Saturday, September 1, 2012

Representing Parent in Divorce

From the ABA Journal:

Family unity anyone? At a gut level, one might think it is a bad idea for a child who is a lawyer to represent a parent in a divorce case involving the other parent as the respondent, points out the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

However, it isn't a clear conflict of interest for an attorney to do so, absent specific issues that weren't shown in the divorce case in question, the Nevada Supreme Court has ruled. Hence it granted a writ of mandamus sought by the father, finding that a trial court abused its discretion by disqualifying Mark T. Liapis from representing his father, Theodore L. Liapis.

Read more here.

MR

September 1, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Partain: "Comparative Family Law, Korean Family Law, and the Missing Definitions of Family"

Roy Andrew Partain (Soongsil College of Law) has posted Comparative Family Law, Korean Family Law, and the Missing Definitions of Family,13 HongIk University Journal of Law (June 2012) on SSRN.  Here is the abstract:

This article uses comparative law to analyze the concept of ‘family’. In particular, the research focuses on how family is defined when a family group assembles outside of a nuclear marital family. The article discovers that ‘family’ is rarely defined outside of the concept of marriage in modern legal codes. However, eight characteristics and identifying behaviors of families can be found in the analysis of family law. These eight concepts are used to rebuild a potential definition of family that does not require the act of marriage. 

This article proposes that family law should include a parallel definition for families that do not meet current marital definitions of family. This article does not advocate changing current marriage codes; it merely suggests adding room for non-nuclear families in family law. These other, non-nuclear families deserve legal support and recognition. It is time for family law to recognize that all families need legal protection and legal affirmation as families. 

The reason to focus on family outside of the concept of marriage is that many family-type groups today fulfill the role of family life without legal recognition. These families serve broader societal goals of raising children, of providing for the elderly, and of sharing the burdens and responsibilities of life in a small group setting. Family law should extend the legal notion of family to include a wider array of options for non-nuclear families.

These types of families are all ‘normal’ families in some sense of the idea of family, but they may simply lack two central ingredients: marriage and a nuclear spousal pair.  These types of families should have as much legal right to formally exist as families based in nuclear marriage and sexually-based procreation. Specifically, there should be a legal entity called a “family” that serves a small group of individuals living in some form of interdependency under a common roof. The basic argument is to provide a parallel option for these types of alternative families alongside the traditional marriage-based family option.

MR

August 30, 2012 in Scholarship, Family Law | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

November Referendum on Gay Marriage in Maryland

From the New York Times:

WASHINGTON — When Marylanders go to the polls in November, the state could become the first to affirm same-sex marriage in a popular vote.

In March, lawmakers in Maryland approved a measure to allow such unions, but it came with a built-in escape hatch: it would not take effect until 2013.

The waiting period was intended as a compromise with opponents of the measure and as an insurance policy for supporters. Lawmakers feared validating marriages for a period, only to have them overturned by a popular vote later, as happened with Proposition 8 in California.

Opponents of same-sex marriage in Maryland seized the opportunity to contest the law and gathered more than 100,000 signatures to put a referendum on the November ballot, setting the stage for a renewed debate on the issue.

Read more here.

MR

Hat Tip: Naomi Cahn

 

August 29, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sleeping Beauties

From Orange News:

An art installation in Kiev features five real-life sleeping beauties - who have to marry a man who kisses them if they open their eyes.

The women are to lie 'sleeping' for three days as part of artist Taras Polataiko's installation in the National Art Museum of Ukraine.

As they sleep, men survey and kiss the women, trying to wake them, reports the Daily Telegraph.

Read more here.

MR

Hat Tip: FS

August 29, 2012 in Marriage (impediments) | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

French Bill Legalizes Gay Marriage

From the Wall Street Journal:

The French government will introduce legislation in October authorizing gay marriage, a move that would bring France in line with a host of European countries and fulfill an election promise of President François Hollande.

"In October, we will send a bill to the National Assembly and the Senate to allow same-sex couples to marry," French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said Saturday in an address to Socialist Party members at their annual gathering in the Atlantic port town of La Rochelle. "It would also allow them to form families and adopt children," Mr. Ayrault added.

Mr. Hollande's Socialist Party controls both houses of Parliament, rendering the passage of a gay-marriage bill more likely.

Read more here.

MR

Hat Tip: Naomi Cahn

August 28, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, August 27, 2012

Pearson: "Displaced Mothers, Absent and Unnatural Fathers: LGBT Transracial Adoption"

Kim H. Pearson (Gonzaga University - School of Law) has posted Displaced Mothers, Absent and Unnatural Fathers: LGBT Transracial Adoption, 19 Michigan Journal of Gender & Law 149 (2012).  Here is the abstract:

This paper interrogates race contestation and sexual orientation transmission fears, showing that race and sexual orientation appear to have developed in a parallel fashion in court decisions and advocacy rhetoric. At the point of intersection in LGBT transracial adoption, race and orientation appear to be in competition, as though Black and gay cannot co-exist. Historically, courts have devalued racial identity transmission from parents of color and expressed fear of LGBT child outcomes. Over time, courts have moved towards seemingly neutral standards; however, these standards cover homophobia and racism. 

Media and advocacy discourse pitting Black against gay has appeared in the context of Proposition 8 and Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. LGBT transracial adoption appears to be another iteration of Black versus gay competition for the right to parent children of color. The staging of Black versus gay discourse in the context of transracial LGBT adoption reinforces stereotypes that gay fathers are male, white, and privileged, that Black fathers are absent, hyper-masculine and heterosexual, and that Black children are unwanted, damaged and dangerous. Reliance on these pernicious stereotypes creates structural costs such as obscuring the existence of LGBT families of color, concealing the history of lesbian mothering, displacing Black women as mothers, characterizing Black boys as damaged and dangerous, fixing gay men as parents of last resort, failing to acknowledge the social forces that remove Black men from the home, preventing coalition building between various groups with similar interests, and limiting the resources available to LGBT transracial families.

Read more here.

MR

 

August 27, 2012 in Scholarship, Family Law | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)