Require Legal Services to drop the policy of Family Law
referals from domestic violence agencies. Legal Services original
mandate was to help the low income and the elderly . Since Legal
Services is a public agency they should be required to
submit yearly reports on people they serve, broken down by gender.
These reports should be public information. Legal Services should also
be required to make an active attempt to represent males.
Education and sensitivity training for judicial officers and
support staff regarding anti-father gender bias is critically needed.
For years, fathers all over America have complained about
anti-father judicial bias. When national custody outcomes are 70%
sole custody with mothers and 10% with fathers, something is
wrong. Perhaps the best explanation of institutional legal bias is to
read the exact words of the Family Law Committee guidebook
published some years ago in Minnesota:
"Except in rare cases the father should not have the
custody of the minor children of the parties. He is usually
unqualified psychologically and emotionally nor does he have
time and care to supervise the children. A lawyer not only does
an injustice to himself but he is unfair to his client, the state and
to society if he gives any encouragement to the father that he
should have custody of the children."
Modify Rules of Professional Conduct for lawyers
to reduce the tendency to over-litigate for a family law client,
which increases hostilities and contentiousness.
lawyers are collecting over $100,000,000,000 ($100 BILLION)
per year for fees from custody cases. There is significant room
for positive and effective legal representation without making
every issue of dispute into a conflict and charge of additional
fees. Lawyers as mediators offer great hope to reduce the
overzealous nature of domestic relations and return a level of
civility and concern for the eventual outcome for all members of
In order to provide needed reforms in our domestic courts,
this Task Force should support legislation to improve the
accountability and responsible decision making of domestic court
judges. Specific recommendations:
Implement a system where the Oregon Supreme Court monitors
local domestic court judges.
- A standardized procedure be made available for monitoring of
local domestic court judges by citizen groups, with reports given
to the Oregon Supreme Court for remedial action where warranted.
- Each domestic court judge be required to keep an independent
file of all rulings relating to children in divorce, paternity, or
adoption proceedings. Such file should be available for public review as
an expected part of judicial accountability .
- That the "breadth of judicial discretion" standard
be modified to require domestic court judges to issue rulings based on
the preponderance of established evidence. Accountability should ensure
that rulings are not predicated on hearsay or unfounded character
assassination. Findings of fact and conclusions of law should be
reviewed by appellate court judges to ensure that rulings are consistent
with established evidence.
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