BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: LESLIE ELLEN SHEAR
J.D. UCLA, 1976
Admitted to State Bar of California, 1976
Admitted to U.S. Supreme Court, 1989
State Bar of California, Board of Legal Specialization Certifications
Certified Family Law Specialist, 1983
Certified Appellate Law Specialist, 2009
Fellow, International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers
AV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
Rated 10 (Superb) by Avvo.com
Pasadena Magazine: 2010 Top Attorney
Selected as One of Los Angeles Magazine L.A.’s SuperLawyers (2004-2011)
Family Law Trial Court Proceedings
Representation and consultation in complex child custody, complex parentage and assisted reproduction, interstate and international jurisdiction (including Hague Abduction Convention and UCCJEA) cases.
Representation of children in family court by court appointment.
Consensual Dispute Resolution
Trained in mediation, parenting plan coordination (child custody special master), collaborative family law.
Appellate Court Proceedings
Appeals, writs, and amicus curiae representation in family law appellate cases.
PUBLISHED APPELLATE DECISIONS
U.S. SUPREME COURT
Michael H. v. Gerald D. (1989) 491 U.S. 110 (Minor’s counsel)
CALIFORNIA SUPREME COURT
Hocharian v. Superior Court (1981) 28 Cal. 3d 714 (Appellant)
Montenegro v. Diaz (2001) 26 Cal. 4th 249 (Amicus for minor child.)
Marriage of LaMusga (2004) 32 Cal. 4th 1072 (Amicus for minor children.)
Kristine H. v. Lisa R. (2005) 37 Cal. 4th 156 (Respondent, fully briefed and argued all issues presented by this case and the two companion lesbian-parentage cases: Elisa B. v. Sup. Ct. (Emily B.) (2005) 37 Cal. 4th 108, and K.M. v. E.G. (2005) 37 Cal.4th 130)
Strauss v. Horton, et al (2009) 46 Cal.4th 364 (Amicus for Association of Certified Family Law Specialists and Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Northern California Chapter.)
COURT OF APPEAL OF CALIFORNIA
Ohmer v. Superior Court (1983, 2nd District) 148 Cal.App. 3d 661 (Appellant)
People v. Moore (1987, 2nd District) 189 Cal.App.3d 1537 (Appellant)
Marriage of Buzzanca (1998, 4th District, Santa Ana) 61 Cal.App. 4th 1410 (Amicus on behalf of minor child)
Marriage of Kelso (1998, 2nd District) 67 Cal.App. 4th 374 (Amicus for
Marriage of Rose and Richardson (2002, 2nd District) 102 Cal.App. 4th 941 (Appellant.)
Marriage of Abargil (2003, 2nd District) 106 Cal.App. 4th 1294 (Appellant)
Craig L. v. Sandy S. (2004, 4th District, San Diego) 125 Cal.App. 4th 36 (Appellant)
Marriage of Seagondollar (2006, 4th District, Santa Ana) 139 Cal.App.4th 1116 (Appellant) (Also successfully reversed trial court in Seagondollar II on a post-appeal writ petition.)
Amy G. v. M.W. (2006, 2nd District) 142 Cal.App.4th 1 (Petitioner Appellant)
In re Marriage of Paillier (2006, 4th District, Riverside) 144 Cal.App.4th 461 (Appellant)
Marriage of Lafkas (2007, 2nd District) 153 Cal.4th 1429 (Respondent)
H.S. v. Superior Court (2010, 4th District, Riverside) 183 Cal.App.4th 1502 (Petitioners.)
Selected Legal Community Activities
- Past Commissioner, Family Law Advisory Commission, State Bar of California, Board of Legal Specialization Reviewed applications for certification and recertification of specialists. Drafted and graded family law specialization exams. Reviewed qualifications for specialty.
- Association of Certified Family Law Specialists (ACFLS). Current Past President; President 2010; various board positions including Newsletter Editor, Technology Coordinator and Secretary from 1997). Author of many ACFLS amicus curiae briefs, current co-chair of Amicus Committee.
- Editorial Board and contributor, Journal of Child Custody, published by Taylor and Francis.
- Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC), Past Board Member, California Chapter, director at large, co-chair 2001 Statewide Conference, steering committee 2003 Statewide Conference, frequent speaker at state and international conferences. Contributor to Family Court Review.
- Fellow, International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.
- Faculty member, 1981 Vallambrosa Retreat: Mediation of Child Custody and Visitation Disputes (trained statewide court staff mediators for California Courts following enactment of mandatory custody mediation legislation).
- Past member, Los Angeles County Bar Family Law Section Executive Committee, chairing the Special Master Subcommittee, co-chair 2000 Child Custody Colloquium Subcommittee, co-chair Judicial Council Family Law Advisory Committee Liaison Subcommittee and past chair and member of the Minors Counsel, Family Court Services Liaison, Parent’s Day, Settlement Stipulation Form Drafting, and Child Support DA Liaison subcommittees; developed stipulation for appointment of child custody special masters. Member of 2007 committee to review and revise child custody parenting plan coordinator stipulation.
- Member, State Bar Family Law Section Subcommittee on Children’s Issues (South). Drafted statutory definition of legal custody. Co-Chaired the Child Custody Evaluation Process Project in 1981-82. Frequent presenter at State Bar Annual Meeting and Section Institutes on child custody, and parentage issues.
- Los Angeles County Superior Court, Family Law Department (volunteer): temporary judge; attorney mediator, Central and North Districts; drafted rule of court governing confidentiality of Conciliation Court proceedings; and provided in-service training to Family Court Services staff.
- Center for Families, Children and the Courts. Member drafting committee for proposed California Rule of Court Rule 1257.4: Education, Experience, and Training Standards for Court-Appointed Child Custody Investigators and Evaluators; Presenter at 2005 Southern California Regional Training for Family Court Services personnel.
Other professional affiliations: American Bar Association (Family Law Section, Council of Appellate Lawyer ; National Association of Children’s Counsel; Los Angeles Collaborative Family Law Association; International Child Abduction Attorney Network (ICAAN – a collaborative project of the American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law; the U.S. Department of State, Office of Children’s Issues; and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children); Los Angeles County Bar Association (Family Law, Small Firms and International Law Sections and Appellate Courts Committee); and Scribes (the American Society of Legal Writers).
Frequent lecturer to lawyers, judicial officers, mental health professionals, parent educators and parents on issues relating to child custody, parentage and family law. Groups include Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (International Conferences and Symposia, California Chapter Conferences and Idaho Chapter Conference); Association of Certified Family Law Specialists; State Bar of California (Annual Meetings and Section Institutes); International Bar Association; American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (Northern and Southern California Chapters); Los Angeles County Bar Association Family Law Section; American Bar Association; American Psychological Association; Law Education Institute; and Continuing Education of the Bar.
- Relocation Realities; Developing a Long-Distance Parenting Plan, ABA Family Advocate, Vol. 33, No. 1 (July 2010)
- ACFLS Files Amici Curiae Brief in Proposition 8 Cases: March 5 Oral Argument Signals No Retroactive Application; Justices Split on Constitutional Validity of Proposition 8, ACFLS Newsletter (Winter 2009, No. 1)
- In Search of Statutory Authority for Parenting Coordinator Orders in California: Using a Grass-roots, Hybrid Model Without an Enabling Statute, 5 Journal of Child Custody 88 (2008)
- Chapter 4: Parenting Plans” in CEB, California Child Custody Litigation and Practice (2006-2011)
- Drafting Post-Separation Orders Allocating Parental Rights and Responsibilities, Fifth Annual Los Angeles County Bar Association Family Law Colloquium Handbook: The Child, the Family and the Legal System (1981)
- Developing Written Agreements and Working Effectively With Attorneys, California Chapter Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, Mediation of Child Custody and Visitation Disputes (1981)
- Drafting Plans Allocating Parental Responsibility, The Newsletter (Association of Family Conciliation Courts California Chapter) Column ran quarterly from Winter 1981 through Fall 1983.
- Child Custody Evaluations: A Guide For Attorneys and Evaluators (with Dr. Norman Stone), LACBA Family Law Section Child Custody Colloquium (1982)
- The Boundaries of Mental Health Expertise In Dependency and Family Law: A Proposal For Standards of Practice, 26 Conciliation Courts Review 49-67 (June, 1988)
- Children’s Lawyers in California Family Law Courts: Balancing Competing Policies and Values Regarding Questions of Ethics, 34 Family and Conciliation Courts Review 256-302 (April, 1996)
- Guest Editorial (User-fees for Mandatory Custody Mediation), 34 Family and Conciliation Courts Review 194-197 (April, 1996); Also appeared in the Los Angeles Daily Journal in December, 1995 in slightly different form.
- Life Stories, Doctrines and Decisionmaking: Three High Courts Confront the Move-away Dilemma, 35 Family and Conciliation Courts Review 439-458 (September, 1996)
- Painting Family Portraits for the New Paradigm: The Modern Art of Parenting Plan Evaluations, Faculty Handbook (1997) joint conferences, ABA Family Law Section and the American Psychological Association (April, 1997)
- From Competition to Complementarity: Legal Issues and their Clinical Implications in Custody, Kyle Pruett & Marsha Kline Pruett, Eds., Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America: Child Custody (W.B. Saunders: April, 1998)
- Will This Child Move? The Structure of Move-Away Analysis, Winter 2001 AFCC-Cal Newsletter 11 simultaneously published in the ACFLS Newsletter
- Comment: Montenegro v. Diaz – Cal Supreme Court Quietly Changes The Child Custody Landscape While Sidestepping Central Questions, Winter 2001 AFCC-Cal Newsletter 10 simultaneously published in the ACFLS Newsletter.
- Book review columns for Journal of Child Custody, Custody Matters and Tipping Points columns for ACFLS Newsletter and numerous articles in ACFLS, AFCC and other professional newsletters.