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Lawyer Skills Training for DV Representation: Tips from a Retired Judge  

Author:  Judge Marjory D.  Fields.

Source: Volume 12, Number 01, October/November 2006 , pp.1-3(3)

Domestic Violence Report

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Domestic violence victims, their lawyers and support organizations assert that often judges ignore prior court determinations regarding domestic violence and make custody and visitation orders that place victims and their children at risk of continued abuse. Recent social science research supports these assertions. Courthouse hall-way settlements are forced because judges will not try the cases, it is suggested. Parties are required to attend mediation and counseling programs. Often, judges accept reports and recommendations for settlement orders from evaluators, mediators, court appointed special advocates, psychologists, and guardians ad litem. These reports may be presented to judges ex parte, and from people who could not be qualified as expert witnesses in many instances. When reports are inaccurate and prejudicial to their clients, lawyers should object to the reports, request examination of the makers of the reports, and lay the foundation for an appeal.

Keywords: family systems approach flawed

Affiliations:  1: New York Family and Supreme Courts.

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