Family Law Quarterly
Volume 45, No. 1 (Spring 2011)
Symposium on Ethical Issues and Trends in Family Law
Table of Contents
In Memoriam--Louise B. Raggio
Debra H. Lehrmann
Robert J. Levy, Issue Editor
It is common knowledge that across the country domestic relations cases produce a large proportion of complaints filed with ethics enforcement agencies. This article serves as an introduction to this issue and focuses on ethical rules and practice precepts and how those precepts are enforced.
Selecting and Using a Capable, Ethical Financial Expert in Dissolution Practice
Stephen G. Dennis
This article explores the role of a financial expert in dissolution cases. It focuses on the major ethical issues financial experts need to address and how they affect interactions with family lawyers who retain the experts.
Confronting Ethical Issues in Practice: The Trial Lawyer's Dilemma
Alan C. Eidsness & Lisa T. Spencer
This article references the American Bar Association Model Rules of Professional Conduct, which have been adopted in whole or in part by the judiciaries or bar association in forty-nine states, and looks at how family law attorneys can balance zealous advocacy with the need to maintain professional and ethical standards of conduct, even in the heat of litigation.
Settling Dissolution Cases: Court Rules and Judges' Roles
This article examines the nuances of some of the most frequently occurring ethical dilemmas trial advocates are likely to confront in practice: misrepresentations or omissions to an opposing party or the tribunal, intentional delay of a legal proceeding, and the overly “sandpapered” witness. It also covers some ethical concerns that arise in limited-scope representation.
Pro Se Litigation in Times of Financial Hardship––A Legal Crisis and Its Solutions
Richard W. Painter
This article summarizes the ABA White Paper on Pro Se Litigants and critiques the study and the ABA’s response to it. The author identifies the problems of pro se litigants—especially in divorce cases––and suggests alternative approaches to low-cost legal services as well as how to regulate alternative discounted legal services.
Choking on Statutes Revisited: A History of Legislative Preemption of Common Law Regarding Child Custody
John J. Sampson
This article describes one part of the massive expansion and extensive legislative specification of family law policies in Texas throughout the last four decades. Most of the changes in the allocation of "parental custody and visitation" in the Texas Family Code are tracked from 1973 through 1995. The consequence has been intermittent tension between legislators and the judiciary, as well as continuing pressure on legislators from constituents, lawyers, sometimes judges, and divorcing or divorced parents, determined "to improve" the Code and often to revisit old battle grounds and to relitigate political and policy issues.
Confidential Mini Child-Custody Evaluations: Another ADR Option
Forrest S. Mosten
This article explores the use of Confidential Mini-Evaluations (CME), an alternative evaluation process that is designed to provide parties with the information vital to reaching a consensual dissolution agreement.