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From personal experience over the last four years in the Family Law Division, I can attest to the circumstances and needs described by [retired First District Court of Appeal Justice] Donald King ["Family Business," July 23]. While much of his proposal addresses staffing, it was his writing on the need to restructure the court process in this area of law from adversarial to mediative that particularly impressed me. This mediative posture is particularly important when there are children involved. In such circumstances the divorcing individuals are also parents, and as parents they are likely to have to interact with each other for at least 18 years or longer. The relationship between the parents is particularly important during the first years following the dissolution. An adversarial posture at the outset puts parents in a mindset that is not helpful to fostering cooperative parenting. Much of family law where it concerns the division of property is straightforward. If immediate powers resided with the judge, rather than the other party, to discover and inventory assets of the petitioner and respondent, it seems to me the process of dissolution could be greatly streamlined. While I agree that longer terms of service would eventually lead to more experienced judges in this area, the need for skill and willingness to learn is immediate. I don’t know what sort of training, if any, new judges in the Family Law Division receive, but it is clearly inadequate and cries out for reform. Actual improvement in initial training might have a two-fold benefit: faster and better decisions by new judges who are not blinded to the law by a Certified Family Law Specialist credential and greater satisfaction with the experience of being an all-purpose judge in this division and a commensurate increase in length of service. Tahir J. Naim Sunnyvale

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