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

'A Different Kind of Attention Develops Sound Judgment' | 'Suppose I'm Right Here?…' (posted 3/23 & 3/5/2014). Over 680 posts, Public-Interest Investigative Blogging On These Matters Since 2009.

@My Comments, Your Blogs: Rights for Mothers, BMCC, 12/28/2010: Family Court Cover(up)s no Patchwork Quilt, but a near-Seamless System

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(need to work on those snappy titles…)

Readers are advised that I rarely tag and categorize my posts any more.  If you want to find something, try the search function.

I’ve been blogging ( and commenting) long enough on certain topics (herein) that when I google, a site comes up which I know refers to my comment on the topic, not the blogger’s posts.  So I figure — give those guys a break, and start putting it here instead, keyword “@” in the title line.

Too few people are writing on the heart of these issues.  I think people reach their energy expiration dates on tackling the topic (or they are hurt or disappear somehow?). … One finds blogs that aren’t updated, and date from 5 to 10 years ago, are off the wall and telling the truth (not fluff and not rhetoric).  I find these are often the most accurate, straightforward, and easy enough for an eighth grader (who can read & do basic math, I should qualify) to understand.

Which is probably why those sites can’t be easily niche-marketed; and many times whoever wrote them doesn’t make the effort to get a high search ranking, either.  The authors probably weren’t paid, and to get paid in these fields, one has to repurpose, copyright and repackage the obvious.   So, how does one market and repackage:

 

“I believe and have concluded that  these people/organizations/associations/institutions/foundations and agencies are (or, were originated by and steered by, if not operated by,) criminals and engaging in legalized criminal rackets“?

 

a.k.a., the Sky is Falling or we’re headed for that fabled Armageddon, that “Valley of Decision,” and not because of religious fanatics (although they may relish and prepare for it a little better….).  As one site says (with whom I have no association!!:  I google, I cut, I paste, cogito (or so I like to think     🙂     ) ergo I am….OK?).  I hunt, and I gather:

Whereas Armageddon is actually a mountaintop, most references relative to it are concerned with the valley that lies below it. During the past 4000 years, at least 34 bloody conflicts have been fought at the ancient hilltop site of Megiddo and the adjacent areas below in the vast Jezreel Valley.  Throughout history Megiddo and the Jezreel Valley have been Ground Zero for battles that determined the very course of civilization.*** Megiddo is a fascinating site of twenty cities built directly on top of one another and inhabited continuously from 3000 to 300 BC. Megiddo lies at an ancient strategic junction of roads running north-south and east-west. Whoever held control of Megiddo held absolute control of one of the major trade routes of antiquity, the Via Maris. (the “Way of the Sea”)

***The internet has changed this, somewhat, and it seems that among other places the battle for control of civilization is being fought is, in these family court systems.  They run deep (pockets) and they run wide (Paraprofessionals)…..

Many Christians believe that the Last Judgment will be held in the Valley of Jehoshaphat, interpreting the passage in the book of Joel:

image

I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land. (KJV)

 

Well, the gathering these days seems to be of power and influence, and wealth (in the form of ongoing very profitable business with very little accountability) and warm bodies often bring this.  So, they don’t gather “at the river” and they don’t gather in this valley (yet at least),but they do gather in the courts.  If you control the courts — or live off them (think, feudalism, which it essentially is), you control a good portion of the world, because these are life and death decisions.  There is transfer of time and assets and children, who of course are to be trained in a better way of thinking than their parents …


One could definitely divide the “theologies” into about three pieces, and practices to match:

  • There is a loving God, live moral and just, and you’ll be rewarded by harmonizing to this resonance of that loving God, NOW.
    • The universe is undergirded by justice, and if you don’t get this, you may come back reincarnated as something “lower” and have to work your way back up again (although it seems that humanity’s behavior qualifies as “lower-level” more often than not..)
  • There is a (pissed-off) God, therefore, live moral and just because if not, you’ll pay later, but if you do, oh boy, just you wait!  He’s been watching and waiting, and currently is pissed off..
    • And by the way, this invisible God has representatives on earth — which we are and you aren’t.  And chosen people (ditto).
  • There is a God, and it is US.  Accordingly, we will live moral and just insofar as it’s practical and no one is looking, because otherwise who will provide for us in old age? We are Gods by the divine right of innate superiority because — see, we are richer.  There’s the evidence.  Poor people are asking for it, might makes right and gain is godliness.
    • Besides, it’s more fun to stockpile and steal, manipulate, and obtain immortality by naming something after yourself, like a foundation, or a theory.

 

I really can’t pronounce on officially all that.  But, judging by Nature, if God created it, at times it, and hence in this worldview, its creator, God, is a great steward, and can handle droughts, it has a sense of humor for sure, and at times is extravagant beyond reason, and at times it seems to clear the plate and attempt to start all over from scratch.  Consider, for example, the food chain.

(One thing I don’t really see “Nature” doing a lot is what we do to the animals we eat, or to the children we raise.)

There are of course many other varieties of spirituality (or atheism), but I think I got the three ones that are causing the rest of us non-extremist plebes the most trouble here and now.

So, this is my morning’s work, as another year without my kids draws to a close and I’m through with celebrating this holiday season, no matter under which theological or family umbrella.  See graphic below:

There Was a Little Girl,  - Who Had a Little Curl - Mama Lisa's House of English Nursery Rhymes, Intro Imageo

Families are highly overrated, tO tell the truth.  When they are good, they can be very very good, but when they are bad, they are truly horrid.
This girl (above) looks like she feels the latter.  Or, she was on time-out for bad behavior.  We need to take a “Time-out” on these courts, too!
This is an Old English Nursery Rhyme, or maybe a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (or both):
There Was a Little Girl,
Who Had a Little Curl
There was a little girl,
Who had a little curl,
Right in the middle of her forehead.
When she was good,
She was very, very good,
But when she was bad, she was horrid.
As I spent the time elsewhere on look-ups and cut & paste, I’m not spending more time on this post reformatting it for wordpress.  Aren’t I “horrid”?   I’m not going to even (re-) insert the paragraph breaks. which I notice were lost in the cut & paste operation of this morning’s work….
Not to mention all the (hand-stitched) HTML (such as “blockquote”) transferred as simple text here.
Maybe RFM will post this treatise, in which case it’ll display better.  Although, I could understand if she preferred comments that are comment-length!
Maybe the sky is green, and maybe the U.S. is going to have a woman president someday, who will understand women’s issues and poverty both (women stuck in this system forever generally get that way, eventually). I’m still trying to figure out how to retain my faith, I am heterosexual, and I am a feminine feminist (which shouldn’t have to be a oxymoron!), and a little intellectual integrity too.  It’s the 1st and the 3rd that are hard to combine (not the first and the last).  I don’t define “feminine” by the manner and the dress, but by how I experience the world (and what appears to be no Y chromosome)…and how the world sees someone who doesn’t conform to “Feminity” a.k.a. doormat.  Or Bitch/madonna/angel in fast sequence, but the older-aged version of this is not welcome on the planet in speaking (vs. rocking, or institutionalized/medicated/all-assets-appropriated) mode.
This block goes with the 3rd Quilt piece, below.  Love that Kelly O’Meara’s work:

Creative financing: dozens of municipal projects in Los Angeles County have been financed using bondlike instruments called COPs, which critics charge have allowed officials to enter into long-term financial obligations without voter approval

Insight on the NewsApril 15, 2002 by Kelly Patricia O’Meara

Since the downfall of Enron and the crippling of the former energy giant’s accounting firm, Arthur Andersen, a great deal of attention and concern has been focused on big business. To be more precise, the focus has been on whether the well-being of a corporation is real or imagined, and how one can get to the facts by running the maze of complicated financing packages and misleading accounting techniques set up by experts to confuse, obfuscate and obstruct.  While most of the hubbub is centered on the private sector, the public sector is by no means exempt from such shenanigans.

Incidentally, this author (never met him/her) has also uncovered quite a bit in the family court system….Attempting to track funding tends to do that….

For instance, one need take but the barest peek at the funding of municipal projects in Los Angeles County — a microcosm of the nation’s local funding policies — to see that accountancy in county and municipal governments can be just as opaque where there is a desire to deceive. Just as Enron shareholders blindly followed management’s hype, taxpayers in the County of Angels appear to have drifted into a trance when confronted with how their civic monies are handled. What is clear is that the taxpayers — call them shareholders in the county — pay their money into the system and then look the other way. Where the money goes, how it is used and who gets the equity it buys is anyone’s guess.

Nowhere is this more evident than with the increasingly used financial instruments known as certificates of participation (COPs). It’s fair to say that those who run Los Angeles County prefer COPs. Literally dozens of municipal projects involving hundreds of millions of dollars have been financed using these financial instruments, which for all intents and purposes are bonds or debentures backed by county or municipal credit.

Adding my Panels to that Quilt:

http://rightsformothers.com/2010/12/28/add-a-panel-to-the-children-taken-by-the-family-court-quilt-at-the-battered-mothers-custody-conference/#comment-3884
Our lives have become real patchworks trying to navigate life, and these systems.
This quilt is a great idea, although its contents will be distressing, and sad, I bet.
With the internet explosion, a real key is knowing how to organize & evaluate data we come across.  No human being could get through all the blogs on this topic — they are like exhaust fumes across the land:  evidence that some vehicle isn’t functioning right, and needs a tune-up:  either that, or we should walk, bike, or buy local.  I’d like to think this could be done of the family law system too.  JUST don’t GO there.  Of course, if you’re summoned, you have to.  But in retrospect — asking for help?  I just think it was a bad situation. We need to know how to protect and help ourselves and our children, as mothers.  This may or may not mesh well in marriage, which is to be interdependent; the whole greater than the parts.
===
Anyhow, RFM and others may be glad to know I’ve found a way to stop the post-long comments — I put a page on my blog (long overdue) to handle comments on others’.  I’ll put this on on there, too…
==
Meanwhile, I’d like to add a few of my own “Blocks,” a patchwork representation of what I know to be the SEAMLESS business referral organization that these courts are — with the families, and their assets, and taxpayers (who pay for public servants, public agencies, and so forth) — as the gas thread and the fabric.  The genius of this design is that very little of their own money actually went into setting it up.  It is on autopilot to bankruptcy (for others) and wealth (for those who don’t get caught, or spat out as “small fry” (fish, for the frying pan…) when an investigation gets too close to larger fry  and stay in the system’s operational sector.
In writing this comment — I found another one up in Oregon that, well, what fish do out of their element — it smells.  Rancid….
Meanwhile, what’s a good “thanks for the timeshare!” link?  I thought about JohnnyPumphandle (Marv Bryer, though I often wrongly call him “Byer”)’s older analysis of the court system.  Remember, this is the father of a daughter litigating in the courts who spent around $100,000 and finally demanded an audit.  What he found, he said he felt numb, and used — to realize about the L.A. COunty Judges Slush fund.
That “slush fund,” FYI is what appears to have morphed into the (in)famous AFCC, which I am (frankly) just dang tired of! !!!  Like with family law, there are probably some good family law attorneys around (as there may be some good AFCC leaders) but the system, the organization, the methods (behind closed doors conferences — or if you can afford to attend one…), and the rhetoric is just dissociated from the reality they are changing.  It’s surreal!
So, the patchwork quilt is a commemoration and an exhibit.  Where here are some of my block(quotes) –other’s material, my thread.  Of course, half the programs in the courts are re-purposed training information that anyone could obtain on their own but we are forced (by legislation) as parents to consume, at our expense, or else….

~ ~ ~QUILT BLOCK/EXHIBIT #1.

Here’s a nonprofit in Oregon, called “<a  href=”http://www.oregonfamilyinstitute.org/oldsite/seminars/seminars.html“>Oregon Family Institute</a>” that just as well might be a mini-version of the AFCC (AFCC is, by the way, a nonprofit in a few different states).  It did what the founders of AFCC did (Meyer Elkin, Pfaff, et. al.) did a long time ago — get some bills passed that would favor their business proposition.  This site even says so – – OFI is running trainings for court-mandated, or court-recommended panels.  Smart, eh?
<blockquote>Conferences and Training
OFI provides a number of seminars and conferences teaching specific skills, such as “unbundling legal services,” non-adversarial parenting plan evaluations and mediation. Panels of evaluators have been trained for the Tillamook and Clatsop Circuit Courts. <strong>Other courts have asked</strong> OFI to train similar panels.</blockquote>
…I’m “sure” that OFI had no connections with any of the courts that “asked” them…
<blockquote>Recent Workshops: Eastern Oregon
The Union and Wallowa Circuit Courts are forming Collaborative Custody and Parenting Plan Evaluation Panels. A prerequisite for serving on these panels was to attend a two-weekend training offered by the Oregon Family Institute.</blockquote>
OFI wasn’t pushing their trainings (all for the good of their parents), they “were asked” and the county just happened to decide they’d be a good service provider.  Right….
<blockquote>The training was open to qualified individuals in other parts of Eastern Oregon. Qualifications generally included a Master’s Degree with a background in counseling or education, <strong>although it was ultimately the county’s decision as to who should be trained as outlined in SB 167. Sponsored by OFI and passed in 2001, SB 167 encourages courts</strong> to establish these panels, and trainings are now being scheduled for other courts.,,,</blockquote>
OK -it was the county’s idea in compliance with SB 167, which OFI sponsored.  This kind of reminds me of a line of bears in salmon season.  They just happened to be in the right place during the uphill swim to spawning grounds.
Although in the case of family law, I guess it’d be AFTER spawning, as children are involved.
<blockquote>The Oregon Family Institute has trained panels in Clatsop, Tillamook, Union, Wallowa, Umatilla, and Malheur Counties . . . .{{quite the going concern.  That’s 4 in the top portion of the state and Malheur, the largest (areawise) is the southeast corner.  <a href=”http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/maps/oregon_map.html“>See?</a>  Oregon has 36 counties, so they’re up to about one-fifth of the way through, although connection with Malheur is a good start, and “malheur” in french is “misfortune…”
They are wise to name themselves after the state, not a measly county, or some vague term like “stopping family violence”  (and go for the entire state’s courts) as the nonprofit competition in Oregon includes several other institutes with the word “family” in the organization’s title.  <a href=”http://guidestar.org“>Guidestar.org (who is your FRIEND…)</a> lists OFI’s     EIN#, and its nonprofit mission is:  “DEVELOPING SERVICES FOR FAMILIES & COURTS”
The courts themselves have already switched from serving up justice to “serving families” and added “Family Court Services” within the courthouses, often enough.  Well, someone has to serve the servers who serve the family, and who better than a nonprofit?  And what better nonprofit than one whose officers include about two judges, a senator,  retired senator, an accountant (inactive as of 2009, though I don’t see much accounting on their form, at all), several attorneys, and a few individuals I don’t recognize, plus this guy <a  href’http://home.igc.org/~hmcisaac/hughmcisaacformayorofmanzanita/“”>Hugh McIsaacs– the Mayor (or running for it as of this website) of Manzanita, Oregon, with this BIO (look at the overlap — can you spell conflicts, plural, of interest?)</a>
<blockquote>Mayor 2004 to 2006
Manzanita Planning Commission since 2001
. . .
Mediator for the State Courts  in Tillamook and Clatsop Counties, since 1997
Director, Oregon Family Institute (5yrs), &
Director, Family Court Services – Portland (5yrs) and
Director, Los Angeles Conciliation Court(15yrs) (Ret.)
Oregon Task Force on Family Law, Secretary, 1993-2000
Editor of the Family Courts Review 1986-97
Fulbright lecturer-New Zealand, 1985
<strong>President, Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, 1987-88</strong>
President, Family Service Council of California, 1982-84
AFCC Distinguished Service Award – 1998
Academy of Family Mediators, mediator of the year 1994.
Dartmouth College 1958
Masters Degree from USC 1963
Married 41 years to Chris McIsaac, former City Councilor for 7 years …</blockquote>
No wonder reading OFI website (cost to maintain per year:  $500+.  Website-based organizations sure are low-expense, high-profit!) I felt like I was reading an AFCC conference promo….
I’ll have to guess that at least one thread connecting Oregon with Los Angeles then is this guy, who used to work in there.  <a  href=”http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/advanced/search/results?scope=allContent&inTheLastList=6&queryStringEntered=false&searchRowCriteria[0].queryString=%22Hugh+McIsaac%22&searchRowCriteria[0].fieldName=author&searchRowCriteria[0].booleanConnector=and&searchRowCriteria[1].fieldName=all-fields&searchRowCriteria[1].booleanConnector=and&searchRowCriteria[2].fieldName=all-fields&searchRowCriteria[2].booleanConnector=and&start=21&resultsPerPage=20&ordering=relevancy“>Here’s a link to 28 abstracts</a> (Family Court Review mostly) from 1983 into the 2000s, including answering back an attorney who wrote “Getting it all Wrong:  PAS in Child Custody Decisions.”)  (I clicked on one article listed in “wiley on-line” and then on the author hyperlink at the bottom of the page).
.  None of these officers are earning almost anything basically, in a field where some Executive Director salaries are $170K or so.  They must just love children and families….(or, have some proprietary interest in the curricula marketed?)…
Hmmm.  I just looked at their “Guidestar” form.  You can too, for free.  It’s one of the most unusual (and sloppy) 990-EZ’s Ive seen yet — the front page contains no revenue data — at all.  The next page lists operating expenses appears to be $XX,xxx (I think there’s a privacy stip. as Guidestar, although it’s free to register to look), and another $XXX,xxx.    And then to develop their curriculum “Parents Beyond Conflict” (see below), it cost only “$X,xxx.”  In other words — not much.  Yet “Parents Beyond Conflict” is showing up in the Los Angeles Juvenile Court like this:
<blockquote>Parents Beyond Conflict is a juvenile dependency court program to assist parents and other significant caretakers in reducing their interpersonal conflict and poor communications with one another over custody and to prevent further harm to their children.
Judicial officers report observing immediate changes in the behavior of parents toward one another in their Courts after the parties participate in the Parents Beyond Conflict. Many attorneys representing the parents and children have made similar observations about parents attitudinal and behavior changes toward one another. The program protects children by empowering their parents and caretakers to act positively on behalf of the children.
For further information, contact:
201 Centre Plaza Drive, suite 2094
Monterey Park, CA 91754-2158
Phone: (323) 526-6671
NOTE: <strong>Parents Beyond Conflict is a unique program to Juvenile Dependency Court and no other program can be substituted.</strong
></blockquote>
Hmmm.   Sound like a court-based monopoly to you?  What is happening to all the profits from running these classes?  Because at a minimum, someone has to pay for rental, for electricity to run the projection screen, and for paper to print any handouts, or that matter if they are on CDs.  Moreover, certainly it’s “professionals” (who also probably paid to get trained as such) running or facilitating.  You qualify — you paid someone for the privilege, no doubt — so what are their hourly charges?  And, if they don’t charge (they’re doing it from altruism and love) then if someone was charged to take the class, who gets that dough? (That’s another block in this patchwork here…)
OFI and Los Angeles County Juvenile court in cahoots?  Or happened to come up with an identically -titled curriculum (mandated, no doubt) for use in the family AND juvenile courts?  ..  Suppose I have a “conflict” with that?  OFI paid taxes of $8.00 — for that year they filed, it seems — at least..  It incorporated in 1989!!!
OFI describes “parents beyond conflict” like this:
<blockquote> Services: Parents Beyond Conflict
<strong>This program is available by referral from the court or upon recommendation by attorneys.</strong> This program is for high-conflict families. It shows parents the negative effect of conflict upon their children and helps them learn more effective ways of resolving conflict.</blockquote>
Here it is as a handout at a 2002 “SFLAC” ({Statewide Family Law Advisory Committee” i.e., of the State Bar…}) conference held in OREGON, with lots of presenters from California.  The Family Law conference is subtitled:  <a href=”http://courts.oregon.gov/OJD/docs/OSCA/cpsd/courtimprovement/familylaw/SFLACConference_April2002.pdf“>”BREAKING BARRIERS, BENDING BOUNDARIES, BUILDING BRIDGES</a>.   Yup, you got that right — like bending boundaries between the separation of powers intended by the writers of the U.S> Constitution, and building bridges between judges, attorneys, and professionals who market services to the courts, I’d say. ….
<strong>Funny language — I mean, molesting a child involves breaking barriers and bending boundaries too — in fact it IS a boundary violation.  Odd title,, that (Freudian slip by these mental health professionals and therapists and utopian reformers?)….   Bending the language of criminal law to say, you must ignore these protections (and rights) “for the family” is bending language into the point of meaninglessness, I think….</strong>
So, OFI, again, has no reported income on its 2002 990-EZ — the only one on Guidestar.  The first page is blank. Where are its operating expenses (of about $10K) coming from, then?
People can request information on nonprofits, and should..
The officers, an assortment of judges, attorneys, two senators (one retired), and a gentleman who I looked up and as of 2009 is an inactive CPA, per this site:
<blockquote><a href=”http://www.oregon.gov/BOA/docs/November2009.pdf?ga=t“>Approximately 1600 Oregon [CPA/ACCOUNTING] licensees</a> are inactive status. The following licensees changed from active to inactive with the 2009 renewal:</blockquote>
(the individual’s address is listed as ‘City of Hillsboro;” the address of record of OFI).  Of course the latest 990 form filed (on Guidestar, that is) — is only for the year 2002!  That’s quite unusual for what’s a going concern…
Another one, <a href=”http://www.oregon.gov/OBLPCT/pdf/December_14_2007.pdf?ga=t“>John Deihl, (per pipl.com)</a> conveniently appears to be on the Oregon Board of LIcensed Professional Counselors and Therapists.  Not just such a therapist bout on the licensing board, it seems, at least as of 2007 & 2008.  Or maybe he was just in attendance.  Here’s the <a href=
Created by ORS 675.775, the Board consists of eight members appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Oregon Senate: three professional counselors; two marriage and family therapists; a member of faculty of a school that trains counselors or therapists; and two public members.
Members serve three year terms and may be reappointed for a second term. They may continue to serve after the expiration of their terms until the Governor re-appoints them or appoints their replacements. “”>Oregon.gov link</a> to this board.
Does it seem that this organization has all bases covered?  To be totally complete, I supposed they’d need a governor in there somewhere….
Next piece of the pattern:

~ ~ ~QUILT BLOCK/EXHIBIT #2.

The older site, <a href=”http://www.johnnypumphandle.com/cc/overview.htm“>”JohnnyPumphandle.com/cc”</a> summarizes Family Law well enough: (link is to a diff’t page on the website, though)…
<blockquote><strong>Dedicated to Exposing Illegal and Immoral Practices in The Courts<strong>
… Particularly the Family Law System which includes the Courts, Attorneys, Family Services, Psychologists and Therapists,Visitation Monitors, Ad-Litems, Social Workers, Child Protection Agencies and <em>all of the agencies that support these so-called professionals.</em>
{{He doesn’t write on this, but it happens to include the U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Serivces, the U.S. Dept. of Justice, etc., themselves funded by most of the American public}}{{DId I mention Foundations?? — well, that’s another post or comment}
Here’s his list:
<blockquote> Site Overview
Legal & Professional Associations
Mandatory Continuing Legal Education (MCLE)
Visitation Supervisors/Monitors
Non-Profit Organizations
Psychological Evaluations (Calibrated Speculation)
Family Services<blockquote>
Which ones would You take on?  Or, the whole lot?  Is there a cornerstone anywhere in this system that could be removed, and it’d  crumble?  I doubt it.  I think, perhaps starve the thing by solving our own problems — and I mean, MOST of them.  YOu show up in front of the courts, you (two) are already considered incompetent.  Only the foolhardy (or well-connected) would go on that quest…
<em>Pumphandle (refers to sump pump?  Old fashioned well pump?) says:</em>
<strong>Collusion among individuals within the family law system takes place to extract assets from troubled parents. The system is designed to increase the wealth of the family law professionals at the expense and heartbreak of families. </strong>Corrupt practices abound. This website is dedicated to exposing the corruption in detail. Areas where corruption exists are identified below. </blockquote>
and…this is how it goes:
<blockquote>When dealing with Family Law Professionals keep this in mind …
These professionals are paid for the time they spend on your case. The more time they spend, the more they make. This works to your disadvantage, because <strong>the incentive is NOT to deliver results. Results are never defined in advance, and do not become part of your agreement with these professionals.</strong>
Custody Cases
<strong>The likely outcome of a custody dispute will be to take the child from the person that has been identified as the protective parent. This prolongs the custody dispute and extracts the most assets from the family.</strong>
Funds are exchanged through Professional Associations to which Judges, Lawyers, and connected Professionals meet and discuss strategy. In many states the Bar Associations have lobbied and received a charter to hold Mandatory Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) which eases the legality of this exchange of funds.</blockquote>
Cobblers notice shoes. Protective parents notice there absent children. This guy is the father of a protective (or custody-battle) daughter, and paid for that battle, over $100K.  He also is an accountant.  So guess what he notices….  He might be (and I heard is), a curmudgeon, too.  DO I care?  No — because it’s valuable information.
Note, he doesn’t say ALL the professionals in the system, but the system itself.
I looked at a few of the links (again) and noticed one about who is paying for the buildings the courts do their business in.
To finish up BLOCK2 — take a look at this one, if you can.  We are worried about mere personal salaries and inheritances being squandered (plus lives lost).  We area thinking too small. Look at the scope, agenda, and size of the Court system itself, in Los Angeles here:
<blockquote>
<a href=”http://www.johnnypumphandle.com/cc/LACCC/LACCC.htm“>Los Angeles County Corporations [“LACCC”]</a> – We have a Judge working also as President of a Corporation that is building Courthouses; there are secret bonds issued to ???; a Corporation handling $632 million dollars for the next 50 years yet has no employees; a non-profit corporation offering up to 6% return on your investment; millions of dollars in payments by the County, but no accounting.   </blockquote>
Seriously, this one beats even the pushing mandated curriculum in a monopoly format for profit (but producing the curriculum/training as a nonprofit to avoid being taxed on any profits — not that any visible reporting of any income, whether grants, donations, public support, or sales — seems to show up on the (one) tax form) that OFI, and AFCC, and I guarantee you, plenty of others also have.  No, for corporations associations and whatnots (run through the courts, especially) — a different set of (legal and accounting) standards apply.  After all, these institutions all exist supported by us to serve us (see U.S. Constitution) for the public welfare.  We are the public.  They are not.  Got it??
This will make the Liz Kates “conflict of interest” in family law experts seem puny by comparison, and goes to show a world that makes me wonder why Hollywood (an export from the same geographic area) is even needed for entertainment or the realms of fancy and science fiction horrors.  Who needs’ em?  Reading Southern California exposing their own politics, I get the sense that it’s become a separate (though unpaid) entertainment industry.  They seem to accept that this is simply how life is — just “deal with it.”  No amount of reporting — and there’s plenty — seems to indicate that life as we know it can be changed…
Public Benefit Corporations and “Certificates of Participation” in L.A.
<blockquote>The Scheme
Most of the land for these projects is acquired through eminent domain. Then the County hires a developer to build. It pays the developer to build it and then – amazing! – gives the developer the right to charge rent to the County for the next 50 years. But, it immediately assigns these rental rights to the LACCC which then directs its trustee (the bank) to collect rent from the County which then pays the LACCC which then directs its trustee to sent the rent money to the secret bondholders. (Prospectus for Certificates of Participation).
Where does the money come from? Well it comes from courthouse operations, you know – fines and sanctions and such.
Why does the County do this? We expect that it gets around the law that requires the voters to approve all new taxes.
Is this a tax? Heck no. Here is a charitable trust that is merely passing millions of bucks to its bondholders and showing that its net income is zero – every year – regular as clockwork.
Are the taxpayers getting their moneysworth? Good question. One that can only be answered if we knew how much money was coming in and going out. Since there are no expenses and no income, it is pretty tough to audit. The Crusaders are very concerned that these corporations are shoveling money to outsiders and bondholders with no ability for the taxpayer to see what is going on. One thing we do know – if you count the discounts given to underwriters and costs paid to law firms, like O’Melveny & Myers, the cost to the County was 2.4% of the $115 Million just to set up the Antelope Valley Courthouse deal. This is an exorbitant fee for such transactions.
We do know that Judge Michael J. Farrell is the President of the LACCC. He is a Superior Court Judge at the Van Nuys Courthouse when he is not acting as President of the LACCC. By the way, Judge Farrell was also working for the LACCC when it built the Van Nuys Courthouse. Nice to have a judge controlling what’s going on there. The Judge’s Corporation quit claimed (page1, page2) the Courthouse back to the County in 1997.</blockquote>
OK, that’s new to me also, but when the people we are going up in front of operate like this, I do question what we’re going there for.  Rather, why not just head for the hills, with or without the children?  (or a job…)
This guy writes:
<blockquote>taxpayers in the County of Angels appear to have drifted into a trance when confronted with how their civic monies are handled. </blockquote>
Well, what’s the time limit on that labyrinth, and is the Minotaur at the center of it?

~ ~ ~QUILT BLOCK/EXHIBIT #3.

Elizabeth J. Kates, Florida Family Law attorney, has written how the unethical impacts the ethical, and of the inherent ethical issues that professionals face, esp. when (on behalf of their current clients) tearing apart opposing expert testimony, which may later become their chosen expert witness in another case…in her article (against)
<blockquote>
<a  href=”http://www.florida-attorneys-at-law.com/therapeutic-jurisprudence.htm“>Why Therapeutic Jurisprudence Must Be Eliminated From Our Family Courts, by E. Kates</a>, an article about family lawyer ethics problems, published in 13 Dom. Violence Report 65 (2008)
It’s good enough to insert a large chunk of quote, right here:
<blockquote>One of the problems with the rise of therapeutic jurisprudence and the placement of non-legal systems and non-legal professionals into the courts has been the subtle denigration of long-established precepts of lawyer independence and due process. One of the many ways this happens in the family courts has been, ironically, through the introduction of subtle and often unrecognized conflicts of interest afflicting lawyers’ representations of their clients, created through the common development of multidisciplinary collegial relationships and business referrals, both informally and through the very multidisciplinary organizations which are promoting therapeutic jurisprudence ideas.
The conflicts of interest arise because most lawyers represent different kinds of clients on ideologically oppositional sides in different cases. The typical family lawyer sometimes represents the wife, sometimes the husband, sometimes the “good guy”, and sometimes the “bad guy”. If a lawyer coming into a case runs up against an expert with whom he has a referral or employment relationship in other cases, and that expert takes a position adverse to the lawyer’s client in the new case, the lawyer will have a very difficult time adequately representing his client. Appropriate representation may require the lawyer to strenuously object to the expert’s testimony — or even the expert himself. But if the lawyer needs the good will and cooperation of that same expert in connection with the lawyer’s other clients’ pending cases, he cannot do that because he may put those other cases at risk.
The legal community, even in urban areas, is limited and often close-knit. Lawyers in the same area of practice regularly encounter each other in different cases. The pool of forensic experts and guardians ad litem (GALs) tends to be even smaller. The repeated association time and again of these specialists in cases means that at any time and from time-to-time any given one of them may show up on the “wrong side” of a lawyer’s case — and simultaneously also be on the “right side” of other of the lawyer’s cases, whether as a hired expert or a court-appointed expert. This creates many of the same dilemmas that ordinary client conflict-of-interest issues do.
How the Conflicts of Interest Affect the Lawyers and Their Clients’ Cases
Lawyers in these positions will be tempted to rationalize to themselves, as well as maintain the posture in the community at large, that the expert’s opinions, even when they are adverse to his client, are scientifically valid — even when they may not be, even if they are deeply flawed or completely specious. …</blockquote>
Accordingly, a talented and informed “in pro per” mother or father may do better.  Of course, they may not, and few do that well under such duress as possibly losing everything, particularly things one most values…  But an in pro per will NOT have a built-in conflict of interest in wanting to get that case OUT of the court ASAP, and advocating to the fullest extent of ability for one’s rights.
Of course any “parent” that does that will immediately be labeled uncooperative, hostile, or “high-conflict.  That’s another built-in problem with this system.  In family law, a parent is usually a litigant.  The legal process IS an adversarial process, and desiged to be such.  Opposing sides are to present facts & evidence in accord with rules of the court, and judges are to litigate accordingly, again, in compliance with rules of the court.  Obviously, not a whole lto of fact-finding is going to take place right in a 20 minute hearing, which many family law cases can be.  This is blamed on “Case overload,” but in fact the cases re overloaded because the jurisdiction is so wide (any parents having any dispute over custody!) (Or visitation!) (or child support!) (or how to raise their children).  And who are separated, which pretty well indicates they don’t get along that well to start with. The jurisdiction is well over about half of the country, minus those who can figure things out on their own, and do.  Then, given that relevant facts aren’t necessarily the main idea, some pretty odd rulings results, after which the parent who is distressed over them, can come back to court.  THAT”s partly why the courts are so overloaded.  They don’t do the job right the first time.  Generally speaking, one parent is dragged in, the other one drags them in.  SO the dragged in one is going to be offended and upset somehow.  The dragging-in party (through any frivolous cause of action) one is “winning” by hurting the other parent.  Now, the case will be farmed out to professionals who have a vested interest in ongoing business (Business is business, and any successful business needs steady streams of clients, or repeat clients, or high-ticket clients on a regular enough basis — or it fails..) The sheer existence of the conciliation (now, “family”) code jurisdiction guarantees this until people return to their Edenic pre-quarrel state, or other character transformations…
OK, I’ve seamlessly wasted this morning (a half day) on this comment, so I hope it’s well-knit and makes some sense.  I do believe the thread connecting them all is the desire for unlimited, unmonitored, unaccountable and “behind closed doors” access to (a) money and (b) young boys and girls.
Or (a) and (b) could be reversed. Both are for sale in some venues…
Behind closed doors, in chambers, in conferences, in professional associations — and I thought outing a batterer would solve the problem!  That’s like pulling out what’s beneath some beds — dust bunnies, old sneakers, and a receipt or two.  …a toy, a dirty sock, and your fat cat stalking a rat.  Watch out if a clean financial house is the goal… or justice…

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martinplaut

Journalist specialising in the Horn of Africa and Southern Africa

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

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