Divorce

Divorce

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Another Judge On "Facebook" Gets In Trouble, Claims Free Speech

http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/judge_rebuked_for_posting_on_facebook_about_trials_she_was_overseeing_says

BEFORE READING THE STORY------  It's common sense. JUDGES should not be on "Facebook" talking about their cases.  End of story. In fact, most attorneys should avoid Facebook as well....

Judge rebuked for posting on Facebook about trials she was overseeing says ethics panel got it wrong



At least one mistrial resulted because a Texas judge posted on her Facebook account about trials she was overseeing, a judicial ethics panel noted in its decision rebuking her for the practice.
However, 405th District Judge Michelle Slaughter says she did nothing wrong by discussing the cases on her Facebook page and intends to appeal the determination by the state Commission on Judicial Conduct earlier this month. It imposed a public admonition and required the Galveston County jurist to educate herself about social media ethics rules for judges...
In a written statement provided Friday to the Chronicle, Slaughter cited her First Amendment rights and said she had included only publicly available information in her Facebook posts about trials in which she was the presiding judge.
“I will always conduct my proceedings in a fair and impartial way,” she wrote. “The commission’s opinion appears to unduly restrict transparency and openness in government and in our judiciary.”
The commission said Slaughter’s reference to material that wasn’t yet in evidence, as well as a Reuters news article, in her Facebook posts clearly violated ethics rules that were intended to assure the public that judges would oversee cases fairly and impartially. It also pointed out that Slaughter ordered jurors not to discuss the case on social media, but then did so herself.
“Despite her contention that the information she provided was public information, Judge Slaughter cast reasonable doubt upon her own impartiality and violated her own admonition to jurors by turning to social media to publicly discuss cases pending in her court, giving rise to a legitimate concern that she would not be fair or impartial,” the commission wrote.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Bankruptcy and MSAs, Judgments--BEWARE...You Can Lose Big Time...........

SO..when is spousal support  "exempted"  in Bankruptcy?  How about under CCP 703.140?





..........What if the "MSA was purportedly ambiguous?"

..............What if the court thinks the MSA lists the spousal support--- but it's really not spousal?

................What if the alleged support was not reasonably necessary for such support?

---->  Must the Court look beyond the labels provided for in the MSA?

An evidentiary hearing in Bankruptcy Court is very interesting. (See ftp://38.98.2.146/DKupetzArticle.pdf )
..............."While there are significant differences between adversary proceedings and contested matters, the similarities between them are greater than appellant assumes. 
In a contested matter, there is no summons and complaint, pleading rules are relaxed, counterclaims and third-parties practice does not apply, and most pre-trial procedure is either foreshortened or dispensed with in the interest of time and simplicity.

 Nevertheless, . . . discovery is available, testimony regarding contested material factual disputes must be taken in the same manner as in an adversary proceeding, and the court must make findings of fact and conclusions of law before entering an order that has the status of a judgment." ]

And in this particular case, the Trustee objected to the purported spousal support exemption under the CCP code cited above.  Also noted, Trustee mentioned that the item was purportedly concealed before but that was not  made very clear.

Both parties had attorneys, both parties had attorneys during the MSA process, and the wife had expert. Wife stood to lose about $200,000. and yes,
she did lose it.

...[T]he court initially noted that nearly all cases regarding whether an award is in the nature of spousal support are in the context of nondischargeability under § 523(a)(5), as opposed to an exemption, which was "a different situation." Hr'g Tr. (Jan. 20, 2012) 88:2.      Nevertheless, the court proceeded to discuss In re Combs, a nondischargeability case, and the factors a court can consider in determining whether an award in a divorce decree is in the nature of spousal support or a property settlement. 
     In considering the Combs factors, the court concluded that the Met Life Account was not spousal support; it was a division of property, and therefore not exempt under CCP § 703.140(b)(10)(D). The court further noted that the MSA's express provision for spousal support which, under Stout, could be considered in determining whether an award in a divorce decree is support or property division, was an important factor in its decision to disallow the exemption.
The bankruptcy court entered an order sustaining Trustee's objection and disallowing Diener's exemption of the Met Life Account as spousal support under CCP § 703.140(b)(10)(D) on February 10, 2012. Diener timely appealed.
http://www.leagle.com/decision/In%20BCO%2020121128926.xml/IN%20RE%20DIENER  (read case at this link)



You will likely need to be an attorney to understand it, but then again, maybe not.The bottom line is-- if your client may end up in bankruptcy court to salvage assets, you better be sure that the MSA will work under bankruptcy rules and state exemptions, otherwise, as can be seen here, it can open a brand new issue never decided by a bankruptcy court before, and your client is the guinea pig.


Had the wife accepted payments of support without the need for later claiming that the award was an intended buy out for spousal (which was not apparently stated) in the MSA, perhaps she could have left that provision subject to open jurisdiction to enforce; but by taking the money all at once, and since it was not deemed spousal (which would make it taxable to wife) it appears that the Trustee realized this, because the debtor kept amending the Schedule C Exemptions. 
                                 Which is likely a red flag in our opinion....Oops......

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Affordable Family Law Attorney Oroville, Chico

Attorney has been working on family law cases for  many years, with a very high percentage of good results. Down to earth, experienced and aggressive but still fair, and a very well spoken advocate in court. Published precedent case at SPB, applicable to all State agencies in California, involving defense of software engineer in alleged sexual harassment, still good precedent since 1993.

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Ms. Chan has practiced in San Diego (all locations- North County, South, Downtown and East County) San Jose Superior, Sacramento Superior (Civil, Criminal, Family), Butte County Superior (Family, Criminal, civil).......  Attorney has also worked on cases shown in the media and news, including animal related cases, and criminal defense related issues. Attorney is admitted into Southern District Federal Court, Northern District Federal Court, and Eastern District Federal Court, plus the Bankruptcy Courts in the same districts, and Colorado Federal District Court.