Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Breaking News!

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Breaking News: Supreme Court Upends Family Court.

June 18, 2007San Diego

With the U.S. Supreme Court considering applying the Confrontation Clause in Crawford retro-actively and all courts being equal - marks a new day for family court attorneys. Bringing in out-of-court statements without the speaker testifying in person "is fundamentally at odds with the right of confrontation," U.S. Justice Antonin Scalia wrote in Crawford vs. Washington 124 S.Ct. 1354 (2004).

Requiring children testify will happily turn the current custody process in family court upside down, according to Bonnie Russell of USAjudges.com.

Should the Court decides to apply Crawford retroactively, thousands of child custody cases might be completely retried as parents and attorneys realize they can pro-actively end parental alienation, false accusations and preserve the relationship between parent and child."Within a short period of time custody cases will resolve," Russell said.

"The standards of one court would not be any less in another, especially in criminal abuse of a child Family Court judges routinely address.

The Crawford ruling is a sudden ravine through the foundation that has held families hostage to a divorce and custody industry," Russell said while en route to a speaking engagement at a American College of Trial Lawyers 10th Regional meeting in Oklahoma City.

Traditionally Family Court judges eschewed listening to children, preferring instead to grant a full employment act to therapeutic experts and Guardian Ad Litems to act as intermediaries, and report directly to the courts without the children themselves ever testifying.

These third parties would not relay complaints, but report their interpretations of the child's words, and opinions of cases as fact.This resulted with thousands of parents losing custody rights to their children without the court ever directly hearing of experiences from a child.

Such conditions stoked parental alienation cases, in which parent with custody emotionally isolate children and effectively convince them of problems and situations that never existed."What has happened in family courts has been criminal in an ironic way, Russell says.

"Families have been torn apart, children turned against loving parents, because too many professionals had a financial interest in preventing children from speaking for themselves."The Court applying Crawford retro-actively, means attorneys will be able to reopen previously settled cases.

"This might be painful for some" says Russell, but family court has needed this clean wind to dry so many unnecessary tears.

Things will have to be different going forward. The only question is whether those who have already been through the system might finally see justice as well. Who knows with retro-applicability in the future, maybe some parents will just decide to stop fighting and on their own decide a fifty-fifty split."

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