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Posts Tagged ‘Pennsylvania Bar Institute

So, Who wrote the PBI-published Guide to Pennsylvania’s “New Child Custody Act”?

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Continued from my last post on, well, the publishing arm of the Pennsylvania Bar Association, and several topics. Part of being (who I am) is the tendency to Look Things Up. So, I started looking up those attorneys who helped explain the new custody law in Pennsylvania.

This 7,000 word post has a very detailed chart at the bottom (hard to produce, as to html) and has soaked up too much of my time (I am still typing in “html” compose mode, visually). I then probably made it a little worse by introductory prose paragraphs. BUT, I still maintain that it’s valuable information to consider — these points are not raised enough among parents. Feedback solicited (comments). One way to understand the post may be to FIRST scroll down to some of the charts (for a visual) then go back and read the explanations.

On the other hand, I don’t owe anyone anything on this matter. I did my own lookups, networking, collaboration, and beyond that — whatever gets posted is public service announcement. It’s not addressed to people who are comfortable with groupthink (on the courts), uninvolved or unconcerned about the significance of dysfunctional (etc.) courts on the country, or the presence about money-laundering possibilites that each such setup presents, or the undermining of representative government in favor of the therapeutic, over-diagnosing, medicating, institutionalizing, iatrogenic “Nanny State,” and not a very nice nanny, either.

Iatrogenic (from “Wikipedia” definition):

The term iatrogenesis means brought forth by a healer from the Greek ἰατρός (iatros, “healer”) and γένεσις (genesis, “origin”); as such, in its earlier forms, it could refer to good or bad effects. . . .The transfer of pathogens from the autopsy room to maternity patients, leading to shocking historical mortality rates of puerperal fever (a k a “childbed fever”) at maternity institutions in the 19th century, was a major iatrogenic catastrophe of that time. The infection mechanism was first identified by Ignaz Semmelweis.[2]


So, yes, Pennsylvania had a Custody Law Revamp passed in 2011


Jan. 2011 article (fairly substantial) in the Legal Intelligencer on the new custody law.
(more on how it happened, at bottom of this post). This post looks at a PBI release with many attorney authors (plus a single Judge, and some AFCC Psychologists, i.e., Arnold & Kasey Shienvold, Ph.D.’s) on the impact of the new custody law. See article for some issues it raises.

In fact, at the bottom of this post — something you probably won’t find anywhere else on the Internet — is a chart of the authors, with columns for “how AFCC ARE they?” and basic descriptors. While AFCC is hardly “The Skull & Bones” of Yale, it still is an association which many more judges and attorneys have adopted the mindset of, or may even be members of, without saying so on their website. In other words, its influences are felt – they are real — but not always mentioned directly.

While I did (or started) this for Pennsylvania — it really could and should be done for EVERY state as an ignorance-reducing movement for people who like to complain about judges, the courts, evaluators, GALs, etc. It has not been done (yet) for the primary reasons, as far as I can tell, is limited resources (i.e., you’re looking at a volunteer blogger, and family court veteran, which generally means, SOMETHING was stripped violently and suddenly (but in a process that still somehow manages to last for YEARS) out of one’s life — whether children, or assets // income, social support networks, or all of the above. So the people that are most motivated to report (or should be), are often least financially positioned to. (I’m working on it!).

And those who have funding, as nonprofits themselves, associating with other nonprofits for clout (just like AFCC does) and press, and a “day in the sun” — are less than motivated to examine the function of Nonprofits (per se) as a topic relevant to the family courts AT ALL. They too, would rather form coalitions and self-selecting groupings to run conferences, publish, attract followers, and proclaim theories.

RELEVANCE of answering the “How AFCC ARE they?“: Membership in AFCC, or agreement with and repeated references to its standards are throughout the family law system — yet the organization has been at many levels functioning as a monopoly (while private in association, conferencing, funding, etc.) trade association among my PUBLIC employees. It has a definite mindset towards matters which tend to bring custody cases to the courts to start with — domestic violence and child abuse, in particular. Or, co-parenting when there has been DV or CA. And yet the organization — for all its own self-promotion, dramatic conferences with flashy brochures — is under-reported in the MSM press, and is scarcely mentioned !!! by advocates involved in the stopping domestic violence and child abuse industry.

As such, few people have even ruffled their feathers, or disturbed the seas on which they operate, let alone questioned the practices AS an organization. VERY few, although definitely some have. And yet this organization — and the others that work under, or with it (much of my blog names and describes them, specifically) — is able to operate with more influence and less accountability by virtue of it being “under the radar” of people who need to know MOST about it — which is 1. parents, and 2. all taxpayers.
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Well Ain’t that Something: PBI coaching Judges and Attorneys on How to Set Up Nonprofits…

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Irony prompted this post. And that’s the PBI, the Pennsylvania Bar Institute (education branch of the Pennsylvania Bar Association — see their website) is putting out AFCC material. PBI as it turns out is running, soon (this May) its 11th annual seminar on how to set up a nonprofit, properly, that is.

You’d think certain interdisciplinary organizations would get the hint by now. Apparently they still haven’t.** I guess rules and laws of incorporation are just for the masses of common workers and plebeians who are not anointed with a superior purpose and calling to disseminate therapeutic jurisprudence and save the children of the world from high-conflict relationships (and parental alienation, etc.). I should add, allegedly saving….

By the way, “Plebeians” weren’t the slaves, they were the inbetween, and eventually they got fed up and rebelled. As that’s the class basically funding the courts, perhaps that’s who it’s going to take getting fed up, and making this stuff stop. (check out that last link or hover cursor for part of it).

(**I refer to the fact that this organization displaying a Wisconsin address and showing Wisconsin-address tax returns with the IRS — is not incorporated (as itself) to do business in Wisconsin, with the State of Wisconsin, if you catch my drift about 6525 Teton Avenue, Madison, Wisconsin…..)

The Pennsylvania Bar Institute is the educational arm of the Bar Association (whereas the Bar FOUNDATION is the charitable arm that financially supports desired programs). The PBI has a press [pause to browse link….] and appears to do a booming business with on-line publications and CLE courses. For example, here’s a new one on Custody Law (as the laws recently were revamped in PA):

Get the one book you need to skillfully represent your clients in custody cases. This book—written by some of Pennsylvania’s best family law professionals—gives practitioners at every level a comprehensive, useful resource. Plus, a detailed analysis of the new Child Custody Act, major issues of custody law and practice, and a long-term view of the future. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION.

I just did click, and looked at the faculty. So far, I see plenty of AFCC professionals listed. In family law, membership or leadership in AFCC does matter…. In fact I looked about half of them up (have links, may post.)

Anyhow, I looked up The Pennsylvania Bar Institute after hearing that a recent ruling abolished Parent Coordinators for the State, (after publishing a three-to-four-page Rule 1915.11 about it in November 2010; go figure; starts on 2nd page, here). That’s ironic because (see inset table below) — the PBI had really helped promote Parenting Coordination by publishing prominent professionals promoting it, a practice it’s marvellous to behold in action, kind of like an inside look at the gestation of another bad idea coming from the court-connected crowd:


All that work — and yet in one short Rule-Amendment, there it goes….

The “It’s Abolished” Rule is three short sentences!

Rule 1915.11-1. Elimination of Parenting Coordination.
Only judges may make decisions in child custody cases. Masters and hearing officers may make recommendations to the court. Courts shall not appoint any other individual to make decisions or recommendations or alter a custody order in child custody cases. Any order appointing a parenting coordinator shall be deemed vacated on the date this rule becomes effective. Local rules and administrative orders authorizing the appointment of parenting coordinators also shall be deemed vacated on the date this rule becomes effective.

No explanation offered. I don’t see (easily, on-line) any lead-up to what caused this. Did someone actually IN the profession get on the wrong side of a parent coordinator in (his) own divorce, and put up a stink to the judges? Are the judges getting a little touchy about their authority? I really am curious — and doubt this is the end of the issue. Too many professionals have poured too much effort into protecting (and expanding) their professions to let go that easily. If you saw who these professionals actually are, I think you’d understand that “No” doesn’t mean “No” when they’re anointed and coordinated to promote a cause….

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