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Family Law Section

News from the Section

Message from the Chair - Vanessa Kirker Wright

The State Bar staff calls us the "volunteers".  We refer to ourselves, variously, as FLEXCOMers or Committee members.  We serve to enhance the level of practice in the state.  And the best part is that we have a blast working together on the most cutting edge issues in Family Law.

One of my favorite sayings is "all law is family law."   When I utter those words amongst my non-family law colleagues, I get one of two reactions: 1) pregnant pause and sudden subject change, or 2) odd look, small chuckle and sudden subject change. READ MORE

Webinar: Honorable Mark A. Juhas and Honorable Roberta S. Hayashi: Necessity and Relevancy of Cultural Competency in the Family Law Practice

Thursday, September 1, 2016, 12 noon - 1 p.m.

This program offers 1 hour participatory MCLE credit and 1 hour legal specialization credit in Family Law. You must register in advance to participate.

Judges, like Attorneys, Parties and Witnesses, are products of their cultural environment. They are influenced by their family’s social and economic status, geographical and environmental factors, religions and the political structure of the societies. There are differences between the Judges in a Culturally Influenced Legal System (CILS), like Sharia, Jewish, Socialist or Customary Law, and Culturally Neutral Legal System (CNLS), like Civil or Common Law. There are different societal standards which define their functions and performances. In a Culturally Influenced Legal System (CILS), a Judge is a cultural figure, who protects, promotes, and perpetuates the values of yesterday for tomorrow’s generations. In a Culturally Neutral Legal System, a Judge is a legal expert sworn to abide by the Constitution and enforce the law independent of religious or cultural beliefs, self or others.

Globalization of education, trade and employment brings individuals rooted in the CILS or the CNLS under another jurisdiction. In California, and many nations, the increasingly urgent discourse is (or should be) how one legal system should respond to the needs of citizens rooted in another legal system?

This Webinar seeks responses to the following questions:

1) To what extent understanding and application of cultural values necessary and relevant to the effective enforcement of family laws in California?

2) To what extent California attorneys must understand the needs of the litigants rooted in a Culturally Influenced Legal System?

3) To what extent should California Judges be sensitive to the needs of the culturally influenced litigants?

Moderators: Abbas Hadjian

Speakers: Hon. Roberta Hayashi and Hon. Mark A. Juhas

Webinar: Appellate Review: Lessons From the Case Anne H. v. Michael B. – California 2016

Wednesday, September 7, 2016, 12 noon - 1 p.m.

This program offers 1 hour participatory MCLE credit and 1 hour legal specialization credit in Family Law. You must register in advance to participate.

Anne. H. applies the doctrine of res judicata to judicial predictions of future changes in circumstances, and finds such holdings are obiter dicta. The case also discusses deficiencies in the evidentiary presentation of the parent seeking modification.

Moderators: Abbas Hadjian and Melinda Sammis

Speakers: Leslie Ellen Shear and Julie Shear Kushner

The State Bar of California 89th Annual Meeting

My Annual MeetingThe State Bar of California 89th Annual Meeting
September 29 - October 2, 2016
Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina

San Diego, California

Early Bird Pre-Regsitration and Hotel Registration Deadline: August 30, 2016 
Pre-Registration Deadline: September 8, 2016

The State Bar of California returns to beautiful San Diego for the 2016 Annual Meeting. The Annual Meeting is a multi-day showcase of continuing legal education courses, celebrity speakers, and noted legal scholars. Each day gives you several choices of courses and special events.

The Annual Meeting registration fee is structured to make it affordable to attend. You can select either a Full Meeting Pass or a 2-Day Pass. Special fees are available for Young Lawyers and New Admittees.

Register by August 30, 2016 to take advantage of preferred pricing. Your registration includes:

  • 111 MCLE courses 
  • Up to 19 Hours of MCLE and Legal Specialization credit 
  • Dynamic Opening Day and Closing Day General Sessions 
  • Free Networking Lunch, Morning Coffee Breaks and Evening Happy Hours in the Exhibit Hall 
  • Social events hosted by the State Bar and its various Sections, local bar associations and law school alumni groups

The Section will be presenting:

Program 3

Trends and Developments in Grandparent Visitation and Custody Disputes

Program 13

Recovering Children Brought to the USA: Hague Convention vs. the UCCJEA

Program 37

A Family Lawyer’s Guide to Assisted Reproduction Law

Program 79

Recent Developments in Family Law Cases and Statutory Law

Program 106

Cultural Competency in Family Law Practice: Beyond Basics

You can REGISTER ONLINE until September 8. For full information, see The State Bar of California 89th Annual Meeting.

Webinar: Cultural Competency in Family Law Practice: Social and Legal Difficulties in Premarital Relationships

Thursday, October 27, 2016, 12 noon - 1:30 p.m.

This program offers 1.5 participatory MCLE credits in Legal Ethics, and 1.5 hours legal specialization credit in Family Law. You must register in advance to participate.

Four (4) California Family Law Practitioners with diverse legal backgrounds, rooted in Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America, will provide you with the laws of premarital behavior in four representative Jurisdictions.

Courtship, sexual relationship, pregnancy and childbirth, are not treated with the same no-fault rules of Dissolution of Marriage or Paternity (Maternity). The consequences may be violative of religious mandates and/or offend the social status of the Bride's and the Groom's families or society at large. The result may range from ostracization from community and family circles to incarceration, physicals harm, loss of limb or life. Similar rules and consequences dictate financial relationships and expectations both during courtship and marriage.

No serious family law practitioner can afford to miss this presentation.

Moderator: Abbas Hadjian

Speakers: Amaka Akudinobi, Diana L. Martinez, Elie Seyedian and David Yamamoto

Webinar: Cultural Competency in Family Law Practice: Marriage Law And Customs Across The Globe

Thursday, November 10, 2016, 12 noon - 1:30 p.m.

This program offers 1.5 participatory MCLE credits in Legal Ethics, and 1.5 hours legal specialization credit in Family Law. You must register in advance to participate.

In 1992, California law added Registration to Licensing requirement for a valid marriage between two Capable and Consenting man and a woman. In 2015 the limitation of opposite sexes were removed.  But not every jurisdiction in every legal system follows this and the same California law declares that "a marriage contracted outside this state that would be valid by the laws of the jurisdiction in which the marriage was contracted is valid in this state." 

For the first time, four (4) California Family Law attorneys, born, educated or practicing in four (4) Continents, under four (4) different legal systems help you to walk through the maze of global marriage.

 As California family law attorneys we have assumed the responsibility of recognizing and defending marriages of a diverse clientele in or outside of California under different laws and customs. Failure to understand and question the elements of a valid marriage is not a harmless error, but a gross legal mistake legalizing (or delegalization) marriages which did (or did not) exist.

Moderator: Abbas Hadjian

Speakers: Kelly Chang Rickert, Mauricio Leon de la Barra, Ann Mmeje and Warren R. Shiell

Member Benefits

Are you a Section member who wants to be reminded of all the benefits? Do you have a colleague on the fence about joining the Section? Being a Family Law Section member offers a number of great benefits.READ MORE

Other News

FlexCom congratulates Jocelyn Wallace Lewis on her Receipt of the Family Law Court Section Court Staff Award

We are pleased to have the opportunity to congratulate another fabulous Contra Costa County Clerk for receiving The State Bar Family Law Section Court Staff Award. This is the 3rd year in a row the State Bar has recognized the outstanding achievement of a member of the Contra Costa Family Law Community. Jocelyn Wallace Lewis follows in the footsteps of Commissioner Jeffrey Huffaker, who received a posthumous award for Excellence in family law and his clerk, Lisa Zeeb-Johnson who received the Court Staff award last year. The Honorable Judge Leslie Landau nominated Jocelyn. Judge Landau's nomination was so persuasive Jocelyn received a unanimous vote of confidence by that Section nominating committee.

Jocelyn, thank you for your hard work, hallmark grace under pressure and positive attitude that has made working in this sometimes difficult area of law more pleasant for everyone.

Thank You for Being a Section Member in 2016 - Here's 6 Hours MCLE in Legal Ethics!

We're very grateful for your membership in the Section. As a token of that, we're offering six hours of self-study MCLE credit in the area of Legal Ethics. The programs are posted in our Member's Only Area.

Simply watch the programs and read the accompanying materials, and keep track of having done so. You can report this to the State Bar when it's time to demonstrate your compliance with the MCLE requirements.

Know Your Legal Rights – Podcasts Now Available

The Family Law Section is a sponsor of the radio program “Know Your Legal Rights” hosted in the Bay Area by San Mateo Deputy District Attorney Chuck Finney. Mr. Finney welcomes attorneys and other professionals to talk about hot legal topics on a weekly basis. He routinely hosts members of FlexCom and other family law attorneys to educate the public on burgeoning issues important to our practice. FlexCom thanks Mr. Finney for providing our Section with this forum over the years.

If you are interested in listening to prior broadcasts focused on family law issues, the State Bar website now has a list that dates all the way back to when the Section first started sponsoring the program. Visit the Family Law Section page for additional details. For an entire list of podcasts hosted by Mr. Finney, please see HERE.

Save Money with CEB

CEB Discount Program for Section MembersContinuing Education of the Bar, California (CEB) is extending some special discount offers to our section. As a member of the Family Law Section, you're eligible for:

  • 10% off selected CEB print or online books
  • A rebate on your section dues that can be applied to the cost of a CEB Gold CLE Passport or a CLE program ticket

A complete list of the products eligible for a discount is available on a CEB web page accessible through our Members Only Area. Information about the section dues rebate program can be found on the CEB Web site.

Consumer Education PamphletsConsumer Education Pamphlets Available for Purchase

The State Bar of California's "Get the Legal Facts of Life" Pamphlets are available for purchase from the State Bar. These pamphlets are both educational and informative for your clients.

For more information, see Consumer Education Pamphlets or call the Education Pamphlet Hotline: 888-875-LAWS (888-875-5297).

Online and Self-Study CLE from the Family Law Section

Online AudioView Family Law Section programs over the internet for participatory MCLE credit . Choose from hundreds of hours of official State Bar of California MCLE programs. For more information, see streaming audio and video, and select Family Law Be sure to check out CLEtoGo , downloadable podcasts you can listen to on the BART, or on the drive in or from the office.

Making the Connection: The Family Law Section is on Social Media

https://www.facebook.com/calbarfamily http://www.twitter.com/calbarfamily

Who said family law lawyers weren’t social? A reminder, our Family Law Section is on Facebook and Twitter - join us! The Section sees social media as another way to connect our members with information as it develops. Stay in touch with us to learn about the great work being done by Section members across the state. You can Like us on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter at the links below.

Contact Us

Family Law Section
The State Bar of California
180 Howard Street
San Francisco, CA 94105-1639
415-538-2238
FAX 415-538-2368