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NO CHILD SUPPORT IN SAME-SEX CASE A state appeal court on Thursday refused to award child support to a woman who claimed her former same-sex partner is the de facto parent of her twins. “Since Elisa” — the former partner — “is not the twins’ natural mother and, for obvious reasons, she is not their father, and because she did not adopt the twins, Elisa does not have any of the rights, privileges, duties or obligations of a parent,” Third District Court of Appeal Justice Arthur Scotland wrote. Justices Richard Sims III and Harry Hull Jr. concurred. The case involves two El Dorado County women identified only as Elisa B. and Emily B., who separated in 1999 after a six-year relationship. Artificially inseminated, Elisa gave birth to a boy in 1997 and Emily bore twins — a boy and a girl — in 1998. After they separated, Emily went on public assistance and the county sought to have Elisa, the self-proclaimed breadwinner of the family, declared a parent for child-support purposes. El Dorado County Superior Court Commissioner Gregory Dwyer found Elisa a “de facto parent” who had “consented to the creation of these children and encouraged their creation.” The appeal court’s reversal was based on its reading of the state’s Uniform Parentage Act. “Emily is the natural mother of the twins — a fact that neither she nor Elisa has disputed,” Justice Scotland wrote, “and Elisa has no legal maternal relationship with the children under the UPA because �for any child California law recognizes only one natural mother.’” The case is Elisa Maria B. v. Superior Court (Emily B.), 04 C.D.O.S. 4343. — Mike McKee JUDGE DECIDES WHO CAN SUE IN MERGER CASE NEW YORK — A federal judge in New York has made a key decision on which classes of shareholders can sue for the damages caused by a collapsed merger. Southern District Judge John Koeltl found that the third-party beneficiaries of a scheduled merger between Consolidated Edison and Northeast Utilities in 2001 are those shareholders who owned the stock on the day the merger broke down. Deciding a case of first impression that he said has “far-reaching” effects on litigation involving large-scale transactions, Judge Koeltl rejected the position of Northeast Utilities, which argued that New York commercial law dictates that the right to sue for damages from a broken merger is passed on to the purchaser of the stock. “The decision clarifies that a shareholder who is injured by breach of a merger agreement has the right to assert a claim rather than somebody who is not injured and who buys a stock later based on prices that reflect the prior breach,” said Ira Schochet. With Lawrence Scharow and Lisa Buckser-Schulz of Goodkind Labaton Rudoff & Sucharow, Schochet represented a shareholder who intervened in the case to make a claim on shares he had already sold. Consolidated Edison signed an agreement on Oct. 13, 1999, to purchase all outstanding shares of Northeast Utilities for $26.50 per share. But on March 5, 2001, Con Ed said it would not proceed and sought a declaratory judgment relieving it of obligations under the agreement. — New York Law Journal

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