A Concerted Effort

I was honored to be selected as the Guest Editor for this year’s Family Law edition of the Contra Costa Lawyer magazine. Shortly after learning that I would serve as Guest Editor, I received several e-mails and telephone calls from attorneys, retired judges and commissioners, and volunteers offering to assist in submitting articles for this edition. This serves as a testament to the qualities of the judges (both retired and currently sitting), the attorneys of the big bar and Family Law section, and the numerous volunteers in our communities. A quality that is one of the themes of this edition, serving our community. In that theme, Sharon K. Raab, Esq. has provided an update on the extensive Contra Costa County Family Law Pro Per Program and Tamina Alon, Esq. has provided an update on the recently created Contra Costa County Legal Incubator Program. Even if you are not a Family Law attorney in Contra Costa County, I invite you to explore these articles to learn more about these programs that continue to provide great benefit to our community.

This Family Law edition has taken a literal approach to the term “Family Law” with an article by Lisa J. Mendes, who interviewed four sets of parent-child attorneys in her article All in the Family, Following in the Family Footsteps. In this issue, we publish the interview with Family Law father/daugther, George “Skip” Pfeiffer and Laura Pfeiffer. Retired Commissioner Josanna Berkow, who relocated to New York, provides her initial observations between New York and California Family Law judicial systems. In California, Alternative Dispute Resolution (“ADR”) has grown significantly over the past decade, and Suzanne Boucher explores what happens if ADR fails in Family Law.

Looking towards the future of Family Law in California, M. Sue Talia provides her insight on the future of Limited Scope Court Appearances and Joseph Nykodym comments on proposed legislation related to Senate Bill 917 – requiring court clerks to prepare findings and order after hearings for all Family Law litigants.

I hope that this edition of the Contra Costa Lawyer Magazine educates some, informs others and entertains all. Thank you to all of the judges, commissioners, attorneys and volunteers who assisted in preparing this edition.