In 1997, Commissioner Gordon served as a Legal Expert for the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague, Netherlands.
    • His first book, Shadow Enemies: Hitler’s Secret Terrorist Plot Against the United States, was recently published by Lyons Press.

    Dianna Gould-Saltman is a certified family law specialist, first certified by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization in 1992. She has been selected as a Los Angeles Magazine Super lawyer numerous times and named as one of the Top 50 Woman Lawyers in Southern California twice. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and of the International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. She has been active in the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts for many years and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Parent organization. She has served on the Los Angeles County Bar Association Family Law Section Executive Committee since 1997, was Chair 2004-2005 and now serves as a chair emeritus. She has been a frequent lecturer for continuing education of the bar at many events. She has written extensively for family law publications and currently serves as an editor for the Journal of Child Custody.

    Elise Greenberg has dedicated her legal career to the practice of dependency and family law. Since 1996, she has represented thousands of children in cases of divorce and other complex custody issues arising in paternity, adoption, and guardianship disputes, frequently serving as minor’s counsel. She also has extensive experience in representing children in extra-judicial arenas such as the LA Unified School District, the California Department of Developmental Services, and the Department of Child & Family Services. She was a co-founder of the Birthday Project, which raises funds from corporations and individuals to celebrate the birthdays of children in foster care. She received her Juris Doctor from DePaul University College of Law in Chicago.

    Daniel Harkins, Esq. was admitted to the Bar in 1981.  He has been practicing Family Law since 1982.  He has a lot of experience with complex litigation, is frequently appointed by the Court to represent minor children, and has led seminars educating attorneys who are appointed to represent children.  He serves as a Special Master/Referee, and has sat as Judge Pro Tem in CCC Superior Court.   Daniel Harkins has been president of the Family Law Section of the CCC Bar Association.

    Carol Hirshfield is a Licensed Psychologist with over 25 years experience working with children, adults and their families on both the East and West Coasts. She has special expertise in child development, populations with special needs (such as learning disabilities, attention deficit disorders, developmental disabilities, and autism), and services for families who are engaged in high conflict divorce.  Her private practice in West Los Angeles includes the following: psychotherapy and family therapy, social skills groups – for children ages 8-15, Collaborative Divorce & Custody Mediation, and teaching Co-Parenting for Divorce (COPE) – a course for parents. She is especially interested in helping children navigate the difficulties of living with separated/divorced parents, and her high conflict divorce work is done in that context.

    Dr. Hoppe has been using psychological tests as part of his own and others’ comprehensive child custody evaluations. He has tested some four to five thousand individuals involved in high conflict custody evaluations for dozens of other custody evaluators.  Since 1987 he has compiled average scores of test results of custody litigants on several of the most widely used psychological tests. These results comprise the largest known database of different personality measures done on the same custody litigant.  He has spoken about the use of tests and these custody norms in comprehensive Custody evaluations since the 1980s and has disseminated the average scores on tests at national professional meetings since 1993.  Dr. Hoppe was trained in Child Psychology as a Post Doctoral Fellow of the National Institute of Mental Health in Child psychology.  He is member of the International Psychoanalytic Association as well as national and local psychological associations.

    Karen Horwitz is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in the South Bay of Los Angeles, California. She has a private psychotherapy practice in which she specializes in working with children ages 4 and up as well as with couples and families. She also works as a Parenting Shadow and Therapeutic Monitor. She does co-parent counseling and child custody mediation. She trained in “The Mindful Parenting Program,” at the Maple Counseling Center in Beverly Hills and holds certificates in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy for both adults and children from the Psychoanalytic Center of California.

    Mr. Jenkins is an attorney whose practice emphasizes family law issues. Known
    for his encyclopedic knowledge and easygoing demeanor, Mr. Jenkins spent five
    years as a research attorney prior to bringing his estimable skills to private
    practice. Mr. Jenkins has extensive experience as a litigator and has been
    instrumental in the drafting of family codes for Indian tribal courts throughout the
    country.

    Honorable Judge Juhas was appointed to the Los Angeles Superior Court in 2002 and has sat in family Law since then (for 7 years, i.e.).  He is the assistant Supervising judgefor family law in LA County.  He currently sits on several committees
    for the Administrative Office of the Courts, including the Elkins Family
    Law Task Force.  He has taught on several occasions for the Center for
    Education and Judicial Research, the Los Angeles County Bar Association
    and AFCC.  He currently sits on the AFCC-CA board
    .

    {{I’ll just flat-out say this.  That’s a serious conflict of interest! What did he do before this?}}

    Judge Wendy L. Kohn was appointed to the Los Angeles County Superior Court in 2003 and has presided over a family law courtroom for six years. She is currently assigned to the Northwest District in Van Nuys, CA. Prior to her appointment to the bench, she worked as an arbitrator and mediator (with an emphasis on securities industry disputes), as a volunteer attorney for Bet Tzedek Legal Services, as General Counsel for a local certified public accounting firm, and as a business, estate planning and probate attorney in private practice. Judge Kohn received her law degree from San Fernando Valley College of Law, and her Masters in Dispute Resolution from Pepperdine Law School.

    Alyce LaViolette, MS, MFCC is a pioneer in the field of partner violence. She has worked with battered women since 1978, with six of those years in the Long Beach Women Shelter. In 1979, she developed Alternatives to Violence, one of the first programs in the country to work with men who abuse women in intimate relationships and also one of the first men’s programs to originate as a shelter program. Ms. LaViolette developed the first domestic violence training program for the Los Angeles Department of Probation and provided that program statewide. She has also developed training programs for the Los Angeles and Orange County Departments of Children and Family Services. She is a frequently requested conference and keynote speaker both nationally and internationally. She has consulted with the Japanese Government on the creation of domestic violence policies.

    S. Margaret Lee, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist whose work focus is providing services to divorcing families. Dr. Lee performs custody evaluations, custody mediation, co-parent counseling and expert consultation to attorneys. Dr. Lee has done research regarding psychological testing in child custody evaluations. Dr. Lee is a frequent presenter at conferences in the area of psychology/family law.

    Renee Leff, MFT, JD is both a Juris Doctor on Law and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She is also Board Certified as a Diplomate-Fellow in Forensic Science. In addition to providing psychotherapy for individuals in transition, her specialties are pre and post divorce issues, including custody/visitation, parent-child re-unification, and blended families. She is a former child custody evaluator and currently co-creates parenting plans for custody arrangements with couples undergoing divorce. She coaches high conflict couples and individuals undergoing divorce and child custody evaluations. Additionally, she offers court mandated education, privately or in groups, for high conflict couples with respect to co-parenting skills. She also provides group psychotherapy experience for children and adults of high conflict divorce. Ms. Leff also works as a team with attorneys, and she treats people undergoing the depression, anxiety, and other psychological components that arise from legal cases: e.g., sexual harassment cases, employment issues, family law issues and personal injury cases. She has a private practice in West Los Angeles, Tarzana, and Woodland Hills California, where she treats individuals, couples, and families from an attachment, inter-subjective, and relational theoretical perspective. Ms. Leff achieved her undergraduate degree from California State University at Los Angeles, her Masters Degree from Phillips Graduate Institute, and her Juris Doctor Degree from Southwestern University College of Law.

    {{Phillips Graduate Institute appears to exist to support this field; it just happens to be one that I checked; not to make a big point about Ms. Leff, but to illustrate who some of the institutes are…}}

    Phillips Graduate Institute is a graduate school based in Encino, California. It provides graduate education in family therapy, art therapy, and human relations. In the 1950s its founders, Clinton E. Phillips, Ph.D., and David Jansen, D.Min., had pioneered the application of family systems theory and the initiation of family therapy at the American Institute of Family Relations. In 1971 they founded the California Family Study Center which, in 1992, was renamed in Dr. Phillips’ honor.

    It is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, the American Art Therapy Association (AATA) and the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC). It has trained more than 3,000 family therapists, and currently has 322 students.

    Its Counseling Center has helped over 30,000 families reach a higher level of functioning and lead more productive lives. A center for organizational and business consulting is under development.

    It also was recently on probation as to accreditation with the WASC (above):

    At its meeting on February 18-20, 2009, the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities acted to place Phillips Graduate Institute on Probation. Probation is imposed when an institution has been found to have serious issues of noncompliance with one or more of the Commission Standards. While on Probation, the institution is subject to special scrutiny and any new site or degree program is subject to review through WASC’s substantive change process.

    The Western Association of Schools and Colleges is one of seven regional accrediting commissions and is recognized by the United States Department of Education. This statement has been reviewed and approved by the institution.
    March 5, 2009

    She has completed the Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy and Advanced Program at the Institute for Contemporary Psychoanalysis in Los Angeles. She is the past president of the San Fernando Valley Chapter of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists; an adjunct faculty member of Phillips Graduate Institute and California State University, Northridge; and a board member of the of the Los Angeles Collaborative Family Law Association. She is also a member of the Los Angeles and San Fernando Valley Bar Associations.

    Honorable Thomas Trent Lewis, Judge Los Angeles County Superior Court, Certified Family Law Specialist, State Bar of California, Fellow American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, and Vice President-AFCC- California Chapter.

    {{Might be a good time to point out here:  A link on my blogroll to right, if you probe far enough, shows that “certified Family Law Specialist” is practically synonymous with “not much training in domestic violence required, and next to none in child abuse.”}}

    Anne Lintott, LMFT, is a mediator, evaluator, and licensed psychotherapist, working for the Superior Court of California, Los Angeles , in Family Court Services. Anne has 16 years of experience in working with parents, children, and families dealing with separation and/or divorce issues, with expertise in facilitating parents in conflict management, child development education, and in addressing communication and co-parenting strategies. Anne is also a parent educator, and has taught “Parents and Children Together” and “Parenting Without Conflict” for several years. Anne also is in private practice as a psychotherapist and consultant in Los Feliz , California .


    Mary Elizabeth Lund, Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from UCLA, did a postdoctoral fellowship at University of Cambridge, England, {{very prestigious..}}  where she did research on divorce and children.  She started a mediation and divorce therapy practice in 1985.  In 1990 was chosen by Los Angeles Superior Court judges to do custody evaluations.  She has been doing collaborative law cases for the last seven years.  Her articles include original research and theory on effects of divorce on children, parental alienation, divorced fathers, custody evaluations, and mediation training. She trains incoming California Family Law judicial officers and is on the editorial board of the Journal of Child Custody.
    {{They cannot require sitting judges to receive much training.  Whatever she trains them in likely WILL include “parental alienation.” I recently searched a Library’s LINK+ system (interlinking libraries, I think including out of state) and there is plenty of training on parental alienation going on in this field, including among “CEB” — continuing education of the bar.  There were about 6, at least, articles by the (oft discredited, self-published, and he already committed suicide) Richard Gardner. It’s alive and well for sure, and is a hot topic of debate outside this venue.  You couldn’t tell, from the speakers list…}}
     
     
     

     

    Karin Manger is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She has more than 25 years of experience working with children and families. Prior to joining Family Court Services in 1991 as a child custody evaluator, she was the Program Director of the Aviva Center, a residential treatment program for adolescent girls and the Clinical Director of the Germaine Lawrence Intensive Residential Treatment Program in Massachusetts. She has expertise in working with children and adults with a wide range of psychiatric disorders, as well as situational reactions. She has conducted over 700 child custody evaluations, both full and solution focused, and has taught the Parenting Without Conflict Program. Currently, she maintains a small private practice in West Los Angles.

    She also provides education groups for parents of children facing social and developmental challenges.

    Diana Mercer, Esq. is an Attorney-Mediator and the founder of Peace Talks Mediation Service in Los Angeles, CA. (www.peace-talks.com). A veteran litigator she now devotes her practice solely to mediation. She is the co-author of Your Divorce Advisor: a Lawyer and a Psychologist Guide You through the Legal and Emotional Landscape of Divorce (Fireside 2001) and When Divorce Works (Penguin 2010). She’s an Advanced Practitioner Member of the Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR) and is admitted to practice law in California, New York Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and before the Supreme Court o f the United States.

    Forrest “Woody” Mosten is a collaborative attorney, mediator, and author who provide training to professionals in workshops and seminars around the world. As a Certified Family Law Specialist who handles matters involving substantial assets, delicate parenting issues, and high family conflict, he never goes to court. He is the author of four books, Collaborative Divorce Handbook (2009, Jossey Bass), Mediation Career Guide (2001, Jossey Bass), Unbundling Legal Services (2000, ABA) and Complete Guide to Mediation (1997, ABA) and numerous articles. He is Editor of the Family Court Review’s Special Issue on Collaborative Practice to be published in April, 2011 and he is recognized internationally as the “Father of Unbundling..” He can be reached at http://www.MostenMediation.com.

    Amy Neiman, CFLS received an undergraduate degree from San Francisco State University, and received her juris doctorate degree from the University of California at Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law in 1985. Ms. Neiman is a certified Family Law Specialist and has been practicing in the area of family law for close to 20 years. She currently works almost exclusively as minor’s counsel in high conflict custody proceedings. Prior to practicing in the area of family law, Ms. Neiman was a civil litigator at Latham & Watkins and Folger & Levin.  She also worked extensively in the area of art law, emphasizing public art destruction.

    Nancy W. Olesen, Ph.D. graduated in psychology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison with a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She teaches, researches, and works in private practice, with a particular emphasis on child abuse and neglect, custody and access disputes and the interface between clinical and forensic psychology. She has collaborated on a number of professional articles about custody evaluation, alienation and domestic violence and has served on national advisory councils for the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges.

    Judge Amy Pellman is a Judge for the Los Angeles County Superior Court and is currently assigned to a family law trial department at the Stanley Mosk courthouse in downtown Los Angeles. Prior to her appointment as a judge in 200 , she was elected a Commissioner in July 2005. During her tenure as a lawyer, Judge Pellman was a nationally recognized advocate for children’s rights. She served as the Legal Director for the Alliance for Children’s Rights for over five years, a nonprofit legal organization devoted to providing free legal services to children living in poverty. She received the esteemed Child Advocacy Law Award in 2003 from the American Bar Association. Prior to joining the Alliance for Children’s Rights, Judge Pellman spent seven years at Dependency Court Legal Services serving a senior trial attorney and appellate counsel representing children in foster care. She has authored numerous articles on issues related to children from a training manual for new judges and lawyers to a law review article addressing the complexity of planning for children in foster care. Judge Pellman received a Juris Doctorate from City University of New York Law School, which has a commitment to train lawyers interested in public interest and public service.

    William Spiller has been involved in representing children for over 15 years. He has been a frequent lecturer at continuing education programs for minor’s counsel and family law issues. He has also served as a referee for the Los Angeles Superior Court of California Juvenile Court for over ten years. A member of AFCC and the National Association of Counsel for Children, Mr. Spiller also serves as a mediator.

    Kyle Pruett, M.D. is a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Nursing at the Yale School of Medicine’s Child Study Center, where he received the Lifetime Distinguished Teaching award. He has been in the private practice of infant, child and family psychiatry since 1974. As president of Zero to Three: The National Center for Infants, Toddlers and their Families, he headed one of the nation’s most prestigious multi-disciplinary training programs for infant/family professionals. Both clinician and scholar, Dr. Pruett conducted a landmark study, which demonstrated the powerful, positive impact which early care giving by fathers can have on a young child’s social and intellectual development. Dr. Pruett’s writings include the classic The Nurturing Father, winner of the American Health Book Award, and the more current Fatherneed: Why Father Care is as Essential as Mother Care for Your Child and Me, Myself and I: The Child’s Sense of Self, which won the Independent Book Publisher’s Award. He makes frequent contributions to national and international print and electronic media, and television appearances, serves as consultant to Sesame Workshop, was chosen by Peter Jennings to co-host the Children’s Town Meeting on ABC News the Saturday after 9/11, and by Oprah Winfrey to co-host with her the award winning video for new parents, “Begin With Love”.

    Marsha Kline Pruett, Ph.D., M.S.L., is the Maconda Brown O’Connor Professor at Smith College and School of Social Work. Dr. Kline Pruett has trained legal and mental health professionals throughout the country, and served as commentator on radio and television news. She has more than twenty years of clinical experience with individuals, couples, families, and children, and has been trained in both Family Therapy and Divorce Mediation. Nationally noted for her research regarding child adjustment to divorce, joint custody, school interventions, and work/family conflicts, Dr. Kline Pruett has written over 50 articles, chapters and reviews, has co-edited two books, and is the co-author of Your Divorce Advisor: A Lawyer and a Psychologist Guide You through the Legal and Emotional Landscape of Divorce (2001). Her new book on co-parenting, written with her husband, will be released in September 2009. She trains lawyers, judges, and mental health professionals in family law topics related to father involvement, young children, parental conflict, and child adjustment to family transition.

    Jane Shatz, Ph.D., practices in Beverly Hills, California, specializing as a custody evaluator, mediator and parenting plan coordinator. She is past president of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts California Chapter. She was an assistant professor of psychology at University of Wisconsin, a lecturer in psychology at U.S.C. She has numerous publications including Shatz, J.E. and LaViolette, A. (1998), “For Our Children: Helping Parents Help Their Kids: A 12 Week Curriculum for Never Married, Separated or Divorced Parents Where Domestic Violence Has Been an Issue.”

    Lynn Rosenfield, LCSW brings 30 years of clinical social work experience, specializing in individual, couple and family therapy and the treatment of divorce issues, to her private practice in Los Angeles. She first became involved in alternative dispute resolution 25 years ago, when she developed and coordinated a divorce mediation program for Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles. Since 1990, she has been a mediator with Pulling. Together Mediation Center, a partnership she shares with an attorney and a Rabbi. She specializes in divorce issues in all aspects of her work: as a psychotherapist, mediator,
    collaborative law coach, reunification therapist and consultant. Lynn is an active member of LAWCDP (Los Angeles Westside Collaborative Divorce Professionals, LACFLA (Los Angeles Collaborative Family Law Association, IACP (International Academy of Collaborative Professionals) and the California Society for Clinical Social Work. She is an adjunct faculty member of Smith College School for Social Work. You can visit her website at http://www.lynnrosenfield.com.

    Leslie Ellen Shear, J.D., CFLS.
    Ms. Shear is a graduate of UCLA School of Law and admitted to the California Bar in 1976 and maintains her practice in Encino, California. A frequent lecturer in custody matters, she has been involved in a number of high-profile custody cases over the years – most recently, Marriage of LaMusga and Marriage of Seagondollar.

    Dr. Simon is a forensic and clinical psychologist with over 25 years of experience
    as an evaluator, mediator, reviewer and litigation consultant and therapist and.
    Dr. Simon’s professional work focuses exclusively on the issues of divorce and
    co-parenting. He is current authoring two books on divorce – one dealing with
    trial consultation and expert review in child custody litigation and the other on the
    unique issues of remarriage and second divorce.

    Tamar Springer, LCSW, is a psychotherapist, mediator and parent educator in private practice in Los Angeles, California. Tamar formerly trained in and worked for the Superior Court of California, in Los Angeles, as a family mediator and parent educator. Tamar works with parents and families in developing effective communication and conflict management skills, as a co-parenting counselor, and as a supportive and educational resource during the separation and divorce process. Tamar is a frequent lecturer on clinical topics to both professionals and laypersons and was a featured speaker at the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists’ (CAMFT) Annual Conference in May 2008.

    Dr. Matthew Sullivan earned his Ph.D. in 1985 from the University of Maryland. He is currently a licensed Psychologist in private practice in Palo Alto, California providing psychological services and specializing in child forensic Psychology

     ===========================================

     

    Written by Let's Get Honest

    December 16, 2009 at 5:11 pm

    Who’s Presenting at 2010 AFCC Conference

    with 4 comments

     

    These are supposedly the “stake-holders.”    This list should be posted at every family court facilitators, mediators, parent educators, guardian-ad-litem’s and anyone else’s doorpost, so at least the general public KNOWs what the good ol’ boys and girls’ clubs are specializing in, and where the interbreeding (sorry, “collaboration”) really is.

    If I had more time, I’d highlight uses of the words “alienation” or “conflict” etc. 

    I think that the deliverables are in exact inverse proportion to the claims. 

    The web is full of angry men and women both, at this venue.  This one appears to be from a father, and HE doesn’t like supervised visitation, either.  This deals with a professional whose credentials turned out to be spurious, and more.  Check out the rest of the link too — why not?

    Supervised Visitation Centers And Monitors

    The lack of results from the psychological evaluation is often an excuse to not correct unfair and unjust custody situations for extended periods of time. The judges pretend they can address these problems by ordering “supervised visitation” in which a parent is watched and often videotaped while with their children. They must use supervised visitation centers or monitors approved by the court at rates often well in excess of $50 per hour to see their children. While some of these centers vary rates based upon income of the parent, it is as if the rates are chosen to consume the parent’s entire income. A order for 5 to 10 hours of supervised contact per week is not unusual. The cost per hour typically is anywhere from $30 to $100 (or more) per hour depending upon the supervising party and the parent’s income.

    It’s not unusual for supervised visitation for a parent to cost several thousand dollars per month, leaving the parent with having to decide between having money to live, money to fight the court battle, or money to pay for seeing the children. Often there’s simply not enough money to pay for any more than one of these, unless perhaps the parent is blessed with relatives who are willing to help. The San Diego family law system is happy with that option when it occurs. It gives them hundreds of thousands of dollars more to swallow up, feeding a monster that is hurting many people.

    Crime Rewarded by Family Law Courts

    Litigants in this system often feel that in San Diego family law courts, crime pays. The courts reward the crimes of false accusations against good parents. Government agencies such as the police and CPS frequently involve themselves in these cases, too. When they can’t find any criminal activity, they virtually never go after the falsely accusing party. Instead, they sometimes punish accused parents without a trial or due process by helping to deprive them of custody for months or years and to financially and emotionally destroy them.

    THIS one, I suspect, is probably female (I may know by whom).  She’s nailing conflict of interest, especially financial, among other things:

    http://www.familylawcourts.com/countymarin.html

    Nothing can change until it is first, accurately described.

    There is assault, battery, attempted murder and murder.

    There is Not domestic violence.

    Family law is where criminals are detoured around the criminal justice system, in favor of, “anger management classes.”

    Also a link worth reviewing….  It gives names, numbers, details, and principles.

     

    I just had an idea today.  Since, everyone is so upset with the family law courts (except those making a living in them, or around them, who assert the real danger is not enough money going to them….  yeah, right ), why don’t we start a campaign something like this (men and women both):

    “BOYCOTT THE FAMILY LAW VENUE.  FIGURE IT OUT YOURSELVES.”  (Whether by conversation or weapon, or bribes, the results could hardly be less devastating to families and society than what we have going on currently).  You could call it something like:

    “Yes Family Violence IS a Private Matter.”  or “Keep your extortion, bribes and fraud local.”  Of course, certain categories of professionals would then flood the job market, driving wages down.  Anyhow, it’s an idea…..

    Things are already being settled “behind closed doors” anyhow — how many parents, devastated financially and emotionally, can actually afford to attend these conferences?  And they are the ones we most need to hear from.  I’ve talked myself into a few; the powerpoints and refreshments were nice, and as far as I can tell have not made any significant changes in court practices.

    The other thing women might want to consider boycotting is simply giving birth.  That would simplify matters also, at least for them… 

    Well, I realize this was a very bitter comment, above.  Anyhow, we still ought to review some of these personnel.

    http://www.afcc-ca.org/california_annual_conf_2010_bios.html

    Battered women in custody battles in particular should review the types of people, and do some further research, whether or not you can attend.  I think WHo’s Who in this field is simply important to know.  Now’s your chance to read carefully.

    I hope to update this post later today or tomorrow; this is a simple paste for now:

    Alphabetical order (some bolding was lost in the paste….)

    Association of Family and Conciliation Courts
    AFCC-CA Annual Conference
    The Challenge of Diminishing Resources in Family Law:
    A Clear and Present Danger to Our Children.
    February 12-14, 2010

    Rhonda B. Barovsky, LCSW earned her Master’s Degree in Social Work in 1982.  Before working at Family Court Services she worked at two different shelters for battered women, at San Francisco Rape Treatment, and was the Director of the San Francisco Juvenile Sex Offender Treatment Program, which she founded in 1986.  Ms. Barovsky worked at the Contra Costa County Family Court Services for nine years and was the Director of the San Francisco Family Court Services in 2001 before starting her private practice.

    Lynette Berg Robe is a certified family law specialist, certified by the State Bar of California, Board of Legal Specialization, in private practice in Studio City, California. She is a member of the Board of AFCC California, and she has served on the Family Law Executive Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association since 1998. She also served on the State Bar Family Law Executive Committee for three years from 2006-2009 and was editor of the Family Law News during 2007-2008. A graduate of UCLA Law, where she served on the law review, she offers services in her law practice in all aspects of marital dissolution, paternity matters, premarital and other agreements, including mediation and collaborative law.

    Steven F. Bucky, Ph.D.
    California School of Professional Psychology / Alliant International University San Diego
    (1972 – present)

    Steven Bucky, PhD, is a full professor, the Director of Professional Training, Chair of the Ethics Committee, Executive Director of the Addictions Institute and was the Interim System wide Dean at the California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University.

    Dr. Bucky was on California Psychological Association’s (“CPA”) Board of Directors from 1996 to 2000, on CPA’s Ethics Committee from 1990 to 1997, Chair of the annual convention from 1999-2000 and was President of CPA in 1997. He is President/Chairman of the Board of the McAlister Institute, which consists of twenty programs throughout San Diego County that focus on the treatment of alcohol and other drug problems of women, their children and adolescents.

    Dr. Bucky has published more than 150 papers, presented at major conventions such as the American Psychological Association and the California Psychological Association and has edited the book The Impact of Alcoholism.

    Dr. Bucky is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Silver Psi Award and the Distinguished Service Award from the California Psychological Association. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and of the San Diego Psychological Association.

    Dr. Bucky also maintains a private practice that focuses on children, adolescents, families, substance abuse, forensics, and the assessment and treatment of professional and college athletes.

    Dr. Bucky is a consultant to California ’s Board of Psychology, Medical Board, Board of Behavioral Sciences, and the Attorney General’s office, has consulted with the District Attorney’s office, the US Attorney’s office, the City Attorney and numerous attorneys who specialize in the defense of mental health professionals. Dr. Bucky is also a consultant to the NFL, the San Diego Chargers, and the Athletic Department at San Diego State University

    Paula Savage Cohen is a senior attorney in the family law unit of Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles where she has worked since 1995. She coordinates the Domestic Violence Clinic at the Long Beach Courthouse, which offers free legal services and representation to victims of domestic violence. Paula counsels clients in all areas of family law with a focus on domestic violence, child custody and child abduction. Paula just completed a 3-year appointment to the Family Law Executive Committee of the State Bar of California. She received the 54th District “Woman of the Year” award (2006) from Assembly Member Betty Karnette.

    Honorable Judith Craddick was admitted to the Bar in 1980.  In 1998 she was appointed to the Contra Costa County Superior Court by Gov. Pete Wilson.  From 1980 until 1986 she was an associate at a law firm specializing in defense of medical malpractice litigation.  From 1986 until her appointment to the bench, Judge Craddick was a principal and managing attorney at the same law firm Craddick, Candland & Conti.  Judge Craddick worked on the Family Law bench for seven years, six years as the Presiding Judge and five years as the Presiding Judge, Post-conviction Misdemeanor Domestic Violence Court.

    Leslie M. Drozd, Ph.D. is clinician, teacher, researcher, and forensic expert with expertise in issues related to child custody including partner violence, alienation, substance abuse, and attachment. She has written a myriad professional books, chapters, and articles, and is the founding editor of the international peer-reviewed Journal of Child Custody. She has served on advisory councils for the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges. Dr. Drozd performs custody evaluations, co-parenting therapy, parenting coordination, reunification therapy, and expert consultations to attorneys.

    Sandra Etue has been a Family Law practitioner in Woodland Hills, for over 11 years. In addition to her representation of Family Law litigants, numerous Judges throughout Los Angeles County have appointed Ms. Etue as Minor’s Counsel, in high-conflict custody disputes. Ms. Etue believes it is important for all Minors’ Counsel to understand the developmental stages of children and to keep current with the psychological research in the area of custody and visitation. Ms. Etue is also a trained Family Law mediator.

    Judith R. Forman
    Listed in: Best Lawyers in America; Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers; Southern California Super Lawyer, 2004-2008; Top 50 Female Super Lawyers, Southern California, 2005-2008; Top 100 Los Angeles County Super Lawyers, 2006-2007.

    Author: “The Impact of Parental Alcoholism and Related Substance Abuse Issues in Custody Determinations,”; “The Effect of Parental Alcoholism in Custody Disputes,” Los Angeles County Bar, Family Law Symposium Books, 1992-1993; “Force of Habit,” Los Angeles Daily Journal, July 27, 1995; “Copyright Custody,” Los Angeles Daily Journal, Nov. 30, 1995; “Identifying and Dividing Intellectual Property: Practical Considerations at Marital Dissolution,” Aspen Family Law Update (Aspen Law and Business, New York City, 1999).

    Co-Author with Patricia Phillips: “Custody and Support of Children,” California Transactions Forms: Family Law (Westgroup, 1998).

    Stephen Gershman’s practice was founded in 1984 and is limited to family law including custody litigation, domestic violence, dissolution, paternity and complex property and financial issues in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties. Represent men and women with extensive experience in domestic violence defense including cases with accompanying criminal charges. Custody matters include experience with move aways and children with special needs. I work with and make use of mental health professionals in several areas of my practice.

    Albert R. Gibbs, Ph.D., is a psychologist practicing in Los Angeles County. He earned his Ph.D. in 1976 from the California School of Professional Psychology in Los Angeles and is currently director of Co-Parents Solutions providing divorce and co-parent education classes. He is a frequent lecturer on co-parenting issues.

    Commissioner Reva G. Goetz was appointed to the bench in November 1991. She sits in Department 9, one of three Probate Departments, in the Stanley Mosk Courthouse in downtown Los Angeles. Her calendar consists of Conservatorships, Guardianships, Trust, and Estate matters. Previously she sat in a Family Law assignment for 5 ½ years. When to the bench, Commissioner Goetz was a Deputy District Attorney assigned to the Major Fraud Unit. Prior to practicing law, Commissioner Goetz worked as a Financial Analyst and Accountant. Commissioner Goetz received her law degree from Whittier Law School where she was an Editor on the Law Review.

    Diane M. Goodman is a partner in the law firm of Goodman & Metz in Encino. She received her J.D. from the University of La Verne School of Law in 1984. Ms. Goodman is a family law practitioner, with an emphasis on representing the gay and lesbian client. Ms. Goodman has handled many child custody and adoption matters in the Los Angeles and surrounding areas. Ms. Goodman is President of the Academy of California Adoption Lawyers/Academy of California Family Formation Lawyers. Ms. Goodman volunteers at the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center Legal Clinic. Ms. Goodman served as a commissioner on the Los Angeles City Commission on the Status of Women from 1980 – 1990. Ms. Goodman is also a member of Congregation Beth Chayim Chadashim, American Civil Liberties Union, Lawyers for Human Rights and the Los Angeles County Bar Association.

    Scott Gordon is a Commissioner with the Los Angeles County Superior Court. He is currently assigned to the Family Law Department where he presides in Department 88. Prior to his election to the Los Angeles Superior Court, Mr. Gordon served with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office for sixteen years and as a police officer and detective for the Santa Monica Police Department for eight years.

    While a deputy district attorney Mr. Gordon served in a variety assignments including: Central Trials, Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Division, Stuart House, Special Investigations and the Stalking and Threat Assessment Team.

    Mr. Gordon has served as an Adjunct Professor of Law for Southwestern University School of Law for the past fourteen years. He teaches Trial Advocacy, Advanced Criminal Procedure, Forensic Evidence, and the Criminal Response to Terrorism Seminar.

    Mr. Gordon was named “Prosecuting Attorney of the Year” by the Los Angeles Bar Association, “Humanitarian of the Year” by the Los Angeles Commission on Assaults Against Women and received the “Excellence in Teaching Award for 2003” from Southwestern University School of Law.

    In 1997, Commissioner Gordon served as a Legal Expert for the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague, Netherlands.

    His first book, Shadow Enemies: Hitler’s Secret Terrorist Plot Against the United States, was recently published by Lyons Press.

    Dianna Gould-Saltman is a certified family law specialist, first certified by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization in 1992. She has been selected as a Los Angeles Magazine Super lawyer numerous times and named as one of the Top 50 Woman Lawyers in Southern California twice. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and of the International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. She has been active in the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts for many years and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Parent organization. She has served on the Los Angeles County Bar Association Family Law Section Executive Committee since 1997, was Chair 2004-2005 and now serves as a chair emeritus. She has been a frequent lecturer for continuing education of the bar at many events. She has written extensively for family law publications and currently serves as an editor for the Journal of Child Custody.

    Elise Greenberg has dedicated her legal career to the practice of dependency and family law. Since 1996, she has represented thousands of children in cases of divorce and other complex custody issues arising in paternity, adoption, and guardianship disputes, frequently serving as minor’s counsel. She also has extensive experience in representing children in extra-judicial arenas such as the LA Unified School District, the California Department of Developmental Services, and the Department of Child & Family Services. She was a co-founder of the Birthday Project, which raises funds from corporations and individuals to celebrate the birthdays of children in foster care. She received her Juris Doctor from DePaul University College of Law in Chicago.

    Daniel Harkins, Esq. was admitted to the Bar in 1981.  He has been practicing Family Law since 1982.  He has a lot of experience with complex litigation, is frequently appointed by the Court to represent minor children, and has led seminars educating attorneys who are appointed to represent children.  He serves as a Special Master/Referee, and has sat as Judge Pro Tem in CCC Superior Court.   Daniel Harkins has been president of the Family Law Section of the CCC Bar Association.

    Carol Hirshfield is a Licensed Psychologist with over 25 years experience working with children, adults and their families on both the East and West Coasts. She has special expertise in child development, populations with special needs (such as learning disabilities, attention deficit disorders, developmental disabilities, and autism), and services for families who are engaged in high conflict divorce.  Her private practice in West Los Angeles includes the following: psychotherapy and family therapy, social skills groups – for children ages 8-15, Collaborative Divorce & Custody Mediation, and teaching Co-Parenting for Divorce (COPE) – a course for parents. She is especially interested in helping children navigate the difficulties of living with separated/divorced parents, and her high conflict divorce work is done in that context.

    Dr. Hoppe has been using psychological tests as part of his own and others’ comprehensive child custody evaluations. He has tested some four to five thousand individuals involved in high conflict custody evaluations for dozens of other custody evaluators.  Since 1987 he has compiled average scores of test results of custody litigants on several of the most widely used psychological tests. These results comprise the largest known database of different personality measures done on the same custody litigant.  He has spoken about the use of tests and these custody norms in comprehensive Custody evaluations since the 1980s and has disseminated the average scores on tests at national professional meetings since 1993.  Dr. Hoppe was trained in Child Psychology as a Post Doctoral Fellow of the National Institute of Mental Health in Child psychology.  He is member of the International Psychoanalytic Association as well as national and local psychological associations.

    Karen Horwitz is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in the South Bay of Los Angeles, California. She has a private psychotherapy practice in which she specializes in working with children ages 4 and up as well as with couples and families. She also works as a Parenting Shadow and Therapeutic Monitor. She does co-parent counseling and child custody mediation. She trained in “The Mindful Parenting Program,” at the Maple Counseling Center in Beverly Hills and holds certificates in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy for both adults and children from the Psychoanalytic Center of California.

    Mr. Jenkins is an attorney whose practice emphasizes family law issues. Known
    for his encyclopedic knowledge and easygoing demeanor, Mr. Jenkins spent five
    years as a research attorney prior to bringing his estimable skills to private
    practice. Mr. Jenkins has extensive experience as a litigator and has been
    instrumental in the drafting of family codes for Indian tribal courts throughout the
    country.

    Honorable Judge Juhas was appointed to the Los Angeles Superior Court in 2002 and
    has sat in family Law since then.  He is the assistant Supervising judge
    for family law in LA County.  He currently sits on several committees
    for the Administrative Office of the Courts, including the Elkins Family
    Law Task Force.  He has taught on several occasions for the Center for
    Education and Judicial Research, the Los Angeles County Bar Association
    and AFCC.  He currently sits on the AFCC-CA board.

    Judge Wendy L. Kohn was appointed to the Los Angeles County Superior Court in 2003 and has presided over a family law courtroom for six years. She is currently assigned to the Northwest District in Van Nuys, CA. Prior to her appointment to the bench, she worked as an arbitrator and mediator (with an emphasis on securities industry disputes), as a volunteer attorney for Bet Tzedek Legal Services, as General Counsel for a local certified public accounting firm, and as a business, estate planning and probate attorney in private practice. Judge Kohn received her law degree from San Fernando Valley College of Law, and her Masters in Dispute Resolution from Pepperdine Law School.

    Alyce LaViolette, MS, MFCC is a pioneer in the field of partner violence. She has worked with battered women since 1978, with six of those years in the Long Beach Women Shelter. In 1979, she developed Alternatives to Violence, one of the first programs in the country to work with men who abuse women in intimate relationships and also one of the first men’s programs to originate as a shelter program. Ms. LaViolette developed the first domestic violence training program for the Los Angeles Department of Probation and provided that program statewide. She has also developed training programs for the Los Angeles and Orange County Departments of Children and Family Services. She is a frequently requested conference and keynote speaker both nationally and internationally. She has consulted with the Japanese Government on the creation of domestic violence policies.

    S. Margaret Lee, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist whose work focus is providing services to divorcing families. Dr. Lee performs custody evaluations, custody mediation, co-parent counseling and expert consultation to attorneys. Dr. Lee has done research regarding psychological testing in child custody evaluations. Dr. Lee is a frequent presenter at conferences in the area of psychology/family law.

    Renee Leff, MFT, JD is both a Juris Doctor on Law and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She is also Board Certified as a Diplomate-Fellow in Forensic Science. In addition to providing psychotherapy for individuals in transition, her specialties are pre and post divorce issues, including custody/visitation, parent-child re-unification, and blended families. She is a former child custody evaluator and currently co-creates parenting plans for custody arrangements with couples undergoing divorce. She coaches high conflict couples and individuals undergoing divorce and child custody evaluations. Additionally, she offers court mandated education, privately or in groups, for high conflict couples with respect to co-parenting skills. She also provides group psychotherapy experience for children and adults of high conflict divorce. Ms. Leff also works as a team with attorneys, and she treats people undergoing the depression, anxiety, and other psychological components that arise from legal cases: e.g., sexual harassment cases, employment issues, family law issues and personal injury cases. She has a private practice in West Los Angeles, Tarzana, and Woodland Hills California, where she treats individuals, couples, and families from an attachment, inter-subjective, and relational theoretical perspective. Ms. Leff achieved her undergraduate degree from California State University at Los Angeles, her Masters Degree from Phillips Graduate Institute, and her Juris Doctor Degree from Southwestern University College of Law. She has completed the Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy and Advanced Program at the Institute for Contemporary Psychoanalysis in Los Angeles. She is the past president of the San Fernando Valley Chapter of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists; an adjunct faculty member of Phillips Graduate Institute and California State University, Northridge; and a board member of the of the Los Angeles Collaborative Family Law Association. She is also a member of the Los Angeles and San Fernando Valley Bar Associations.

    Honorable Thomas Trent Lewis, Judge Los Angeles County Superior Court, Certified Family Law Specialist, State Bar of California, Fellow American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, and Vice President-AFCC- California Chapter.

    Anne Lintott, LMFT, is a mediator, evaluator, and licensed psychotherapist, working for the Superior Court of California, Los Angeles , in Family Court Services. Anne has 16 years of experience in working with parents, children, and families dealing with separation and/or divorce issues, with expertise in facilitating parents in conflict management, child development education, and in addressing communication and co-parenting strategies. Anne is also a parent educator, and has taught “Parents and Children Together” and “Parenting Without Conflict” for several years. Anne also is in private practice as a psychotherapist and consultant in Los Feliz , California .
    Mary Elizabeth Lund, Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from UCLA, did a postdoctoral fellowship at University of Cambridge, England, where she did research on divorce and children.  She started a mediation and divorce therapy practice in 1985.  In 1990 was chosen by Los Angeles Superior Court judges to do custody evaluations.  She has been doing collaborative law cases for the last seven years.  Her articles include original research and theory on effects of divorce on children, parental alienation, divorced fathers, custody evaluations, and mediation training. She trains incoming California Family Law judicial officers and is on the editorial board of the Journal of Child Custody.

    Karin Manger is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She has more than 25 years of experience working with children and families. Prior to joining Family Court Services in 1991 as a child custody evaluator, she was the Program Director of the Aviva Center, a residential treatment program for adolescent girls and the Clinical Director of the Germaine Lawrence Intensive Residential Treatment Program in Massachusetts. She has expertise in working with children and adults with a wide range of psychiatric disorders, as well as situational reactions. She has conducted over 700 child custody evaluations, both full and solution focused, and has taught the Parenting Without Conflict Program. Currently, she maintains a small private practice in West Los Angles.
    She also provides education groups for parents of children facing social and developmental challenges.

    Diana Mercer, Esq. is an Attorney-Mediator and the founder of Peace Talks Mediation Service in Los Angeles, CA. (www.peace-talks.com). A veteran litigator she now devotes her practice solely to mediation. She is the co-author of Your Divorce Advisor: a Lawyer and a Psychologist Guide You through the Legal and Emotional Landscape of Divorce (Fireside 2001) and When Divorce Works (Penguin 2010). She’s an Advanced Practitioner Member of the Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR) and is admitted to practice law in California, New York Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and before the Supreme Court o f the United States.

    Forrest “Woody” Mosten is a collaborative attorney, mediator, and author who provide training to professionals in workshops and seminars around the world. As a Certified Family Law Specialist who handles matters involving substantial assets, delicate parenting issues, and high family conflict, he never goes to court. He is the author of four books, Collaborative Divorce Handbook (2009, Jossey Bass), Mediation Career Guide (2001, Jossey Bass), Unbundling Legal Services (2000, ABA) and Complete Guide to Mediation (1997, ABA) and numerous articles. He is Editor of the Family Court Review’s Special Issue on Collaborative Practice to be published in April, 2011 and he is recognized internationally as the “Father of Unbundling..” He can be reached at http://www.MostenMediation.com.

    Amy Neiman, CFLS received an undergraduate degree from San Francisco State University, and received her juris doctorate degree from the University of California at Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law in 1985. Ms. Neiman is a certified Family Law Specialist and has been practicing in the area of family law for close to 20 years. She currently works almost exclusively as minor’s counsel in high conflict custody proceedings. Prior to practicing in the area of family law, Ms. Neiman was a civil litigator at Latham & Watkins and Folger & Levin.  She also worked extensively in the area of art law, emphasizing public art destruction.

    Nancy W. Olesen, Ph.D. graduated in psychology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison with a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She teaches, researches, and works in private practice, with a particular emphasis on child abuse and neglect, custody and access disputes and the interface between clinical and forensic psychology. She has collaborated on a number of professional articles about custody evaluation, alienation and domestic violence and has served on national advisory councils for the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges.

    Judge Amy Pellman is a Judge for the Los Angeles County Superior Court and is currently assigned to a family law trial department at the Stanley Mosk courthouse in downtown Los Angeles. Prior to her appointment as a judge in 200 , she was elected a Commissioner in July 2005. During her tenure as a lawyer, Judge Pellman was a nationally recognized advocate for children’s rights. She served as the Legal Director for the Alliance for Children’s Rights for over five years, a nonprofit legal organization devoted to providing free legal services to children living in poverty. She received the esteemed Child Advocacy Law Award in 2003 from the American Bar Association. Prior to joining the Alliance for Children’s Rights, Judge Pellman spent seven years at Dependency Court Legal Services serving a senior trial attorney and appellate counsel representing children in foster care. She has authored numerous articles on issues related to children from a training manual for new judges and lawyers to a law review article addressing the complexity of planning for children in foster care. Judge Pellman received a Juris Doctorate from City University of New York Law School, which has a commitment to train lawyers interested in public interest and public service.

    William Spiller has been involved in representing children for over 15 years. He has been a frequent lecturer at continuing education programs for minor’s counsel and family law issues. He has also served as a referee for the Los Angeles Superior Court of California Juvenile Court for over ten years. A member of AFCC and the National Association of Counsel for Children, Mr. Spiller also serves as a mediator.

    Kyle Pruett, M.D. is a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Nursing at the Yale School of Medicine’s Child Study Center, where he received the Lifetime Distinguished Teaching award. He has been in the private practice of infant, child and family psychiatry since 1974. As president of Zero to Three: The National Center for Infants, Toddlers and their Families, he headed one of the nation’s most prestigious multi-disciplinary training programs for infant/family professionals. Both clinician and scholar, Dr. Pruett conducted a landmark study, which demonstrated the powerful, positive impact which early care giving by fathers can have on a young child’s social and intellectual development. Dr. Pruett’s writings include the classic The Nurturing Father, winner of the American Health Book Award, and the more current Fatherneed: Why Father Care is as Essential as Mother Care for Your Child and Me, Myself and I: The Child’s Sense of Self, which won the Independent Book Publisher’s Award. He makes frequent contributions to national and international print and electronic media, and television appearances, serves as consultant to Sesame Workshop, was chosen by Peter Jennings to co-host the Children’s Town Meeting on ABC News the Saturday after 9/11, and by Oprah Winfrey to co-host with her the award winning video for new parents, “Begin With Love”.

    Marsha Kline Pruett, Ph.D., M.S.L., is the Maconda Brown O’Connor Professor at Smith College and School of Social Work. Dr. Kline Pruett has trained legal and mental health professionals throughout the country, and served as commentator on radio and television news. She has more than twenty years of clinical experience with individuals, couples, families, and children, and has been trained in both Family Therapy and Divorce Mediation. Nationally noted for her research regarding child adjustment to divorce, joint custody, school interventions, and work/family conflicts, Dr. Kline Pruett has written over 50 articles, chapters and reviews, has co-edited two books, and is the co-author of Your Divorce Advisor: A Lawyer and a Psychologist Guide You through the Legal and Emotional Landscape of Divorce (2001). Her new book on co-parenting, written with her husband, will be released in September 2009. She trains lawyers, judges, and mental health professionals in family law topics related to father involvement, young children, parental conflict, and child adjustment to family transition.

    Jane Shatz, Ph.D., practices in Beverly Hills, California, specializing as a custody evaluator, mediator and parenting plan coordinator. She is past president of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts California Chapter. She was an assistant professor of psychology at University of Wisconsin, a lecturer in psychology at U.S.C. She has numerous publications including Shatz, J.E. and LaViolette, A. (1998), “For Our Children: Helping Parents Help Their Kids: A 12 Week Curriculum for Never Married, Separated or Divorced Parents Where Domestic Violence Has Been an Issue.”

    Lynn Rosenfield, LCSW brings 30 years of clinical social work experience, specializing in individual, couple and family therapy and the treatment of divorce issues, to her private practice in Los Angeles. She first became involved in alternative dispute resolution 25 years ago, when she developed and coordinated a divorce mediation program for Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles. Since 1990, she has been a mediator with Pulling. Together Mediation Center, a partnership she shares with an attorney and a Rabbi. She specializes in divorce issues in all aspects of her work: as a psychotherapist, mediator,
    collaborative law coach, reunification therapist and consultant. Lynn is an active member of LAWCDP (Los Angeles Westside Collaborative Divorce Professionals, LACFLA (Los Angeles Collaborative Family Law Association, IACP (International Academy of Collaborative Professionals) and the California Society for Clinical Social Work. She is an adjunct faculty member of Smith College School for Social Work. You can visit her website at http://www.lynnrosenfield.com.

    Leslie Ellen Shear, J.D., CFLS.
    Ms. Shear is a graduate of UCLA School of Law and admitted to the California Bar in 1976 and maintains her practice in Encino, California. A frequent lecturer in custody matters, she has been involved in a number of high-profile custody cases over the years – most recently, Marriage of LaMusga and Marriage of Seagondollar.

    Dr. Simon is a forensic and clinical psychologist with over 25 years of experience
    as an evaluator, mediator, reviewer and litigation consultant and therapist and.
    Dr. Simon’s professional work focuses exclusively on the issues of divorce and
    co-parenting. He is current authoring two books on divorce – one dealing with
    trial consultation and expert review in child custody litigation and the other on the
    unique issues of remarriage and second divorce.

    Tamar Springer, LCSW, is a psychotherapist, mediator and parent educator in private practice in Los Angeles, California. Tamar formerly trained in and worked for the Superior Court of California, in Los Angeles, as a family mediator and parent educator. Tamar works with parents and families in developing effective communication and conflict management skills, as a co-parenting counselor, and as a supportive and educational resource during the separation and divorce process. Tamar is a frequent lecturer on clinical topics to both professionals and laypersons and was a featured speaker at the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists’ (CAMFT) Annual Conference in May 2008.

    Dr. Matthew Sullivan earned his Ph.D. in 1985 from the University of Maryland. He is currently a licensed Psychologist in private practice in Palo Alto, California providing psychological services and specializing in child forensic Psychology

    Written by Let's Get Honest

    December 15, 2009 at 12:34 pm

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