September 2011 goings-on

by Annette Burns on September 8, 2011

I’ve taken off most of the summer from the blog, and it was a relief, but made me feel guilty.   There are lots of things coming up in Maricopa County and elsewhere in the next couple of months, including the September 23 Mental Health Orientation at Maricopa County Superior Court.   Brian Yee, Jack Assini (Tucson) and I will be presenting on “Parenting Coordinator Approaches” to a hopefully receptive crowd, to offer our input on how we handle PC cases (for what it’s worth).   We’ll concentrate on the nuts and bolts of PC work (READ Rule 74 — it really covers a lot of important things), how to handle individual issues (and whether you should attempt to handle them at all), and how the court handles PC recommendations once they’re filed.

A week after that, Edie Croxon and Rebecca Stahl and I travel to San Jose, California to present (again) on Family Law and the Internet.  This is a presentation we’ve done at Arizona AFCC, an AFCC mid-year conference in Reno, and California AFCC, so we obviously love doing this.  The audience in California this time is a mental health providers group, and we have great updates from the last presentation.

The Rules Committee (official name: Family Law Practice and Procedure Committee) of the State Bar continues to be active.    One item being considered for change is Rule 12 regarding court interviews of children and how they should be conducted (in camera, record of proceedings, is the record released to the parties, etc.).  Rule 12 interviews continue to be of great  importance in all jurisdictions, but smaller counties in Arizona have particular insight on this issue, because those counties often don’t have access to Conciliation Services or other professionals to interview the children, leaving the issue squarely in the hands of the trial judge.

The 2011 edition of the Arizona Family Law Rules Handbook (West/ Thomson Reuters publication) is out now, with the rules changes that became effective this year.  Fortunately the 2012 edition will be out earlier next year.  The Handbook continues to have commentary and case law updates relating to the Rules.   Now that the Rules are five years old (having been originally effective January 1, 2006), the case law is starting to accumulate and interesting changes and tweaks continue to be done to the Rules.    I’m glad to report that five years in, the changes that have been necessary to the Rules are minimal, pointing out yet again that the original Rules Committee (chairperson Hon. Mark Armstrong, Ret.) did a very, very thorough job.

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