Hartley, Maxwell, & Castellano Attorneys at Law
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Family Law Archives

New Domestic Violence Statutes - Effect on Support, Custody & Property Rights, Part 2 of 3

As stated in the first installment on this topic, new laws went into effect in California on January 1, 2019, which constitute a significant reform of our domestic violence statutes. That reform continues the tendency of California's legislature to increasingly penalize domestic abusers.

The Importance of Family Law Attorneys in Family Law Cases

The public was quite interested in the recent case, Howard (Ghent) v Howard, in which Terence Howard sought to overturn a stipulated judgment in which he agreed to pay his ex-wife, Michelle Ghent, exorbitant sums of money as and for spousal support - or, to quote his attorneys, as "hush money." 

The Morality of the Law Part 3 of 3

Most legal codes agree that certain behavior is wrong. Most demand simple justice: you did this bad thing, you get this punishment. Our legal code allows for that beautiful element of mercy to be blended with justice. The history of the law shows us that the Old Testament is the first legal code which allows for mercy to be blended with justice, producing "judgment." In California, I see this magical blending of mercy and justice to render wise judgment, quite clearly in our family law courts. And I find it beautiful.

The Morality of the Law Part 2 of 3

When I was just getting started as an attorney, a well-known practitioner of my art offered me a job. He said, that by working for him, I would "learn the rape-burn-pillage-and-kill side of the law, not the fairytale version." Perhaps he thought this would appeal to me, knowing I had been an enlisted Marine; he was wrong. Rapine, arson, and theft are all war crimes and good Marines don't do any of that. Even killing is reserved for wartime and to be conducted according to the rules of engagement handed down from above. If he was trying to speak my language, he failed; and he convinced me, in those few words, that I didn't want to learn his language. Language is important, and nowhere more so than in the practice of law.

The Morality of the Law Part 1 of 3

Walking through the halls of various courthouses in Southern California, I overhear people saying, "That isn't fair," or "How can he/she do that to me/our kids? Isn't that wrong?" and the essential, unvoiced question is always, "How can the Court allow that?"

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