New Year, New Laws for Family Law Attorneys

The California legislature has enacted new laws that may affect your family law practice. Here are some of the key statutory changes you need to know about. Continue reading

Choosing the Appropriate Elder Abuse Civil Protective Order

GettyImages-940320528 (1)Unfortunately, elder abuse is a much more rampant problem than we’d like to admit. In fact, studies show that approximately 10 percent of Americans aged 60 or over have experienced some form of elder abuse.

For attorneys with older or at-risk clients, it’s important to keep in mind the different protective orders available and to select the most appropriate order to ensure your client’s ongoing safety and welfare.

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New Year, New Laws for Family Law Attorneys

The California legislature has enacted several new laws that may affect your family law practice. Here are some of the key statutory changes you need to know about. Continue reading

Getting a Gun Violence Restraining Order

According to an alarming 2014 FBI study, nearly 68% of homicides involved the use of ThinkstockPhotos-506101244firearms, with over a quarter of victims killed by a family member. From these numbers alone, it’s clear to see the urgency of a client’s situation if he or she says a family member may resort to violence. One way to protect your client is to seek a gun violence restraining order.

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7 Facts Every Judge and Attorney Should Know When Domestic Violence Involves Strangulation

Family Justice Center AllianceThe following is a guest blog post by Hon. Alan Pendleton, Tenth Judicial District Court Judge in Anoka, Minnesota and Gael B. Strack, JD, CEO and Co-Founder of the Family Justice Center Alliance in San Diego.

The arrests of Ravens running back Ray Rice and San Francisco 49er defensive tackle Ray McDonald have, once again, thrust the ugly specter of domestic violence into the forefront of American consciousness. One of the most terrorizing and lethal forms of violence used by men against their female intimate partners is strangulation. Strangulation is much more common and serious than professionals have realized. Judges and attorneys who deal with perpetrators and victims of domestic violence need to be well-versed in the facts about strangulation; the most effective weapon against domestic violence is education and training. Continue reading

Sentencing Batterers

Sentencing across states in domestic violence cases sometimes seems almost random, or at least flawed. Famous cases of apparent sentencing favoritism, as with boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr’s lenient sentence in Las Vegas, can hurt the integrity of the system. But California has a domestic violence sentencing scheme that is not arbitrary; instead, it is aimed at fairness, with clear direction for judges. Continue reading

Modifying a Criminal Protective Order

Under California law, anytime a defendant is charged with a crime of domestic violence, the court must consider issuing a criminal protective order on its own motion. These orders are generally characterized as “no contact” or “stay-away” orders. Many victims and even defendants ask the court to modify its order to permit peaceful contact, as we recently saw in the case of San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi. Courts consider many factors in deciding whether to grant the modification. Continue reading

Judge Files Writ Petition Against Her Own Court

Judge Files Writ Petition Against Her Own CourtWhen a trial court grants probation in a case involving domestic violence, it is required under Pen C §1203.097 to impose numerous mandatory conditions of probation, including at least 36 months of probation, successful completion of a batterer’s program, and a criminal court protective order. As reported by the Recorder, there is a long history of courts failing to comply with these requirements. Last week, San Diego County Superior Court Judge DeAnn Salcido finally had enough of this noncompliance by her colleagues and went public.

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