Beverly Hills, California
Ms. Amado has been practicing law since 1977 and has been a certified appellate law specialist, certified by the State Bar of California, Board of Legal Specialization, since 1997. Ms. Amado represents clients on appeal in both the intermediate Courts of Appeal and the state's highest review court, the California Supreme Court. She has represented clients in the federal appellate courts and is admitted to the United States Supreme Court.
Although Ms. Amado does not represent clients in the trial court, she is often part of a litigation team in the trial court to assist in identifying issues, in creating a sufficient record for appeal, in drafting memoranda on evolving or complex legal issues, or in writing or helping to draft post-judgment pleadings and motions. In cases before the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court, she prepares all appellate briefs and pleadings and presents the oral argument. At the conclusion of the appeal, the case returns to trial counsel for any further trial court proceedings.
A substantial portion of Ms. Amado's appellate practice involves family law – marital dissolution issues. Ms. Amado has represented clients in custody disputes involving sister-states and foreign countries, arguing issues relevant to the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) or the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. Ms. Amado has worked on several cutting-edge issues in family law, including defining fiduciary duties between spouses, defining celebrity and personal goodwill, defining parental rights between same-sex couples, and the limits of the mediation confidentiality.
Ms. Amado has served as counsel of record in many high profile and seminal appellate cases, including In re Marriage of Abargil, 106 Cal. App. 4th 1294, 131 Cal. Rptr. 2d 429 (2003) which held that Israel is not a “war zone” and was a trust-worthy partner for the enforcement of a California order; in Kristine H. v. Lisa R. , 37 Cal. 4th 156, 33 Cal. Rptr. 3d 81 (2005), which held that a lesbian partner could be a presumed parent of her partner’s biological child; and Marriage of Feldman, 153 Cal.App.4th 1470, 64 Cal.Rptr.3d 29 (2007), which addressed the fiduciary duty between divorcing spouses and compliance with disclosure statutes.
Ms. Amado has written and lectured extensively on issues of concern to family law or appellate law practitioners. She has been a Guest Adjunct Professor at the University of Osijek and a Guest Lecturer at Cal State Northridge. She is well-respected for her knowledge and for the clarity of her writing.
- Areas of Practice:
- 100% Litigation & Appeals
- Appellate Law Specialist, State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization, 1997-present
- Bar Admissions:
- California, 1977
- United States District Court Central District of California, 1981
- United States Court of Appeals 9th Circuit, 1981
- United States Supreme Court, 1994
- Western State University College of Law, Fullerton, California, 1976
Law Review: Western State Law Review, 1976
- California State College (University), Long Beach, CA, 1971
Major: Political Science (International Relations and American Government)
- Special Recognition:
- Named as a Southern California Super Lawyer by Los Angeles Magazine (2005-2014)
- Published Works:
- "Procedures in American Courts," chapter co-authored with Adair Dyer, International Kidnapping: The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, edited by Louis Garb (2006, Koninklijke Brill NV).
- "Beat the Clock," Los Angeles Lawyer, Vol. 33, No. 1, March 2010 (re: timely filing of notices of appeal); cover article.
- "Electing between Clerk’s Transcript and Appendix in Lieu of Clerk’s Transcript," Appellate Tips for Trial Lawyers, Volume II, Number 6, an e-publication of the Los Angeles County Bar Association, March 2010.
- "Celebrity Goodwill: Characterization and Value," chapter 43, §§43.01 and 43.02 (§§43.03 and 43.04 authored by Michael Miskei, CPA and Alfred Warsavsky, CPA/ABV, CVA), Valuing Professional Practices and Licenses (3d ed.), edited by Ron Brown), 2010-2 Supplement (Aspen Publishers, Wolters Kluwer).
- "Fiction and Imagination: Celebrity and Personal Good Will", American Journal of Family Law, Volume 19, Number 3, Fall, 2005
- "Personal Values", Los Angeles Lawyer, June, 2005
- "Statements of Decision", Advocate (Journal of Consumer Attorneys Association of Southern California), September, 2004
- "Unappealing Behavior" (re: sanctions on appeal), Los Angeles Lawyer, Vol. 20, No. 11, February, 1998
- "The Compleat Litigation Team: The Role of Appellate Counsel in Litigation", Los Angeles County Bar Association Litigation Section Newsletter, Vol. 11, No. 1, Fall, 1994
- Representative Cases:
- Kristine H. v. Lisa R. 37 Cal.4th 156, 117 Cal.Rptr. 2d 690 (2d Dist. 2005)
- S.M. v. E.P. 184 Cal.App.4th 1249, 109 Cal.Rptr.3d 792 (Cal.App. 4th 2010)
- In re Marriage of Abargil 106 Cal.4th 1294, 131 Cal.Rptr. 2d 429 (2d Dist. 2003)
- In re Marriage of Hubner, 94 Cal. App. 4th 175, 114 Cal. Rptr. 2d 646 (Cal. App. 4th 2001)
- In re the Marriage of Jenness Brewer and Ovidio Federici 93 Cal.4th 1334, 113 Cal.Rptr. 2d 849 (3d Dist. 2001)
- Small v. Hall’s Furniture Defined Benefit Pension Plan 79 Cal.4th 648, 94 Cal.Rptr.2d 313 (2d Dist. 2000)
- Classes/Seminars Taught:
- Panelist, "The Promise of the Hague Convention in Asia," American Bar Association, Seattle, Washington, June 2014;
- Panelist, "International Child Custody Disputes in the California Courts," California State Webinar, January 2014;
- Panelist, "Appeals (Civil) Winning Strategies from Start to Finish," Pincus Professional Education, Los Angeles, September 2011;
- Panelist, "Statements of Decision in Family Law and Other Civil Matters," California State Bar, State Bar Convention, September 2009;
- Panelist, "Fiduciary Duties and Mediation Privilege in Family Law," Los Angeles County Bar Association, 41st Annual Family Law Symposium, May 2009;
- Panelist, "Trial Court Strategies for Successful Family Law Appeals," California State Bar, State Bar Convention, September 2008;
- Speaker, "Keeping the Appeal in Mind During Trial," American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Southern California Chapter, April 2006;
- Panelist, "Representing Celebrity Clients in a Divorce - Celebrity Goodwill", American Bar Association Annual Convention, 2004
- Panelist and Presenter, Mock Appellate Court Argument, "2003 Court of Appeal Walkthrough", Los Angeles County Bar Association, 2003
- Panelist, "Hague Convention: Recent Developments and Intersections with the U.C.C.J.A.", International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, USA Chapter, 2001
- Professional Associations and Memberships:
- Los Angeles County Bar Association
- California Women Lawyers
- Women Lawyers of Los Angeles
- American Bar Association
- Pro Bono Activities:
- California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District Settlement and Mediation Panel, 1995 - Present
- Child Support Advisory Board, Los Angeles County (2008-2009)
- Los Angeles County Bar Association - Editorial Board, Los Angeles Lawyer Magazine, 1996 - 2006
- Chairman of the Editorial Board (2000-2001)
- Co Editor: 125th LACBA Anniversary Issue (March 2003)
- Los Angeles County Bar Association Appellate Courts Committee, 1987 - Present
- Los Angeles County Bar Association Appellate Judicial Evaluations Committee, 1989 - Present
- American Jewish Committee
- National Board of Governors (2006-Present)
- American Jewish Committee, Los Angeles Region
- President’s Council (2002-Present)
- Co Chair, International Committee (2004-2008)
- Co-Chair, Israel Affairs Committee (2008 to present)
- Jewish National Fund
- National Vice President (1994-1996)
- Los Angeles Region, Board of Directors (1990-1998, 2002-2004)
- Project Wadi Attir, National Chair (2014-)