Jump To Navigation

261 South Wetherly Drive | Beverly Hills, CA 90211 | Telephone: (310) 550-8214

Email Us

Attorney Profile

2755569_1.jpgHoney Kessler Amado

Beverly Hills, California

phone (310) 550-8214
fax (310) 274-7384
email Email Me

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
Certification/Specialties:
Appellate Law Specialist, State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization, 1997-present
Martindale-Hubbell, AV Rated
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
Education:
Western State University College of Law, Fullerton, California, 1976
J.D.
Law Review: Western State Law Review, 1976
California State College (University), Long Beach, CA, 1971
B.A.
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:
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)

Community Activities

  • 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-)