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Family Law
Bug a Car...Go to Jail

A California who placed a bug in the vehicle of an estranged spouse has gone to jail for that act... and others according to the American Bar Association Journal.  But she also had, as they say--"Other Entanglements..."

  

A former California divorce lawyer who admitted bugging a car was sentenced on Monday to two years in prison for illegal eavesdropping and tax evasion.

 

Mary Nolan, 62, of Oakland pleaded guilty to charges of evading more than $400,000 in federal taxes and causing her staff to plant a listening device in the vehicle of “N.F.,” identified as a client’s estranged spouse by the Contra Costa Times and as a client’s ex-husband by the San Francisco Chronicle. Nolan gave up her law license and agreed to repay $469,000 in back taxes, according to an FBI press release.

 

Nolan was among the defendants caught up in the so-called “dirty DUI” scandal in which a private investigator hired alluring women to drink with the husbands of divorce clients at bars. The women would then invite the men to follow them in their cars, and police would be called to investigate a DUI.

 

A doctor said in court documents that Nolan suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of the deaths of her grandparents at a young age and her parents while in college, according to the Contra Costa Times report.

 

Lesson:  Don't wiretap, pay your taxes, and don't run a scam.

 

The ABA Journal story is here.

 

 

 

Filed under Family LawTags Dallas divorce attorney, electronic evidence, Technology and Family Law
Don't Date During Your Divorce...

Lawmakers in Massachusetts are considering a bill that would prohibit people from dating or having a sexual relationship within their home while they are going through the process of getting a divorce.

 

An Act relative to divorce, Bill S.787, was filed by State Sen. Richard Ross, a Republican from Wrentham, on behalf of former Wrentham Selectman Robert LeClair.

 

Under the legislation, couples going through proceedings that involve children and a marital home would not be allowed to conduct relationships within the home until the divorce was finalized and custody issues were resolved. The only exception would be if they received "express permission" from the courts.

 

Query:  Does this mean such activity is to be precluded when the children are around? Or even when the children are in the other parents home for the entire summer?

 

Some Courts in Texas insert a "morality clause"  into their orders that prohibits a parent from having someone with whom they have an intimate relationship stay at the house between the hours of 10 pm and 8 am.

 

So we'll see if Massachusetts follows.

 

See the article here.

 

 

 

Filed under Family LawTags baby boomers, Child Custody, Dallas divorce attorney, Dallas divorce firm, Dallas family law attorney, divorce in the news
Reminder: April 1st Deadline in Texas Standard Possession Order

Under the Texas Standard Possession Order, April 1st of each year is the deadline for the non-primary parent to designate his or her 30 day extended summer possession period.  The standard possession order states that April 1st is the deadline for the non-primary parent to give written notice of the extended possession period to the primary parent.

 

Remember, the non-primary parent still has the same 1st, 3rd, and 5th weekends as during the school year. The extended summer possession time is additional, and must be exercised in two periods. Each possession period must be at least seven consecutive days long. An extended possession period must end at least seven days prior to the child resuming school, and cannot begin before the child's school has ended for summer vacation.

 

As always, refer to the court's final decree/order if there's any confusion.

Filed under Family LawTags Child Custody, Dallas divorce attorney
Another Computer Security Risk

Attorney-client confidentiality is a bedrock principle of the American legal system.  Candor and free expression between attorney and client is essential in the course of representation.

 

But lawyers are not immune from cyber security concerns, and despite prudent precautions, some attorneys can fall victims to cybercrime.

 

The ABA Journal reports a North Carolina attorney inadvertently downloaded a virus that shut him out of his computer system.

 

Like other businesses, the attorney was targeted via e-mail. He opened a fairly innocuous attachment, and that's when the Crypto Locker virus took over. The article reports that "Thousands of documents stored on his computer were made inaccessible," the attorney reports, "it was actually an email that looked like it was coming from our phone system because our system sends voice mail messages as an attachment.”

 

The makers of the virus essentially held his computer hostage, and offered him access to his computer if he paid a ransom.

 

My recommendation for lawyers: regularly back up your electronic files with external hard drives, and keep them in a secure, fireproof place--and consider having a backup copy located outside of your office in a secure and fireproof place. Also consider secure cloud services.

 

My recommendation for everyone: be careful what you download--schemes like this Crypto Locker extortion ring are pretty sophisticated.

 

The ABA Journal story is here.

 

My friend Mark Bentley, who works as a lawyer for the UT System in Austin, commented that their office is not immune from cyberattacks like this one.  He adds that these malware can be masked and look like trusted websites and known e-mail senders.

 

 

Filed under Family LawTags divorce in the news, electronic evidence, Technology and Family Law
Spring Break Possession Issues

The Texas Standard Possession Order in the Family Code specifies how Spring Break works.  In general, one parent gets spring break in one year, and the  other parents gets the next year. 

 

But the devil is in the details.  Sometimes there are different holidays for different kids as they are in different schools.  Some times there is a school or other trip that doesn't fit the mold suggested by the legislature.

 

Clear, direct communication between the parents is usually the best way to work out these issues.  But sometimes a parent needs assistance in making sure everything goes as expected with no hiccups, or emergency retraining orders being filed that blows up a long planned event or trip.

 

Many times a consultation with an experienced lawyer WELL IN  ADVANCE of Spring Break can prevent a cluster right at Spring Break.  (That's why this is published in January, not March...)

 

Call us if we can help.

Filed under Family LawTags Child Custody
Ken Raggio Demos iPad at National AAML Meeting

At the national annual meeting of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers held in Chicago this week, Ken Raggio co produced and moderated the Second Annual Technology Symposium, presented to several hundred other Fellows of the Academy.  Academy membership is by invitation only, and is regarded nationally as the most prestigious family law organization.

 

As part of the program, Ken demonstrated the use of TranscriptPad, a high end iPad app that helps organize depositions and other transcripts in a family law case.  The demo was very similar to the use of the tool in either Court or other proceeding: by having the iPad display on a big screen TV.

Filed under Family LawTags electronic evidence, Ken Raggio, Technology and Family Law
Ken Raggio Presents to 2013 Advanced Family Law Course

Ken Raggio spoke and presented TemporaryOrders -The First and Lasting (Perhaps Last) Impression? to the 1850+ registrants at the Texas Bar's 39th Advanced Family Law Course held this year in San Antonio. The paper is here.

 

Raggio also was a teacher in the Ipad workshops held throughout the day on August 6th.   Ken served as faculty with other certifed family law specialist attorneys from around the state who are also renown techies.

Filed under Family LawTags Dallas divorce attorney, electronic evidence, Ken Raggio, Technology and Family Law
Deion Sanders Wins Custody of his Kids in Jury Trial

Deion Sanders won custody of his kids in a jury trial this week; actually the sole right to determine where his three children live. He willl make all educational, health and extracurricular decisions for his two sons, ages 11 and 13, and share that responsibility for his 9-year-old daughter with his estranged wife, Pilar Sanders. He was obviously elated. His Wife commented: “If that’s not one-sided, you have to be blind, dumb, crazy and stupid.” I wonder whether she was describing her husband, the lawyers, the jurors, the judge, the legal system, or all the above but expressly excusing herself.

 

The contentious divorce slogs on. Pilar tried to contest a premarital agreement she signed after not only having an experienced family law attorney advise her about the agreement, but after she executed she went to Court and told a Judge she knew what she was doing and understood it. But the enforceability of the agreement has been upheld.

 

But the end is coming. Oh, yea, until the appeal...

 

 

 

Filed under Family LawTags Child Custody, Dallas divorce attorney, divorce in the news