Debra S. Frank (http://www.DSFrankLawOffice.com), a Certified Family Law Specialist in Century City, California, is currently serving as President of the Southern California Family Law American Inn of Court for 2017-2018 term. During her term, she has provided leadership for the Inn and played a central role in organizing the Family Law Inn of Court’s eleventh year of programs. The programs during this term have addressed a wide-range of timely issues of interest to family law attorneys..
October 16, 2017 - "The Paperless Office & Courtroom"Cari Pines, Los Angeles, CFLS, and Kevin Mooney, Orange County, CFLS, presented the set-up of a paperless office, trial apps, and trial presentations. The Honorable Christine Byrd demonstrated BenchView, the new court application which enables judicial officers to electronically access court files and other case information and documents.
November 13, 2017 - "The Paperless Office & Courtroom, Part 2"The Honorable Thomas Trent Lewis, LASC Supervising Family Law Judge provided family court updates. Cari Pines and Kevin Mooney presented the second part of their program on integrating the use of technology in the office and courtroom with comments by Judge Lewis.
January 8, 2018 - "Sanchez Is the Law, Why It Applies to Family Law and How to Use It"Stephen A. Kolodny, the Honorable Christine W. Byrd, and the Honorable Hank M. Goldberg discussed this significant case. The California Supreme Court determined in People v. Sanchez that a testifying expert's opinion may be based on otherwise inadmissible hearsay but that the underlying hearsay cannot be admitted for the truth of its content through the testimony of the expert.
February 5, 2018 - "DissoMaster and Support Calculations as Changed by the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act"This program focused on the impact of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on the practice of family law. The presentation was led by Art Grater with Ed Lyman, Jeremy Salvador, and Jared Tonks providing comments and addressing a range of issues raised by the TCJA.
March 12, 2018 - "Eliminate the 'He Said, She Said': Communication with OurFamilyWizard"An interactive workshop covering the OurFamilyWizard (OFW) toolset in detail, including an exclusive look at the newest and soon to be released features. The program emphasized gathering and presenting OFW data in the courtroom for complex custody and domestic violence cases, including instructions for generating OFW reports and obtaining certified business declarations. The speakers, Matt Havrevold, Professional Liaison, OurFamilyWizard, and Alexa Wolff, Esq., Pines Law Group also discussed case law and the relevant family/evidence codes while reviewing specific scenarios, samples of court orders, mediation agreements, and appellate decisions.
April 9, 2018 - "How to Write an Effective Declaration When Advocating in Custody and Visitation Litigation"The Honorable Harvey A. Silberman and the Honorable Theresa M. Traber presented this program. They provided the attendees with sample good and bad declarations presented by judicial law clerks and critiqued the declarations, with the judges providing their opinions as to what makes a good declaration and engaging in a lively discussion of good and bad declarations with the other seven judicial officers present at the meeting.
May 14, 2018 - "IRMO Swain and Hearsay Objections"The Honorable Laura A. Seigle and the Honorable Lawrence Riff discussed the March 26, 2018 the Court of Appeal decision in In re Marriage of Swain, holding that for post-judgment RFOs, a trial court may not consider a declaration over a hearsay objection if the declarant is not present to be cross-examined. Judge Seigle and Judge Riff discussed the reasoning of the case and implications for pre- and post-judgment RFO hearings.
The Honorable Laura A. Seigle and the Honorable Lawrence Riff:
Members of the Inn of Court at the May 14, 2018 meeting:
On June 11, 2018, the Family Law Inn of Court will host its annual Judges' Night. During the evening, the Inn will honor Judge Christine Byrd.
Ms. Frank previously served as President of the Southern California Family Law American Inn of Court 2012-2013, the only Family Law Inn of Court in Southern California, and she was one of the Inn's founding members. The mission of the American Inns of Court is to foster excellence in professionalism, ethics, civility, and legal skills. A chapter of the American Inns of Court, the Family Law Inn of Court is an amalgam of no more than 80 members including judges, experienced lawyers, law professors, less experienced lawyers, and law students in an organized and continuing structure designed to enhance directly the professional and ethical quality of legal practice in our community.
Debra S. Frank served as Chair of the Family Law Section of the Beverly Hills Bar Association for the 2011-2012 term and on the Beverly Hills Bar Association's Board of Governors for the 2009 through the 2012 term. She also served as the Chair of the Los Angeles County Bar Association Family Law Section for the 2010-2011 term and participates on the Family Law Executive Committee as a Past Chair. She was the editor of the Family Law Reference CD/book prepared in conjunction with the Los Angeles County Bar Association Family Law Symposium for over fifteen years.
She is the Associate Journal Editor for the Association of Certified Family Law Specialists, having served as the editor for the 2000-2001, 2009-2010, and the 2014-2016 terms. The Association of Certified Family Law Specialists (ACFLS) is a nonprofit, statewide bar association. ACFLS plays an active public policy role when the Appellate Courts, Legislature and Judicial Council consider matters of significance to family courts, family court populations or the family law bar. ACFLS has appeared as amicus in many family law appellate cases, including cases where the organization's participation was invited by the appellate court. It is the mission of ACFLS to promote and preserve the family law specialty. To that end, the Association seeks to: (1) advance the knowledge of Family Law Specialists; (2) monitor legislation and proposals affecting the field of family law; (3) promote and encourage ethical practice among members of the bar and their clients; and (4) promote the specialty to the public and the family law bar.
She served as a Commissioner on the Family Law Advisory Commission, Board of Legal Specialization, for the 2005-2008 term. The Family Law Advisory Commission reviews and make recommendations on certification and recertification applications to the Board of Legal Specialization, develops and grades the legal specialist examinations, reviews and approves applications for legal specialty education provider status and for individual education programs, and recommends revisions to the standards for certification and recertification to reflect current practice in family law.
She served on the State Bar Family Law Executive Committee and was both Editor and Assistant Editor of the State Bar's publication, Family Law News, and continues to serve as a Contributing Editor for the family law section of the California Lawyers Association (CLA), a member-driven, mission-focused organization dedicated to the professional advancement of attorneys practicing in the state of California. Established in 2018, CLA is a nonprofit, voluntary organization and the new home of the Sections of the State Bar of California and the California Young Lawyers Association.
She was a Governor Jerry Brown appointee to the California Law Revision Commission during his first term. The California Law Revision Commission is an independent state agency created by statute in 1953. It assists the Legislature and Governor by examining California law and recommending needed reforms. Family law was a major area of examination at that time.
Ms. Frank maintains her law practice in the Century City area of Los Angeles. She has practiced law for more than 30 years, limiting her practice to family law issues. A certified family law specialist, Ms. Frank has played important roles on the executive committees of the State Bar's Family Law Section, the Los Angeles County Bar Association's Family Law Section, the Beverly Hills Bar Association Family Law Section, the Association of Certified Family Law Specialists (ACFLS), and the Southern California Family Law American Inn of Court. She has been a panelist on and moderator of family law programs, has written articles on family law, served as a Judge Pro Tem, and is a past commissioner and vice chair of the California Law Revision Commission. She earned her undergraduate degree from Boston University, her M.A. degree from Carnegie-Mellon University, and her J.D. degree from Southwestern University School of Law.
Through her work with CEB and other contributions to the legal community as a practitioner and instructor, Ms. Frank has demonstrated an ongoing commitment to continuing legal education and the furtherance of the legal profession. She is the author of the chapter "Marital Agreements" in CEB's book California Marital Settlement and Other Family Law Agreements and of the chapter "Stock Options and Benefits Under Executive Business Plans" in CEB's book Dividing Pensions and Other Employee Benefits in California Divorces. In 2012, she was named a recipient of the "Spirit of CEB" Award, acknowledging her selfless sharing of information for the betterment of the legal profession and the society it serves.
Southern California Super Lawyers magazine named her as one of the top attorneys in Southern California for 2009 through 2018. And she is rated AV® Preeminent ™ by Martindale-Hubbell. (AV® Preeminent ™ and BV® Distinguished™ are certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies, 2011-present).
Her practice includes divorce and dissolution of marriage; California community property; spousal support/alimony; child support; child custody and child visitation; breach of fiduciary duty; domestic partnerships; prenuptial & postnuptial agreements; litigation; modifications of custody and support agreements; domestic violence; interstate custody; international custody; paternity and paternity tests; and property and debt division.
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Debra S. Frank, Esq.
Attorney at Law
Debra S. Frank, APLC
Los Angeles, CA