X

Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
EQUAL LAWYER PROPOSAL IN DV CASES IRRITATES SOME ADVOCATES A task force pulled together by California Chief Justice Ronald George to improve the handling of domestic violence cases got plenty of praise during a public hearing in San Francisco last week. But there also were a few words of warning � particularly regarding a controversial proposal to ensure that accused batterers, as well as their victims, have lawyers to seek restraining orders. “Our personal experience,” said Susan Roberts, staff attorney for Richmond-based Bay Area Legal Aid, “is that when batterers have legal representation, they are more likely to use the process to perpetuate a pattern of abuse.” Beverly Upton, executive director of the San Francisco Domestic Violence Consortium, agreed, saying that the granting of mutual restraining orders “undermines the domestic violence victim’s faith in the system” and doesn’t provide that person meaningful protection. “It sends the message that the community did not believe them,” she said, “and that they are as guilty as the perpetrator.” But Julie Saffren, a solo practitioner who helped found San Jose’s Domestic Violence Limited Scope Representation Project, had a different view on the proposal. She told the task force that it is “not a satisfying legal victory” when she represents an alleged victim against a non-English-speaking defendant who has no lawyer. That kind of person, she said, leaves the courtroom bitter and more dangerous than ever. “We aim for family-centric orders,” Saffren said. Wednesday’s hearing in the Hiram W. Johnson State Office Building was the second this month for the task force, with the first taking place in Los Angeles. The group was seeking input from the public and legal experts on several proposals aimed at ensuring “fair and accessible justice” for all litigants in domestic violence cases. Last week’s hearing began with opening remarks by Laurence Kay, chairman of the task force and a former justice on the First District Court of Appeal, and by San Francisco Superior Court Presiding Judge David Ballati. Speakers included not only experts on domestic violence issues, but also prosecutors, family law attorneys, women’s advocates and judges. Besides discussing legal representation for alleged batterers, speakers at the morning session of the five-hour hearing also called on the task force to implement existing state laws on domestic violence and to beef up courthouse security. “San Francisco has done a lot [toward security],” Upton said, “but, as you know, funding in this area is scarce. We’re worried about having a homicide occur” in the courthouse.

Mike McKee

This content has been archived. It is available exclusively through our partner LexisNexis®.

To view this content, please continue to Lexis Advance®.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber? Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® is now the exclusive third party online distributor of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® customers will be able to access and use ALM's content by subscribing to the LexisNexis® services via Lexis Advance®. This includes content from the National Law Journal®, The American Lawyer®, Law Technology News®, The New York Law Journal® and Corporate Counsel®, as well as ALM's other newspapers, directories, legal treatises, published and unpublished court opinions, and other sources of legal information.

ALM's content plays a significant role in your work and research, and now through this alliance LexisNexis® will bring you access to an even more comprehensive collection of legal content.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at customercare@alm.com

 
 

ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2019 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.