Civil Procedure Family Law

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Court Determines that Stepchild Does Not Fall Under Definition of Child

The Ninth Circuit upheld the Board of Immigration Appeals’ denial of the petitioner’s claim that he derived citizenship under INA §320(a) from his U.S. citizen stepfather, who married his non-citizen mother after he was born...more

You’ve Been (Virtually) Served; From Facebook Friend to Process Server: Service of Process Via Facebook Messenger

It is no secret that social media has changed the face of the world in the last decade. Just ask Grumpy Cat. What is less evident, although no less true, is how social media has impacted the practice of law in the same amount...more

Appellate Court Notes

Supreme Court Advance Release Opinions: SC19203 - Tilcon Connecticut, Inc. v. Commissioner of Environmental Protection - Applicant sought a water diversion permit for some of its quarries for water used in its rock...more

Appellate Court Notes

Appellate Court Advance Release Opinions: - AC35173 - State v. Mosback - AC36907 - Rodriguez v. Commissioner of Correction - AC36499 - Zilkha v. Zilkha After a judgment of dissolution, the plaintiff...more

Living Separate and Apart: More Than Just Moving Out of the Bedroom

On July 20, 2015, in the seminal case of In re Marriage of Davis, the California Supreme Court ruled that a couple is only living separate and apart when they no longer reside together under the same roof. Thus, while the...more

Marriage Equality – Law Of The Ninth Circuit And Law Of The Land

Sometimes, things become clear when you are forced to explain them in simple terms. As I prepared to travel to San Francisco last September to join the legal team at oral argument before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, I...more

How Do I Appeal a Divorce Judgment?

All too often after a divorce trial, one or both parties is unhappy with the decision reached by the trial judge. It could be about property division issues, custody and parenting, support or other matters within the...more

Husband Permitted to Seek Attorney's Fees Against Wife for Her Failure to Comply with Prenuptial Agreement

In the 2015 Pennsylvania Superior Court Non-precedential Decision, Boer v. Pott, the Court confirmed husband's right to seek attorney's fees against wife due to wife's failure to comply with the parties' prenuptial agreement....more

Be Careful whom you friend on Facebook. When things go south, your next message may have a summons and complaint attached.

The few decisions addressing the propriety of service via social media reportedly are split on the issue. In a situation that is likely to become more common, a New York County Supreme Court Judge, Matthew Cooper, ruled...more

Appeals: Not All Courts Are Created Equal

Hi there, I hope you are all staying cool. It’s brutal out there today! The court system is hierarchical. Each court has authority to render judgments and decisions but until you hit the Supreme Judicial Court,...more

Where Attorney Fees Are An Incident To A Cause Of Action, They Need Not Be Pleaded And Proven

In Faton v. Ahmedo, 2015 DJDAR 5256, the California Court of Appeal for the Fourth Appellate District held that where an attorney fee request is a mere “incident to a cause of action,” they need not be pleaded and proven, as...more

Social media campaign ends in disbarment for lawyer

Lawyers using social media: beware! The Louisiana Supreme Court has disbarred a lawyer for launching a “viral campaign to influence and intimidate” judges who presided over her friend’s child custody dispute. In...more

Bloggers Beware! The Admissibility of Blog Entries As Admissions Against Interest

In this day in age, you really can find anything on the Internet. That is the good news and the bad news for attorneys and clients alike. With the popularity of online web logs, or “blogs,” on the rise, odds are that your...more

Jurisdiction, Counsel Fees in Child Custody Revisited by Court

In November 2014, the Pennsylvania Superior Court case of T.A.M. v. S.L.M., 104 A.3d 30 (Pa. Super. 2014), addressed modification of a child custody order under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act...more

Supreme Court of Canada Clarifies Boundaries Between Provincial and Federal Courts

Robert Strickland and five other applicants sought to challenge the Federal Child Support Guidelines as unlawful. They argue that the Guidelines are not authorized by the Divorce Act. Unfortunately, this important issue,...more

Relocation – Mission Impossible?

On Friday June 5, 2014, the Maricopa County Bar Association hosted its annual Trial Advocacy Seminar. Each year, the organizers select a topic and create a fact pattern designed to challenge the family law judges that serve...more

Now That Same-Sex Marriage is a Constitutional Right, How Do Employers Administer FMLA Leave?

Earlier this year, the Department of Labor issued a final rule allowing an otherwise eligible employee to take FMLA leave to care for a same-sex spouse, regardless of whether the employee lives in a state that recognized...more

Bankruptcy Beat: Bankruptcy Court Finds Debt To Third Party To Be A Non-Dischargable Debt Incurred In Connection With a Divorce

Bankruptcy Judge Albert Dabrowski was faced with a unique set of circumstances arising as a result of the intersection of a state court divorce action and a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case. In the matter of Corrine Sawyer v. Scott...more

Is Your Spouse Underemployed (Not Unemployed, but Underemployed)?

He’s making a living, working 9 to 5, but now his wife believes he could be making more. He’s a smart man, with a Master’s degree, and 18 years of experience in his field. However, he earns under $75,000 a year, and with the...more

Is There a Presumption in Favor of Equal Parenting Time?

While there is no formal ‘presumption’ of equal parenting time, the policy of the State of Arizona is clear. The policy is to ensure “substantial, frequent, meaningful and continuing parenting time with both...more

Grandparent Custody Rights in Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania, grandparents and great-grandparents have physical custody rights surrounding their grandchildren. In rare circumstances, grandparents can request and win primary physical custody of their grandchildren. ...more

Worldwide Bound: the Hague Service Convention in International Family Law Cases

As a family lawyer in Silicon Valley, I often work with clients with international issues: enforcing judgments in Europe, dividing property abroad or obtaining custody orders when the parents live on different continents. A...more

Court Warns That Marriage Does Not Render A Spouse Automatically Entitled To Preexisting Life Insurance Policies

In a recent unpublished decision, the New Jersey Appellate Division has again stressed the importance of complying with the beneficiary designation requirements contained in life insurance policies. See Fox v. Lincoln...more

FMLA’s New Definition of “Spouse” Halted in Four States

The Department of Labor’s revised definition of “spouse” under the FMLA was recently struck down in Texas. On March 26, 2015, in Texas v. United States, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas...more

Pennsylvania Law Re: Execution Against Entireties Property – Not Entirely Obvious

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is one of many jurisdictions in the United States that recognizes a concept known as or similar to “tenancy by the entireties.” This refers to a form of property ownership unique to married...more

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