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.

How VERY Pushy People got the Paradigm Shifted to Problem-solving Courts/No-Fault Divorce

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Phew, I know that last post was hard to read as it also was to write.  So, let’s go again from the top.

(NOTE: This post was added to and will probably be split into sections, on following days.  I have a large segment on “Family Matters and a middle segment on the Confusion Technique as it applies to professions in full steam through the courts 02-18-2013/LGH).

When I saw a certain few documents dating from 1952, 1968 and 1974, showing how no-fault happened, and then followed up on some of their contents, I “got” how serious certain groups were about pushing Conciliation instead of Incrimination where there is something of a criminal nature involved, and/or one of those seven causes of divorce (see top of last post).

All this was developing before most states had finished ratifying woman’s suffrage. Tennessee, I think, in 1924 was a deciding vote, but the last state hadn’t OK’d it until about 1948. Moreover, is it not interesting that one of the influential Judges in this field (Justice Traynor of the California Supreme Court) had such an active involvement on the US DOT, the California Board of Equalization, and in general was in favor of more, not less, government (from what I can tell) — and that among the early major female law professors was at least one of his proteges?

Is it not also interesting that the family court model was modeled after the juvenile court model, and that one of its early proponents did indeed recommend treating divorcing spouses like delinquent children. They are still doing this to us today, can you not sense the patronizing attitude from the bench?

Among the problems we have today, under several decades of this paradigm and its expansion upon expansion are: familicide, infanticide, femicides etc. around court-ordered exchange of children for purposes of co-parenting because that’s allegedly in the best interests of the children; parents getting stripped of their businesses, homes, or children post-divorce, litigation that sometimes goes for a decade, as “anything goes” can, just about, bring an OSC into a courtroom.

(meanwhile at “Femicide and Social Disorganization (“VAW” on sage journals) two women from the NYC Department of Health speculate on why “intimate partner femicides” increased (while other kinds of femicide decreased) 1990-1997, with access-visitation grants coming into full play ca. 1996. Of course, mentioning the deliberate decriminalization of violence against women through the family court system/conciliation court/problem-solving courts, etc. —  might cut a little close to some of the NYDOH or DCFS contracts and grants, which obviously are going to include some promoting marriage and fatherhood. (see abstract) )

What’s more, there seems to still be general utter confusion about why felony crimes under the penal code are arbitrarily recategorized as family matters, and why the “conciliation courts” don’t want to hear about felony matters such as physical beatings, or other extreme cruelty.

I know I was confused about this when a felony-child-stealing that drove me out of my profession, and in fact dramatically displayed how the courts themselves didn’t even care about their own court orders, arbitrarily ignoring their own rules.  See, I hadn’t yet shifted MY mental image of who the courts were (what they are there for) to the reality. I’d sensed it, but I didn’t have the factual, OR historical basis for it in time for pro-active self-defense or informed decision-making. Surprisingly, Lundy Bancroft, Barry Goldstein, and the heavily funded domestic violence groups (agencies/nonprofits) don’t either talk about Conciliation Law much, either, or the paradigm shift, not really. They want us focused on batterer characteristics and how to train judges to tell one when they see one– not COURT characteristics!

People in confusion are lots easier to manipulate; hence the “Confusion Technique” is a deliberate tactic also of cults (Scientology…) and therapists endeavoring to bring the client into a trance. The ripple effect from even a single family “confused” about why severe violent crimes against one partner by the other isn’t a felony in family (or conciliation) court proceedings — definitely defuses and stalls resistance. This built-in, systemic confusion of meanings is now being used, on a mass scale, through two separate and conflicting in definitions legal codes (when is assault and battery, kidnapping, molestation, rape, etc. ethically wrong, and when is it just a marital communication problem which court services can fix? “Only the Conciliation Court Judge and professional staff know for sure…”). Which one counts in any given situation seems (as per Conciliation code and in practice) arbitrary according to the presiding judge, and or several other factors, often not in the individual’s personal control.

A confused person has their (sic) conscious mind busy and occupied, and is very much inclined to draw upon unconscious learnings to make sense of things. A confused person is in a trance of their own making – and therefore goes readily into that trance without resistance. Confusion might be created byambiguous words, complex or endless sentences, pattern interruption or a myriad other techniques to incite transderivational searches, (TDS.) (A psychological example of TDS is in Ericksonian hypnotherapy, where vague suggestions are used that the patient must process intensely to find their own meanings for, thus ensuring that the practitioner does not intrude his own beliefs into the subject’s inner world.)

When employing the confusion technique verbally, steps are taken via verbal wording to overload the subject’s mental abilities

http://www.lermanet.com/scientology/confusion-technique2.htm

THE CONFUSION TECHNIQUE
by Milton Erickson

Excerpted from Experimental Hypnosis
by Leslie LeCron,
first published in 1948
from a chapter titled: “Deep Hypnosis Techniques”

For want of a better term, one of these special procedures may be termed the “confusion technique.” It has been employed extensively for the induction of specific phenomena as well as deep trances. Usually, it is best employed with highly intelligent subjects interested in the hypnotic process, or with those consciously unwilling to go into a trance despite an unconscious willingness

. . .In essence, it is no more than a presentation of a whole series of individually differing, contradictory suggestions, apparently all at variance with each other, differently directed, and requiring a constant shift in orientation by the subject.  … Shortly, the subject becomes aware that the hypnotist is apparently misspeaking, . . .

As the subject accommodates himself to the seeming confusion of the hypnotist,…

Newsletter evidence that the Milton Erickson Foundation (in Arizona, international in scope) encourages clinical hypnosis, and is heavily overlapped with professionals in the family counseling (LICSW, LMFT, Psychotherapists, Psychologists, etc.) field.  See “Couples Conference (2007 California) mentioning Steven Frankl, PhD, JD, ABPP.  I know the name because PAS-promoter Philip Stahl (formerly of Cal, now? I believe of Arizona) is featured in the StevenFrankl Group.  See flashing bulletins on that page.  See also Our Broken Courts Initiative and Nicholas Cummings (also found advertising in the same newsletter, perhaps different editions).

Continual conflicts of meaning, shifting orientation, mental and stress overload, etc. weakens the mind, as it is intended to, and can induce a trance (hypnosis) situation against a subjects (or subjects’ plural) will.   1951 Article by Joost A.M. Meerloo (or at least its abstract) calls this “menticide” (Am J Psychiatry 1951;107:594-598.): ”

The concept of “menticide” indicates an organized system of judicial perversion and psychological intervention, in which a powerful tyrant transfers his own thoughts and words into the minds and mouths of the victims he plans to destroy or to use for his own propaganda. Modern psychiatry may deliver him several tools for this perversion. Our psychiatric standpoint toward this challenge has to be formulated. Examples of menticide are described and ways of protection indicated.
(see table of contents for the same MD’s “The Rape of The Mind“:

The Rape of the Mind explores the Psychology of Thought Control, Menticide, and Brainwashing. Published in 1956 and written by Joost A. M. Meerloo, M.D., Instructor in Psychiatry, Columbia University Lecturer in Social Psychology, New School for Social Research, Former Chief, Psychological Department, Netherlands Forces.    (

“In this official position I was able to gather data on what was happening to the millions of victims of Nazi terror and torture. Later on I questioned and treated several escapees from internment and concentration camps. These people had become real experts in suffering. The variety of human reactions under those infernal circumstances taught us an ugly truth: the spirit of most men can be broken; men can be reduced to the level of animal behaviour. Both torturer and victim finally lose all human dignity.” . . . .”

Even at that time we knew, as did the Nazis themselves, that it was not the direct physical pain that broke people, but the continuous humiliation and mental torture.

“Verbocracy and Semantic Fog – Talking People into Submission 101 Logocide 103 Labelomania 104 The Apostatic Crime in Totalitaria 105.”  Recommended reading!

So, this paradigm has literally established a behavioral health Archipelago, and unlike criminal laws which have sentencing rules, coercive confinements last as long as the judge says it does. Once this form of specialized (Family) Court was set up — and the 1968 report talks about the desired model: Behavioral Health, what else! — the sky’s the limit for other kinds of courts to also be set up. They are getting smarter with the language, for example, not openly calling it “Mental Hygiene” or openly (that is, unless you know where to look) displaying how racist, sexist, classist, and elitist the model is, in its practice AND in its origins. In many ways, I can see it from this POV as a pre-emptive strike on what was going to become feminism, a force to be reckoned with, obviously.

I should also point out that it’s a money-maker, given that the entire concept is Family Court Services — and those services are contracted out. Good like finding out to whom, for how much, and whether the invoices actually match the services delivered. Some of us are getting better at this, but it’s a workout for sure…

What I want us to see is (generally, but not when it comes to naming the nonprofits) the PURPOSE, the PEOPLE, and the PROCESS by which this PSYCHIATRIC/JUDICIAL POWER-GRAB HAPPENED (et al.).

Again, see “Stunning Validation by Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson: The Assault on Truth and the Origins of Psychoanalysis” and the Kinsey/AFCC/Stanley Cohen connection (Stanley Cohen, up at the Oregon Health Sciences University, OSHU, was the return address on some of the earlier AFCC newsletters. From the very, very start, there was a real push to get the psychiatrists in on the game; and many, many of these were (it would seem) trained in covering up child sexual assault by (fathers) and reframing it as instead a mental illness. This is the cult of the experts upon the designated subject matter, whether in private, or en masses through extracting data from the courts to justify more programs to fix society.

In case it’s not (abundantly) clear yet — this paradigm needs to be shifted back, or at least in a different direction! Key to shifting any paradigm is someone with the leverage setting things in motion, then steering that motion.

How was this done? Do we understand what that leverage was, and is now?

FYI, this is now down to a predictable art form, there are technical and organizational tools of transforming the courts. A coalition of networked “stakeholders” rarely includes the average individual. The self-appointed experts ARE going to be heard, and WILL have their way with us (or our kids), even if it takes three or four decades to get something to pass, which a Uniform Marriage and Divorce Act recommending No-Fault Divorce DID take! As a worker, as a parent, as a member of a local community — are you that committed to a long-term cause, and positioned (as a worker, a parent, a member of the local community) to get the information AHEAD of time, and know when “the time is ripe” (a phrase in one of the links below) to push the situation in the desired direction. These networked nonprofits compromised of a LOT of ABA members, and often judges — did. It’s intentional, it’s deliberate, and it’s (inter)national. It’s funded, and it’s ongoing. There is a business plan to support the enterprise and get funding for it.

We already know that (the family, and conciliation, and unified, and “high-conflict,” and mental health, and drug, and juvenile, etc. — but particularly for our purposes, the first three or four kinds of courts) would rather bring on the professional staff for psychotherapy and curing the world of what ails it, and ushering in utopia, skillfully guided in the broad discretion of the court for the public benefit. For further confirmation of this, please review the 1968 and 1974 writings herein (and last post) as well as another one, the 1970 Draft “UMDA” (Uniform Marriage and Divorce Act), link below.

I should also mention the $4 billion a year and invasive, ever-evolving (as to its central purpose) Child Support system (HHS/OCSE) which contracts out with giant firms like Maximus, Lockheed, and others that, from time to time, get caught in fraud and cough up, oh, $20-$30 million in settlement fees without their stock dipping too low. All in all, it’s definitely a business plan (though what kind, well, not the best kind)….

But, do we know how this happened, and how to forestall the next chapters of it? Do we know the endgame? How many chapters are there in this social engineering operating system?

As to Family Matters, the same crowd that in the 1930s (between the Wars), 40s, 50s, 60s, and 70s said, “We need to revise the harmful and adversarial process of marriage and divorce — COMPLETELY — to no-fault, for the sake of the kids and society,” and actually GOT it (necessitating, perhaps the battered women’s movement of the 70s and 80s to remedy the 1952 determination to “expressly excise” definitions of “extreme cruelty” from divorce law) — is STILL singing the same song, only louder, wider, and in yet more sweeping terms.

As though AFCC, the ABA, the Family Law Section of the ABA, the National Conference on Commissioners of Uniform State Laws, the National Center for the State Courts, the APA, and a host of behavioral health specialists (and psychiatrists, etc.) had not gotten their cake and eaten it — nationwide, which as I’ve shown, they did.

But now want more cake (jurisdiction, and funding, that is). . . .Are still singing a strangely familiar song in this millennium.

This 2013 “Kvelling for Family Court Review” a brief piece by Andrew Schephard of AFCC, may be helpful, especially starting around page 2. It also explains the relationship between Hofstra University (NY) and the AFCC In publishing the Review. Notice the credit for who started it, when, and references to Meyer Elkin and Stanley Cohen. Fifty years of the Family Court Review, yeah…

This indicates that by Vol. 1. Issue 1. (under different name, same general idea) — there were already Conciliation Courts around.

It is my intent that we get smarter, and put some brakes on government by nonprofit + private money + federal grants. The aggression of the ABA itself (a large, nonprofit trade association that has sown wild oats better than, well, Johnny Appleseed scattered his seed across the land). To put some brakes on this, I would have to say, quit funding it. As the government and private money is mostly funding it — plus the assets and attorneys’ fees one loses (along with real estate, if previously owned) along the way, that’s no easy trick. But I’ll continue to recommend the CAFR1.com (Walter Burien) and CAFR School, Part 2 (a 2010 Minnesota CAFR, this is for the average literacy level, in plain talk, but yes, it talks numbers) sites as at least a kick in the right direction (a kick in the pants, that is: Wake the Hell up, etc.): Know where the profits are coming from and going to within government, and how that game is played. The 2nd link takes us through a 2010 Minnesota State level CAFR. Or, start back at, CAFR School: How Corporations are Funded by Taxpayers (post is July 2012).


Speaking of “Family Matters”

In June 2010, UBaltimore School of Law (and no, I am NOT going to let up on this institution and its Model Blueprints for Unified Family Courts, etc., in case you wondered).  See Brochure for the Who’s Who and What’s What (marketing format):

Barbara A. Babb
Director and Associate Professor of Law
B.S., Pennsylvania State University M.S., Cornell University J.D., Cornell Law School faculty member since 1989; member, New York and Maryland bars; national leader in family justice system reform, focusing on the creation of unified family courts; spearheaded Maryland’s efforts to create a family court in 1998; member, ABA Standing Committee on Substance Abuse, ABA Unified Family
Court Coordinating Council and AFCC Family Court Review Editorial Board; past chair, Family and Juvenile Law Section, Association of American Law Schools
Following a major national symposium co-sponsored by CFCC and the ABA Section of Family Law in June, 2010, featuring leaders in family justice system reform from a variety of fields, the Families Matter initiative continues to work to identify legal practice methods and approaches that minimize the damaging consequences of family legal proceedings based on an interdisciplinary, holistic, and therapeutic approach.

Very  misleading as both the CFCC and the ABA Section of Family Law probably have multiple AFCC members.  Calling AFCC an additional partner only means it’s now an official partner.

Inset on this page shows that after starting, predictable NONPROFITS involved ABA MEMBERS (Judges, attorneys) are invited in for the feast:

Since its inception in 2010 as a joint venture, the Families Matter Initiative has expanded to include additional partners:

~The Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC)
~The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ)

  • (Nevada nonprofit since 1937, $18mil of HHS grants, Model Courts, etc.)(
  • A non-profit, 501(c)(3) corporation, the NCJFCJ relies on funding from federal and state grants, private foundations, and generous members and donors.  “NCJFCJ” is registered as a US Patent.  Of their directors (see links) probably many are AFCC.  among them, Lackawanna Judge (now ret’d) Chester Harhut, (hover cursor to see “textbook” AFCC program material he was involved in.  Lackawanna PA was county recently raided by the FBI over financial misdeeds by a local GAL).

I looked up IAALS, above. It was only formed in 2006, in Denver, and its executive Director (Rebecca Love Kourlis, BA English, JD — Stanford University) was a judge, but retired to start this venture. Oh yes, and she was also the daughter of a former governor of Colorado:

In 2006, we opened our doors in a small adjunct office on campus at the University of Denver. We had a clear sense of our mission: advance a more accessible, efficient and accountable civil justice system. But we also had a healthy understanding of the enormity of the task. . . .

Rebecca Love Kourlis served Colorado’s judiciary for nearly two decades, first as a trial court judge and then as a Justice of the Colorado Supreme Court. She resigned from the Supreme Court in January 2006 to establish IAALS, where she serves as Executive Director. 

The author of more than 200 opinions and dissents during her tenure as a judge, Kourlis also spearheaded significant reforms in the judicial system relating to juries, family law and attorney regulation.

Among its (current list) four initiatives is an “Honoring Families” initiative. Launched on-line last November (sounds like): I’m going to share the unwieldy motto with us, as it illustrates the intentional continuous systemic change of family law to (the AFCC) model:

Which is why we’re formally launching our Honoring Families Initiative.

Aligned with the greater mission of IAALS, Honoring Families is dedicated to advancing empirically informed models to ensure greater accessibility, efficiency, and fairness in divorce and child custody matters. To help us, we have pulled together a team of advisors who represent practitioners, jurists, researchers, and advocates who have committed their professional lives to finding a better way to work with transitioning families. *** With the help of a virtual working group of family law experts from around the country, we’re drafting a white paper that aggregates leading family law research and identifies opportunities to develop new and better systems for separating and divorcing families in the United States.

[

***”transitioning families” is a “tell” (Northern California’s “Center for the Family in Transition,” etc. and predictably (you should check it out) this “team of advisors” lists all their current influential positions but does NOT list how very many of them are long-term AFCC members, plus fatherhood specialist from Smith, Marsha Kline Pruett, etc. The gang’s basically all there

Also notable (and hardly surprising, as it’s Denver U), Howard Markman (Stanley & Markman of UDenver are associated with PREP, Inc., which is a fatherhood program being franchised through the welfare system, etc.). [Just a segment of the Steering Committee, here: Maureen Leif, Child Support Coordinator, Colorado Judicial Branch Howard Markman, Professor Clinical Child, Department of Psychology, Co-director of the Center for Marital and Family Studies, University of Denver]]

We’ve also convened an interdisciplinary steering committee that has been charged with creating a business plan for a first-of-its-kind on-campus center that will provide interdisciplinary services at the University of Denver starting in 2013. The center will give the Denver community an alternative to the traditional adversarial system—and it gives us a testing ground for models and measurement tools that can be continuously improved and shared around the country.

At IAALS, we know that systemic change does not happen overnight. The journey toward it is marked by incremental changes that are monitored, measured, and improved. Today, with the launch of an initiative committed to identifying solutions for transitioning families,[my link, not theirs]  we’re taking one step forward on what will certainly be a long and rewarding journey.

IAALS just said, they are working towards system changes.  However many experts are represented, many with roles in government or lawyers, etc. — is this representative government?

 

AFCC is both a partner and a funder, per this list of funders:

  • American Bar Association
  • Annie E. Casey Foundation
  • Association of Family and Conciliation Courts
  • Baltimore Direct Services {this looks like Annie E. Casey funding program”
  • BAR/BRI
  • {{curious? So was I. Look it up, then..Why would only this one get an Acronym, not a full name?))
    Charles Crane Family Foundation
  • Justice Management Institute {{this one’s in Denver too. What IS it about Denver?… It’s also a MacArthur Foundation “Models for Change” grantee..
  • Kramon & Graham, P.A.
  • Maryland Administrative Office of the Courts
  • Maryland Department of Human Resources
  • Maryland Legal Services Corporation
  • (**that’s a nonprofit, and the state LSC’s are funded in part by National, probably).
    Maryland Bar Foundation
  • Maryland State Bar Association
  • National Center for State Courts
  • Ober Kaler Grimes & Schriver, PC
  • Open Society Institute – Baltimore
  • Ruff Roofing
  • [Huh??]]
    Thomson West
  • University of Baltimore School of Law
  • U.S. Department of Justice Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
  • (“OJJDP” — distributes grants)
    Wright Family Foundation
  • Zanvyl and Isabelle Krieger Fund (Signicant, Baltimore Area; he was Harvard, brought professional football to Baltimore; significant philanthropic pull, see grantees..)

Pop Quiz: how many of the funders above have overlapping membership?
Which ones were nonprofits, which ones were State (and which Federal) agencies?
Which ones were PRIVATE philanthropic foundations?

HEY — here’s a good question. What would you do to find out how much public money (see which are state or federal agencies) went into this “families matter” initiative?

Did you remember that as far back as probably the 1980s, the NCSC (National Center for State Courts) was appointed “secretariat” to administratively help the AFCC?)


Some individuals, primarily judges, have been pushing for Conciliation Courts since at least as far back as 1939, which is to say, between WWI and WWII.  Keeping in mind that there are conveniences for certain if the state of emergency created by a real, genuine, world war, could be maintained throughout the land.  It simplifies ruling the place.

Consider who was so persistent, so pushy, so prolific (speaking writing) and had access to so many public platforms to promote Conciliation courts from, decade after decade, until it was obtained, eventually in 1970, with California’s no-fault FLA (Family Law Act).

  • An Ohio Judge pushed for it:  He was on the seat 1937-1967.

If read, it speaks for itself: “Diagnosis, Therapy of Family Rifts Lifetime Goal of Judge Alexander.”! “Exponent of Sociological Jurisprudence ….Creation of a modern family court among his objectives..Treat unhappy spouses like delinquent children (1948)….reform divorce law… In 1953, Family Court Center under one new roof . . chaired the ABA’s commission on marriage laws and family courts … served on a national commission for the reform of divorce and marriage laws … This commission had experts on Law, religion, psychiatry, medicine, sociology and education spent three years codifying a reform program to recommend to state legislatures…In 1958 first vice chairman of an ABA special committee to study family law, domestic strife and juvenile delinquency. He advocated for the ABA to dedicate a special section on family law, which happened in 1958 in Los Angeles. Innovations included traffic school for juvenile violators and marriage counseling services.

Can you see all those elements yet? Just read the article!

  • Apparently in 1939 in California, someone got Children’s Conciliation Court law passed (per Marv Bryer), but it was later repealed. 

1952

A Justice Traynor Opinion on a 1946-1949 marriage/divorce case was leveraged into cause to remove “fault divorce.” Traynor doesn’t just rule, he calls for reform of the underpinnings of the law, which is going to end up moving divorce from under the civil code to its own little courthouse, category, and creative re-writing of the law.

  • A certain marriage (De Burgh) that only lasted three years (1946-1949) involving extreme cruelty (including beatings, humiliation, in-your-face adultery and running down a daughter to a mother) was ruled as mutual cruelty and a decision made to deny divorce because she was extremely cruel, too! On the only matter appealable, Judge Traynor (see Wikipedia article) used this inb his 1952 Opinion:

1953

Barbara Nachtrieb (Armstrong?) publishes a two-volume book “California Family Law” which is considered foundational. She also was influential earlier in drafting the Social Security Act. (b.1890-d.1976)

Her interest in social insurance, health insurance, and minimum wages led to extensive writings in the area of social economics, and she quickly became recognized as one of the outstanding experts in the field. Her ideas, expressed in her book Insuring the Essentials (1932), exerted a strong impact on the structure of the Social Security Act. Beyond that, Barbara materially assisted in drafting the act when she served as chief of staff for social security planning of the celebrated Committee on Economic Security. Her contributions to the birth of that most important legislation are properly underscored in the executive director’s account of its genesis. Witte, the development of the Social Security Act (1963). She also devoted considerable effort and intellectual leadership to the area of family law. Her two-volume work on California Family Law has been regarded as the foundation for all progress in that area since its publication in 1953.

 **This having been written ca. 1977.

1963   “Conference of Conciliation Courts” — this is the date AFCC uniformly assigns itself for having begun as an organization.

Of course in 1966 there was a California Governor’s Commission on the Family reporting to the legislature, but the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State laws was well-prepared for this one.

1968

Meanwhile, on 10-31-1968 (post-Traynor, post-startup of [AFCC], but pre-Divorce Law reform), “A Family Court: The California Proposal” California Law Review 56.5 (1968): 1205 [56:5=”Vol. 56 Issue 5″] , Herma Kay Hill reviewed a 1968 book by someone who’d been on the Governor’s Commission. It starts right out with the desired outcome:

  • Please read, in fact, print and read, for the general idea and specific footnotes. For example, family court being modeled after juvenile court!  Herma Kay Hill, fascinating life, was sitting in the “Barbara Nachtrieb Armstrong” Chair at UCBerkeley.  Ms. Nachtrieb Armstrong also fascinating life.  Both intersected with and were, possibly, mentored or helped by Traynor.

Compare 1968 description to 2012 vision: “Unified Family Court” Blueprint from UBaltimore School of Law, June, 2012 — does the language sound familiar?

Herma Kay Hill was also from 1968-1970 on another group which helps explain the “speed of enactment” by which a law passed in one state (particularly California) can spread to the others: the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws,” which was at this time working on a UMDA (Uniform Marriage and Divorce Act).

Herma Hill Kay is Barbara Nachtrieb Armstrong Professor of Law at the School of Law (Boalt Hall), University of California, Berkeley. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a member of the American Philosophical Society, and a member of the Council and Executive Committee of the American Law Institute. She is a Past President of both the Association of American Law Schools and The Order of the Coif, and a past member of the Board of Directors of the American Bar Foundation. She served as a member of the Council of the ABA Section on Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar from 1992 to 2001, including two years as Secretary. She is admitted to the bars of the State of California, the United States Supreme Court, and the Second and Ninth Circuits. In 1992, she received the Margaret Brent Award given by the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession.

Professor Kay graduated magna cum laude with departmental distinction in English from Southern Methodist University in 1956, where she was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. She then earned her law degree at the University of Chicago in 1959, where she served as Book Review Editor of the Chicago Law Review and graduated third in her class. After a year as law clerk to Justice Roger Traynor of the California Supreme Court, she joined the Boalt Hall faculty in 1960. She served as Dean of Boalt Hall from 1992 to 2000. She earned the Berkeley Campus’s Distinguished Teaching award in 1962, and the Teaching Award of the Society of American Law Teachers in 1984. In 2003, the Boalt Hall Alumni Association gave her its first Faculty Lifetime Achievement Award. She has taught as a Visiting Professor at Harvard Law School. Professor Kay was Co-Reporter in 1968-70 for the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws’s Uniform Marriage and Divorce Act. She teaches and publishes in the fields of Family Law, California Marital Property, Sex-Based Discrimination, and the Conflict of Laws. She is currently working on a history of women law professors in the United States between 1900- 2000.

Here’s that Uniform Marriage and Divorce Act (two-page format)accepted by this National Conference. This conference, it turns out, was formed in 1892 for the express purpose of getting uniform laws on commercial paper, and marriage & divorce! They didn’t get around to the M&D part until 1970, in good part because the states didn’t want it (kept rejecting their proposals). Changes added in 1971 & 1973, and the ABA passed it in 1974.

That’s a “read-me” link, FYI

About this National Conference of Commissioners (private nonprofit trade association!):

National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws, now called:

ULC

The Uniform Law Commission, now in its 121st year, provides states with non-partisan, well-conceived and well-drafted legislation that brings clarity and stability to critical areas of state statutory law.  The organization comprises more than 300 lawyers, judges, and law professors, appointed by the states as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, to research, draft and promote enactment of uniform state laws in areas of state law where uniformity is desirable and practical.  Since its inception in 1892, the group has promulgated more than 200 acts, among them such bulwarks of state statutory law as the Uniform Commercial Code, the Uniform Probate Code, and the Uniform Partnership Act.

What is the Uniform Law Commission?

For more than a century, the Uniform Law Commission (ULC) has worked for the improvement of state laws by drafting uniform state laws on subjects where uniformity is desirable and practicable.  It is a non-profit unincorporated association, comprised of state commissions on uniform laws from each state, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  Now in its 119th year, the ULC is the oldest state governmental association and is the source of more than 300 uniform acts which seek to secure uniformity of state laws where diversity obstructs the interests of all the citizens of the United States.


http://www.uniformdivorce.com/timeline.pdf
(stamped Feb. 1972, a typewritten document)
CHRONOLOGY OF THE RELATIONS BETWEEN THE NATIONAL CONFERENCE OF COMMISSIONERS ON UNIFORM STATE LAWS AND THE [ABA] SECTION OF FAMILY LAW REGARDING THE UNIFORM MARRIAGE AND DIVORCE ACT

Timeline (from the “uniform divorce.org”) about the lobbying efforts. They were particularly eager to have experts from “all sectors of society.” Note: there’s this association (for which membership requires one be a member of the bar) and then there’s the Family Law section of the American Bar Association (such as Judge Alexander of Toledo had earlier lobbied hard to establish and looks like, succeeded). The two are to communicate, and there’s a protest in from one of the reporters (liaisons) insulted that outsiders should’ve maybe been allowed to participate…

First form a “special committee.” August, 1965, the “Special Committee” presented to the larger conference about “THE TIME IS RIPE” TO GET THIS REFORM DONE NOW! Note that of the 4 suggestions, #3 included an advisory group with representatives from: “Psychiatry, religion, social work and every phase of our society which has a bearing on the issues involved.”

The Ford Foundation chipped in $60,000, then the HEW (Health Education and Welfare) $25,000 to study, (Jan, Feb. 1967)

Establishing Control, who gets to do what, and limiting the number of “counselors” (nonvoting) who could be present at the drafting. By February 1968, they got it down primarily to (note the order):

1. “Discard fault doctrines as ground for divorce, substituting breakdown of marriage concept.”

2. “To abolish annulment and draft a comprehensive regulation of marriage statute.”

3. “To include in the divorce section specific grounds for breakdown of marriage, including 90-180 days separation, if both parties agree and there are no children.”

4. “not to include in draft provisions for conciliation service attached to the court, i.e., not to attempt uniform treatment for the “family court concept.”

I think that last is significant, but also to get rid of fault being the main target. I think they knew that concept wouldn’t fly, and they’d have to get the foot in the door, and THEN set up the conciliation courts (which, remember, had already been rejected, and the laws repealed in California, as I understand it). I’m talking, strategy!

The above was Feb. 1968. Herma Kay Hill was appointed as co-reporter (with a Robert Levy, and recommended by him.) in April, 1968, i.e., later (note: the introduction to the UMDA draft itself says, 1967). It seems from the timeline that Ms. Hill specifically missed the drafting of the above four points.

Irreconciliable Differences: California Courts Respond to No-Fault Disolutions” by Elayne Carol Berg (Sept. 1974, Vol. 7 #3 of Loyola of Los Angeles Review, Table of Contents) discussing the major, almost “carte blanche” changes of the 1970 California Family Law Act (“FLA”). At only 37pp with footnotes (the footnotes themselves a good resource), and only four years after the major change in divorce law, it is a recommended read. Unlike the straight-propaganda found to be on many web shingles and conference pages, this narrates and footnotes who, what, when, and in what form divorce law was changed, and with it, a family court venue (including the real estate & buildings) set up.

Speaking of behavioral health and therapy for marriage breakdown, as a social sickness:  My interest in this came from reading about Thorazine on the Pennsylvania Unified Judicial System AOC site last year: i.e., Problem-Solving Courts per se, including Drug Courts:

Just so we know how come parents are picketing, the FBI is raiding, and some GALs appear to be falsely reporting what they earned on their tax returns, STILL, to this day (it does seem rather a consistent issue), as in Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania, the FBI finally got a minnow out of a sea full of sharks in NACC (National Association of Counsel for Children, an HHS-funded nonprofit that, along with the ABA, helped developed child welfare law as a speciality and greatly expanded the concept of, well, the more GALs, the merrier — and blueprints, or at least models, for setting up a “Children’s Law Office Program” (CLOP?) — is failing to report all one’s income part of the setup?) — Here’s how the National Associations or Connections spot-pick jurisdictions (called “clients”) to do a test-run of the intended standard of operation, so when the next Governor’s Commission on (Fill In The Blank) is appointed to report, they have something to point to:

(From the “UBaltimore” site, above); under the hyperlink “Families Matter Initiative” “Clients.”)

Jurisdictions  ***

  • Alabama – Developed a family court model, Presiding Circuit Judges Symposium on Family Courts, Montgomery, Alabama.
  • California – Addressed the components of a Unified Family Court as well as the strengths and weaknesses of model reforms in various jurisdictions.
  • Florida – Organized dialogue on refining Florida’s family courts, presented family court reform proposals to the Florida Bar Association, and developed recommendations for model family court pilot projects.
  • Indiana – Provided technical assistance to establish pilot Unified Family Courts.
  • Michigan – Provided strategic planning to evaluate a Unified Family Court, Ninth Judicial Circuit’s Family Division in Kalamazoo County, Michigan.
  • New Mexico – Provided presentations on the structure, theoretical foundations, advantages, physical attributes, operation, services, and performance evaluation of Unified Family Courts in collaboration with the National Center for State Courts.  ((NCSC we now know works with AFCC, or did early on.  Presented to WHOM?_
  • Pennsylvania – Consulted on developing a Unified Family Court in Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania.

Of the three organizations (see top of page) added to the Family Matters Initiative after 2010? NCJFCJ has a board of directors including the (then?) Presiding Judge over Lacakwanna County Family Court.

  • Tennessee – Delivered presentation on the structure and operation of Unified Family Courts to Shelby County (Tennessee) Family Court Task Force.
  • Washington, D.C. – Provided consultation to D.C. Superior Court Chief Judge and drafted legislation to establish a family court.
  • International

Toronto, Ontario – Presented comprehensive comparisons of Unified Family Courts in the United States and suggested reforms for Ontario’s Unified Family Courts.

(**Consider:  if Jurisdictions are “clients” then it is a business relationship between this Families Matter Initiative out of UBaltimore, and the arious courts.  Thus, people are supporting the courts directly and private money and agenda, also directly through business relationships based on models developed apart from public input local to those courts.

I put this in the larger context of the Hegelian dialectic, which is start a conflict to get things in motion, and then jump in the driver’s seat towards a pre-determined destination, which in this case means, the courts gradually increase their jurisdiction to include all possible facets of human life, from womb to tomb.  Of course, this is for our own good, so we — and not they — should pay for it.

When I say “Hegelian dialectic” I am simply referring to starting a conflict for the purpose of shifting a paradigm.  What we call “abusers” do this instinctively (?) consciously (?) — for sure, skillfully. They create chaos out of functional, productive order, and then offer themselves to straighten it out (just hand over the authority, please).  Peace is counter-indicated at all times, what’s the fun in that?

What is the Hegelian Dialectic?  (2005, Niki Rakaana and Nordica Friedrich)

When we remain locked into dialectical thinking, we cannot see out of the box. . . . to step outside the dialectic. This releases us from the limitations of controlled and guided thought. The Hegelian dialectical formula: A (thesis) versus B (anti-thesis) equals C (synthesis).

Or, a more scholarly statement, if you will from Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Peer-Reviewed)

Hegel: Social & Political Thought

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831) is one of the greatest systematic thinkers in the history of Western philosophy. In addition to epitomizing German idealist philosophy, Hegel boldly claimed that his own system of philosophy represented an historical culmination of all previous philosophical thought. Hegel’s overall encyclopedic system is divided into the science of Logic, the philosophy of Nature, and the philosophy of Spirit. Of most enduring interest are his views on history, society, and the state, which fall within the realm of Objective Spirit. Some have considered Hegel to be a nationalistic apologist for the Prussian State of the early 19th century, but his significance has been much broader, and there is no doubt that Hegel himself considered his work to be an expression of the self-consciousness of the World Spirit of his time

and from the “Jena writings,” (1802-1806):

Finally, Hegel also discusses the forms of government, the three main types being tyranny, democracy, and hereditary monarchy. Tyranny is found typically in primitive or undeveloped states, democracy exists in states where there is the realization of individual identity but no split between the public and private person, and hereditary monarchy is the appropriate form of political authority in the modern world in providing strong central government along with a system of indirect representation through Estates. The relation of religion to the state is undeveloped in these writings, but Hegel is clear about the supereminent role of the state that stands above all else in giving expression to the Spirit (Geist) of a society in a sort of earthly kingdom of God, the realization of God in the world. True religion complements and supports this realization and thus cannot properly have supremacy over or be opposed to the state.

Written by Let's Get Honest

February 17, 2013 at 8:39 pm

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martinplaut

Journalist specialising in the Horn of Africa and Southern Africa

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