Michael H. v. Gerald D. (1989) 491 U.S. 110

Parentage presumptions. Constitutionality of California’s “conclusive” marital presumption of paternity, minor child’s constitutional interest in preservation of established father-daughter relationship with her biological and psychological father despite mother’s reconciliation with maritally-presumed father. Affirmed, on other grounds, plurality adopted legal theories advanced. (Minor’s counsel)


Hocharian v. Superior Court (1981) 28 Cal. 3d 714

Mandatory dismissal of civil action for failure to serve summons within statutory period. Guidelines for trial courts in determining whether a plaintiff may be excused from mandatory dismissal under former Code Civ. Proc. §581a upon a showing of due diligence, late discovery of identity of Doe defendant. Reversed. (Appellant)

Montenegro v. Diaz (2001) 26 Cal. 4th 249

Child custody modification. Inapplicability of changed circumstances doctrine to proceedings for modification of temporary child custody orders. Reversed Court of Appeal. (Amicus for minor child)

Marriage of LaMusga (2004) 32 Cal. 4th 1072

Child custody relocation. Scope of trial court discretion, factors to be considered, application of Fam. Code §7501 in child custody relocation proceedings. Judgment of Court of Appeal reversed and matter remanded with directions. (Amicus for minor children.)

Kristine H. v. Lisa R. (2005) 37 Cal. 4th 156

Parentage (maternity of non-biological lesbian co-parent). Gender-neutral application of parentage presumptions, collateral attack on parentage judgments, pre-birth parentage judgments, establishment of parentage by stipulation, public policy to protect stable parent-child relationships, estoppel, intended-parent doctrine, evidence of biology doesn’t refute presumed parenthood. Affirmed. (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.)


Ohmer v. Superior Court (1983, 2nd District) 148 Cal.App. 3d 661

Child custody evaluations, due process. Validity of former Los Angeles Superior Court policy barring custody litigants from cross-examining child custody investigators, and prohibiting custody litigants from obtaining and presenting evidence of investigator’s lack of mental health education and training. Affirmed. (Appellant)

People v. Moore (1987, 2nd District) 189 Cal.App.3d 1537

Prosecution’s failure to turn over an investigating officer’s notes of conversation with defense witness, despite informal agreement between prosecution and defense for complete discovery, was not prejudicial. Affirmed. (Appellant)

Marriage of Buzzanca (1998, 4th District, Santa Ana) 61 Cal.App. 4th 1410

Nonbiological parentage. Application of equitable estoppel and intended-parent doctrines to recognize husband and wife who used assisted reproduction technology (donor egg and sperm and services of gestational surrogate) to have a child of their marriage. Reversed. (Amicus on behalf of minor child)

Marriage of Kelso (1998, 2nd District) 67 Cal.App. 4th 374

Procedure and due process rights of family lawyers in proceedings for award of fees from other party for representation of former client. Court cannot use post-recusal findings of judge formerly assigned to case. Reversed. (Amicus for Appellant.)

Marriage of Rose and Richardson (2002, 2nd District) 102 Cal.App. 4th 941

Child custody (relocation, modification). Inapplicability of changed circumstances doctrine to child custody relocation case where child custody provisions in stipulated judgment did not contain unequivocal provisions that the child custody orders were intended to be final. Reversed. (Appellant.)

Marriage of Abargil (2003, 2nd District) 106 Cal.App. 4th 1294

Child custody (international relocation). Scope of trial court discretion to order international relocation. Duty to preserve California jurisdiction, issue abduction prevention orders, and meaningfully protect child’s relationship with left-behind parent when permitting international relocation. Remanded for adequate jurisdictional protection orders. (Appellant)

Craig L. v. Sandy S. (2004, 4th District, San Diego) 125 Cal.App. 4th 36

Marital and functional paternity presumptions. Standing, rights of biological and psychological father to recognition of paternity over claims of maritally-presumed father. Reversed. (Appellant)

Marriage of Seagondollar (2006, 4th District, Santa Ana) 139 Cal.App.4th 1116

Child custody relocation, fairness of post-judgment OSC proceedings, ethical obligations of evaluator and minor’s counsel, requirements for orders appointing child custody evaluator. Reversed. (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

Gender-neutral application of parentage presumptions. Where policy of statutory scheme based on continuity of child’s family relationships and integrity of marital family, may statutes be construed to make biologicalparenthood irrelevant for paternity while determinative for maternity? Standing and joinder. Affirmed. (Petitioner Appellant)

In re Marriage of Paillier (2006, 4th District, Riverside) 144 Cal.App.4th 461

California family court cannot enforce ne exeat and visitation provisions of French child custody decree under Cal-UCCJEA by modifying orders to transfer custody from mother to father or by sending child to France. Reversed. (Appellant)

Marriage of Lafkas (2007, 2nd District) 153 Cal.App.4th 1429

Court of Appeal lacked jurisdiction to consider former husband’s appeal of order issued after bifurcated trial on classification and division of community and separate interests in a partnership, where appeal was not taken from judgment dissolving the marriage. “Further Judgment” was not a separately appealable order but was merely preliminary to a final order characterizing, valuing, and dividing all marital assets, and former husband failed to obtain certificate of probable cause from family law court. Dismissed. (Respondent)