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Schelb v. Stein

From the Los Angeles County Bar Association Daily E-briefs:

Trust deed securing a promissory note issued in connection with a family law judgment may expire under provisions of the Marketable Record Title Act, despite Family Code Sec. 291, which provides that a family law judgment is enforceable until paid in full. MRTA and Sec. 291 do not conflict because a debt evidenced by a note and secured by a deed of trust is still owed even after the note expires under MRTA and the deed of trust is no longer enforceable. Application of Sec. 291 to a judgment entered prior to the section’s effective date did not substantially interfere with debtor’s rights where enforcement of that judgment would not have been subject to a time limitation under prior law.

Schelb v. Stein

What that means in plainer English is, if you have an unfulfilled obligation owed to you under a judgment, you should meet with an attorney as soon as possible to discuss your options for enforcing your interests and collecting the debt.  Any delay could result in the forfeiture of your security interest in real property or could prevent you from collecting on the debt you are owed.

In even plainer English:  If somebody owes you money and is not current in making their payments, speak with an attorney as soon as possible.

Secrets of Power Negotiating

From the latest LACBA Negotiation Tips Newsletter:

Whenever others confront us with a viewpoint we totally oppose, we easily start arguing about the veracity of that position. What is the problem with this approach, or more to the point, this reaction? It leads to an argument. When we start pushing others, they push back as if by instinct. The more we argue with others, the more they feel forced into proving they are right.

So how do we overcome this natural tendency to try to prove we are right? Let’s consider a playbook that enables us to disagree without being confrontational and that give us time to think. A master negotiator, author, and trainer, Roger Dawson* has come up with a basic formula: “feel, felt, found.”

Take a phrase we often hear in legal negotiations and mediations: “That is a ridiculous and insulting offer.” Armed with Dawson’s “feel, felt, found” formula, you can respond as follows:

1. FEEL: “Please help me understand why you feel that way.” Or “I understand how you would feel that way.”

2. FELT: “I have been in your position and have often felt that way too.”

3. FOUND: “And, what I have found is that taking a step back to listen to what the other side has to say about why this is so insulting, often opens the door to other possibilities that might satisfy your interests.”

The bottom line: instead of arguing, get into the habit of agreeing with them and then turning it around to your favor.

*Secrets of Power Negotiating, Roger Dawson, The Career Press, Inc 2001

The Third Wednesday

Although it may be one of the best kept secrets of the Los Angeles Superior Court, the LACBA/SFVBA-sponsored Third Wednesday Voluntary Settlement Conference Program is designed to turn the misfortune of the current budget crisis into an opportunity to settle cases.  Each family law department in Los Angeles County may assign up to two cases each month to the VSC program, which provides three hours of free mediation on the third Wednesday of each month in the private office of an experienced family law attorney serving as a voluntary settlement officer.

In the event that a case has not been resolved after three hours of free mediation, counsel is encouraged to retain the services of the volunteer mediator to resolve any remaining issues. The program, which commenced in February 2010, had incredible success in March.  Five out of seven assigned cases were completely settled, and a sixth is still engaged in peaceful mediation with a volunteer mediator.

If you’re going through a divorce in Los Angeles County and you’re afraid you’re headed to trial, ask your attorney about having your case assigned to the VSC program.  You’ll be glad you did.

Helping Families – Sat., April 10

The State Bar Family Law Section CDR/ADR Standing Committee (South)
Dispute Resolution Services, Inc.,
Los Angeles County Bar Association and LACBA Family Law Section
invite you to attend our Spring Symposium

HELPING FAMILIES: New Directions in Consensual Dispute Resolution
Cutting edge, theories, techniques, tactics and tools.

Saturday, April 10, 2010, 8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Pepperdine University School of Law

If you practice mediation or collaborative law, are a mental health professional, coach, financial specialist, or family law attorney with an interest in expanding your knowledge of the latest issues in consensual dispute resolution and in developing your skills to best serve the needs of families, this program is for you.

Presenters will include Judges Marjorie Steinberg and Mark Juhas, renowned child custody mediator and child psychologist, Dr. Donald Saposnek, notable appellate attorney Leslie Ellen Shear, attorney-CDR professionals Fern Topas Salka, Wendy R. Landes, Judith C. Nesburn, Heidi Tuffias, Kathleen Dillon, and Ronald Supancic, collaborative attorneys Joe Spirito, Kim Davidson, and Donna Beck Weaver, financial expert Stephanie Maloney, career counselor Daisy Swan, coaches David Kuroda and Brook Olsen, Ph.D., Andrea Bush, M.F. C.C., Judith Mcleese, and a panel of adult children of divorce.

Pointers will cover how we as attorneys and other divorce support professionals can:

* Ethically and responsibly include the voices of children in the mediation process

* Facilitate the settlement processes between the sessions

* Make the internal shift from litigator to consensual dispute resolution professional

* Help give divorcing families the necessary tools to assist them in establishing their post-separation lives

The price for this program is $125.00. Student prices are available. A continental breakfast as well as light snacks will be provided throughout the event.

To sign up, contact Thee Los Angeles County Bar Member Services at 213/896-6560 and mention the LACBA program number 10832.

For more information about this program, go to www.cdr4-10-10event.com or contact co-chair of the State Bar Family Law Section on CDR/ADR Standing Committee (South), Fern Topas Salka at fern@wgn.net

CLE and BBS credits will be given for attendance.