Family Law

I feel the last time we talked about a family court proceeding, it was horrible. Magistrate Patricia Doninger was caught on camera ignoring the pleas of a woman who was sexually assaulted by one of her court marshals.

It appears that Doninger has finally been relieved of her duties. With that out of the way, maybe we should focus on people who take a little more pride and concern when adjudicating family disputes.

The ideal family court judge should have one primary concern, and that is what is best for the children. Today we have a judge who intrinsically understands that “going to Disneyland” is always what’s best for the children…

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A disturbing video is making its way around social media today. It’s a six-minute family court video from August 2011 of a woman who complains that a marshal sexually assaulted her in a back room. The woman becomes increasingly agitated as the marshal, who is in the courtroom, then arrests her for “making false allegations about a police officer,” all while the magistrate plays with the woman’s child, at least until the child begs the arresting officer to not take her momma away.

It’s really tough to watch. Even I became emotional while watching the clip. And the marshal has since been dismissed. Most of the internet outrage is focused on the cop. Me, I can honestly say that after watching this I wish nothing but the absolute worst for Clark County Hearings Master Patricia Doninger. I think I’d rather see Edith Jones on the Supreme freaking Court than have this person “preside” over a game of Family Feud, much less be within shouting distance of a family court…

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Are partners just puppets of their law firms’ clients?

Mr. Armstrong sat at the controls of Morgan Stanley, which employed and paid Blank Rome millions of dollars in fees, thus allowing Blank Rome to be the ultimate ‘puppet master,’ as Blank Rome could control Ms. Armstrong’s divorce litigation in a manner designed to protect Morgan Stanley.

Jonathan Sack, counsel to Kristina Armstrong, in a malpractice lawsuit that Armstrong just filed against her former divorce lawyers at Blank Rome.

(More about Armstrong’s allegations, after the jump.)

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* If an armed society is a polite society, then Nelson, Georgia has the most polite motherf**kers in the country. [Constitutional Daily]

* Professor X is breaking the law? You know, he really should have seen that coming… [Law and the Multiverse]

* Speaking of people who should have seen it coming, Dionne Warwick, former spokesperson for the Psychic Friends Network, has filed for bankruptcy. [Celeb Legal Issues]

* Incest is best when kept in the family. So go ahead and adopt your girlfriend. [Lowering the Bar]

* “Your Honor, I’d like my dong stricken from the record.” [OC Weekly]

* A slick recap of how completely screwed the legal industry is right now, by Axiom Law (via Bruce MacEwen). [Adam Smith, Esq.]

* On a personal note, as a debate coach myself, congratulations to everyone involved with the Emporia State debate team for becoming the first team ever to win both national championship tournaments (by way of analogy the “U.S. Open” and “The Masters”) for the same year. [Associated Press]

This is depressing.

Authorities suspect that a family law attorney practicing in suburban Denver was murdered, and her body was found by cleaning staff in her office building.

The police are offering a reward….

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About to kiss, or kill each other?

Marriage can be a tricky business, especially when it comes to an end. Just ask the former Skadden partner whose remarkable departure memo has everyone talking. Both his former and current marriage have attracted a lot of attention.

And at least his marriages were between one man and one woman. When same-sex unions fall apart, things can get especially complicated….

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Sexytary, at your service?

* Should the mentally disabled receive the death penalty? Neither SCOTUS nor Georgia’s Supreme Court stayed Warren Lee Hill’s execution, but the Eleventh Circuit saved the day. [Washington Post]

* If you’re looking for a mishmosh of Biglaw news, from new offices to new hires to new firm leaders, then look no further. If only this list were in alphabetical order! [Law Firm Insider / U.S. News & World Report]

* Dewey know why this partner who was sued by Barclays in the U.K. over his capital loan is suing the bank in the U.S.? It involves an alleged fraud and Joel Sanders. [Thomson Reuters News & Insight]

* So much for that “silly sideshow”: Judge Richard Sullivan of the S.D.N.Y. hasn’t made a ruling in the Greenlight case yet, but he says David Einhorn may have a “likelihood of success on the merits” if the matter proceeds further. [Bloomberg]

* One of the partners at this small law firm apparently watched Secretary a few too many times, and he’s now accused of threatening to “whip” his ex-assistant into shape because she was a “bad girl.” [New York Post]

* The University of Utah’s S.J. Quinney College of Law named an interim successor to former dean Hiram Chodosh, but we can’t say he’s a law dean hottie. He looks like Van Pelt from Jumanji. [Salt Lake Tribune]

* The Catholic University of America’s Columbus School of Law will house the first clinic in the nation devoted to pardons and the law. It figures that a religious school would focus on legal Hail Marys. [Blog of Legal Times]

* Career alternatives for law school dropouts: mining magnate and financier of the Titanic II. Much like the value proposition of going to law school for today’s generation, this idea is unsinkable. [New York Times]

* Prosecutors have upgraded the charge against Oscar Pistorius to premeditated murder, and one could now say the track star doesn’t have a leg to stand on when it comes to being released on bail pending trial. [CNN]

* D is for… divorce? Sesame Street is talking about divorce in a way that children can understand, but alas, the series neglects important topics like “why mommy is a whore” and “why daddy drinks.” [Law Firm Newswire]

I think if you can dye your hair or fix your nose, you can change your name.

Raoul Felder, the high-profile divorce lawyer, commenting on the trend of divorcées making up completely new names for themselves upon getting divorced.

(Continue reading for Felder’s harsh indictment of legal education.)

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She’d just had her divorce finalized, and she was celebrating. I’d never thought about that before—celebrating divorce. So, I thought, why not do something special for Valentine’s Day? You can’t find a new love before you close the chapter on the old.

Walter H. Bentley III, a Michigan lawyer, explaining how he came up with the idea to hold a contest with the grand prize of a free divorce in honor of Valentine’s Day. If you’d like to submit an entry, you can do so here.

(Continue reading for some video coverage on Bentley’s competition.)

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If Law & Order were still around, this would make for a good episode. A Manhattan lawyer was accused by his sister-in-law of sexual assault. But now the lawyer has filed a countersuit claiming defamation. He says that he and his sister-in-law engaged in a consensual sexual relationship as he was trying to help her conceive.

Why does he say he did it? Because he respects her husband (his brother-in-law) so much!

You’ve got to love the self-importance of Manhattan attorneys….

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