Friday, February 28, 2014

Divorce Musical

From New York Times:

The set designer Mitchell Greenberg’s proscenium for "Til Divorce Do Us Part: The Musical" nicely suggests the show: enlarged Valentine’s Day candies — those hearts inscribed with messages — surround the stage. But these pink morsels don’t offer words of love; they have expressions like “Really?,” “Scram,” “Bite Me,” “Buh Bye” and “Be Mine Not.” They look good enough to eat. Maybe revenge truly is sweet.

Read more here.


February 28, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, February 27, 2014

There's An App for That

From StarTribune:

That’s right, there are smartphone apps — hundreds, actually — to guide couples through the sticky process of untangling a union.

“We’re in an app era,” said Bill Doherty, director of the Minnesota Couples on the Brink Project at the University of Minnesota. “Nowadays, people want to empower themselves with information without having to go to a professional to get it.”

But just as some doctors bemoan patients turning to Google to diagnose aches and pains, relationship experts are dubious about people trying to prevent a potential divorce with an app.

Read more here.


February 27, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Black "The Constitutional Limit of Zero Tolerance in Schools"

From Derek W. Black posted his article "The Constitutional Limit of Zero Tolerance in Schools" on SSRN.  Here is the abstract:

With the introduction of modern zero tolerance policies, schools now punish much more behavior than they ever have before. But not all the behavior is bad. Schools have expelled the student who brings aspirin or fingernail clippers to campus, who does not know that a keychain knife in his backpack, or who reports having taken away a knife from another student in order to keep everyone safe. Despite challenges to these examples, courts have upheld the suspension and expulsion of this good-faith, innocuous behavior. With little explanation, courts have opined that the Constitution places no meaningful limit on the application of zero tolerance policies. Indeed, courts have been so dismissive of constitutional challenges that most scholars all but concede the constitutionality of zero tolerance, arguing instead that schools should voluntarily adopt policy changes. This is incorrect. Although the constitution confers significant discretion on schools to regulate student behavior, that discretion does not include the authority to entirely strip students of their constitutional rights and punish them for any reason a school deems fit. This Article argues that fundamental principles of substantive due process limit zero tolerance. In particular, substantive due process prohibits state actors from (1) treating substantially dissimilarly situated students as though they are the same; (2) disregarding a student’s good-faith mistakes or innocence; and (3) presupposing the answers to due process inquiries so as to render hearings meaningless. Zero tolerance policies breach each of these principles and represent a broad overreach of state power, akin to the sort of state overreaching that the Supreme Court has struck down in related areas of juvenile justice. To comply with due process, the state must consider students’ intent and culpability, along with the potential harm posed by the behavior at issue. Contrary to conventional wisdom, courts can strike down zero tolerance policies that fail to take these steps without re-crafting constitutional doctrine.


February 26, 2014 in Scholarship, Family Law | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Recognition of Out-of-State Same-Sex Marriages in Kentucky

From WFPL News:

A federal judge ruled...that Kentucky must recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages—and the ruling may prelude further strikes against the state's 2004 same-sex marriage ban.

District Judge John G. Heyburn wrote that refusing to recognize same-sex marriages from outside the state violates the U.S. constitution's equal protection clause.

Read more here.


February 25, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, February 24, 2014

DiFonzo & Stern: "Intimate Associations: The Law and Culture of American Families"

The University of Michigan Press has just published Intimate Associations: The Law and Culture of American Families by J. Herbie DiFonzo and Ruth C. Stern. The book argues that all family forms should be respected and accorded legal equality. But at the same time, the social science evidence is clear that marriage is better than cohabitation for couples, for their children, and for society as a whole. The rise in divorce, cohabitation, single parenthood, and same-sex partnerships, along with an increase in surrogacy, adoption, and assisted reproductive technologies, have led to many and diverse configurations of families, or "intimate associations." The fluidity of modern families may give adults more personal choices, but it comes at the price of economic stability and social well-being. Drawing on a wealth of social science data, the book shows that, by a number of measures, children of married parents fare better than children in a household formed by cohabiting adults. This is not to condemn nontraditional families but rather to point out that society and, particularly, the law do not yet adequately provide for the needs of such families. The text applauds the ways in which courts and legislatures are beginning to replace rigid concepts of marriage and parenthood with the more flexible concept of “functional” family roles. Intimate Associations concludes with a call for the legal system to adapt to the continually changing reality of family life.

February 24, 2014 in Current Affairs, Scholarship, Family Law | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Conference: “Assessment Across the Curriculum”

Assessment Across The Curriculum

Institute for Law Teaching and Learning

Spring Conference 2014

Saturday, April 5, 2014


“Assessment Across the Curriculum” is a one-day conference for new and experienced law teachers who are interested in designing and implementing effective techniques for assessing student learning.  The conference will take place on Saturday, April 5, 2014, at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Conference Content:  Sessions will address topics such as

  • Formative Assessment in Large Classes
  • Classroom Assessment Techniques
  • Using Rubrics for Formative and Summative Assessment
  • Assessing the Ineffable: Professionalism, Judgment, and Teamwork
  • Assessment Techniques for Statutory or Transactional Courses

By the end of the conference, participants will have concrete ideas and assessment practices to take back to their students, colleagues, and institutions.

Who Should Attend:  This conference is for all law faculty (full-time and adjunct) who want to learn about best practices for course-level assessment of student learning.

Conference Structure:  The conference opens with an optional informal gathering on Friday evening, April 4.  The conference will officially start with an opening session on Saturday, April 5, followed by a series of workshops.  Breaks are scheduled with adequate time to provide participants with opportunities to discuss ideas from the conference.  The conference ends at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday.  Details about the conference are available on the websites of the Institute for Law Teaching and Learning ( and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law ( 

Conference Faculty:  Conference workshops will be taught by experienced faculty, including Michael Hunter Schwartz (UALR Bowen), Rory Bahadur (Washburn), Sandra Simpson (Gonzaga), Sophie Sparrow (University of New Hampshire), Lyn Entrikin (UALR Bowen), and Richard Neumann (Hofstra).

Accommodations:  A block of hotel rooms for conference participants has been reserved at The DoubleTree Little Rock, 424 West Markham Street, Little Rock, AR 72201.  Reservations may be made by calling the hotel directly at 501-372-4371, calling the DoubleTree Central Reservations System at 800-222-TREE, or booking online at  The group code to use when making reservations for the conference is “LAW.” 

February 23, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Transgender Case in TX

From StarTribune:

A Texas appeals court...overturned a judge's ruling that had voided the marriage of a transgender widow whose firefighter husband died battling a blaze.

The 13th Texas Court of Appeals sent the case of Nikki Araguz back to the lower court, saying "there is a genuine issue of material fact regarding (Araguz's) sex and whether the marriage was a same sex marriage."

In 2011, state District Judge Randy Clapp in Wharton County ruled that the marriage between Nikki Araguz and her husband Thomas Araguz was "void as a matter of law."

Read more here.


February 22, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, February 21, 2014

OH Court on Alimony/Child Support Modification

A recent Ohio Court of Appeals decision reversed a trial court for not onsidering all of a man's income in deciding his ex-wife's petition to modify his alimony and child support payments.  Download the decision here.


February 21, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Record Number of Women More Educated than Husbands

From Pew:

It used to be more common for a husband to have more education than his wife in America. But now, for the first time since Pew Research has tracked this trend over the past 50 years, the share of couples in which the wife is the one “marrying down” educationally is higher than those in which the husband has more education.

Read more here.


February 20, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Divorce Law Ads

A divorce lawyer's clever ads here.


February 19, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Friends Can Adopt Child

From the Christian Post:

A judge ruled that a New York City couple who are just friends can legally adopt a child, as mother and father, even though they live in different houses and have no commitment to each other besides friendship and the desire to raise a child together.

Read more here.


February 18, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, February 17, 2014

Upswing for Divorce Financial Planners

From Investment News:

Divorce financial planning has a Rodney Dangerfield history — it got no respect. Formerly besmirched by some as the ambulance chasers of the advice business, planners with this expertise are now becoming a recognized, established and sought-after group.

Read more here.


February 17, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Pot Talk for Parents

From  Jacoba Urist, writing for Today:

In retrospect, former first lady Nancy Reagan made the parental “pot talk” a bit easier with her "Just Say No" anti-drug message of the 1980s. 

But now that marijuana is legal in both Washington state and Colorado, parents are finding that talking to kids about pot is a more complicated conversation. Many are wondering: Should we focus more on responsible use, like families and schools do when discussing alcohol use?  

President Obama told the New Yorker that he doesn’t think smoking marijuana is “more dangerous than drinking alcohol.” However, he added: “It’s not something I encourage and I’ve told my daughters I think it’s a bad idea, a waste of time, not very healthy.”

For the most part, Colorado parents seem to share the president’s attitude. As more licensed marijuana shops pop up, parents are telling their kids the retailers are no different from liquor stores.

Read more here.


February 15, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day

February 14, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, February 13, 2014

For Singles Only This Valentine's Day

From Daily Mail:

A Chinese man has ensured that his movie night on Friday will not be ruined by snuggling couples, after he bought every other seat at a cinema in Shanghai. 

The unnamed man’s anti-Valentine’s triumph was made possible after he set up a campaign on a crowdfunding site in order to be able to afford all the tickets. 

Thanks to his campaign, a Valentine’s Day showing of the film Beijing Love Story at a movie theatre in the city’s Xintiandi shopping centre now only offers odd seats. 

Read more here.


February 13, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Contest for Free Divorce Ends Soon

From Jezebel:

If you're married but approaching Valentine's Day with loathing and dread because you're so, so done with your spouse, there's at least one attorney who wants to help you out. That's why he's running a contest for one free divorce. Ain't love grand?

Read more here.


February 13, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Offensive Ad

Why does the below TV ad depict America with only 1 woman (a cheerleader, of all possible roles) and no other diversity?

Ballpark Frank Ad - Broadcast Date 1-23-2014


February 12, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Divorcing in London

From CNBC:

January is famously the month in which more people file for divorce than any other. And if your marriage is at an end, you're a member of the international jet set and earn less than your partner, London seems to be the best place to secure a generous settlement.

Read more here.


February 12, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Unequal Pay...Again

From Huffington Post:

Women are significantly less likely than men to receive extended paid leave from their employer, a new poll shows.

In the last few years, just 27 percent of women were paid their full wage when they took more than seven days off to care for themselves, a sick family member or a new baby, the poll says. By contrast, 39 percent of men were paid their full wage during a similar period of leave.

The national survey, commissioned by American Women, the Rockefeller Family Fund, and the National Partnership for Women & Families, will be released in its entirety next week. The Huffington Post was offered a preview of the new findings on the discrepancies in extended paid leave among men and women.

Read more here.


Hat Tip: Naomi Cahn

February 11, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, February 10, 2014

Cancelled Groom's Sister

From Huffington Post:

A UK woman cancelled her brother's wedding without his knowledge all because she didn't like her sister-in-law-to-be, the Plymouth Herald reports.

Ann Duffy, 50, called the Plymouth Register Office back in November 2013, just 20 days before her brother's big day. Impersonating her now-sister-in-law, Duffy let the office know she wanted to cancel the wedding, a local court recently heard.

The master meddler then called her brother to fill him in on what she had done: “You better put this on speakerphone. I have saved you on the divorce," she said. "I have cancelled your wedding. Would you like me to send you the confirmation email?”

Unfortunately for Duffy, her big plan didn't go quite as she had hoped. Her brother's financée promptly called the police to report the incident and the couple was able to rebook the wedding the next day.

Read more here.


February 10, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)