LA Mediators

Mediators of Southern California

Mixing it up at SBCBA program and capturing as much talk as possible!

Last week, I attended the San Bernardino County Bar Assc., Family Law Section who presented the 2010 Bench Bar Symposium Family Law Practices and Issues. The Presiding Judge Douglas Elwell spoke on the Current Family Law Issues. Commissioners, Michael Gassner and Michael Torchia spoke on "Recommendations from the Elkins Family Law Task Force" I have posted the article below.

Mediation was the subject of conversation in most of the circles that I branched off into during the night while listening to the frustrations from many attorneys because there is no one size fits all in this system. ( my interpretation) However, we all know that there can be just that in our profession. How magical is mediation when the parties all fit into a size “6” then go off into the world with less stress, more money and more time. You know the saying "A penny saved is a penny earned".

Later into the night, Commissioner David Proulx shared some interesting facts in regards to going through a divorce while having an interest in a business during this poor economy. I have shared some case law for options in this scenario below. This is priceless information if you mediate these types of disputes.

One hot topic was procedural problems when c/s, c/v & c/c orders are incorporated into TRO orders and the TRO gets dismissed. This can cause major issues for parties in these types of disputes. I see it as a mediator’s advantage because this alone can be a major marketing tool for any FL Mediator. Capturing the parties before the ugly gets uglier and saving them from the broken system. I have mediated a couple TRO cases and in both cases the parties informed me that if they knew there was an alternative to filing a motion at court they would have opt to choose mediation first. The more public awareness we can promote the more parties in dispute will dance to our table. (at least that is our goal) So lets keep promoting mediation and I hope you can get everyone to Dance to the ADR music around YOUR table! This gets me thinking that we all should put together an LA Mediator’s theme song. How fun that would be! Then we can market it and really get the PUBLIC to DANCE to a different tune following the Bee Gees lead. "You should be dancing...yeah" Besides, we will need our own theme song when we can finally produce our LA Mediators Mediation Public Awareness Videos. Now that should give them something to talk about. ( nothing wrong with a lil Bonnie Raitt ....how about mediation...besides next best thing to love)

I tried to capture as much information as I could gather and listen to the problems that were arising in the court system. I did capture so much talk that night that I had to drive home with my windows down just to let all that talk out. But, it didn’t end up being just Dust in the Wind but, valuable pocketed information that I couldn’t wait to share with my friends and colleges here on ning. J

With all that said, I hope you enjoy the below information and keep on dancing and smiling to the music of Mediation!

Kym Adams

Elkins Family Law Task Force

Work of the Task Force

Over the course of its work, the task force held 10 in-person meetings plus 2 additional in-person meetings dedicated to hearing comments from the public. The meetings occurred in San Francisco (June, September, November 2008, May 2009, August 2009, and February 2010), Los Angeles (February 2009), and a Litigant and Advocate Input Group meeting on April 6, 2009 in San Francisco. Public Hearings on the Draft Recommendations were held in Los Angeles and San Francisco in October 2009. At the February 1 and 2, 2010 meetings in San Francisco, the task force review and considered the public comments on the draft recommendations and discussed the proposed revisions of the draft recommendations.

The Elkins Family Law Task Force presented its final recommendations to increase access to justice, ensure due process, and provide for more effective and consistent rules, policies, and procedures in family court. These recommendations were presented to the Judicial Council of California meeting on April 23, 2010. The Judicial Council accepted the report and recommendations.

The Elkins Family Law Task Force is grateful to the many people who have submitted written comments or who participated in the public hearings and meetings on the draft recommendations. The active involvement of people who have experience in the family courts has informed the work of the Task Force. Thank you for taking the time to share your comments and suggestions to ensure a comprehensive review of the family courts.

Judicial Council Report (PDF)

Final Report and Recommendations (April 2010, PDF)

Executive Summary (PDF)

Comment Chart (PDF)

Dissolving Small c/p Business in Bad Economic Times

The spouse operating the family business claims that business profits have decreased and that there is no profits due to the poor economy. Parties have been separated for over a year. There is no money for lawyers, no money for accountants, no agreement regarding cash flow. Tax returns/ P and L’s may not be current or may not be provided to the other party. The only evidence may be from the lips of the parties only. What choices are there? We know Mediation is always best and that the parties should always have some kind of understanding of the law.

Valuation and Division of Marital Assets

1. Cream, 13 call app 4th 81

2. Fonstein, 17 cal 3d 738

3. Kilbourne, 232 cal app 3d 738

4. Hewitson, 142 cal app 3d 874 ( I&E)

5. Lotz, 120 cal app 3d 379 (Inkind)

6. Burlini, 143 cal app 3d 379

7. Smith, 79 cal app 3d 725

8. Iredale, 121 cal app 4th 321

9. Kozen, 185 cal app 3d 1258 (Burger King case)

10. Economou, 224 cal app 3d 1466

11. Ackerman, 146 Cal app 4th 191

Valuation and Division of c/p Stock

1. Brigden, 80 call app 3d 381

2. Micalizio, 199 cal app 3d 662

3. Rosan, 24 cal app 3d 885

4. Nichols, 27 cal app 4th 661

Alternate Valuation Date

1. Stevenson, 20 app 4th 250 (value as of D of S)

2. Nelson, 139 cal app 4th 1546

3. Duncan, 90 cal app 4th 617

Goodwill

1. Hargrave, 163 cal app 3d 346

2. Lopez, 38 cal app 3d 93

3. Foster, 42 cal app 3d 577

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Tags: Mediation

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Comment by Glenn M. Gottlieb on May 20, 2010 at 11:53pm
This is a great post, Kym! Thanks for all the valuable information. Yeah, an LA Mediators theme song - sounds like a job for our esteemed President and his musical talent!!

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