September 3, 2011
Maternity Leave When Surrogate Used
From ABC News:
In a case that mixes reproductive technology, family law and employment law, a woman who used a surrogate to give birth to her twins is suing her employer and a senior human resources analyst in a U.S. District Court in Massachusetts for refusing to grant her paid maternity leave.
Kara Krill, a clinical business manager on New York's Long Island, has claimed breach of contract, breach of good faith and fair dealing, discrimination on the basis of her disability and gender, and negligent misrepresentation on the part of Cubist Pharmaceuticals, headquartered in Lexington, Mass. She seeks an injunction and compensatory and punitive damages for employment law violations.
Read more here.
September 2, 2011
Guest Post by T.K. Chang: Divorce Law Uproar in China
There has been a huge uproar recently in the Chinese blogosphere and press over a recent court decision on divorce law. The Chinese Supreme Court had decided on August 12 that real estate that is registered in the name of one spouse remains that spouse’s property after divorce. The Chinese real estate market has been booming in recent years, and the decision of course immediately caused many Chinese couples to transfer real estate registered in the name of one spouse to joint ownership. But all were shocked to discover that the transfer was slapped with hefty real estate transfer taxes based on the value of property transferred. In order to placate the raging controversy, the Chinese Tax Bureau announced today that starting Sept. 1, all such transfers of real estate from one spouse to joint ownership would be tax-free.
Ivy Law Group LLC
The Ivy Law Group, based in New York and Beijing, provides advice on Chinese law. T.K. Chang is a graduate of Harvard Law School and has practiced law for 27 years in Beijing, Hong Kong and New York.
August 31, 2011
Greek Family Law Abolishes Shariah
It is being reported that family law reforms in Greece will abolish the Shariah for Greek Muslims, which permits polygamy and permits only men to divorce their spouses. Read more here.
Book Review by Carbone and Cahn
On the Concurring Opinions blog, Professors June Carbone and Naomi Cahn review a new book by Stanford Law's Richard Banks, which is entitled Is Marriage for White People? How African American Marriage Decline Affects Everyone.
Carbone and Cahn write:
As in 1965, however, the notable exception to the rosy picture for family stability, at least for the elite, comes from African-Americans. While the white non-marital birth rate for college graduates has stayed at 2%; for African-American college graduates, the numbers are rising and now approach the 25% level that caused such alarm at the time of the Moynihan report. National Marriage Project, fig. S.2, p. 56.
Stanford Law Professor Richard Banks, in a book that has already triggered fireworks, courageously addresses the issue. In Is Marriage for White People? How the African American Marriage Decline Affects Everyone, he points out the enormous disparity between the marriage rates of black men and black women and the fact that the issue is no longer one limited to the black underclass. While marriage has effectively disappeared from the poorest communities (the non-marital birth rates for black high school dropouts is 96%), Banks’ concern is successful African-American women. Their marriage rates have been dropping, and their dissatisfaction with the behavior of black men is the subject of plays, movies and Banks’ book. Banks’ explanation is straightforward: black women have been so disproportionately successful that they outnumber the men. So, too, is his solution. He writes the book to argue that the only realistic choice for African-American women is to marry outside the race and as a prominent African-American male, he is effectively giving them permission.
Read more of the book review here.
August 30, 2011
Mel Gibson's Child Custody Settled
From the New York Times:
Mel Gibson and his ex-girlfriend on Friday settled a deeply bitter custody dispute over their young daughter which led to the Oscar winner's plea of no contest to domestic violence earlier this year.
Los Angeles Superior Court said in a statement an agreement was complete and terms will be heard on August 31. A spokesman for the "Braveheart" film director confirmed the parties had settled.
Read more here.
August 29, 2011
Scope of Students' First Amendment Rights
An Indiana school district might appeal a summary judgment that said it violated two students' First Amendment rights by punishing them for posting racy photos to social networking sites, the district's lawyer said.
As schools and courts grapple with determining where a school's authority ends online, more First Amendment cases like this one will crop up, said Catherine Ross, a professor at The George Washington University Law School and author of the forthcoming "The Troubled First Amendment in Our Public Schools."
"Traditionally, one could talk about a kind of geographical analogy with speech in schools," Ross said. "It was fairly clear what speech took place in school and what speech took place out of school."
New tests are starting to emerge to determine whether online speech takes place "in" school, such as determining whether the person who created the speech made it available at school. Without such distinctions, "the school would become almost a police state that could reach out and discipline students for what they do anywhere," Ross said.
Read more here.