Saturday, June 22, 2013

Japan & Hague Concention on Int'l Child Abduction

From the Japan Times:

Giant Hello Kitty-emblazoned kudos to Japan for finally signing the Hague Convention on International Child Abduction. Now comes the hard part: actually making it work.

Read more here.

MR

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/family_law/2013/06/japan-hague-concention-on-intl-child-abduction.html

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Jury Awards $300 Million to Children Kidnapped by Social Worker - Judge Throws Out Award

Southerland v. Woo is a lawsuit against New York City (actually, a city worker, but the City is providing the legal defense) where the defendant, Timothy Woo, is accused of kidnapping 6 children (Southerland children) using his governmental authority as a social worker for New York City.

The case went to trial on June 3. Judge Brian M. Cogan presided over the trial. After hearing all the evidence, the jury of six deadlocked because one juror could not, according to religious restrictions, pass judgment on any other human being. The consensus with the remaining jurors was that Woo's culpability had been established and that the proper damage award was $300 million. The jurors also concluded that the allegations of physical and sexual abuse against the father were fabricated in order to discredit the father, turn public opinion against the family, and shield Woo from liability. As all the children testified unequivocally, their father never abused them in any way. Anyone that knows Sonny Southerland Sr. personally also knows that he wouldn't hurt or abuse any person or other living thing.

Although Judge Cogan should have removed the dissenting juror, so that the alternate 7th juror could have taken his place, Judge Cogan instead ruled that the City's written agreement to seat the alternate and/or proceed to a verdict with less than 6 jurors was a typographical error. Judge Cogan then declared a mistrial and dismissed the jury, thereby throwing out the $300 million verdict.

Upon questioning after trial, several jurors confirmed that the only barrier to reaching a unanimous verdict was the sole juror who claimed during deliberations that he was prohibited from passing judgment on other people. However, all potential jurors swore under oath at the beginning of trial that there were no reasons why they could not pass judgment on someone. In sum, Judge Cogan threw out the verdict unlawfully.

Posted by: Southerland V. Woo | Jun 22, 2013 2:53:12 PM

For those of us who work in the field of family law, we know that Japan ratifying the Hague Convention has been a long time coming.

Posted by: Tulsa Divorce Lawyer | Jul 24, 2013 11:43:47 AM

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