domestic partners as community property. Consistent with the cases of earlier last year, a bill became law allowing a party to an assisted reproduction agreement to bring an action to establish a parent-child relationship consistent with the agreement’s intent. An amendment to the Federal Violence Against Women Act now expands the definition of “spouse or intimate partner” for purposes of the provisions on interstate stalking to include someone who has been in a romantic or intimate social relationship with the stalking target, as determined by the nature and duration of the relationship and the frequency of the couple’s interactions.
I n t h e T r u s t s a n d E s t a t e s a r e a , t h e r e h a v e b e e n a f e w m o r e c a s e s d e a l i n g w i t h t h e i s s u e o f what is and what is not considered to be a “contest” of a Will or Trust. This issue is addressed in more detail later on in this newsletter.
F u r t h e r , i n l a r g e p a r t a s a r e s p o n s e t o t h e r e c e n t e x p o s e i n t h e L o s A n g e l e s T i m e s regarding abuse of the Conservatorship process, the legislature as passed a comprehensive reform of the Conservatorship proceedings. These new laws provide greater safeguards for proposed Conservatees before a conservatorship can be instituted and, once a conservatorship has been set up, provides greater oversight in order to ensure that the Conservatee’s wishes are taken
into account on the one hand and, that the Conservator is property managing the Conservatee’s estate. The Los Angeles Times series uncovered a number of cases where the Conservator had diverted the Conservatee’s funds for his/her (the Conservator’s) personal use.
I n a d d i t i o n t o t h e o r g a n i z a t i o n s m e n t i o n e d a b o v e , F r i e d a i s a l s o a m e m b e r o f t h e E x e c u t i v e Committee of the Family Law Section of Los Angeles County Bar Association. She is Chair of the Minor’s Counsel Committee and gave a very interesting panel discussion with two judges and another attorney concerning how to remove Minor’s Counsel for cause and discussing the Judicial Council’s proposed Court Rules regulating Minor’s Counsel. On March 26, 2007, Frieda will lead a discussion on the complex issue of fiduciary duty and harmless error surrounding the requirement in dissolution of marriage cases that both parties serve a Preliminary Declaration of Disclosure upon the other party at a joint San Fernando Valley and Los Angeles County Bar Association family law section dinner. This will be held at Sportsmen’s Lodge in Studio City. Last Fall, Frieda spoke to a study group of psychologists, custody evaluators and therapists on issues relating to minors in custody disputes including the issue of who holds the privilege on behalf of the minor child and whether therapists should talk to minor’s counsel