California Lawyer


April 2013

Industry of Standards
We at Center for Family Building congratulate our colleague, Andrew Vorzimer, and our other friends mentioned in the kind focus piece ["The Baby Broker," January]. We are concerned, however, that the unfortunate devotion of significant space in the article to the criminals who have preyed on the infertile implies a lawlessness in a practice area that has actually been well-regulated - without the need for legislation - by seasoned and ethical lawyers, especially the members of the Academy of California Adoption Lawyers/Academy of California Family Formation Lawyers (ACAL/ACFFL).

In fact, many of the statements attributed to Mr. Vorzimer in the article are not representative of the opinions of the legal community in this area of law. Among other things, ACAL/ACFFL's members worked hard to ensure that Family Code Section 7962 codified our best practices without unduly restricting this nascent industry. We wish to emphasize that no legislation in the State of California in this area of law has been passed without the active participation of ACAL/ACFFL. We are proud to include among our members Cynthia E. Fruchtman, whose excellent MCLE article ["Whose Pregnancy Is It?"] can be found in the same issue.
Ted R. Youmans
Anaheim Hills

Cause for Contempt
In "E-Cruelty" [January], we have a high school student who posts on YouTube a mean, hurtful video directed at a classmate, and is thereafter suspended from school for two days for cyberbullying. That student, if my offspring, would be grounded for the rest of the school year.

But Daddy is a lawyer, so he sues the school district, procures an order vacating the suspension, and receives, courtesy of the taxpayers, an award for attorneys fees sufficient to buy the family a new Lexus. And our Bar wonders why the lay community holds our profession in contempt.
Michael Mahoney
San Francisco

Tales of a City
I read Connie Rice's Power Concedes Nothing last year [Books, January], and I am basically still speechless. There is so much more in it than one article or review can convey. The book covers many years of Ms. Rice's life, and I could not help but notice that as time goes on, she is absorbed into the police establishment and loses touch with the people on the streets she wants to fight for. Still, telling these stories is an incredibly important thing - and that, to me, makes this one of the most important books about Los Angeles I've ever read, if not the most important book.

But there are contradictions: One of the most heartrending involves her participation in an effort to teach prisoners in solitary confinement how to properly behave toward other people. Throughout, she never indicts the system that keeps people in concrete boxes for years and years, nor does she relate that in California, some are kept there for decades. And yet it seems to her that they are the ones who need to change. This seems horribly unfair to me. One of my chief impressions upon finishing the book is that one cannot hope to understand the troubles of people without being willing to live in their community, and to understand that so many of the things they teach at Harvard are wrong.
Cynthia Burkey
Los Angeles

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