Are You a Family Lawyer?

If so, can you advise me about how I can best inform family lawyers about the arguments in my Parent-Child Speech and Child Custody Speech Restrictions?

I think that lots of family lawyers could find the arguments quite useful -- I can't promise that they'll win with them in court, but they might win with them, so the arguments will generally be worth making. (If you need a two-sentence summary of the article, it's "Palmore v. Sidoti meets the First Amendment: Why courts generally shouldn't consider parents' speech, religious or not, any more than they can consider parents' and stepparents' race.")

But family lawyers don't usually read law reviews, I suspect. What's the best way for me to get the arguments to them? At a conference? By publishing an article in a practitioner newsletter? By getting treatise writers or practice guide writers to cite them? Let me know, please, and the more detailed, the better. Just post a comment, or e-mail me at volokh at . Thanks!

William Spieler (mail) (www):
Mail copies to family law judges, heh.
9.14.2005 6:41pm
Paul Gowder (mail):
My unscientific sense is that the "cutting edge" of family law is in legal aid organizations (I used to work for one, albeit not in family law). So one thing you might do is drop a note to the people who edit the NLADA newsletter.
9.14.2005 6:42pm
Scipio (mail) (www):
The cutting edge of family law is Professor Debbie Bell, of the University of Mississippi School of Law.


Well, at least for Mississippi.
9.14.2005 6:50pm
R. Gould-Saltman (mail):
Well, I did my part, in regard to a religion/custody issue on the LACBA Family Law Section listserve:

Date: Tue, 30 Aug 2005 14:15:36 -0700 (PDT)
From: "Richard Gould-Saltman" Subject: Religious issues in custody determinations: Was "Low priced attorney"

I'd commend to everyone, the discussion of the related issue at Prof. Eugene Volokh's blog "The Volokh Conspiracy", at under the heading "Discrimination Against Atheists"; as Doc Volokh notes, there are a number of states other than CA which have unabashedly made custody determinations in favor of the "more religious" parent.

Volokh is a really smart, and intellectually rigorous and honest guy, whose political opinions I disagree with about 90% of the time. He's dead-on with this though; those who think that my last week's post shows that I'm a paranoid left-wing crank on this issue (as distinguished from the larger group who think I'm a paranoid left-wing crank generally) should take a look at Volokh's analysis, and the article linked from his blog.

Richard Gould-Saltman
Gould-Saltman law Offices, LLP
818 W. 7th Street Ste 960
Los Angeles CA 90017
(213) 489-3900
Certified by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization

You might also bring it to the attention of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, of which my lovely and smarter partner ( a Fellow.

9.14.2005 8:27pm
nk (mail) (www):
In Illinois, we use IICLE practice handbooks. In a recent post-decree proceeding I participated in the judge read directly from it in his ruling for a directed finding. The web address is I only do pro bono family law, actually trying to get a little child support from the non-custodial parent, so I do not consider myself a family law lawyer. The statute is friendly to me. Nonetheless, the IICLE is really a "practice handbook". Everyone reads it. I hope they publish your article. It is an eye-opener. I was shocked even though I knew the broad discretion allowed to judges in domestic relations cases.
9.14.2005 10:16pm
Richard Careaga:
In California, I'd do a 2-hour MCLE program with one hour of ethics credit. In any specialty if you have the opportunity to pick up ethics credit in a program area in which you practice, it's a no-brainer compared to taking yet another Why You Need an IOLTA Account installment. Cum grano salis: am not myself a family law lawyer.
9.15.2005 1:26am
Richard Shepard (mail):
I have a pending case that is somewhat related to the subject matter of Prof. Volokh's article. Stripped to its essence the case involves the right of one parent (in a one-party consent state) to tape record the telephone conversations of the other parent (in a two-party consent state) with the parent's minor children over the second parent's objections and contrary to a direct court order (issued in the two-party consent state) not to interfere with the second parent's phone contact. Believe it or not, contempt proceedings in the two-party consent state failed and resulted in sanctions against the objecting parent! Anybody got any leads on this one?
9.15.2005 9:06pm
Gould-Saltman has the right approach-—ask local bar assoications. The California State bar has a family law committee. Ask the members what they think. Their names, bios and e-mail addresses are here:

My local bar association has a family law committee with regular meetings. Many (most?) do. The committees are often starved for interesting speakers. And as Mr. Gould-Saltman showed, the people who attend the meetings are the most likely to know how to plug you into larger networks.
9.16.2005 6:27am