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Cutting-Edge Issues

Children: Parents and Move-Aways

In 2003, Ms. Amado successfully represented a mother seeking to return to Israel with her young child, as allowed by the trial court. Consistent with cases from around the world, the California Court of Appeal (Second District) held that Israel is not a “war zone” and that the child could return to Israel with his mother. Implicitly, the Court also found that Israel is a trust worthy partner and could be expected to enforce a California custody and visitation order, rejecting father’s arguments to the contrary. In re Marriage of Abargil (2003)106 Cal.App.4th 1294, 131 Cal.Rptr.2d 429.

In 2005, Ms. Amado represented Kristine H. in a case which helped to define parental rights between same-sex couples in California. The California Supreme Court ruled that parental rights and obligations can arise in a same sex relationship through presumed paternity statutes, whereby, without adoption, a partner may be declared the mother of her ex partner's biological child. The court further estopped a biological mother from denying the effects of a pre birth judgement granting parental rights to her partner. Kristine H. v. Lisa R. (2005) 37 Cal.4th 156, 33 Cal.Rptr. 3d 81. (Kristine H was heard, along with two companion cases, Elisa B. v. Superior Court (Elisa B.), California Supreme Court Case No. S 125912, and K.M. v. E.G., California Supreme Court Case No. S 125643. Link to an audio of the arguments for all three cases can be found at the Supreme Court's website: Supreme Court, Archived Audios: 1) Elisa B. v. Superior Court (Emily B., et al., Real Parties in Interest; 2) K.M. v. E.G., and 3) Kristine H. v. Lisa R. The televised broadcast of the arguments for the three cases is available through The California Channel at http://www.calchannel.com/). Ms. Amado represented the birth mother in Kristine H.

Property: Defining and Dividing It

The issue of whether professional goodwill – celebrity goodwill and executive goodwill – should be a quantifiable asset, valued and distributed upon dissolution of marriage, is an issue of continuing interest to Ms. Amado. (Professional goodwill refers to defining an individual’s extraordinary earning capacity as an asset.) She was invited to speak on the issue at a panel on representing celebrity clients at the American Bar Association in August 2004, and has written a number of articles on the issue, including “Celebrity Goodwill: Characterization and Value,” chapter 43, §§43.01 and 43.02 (note: §§43.03 and 43.04 addressed valuation and presented a different view on celebrity goodwill, 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); “Personal Values,” Los Angeles Lawyer, June 2005; and “Fiction and Imagination: Celebrity and Personal Good Will” in the American Journal of Family Law, Volume 19, Number 3, Fall 2005, page 172. In “Personal Values” (Los Angeles Lawyer), Ms. Amado argued that California should follow the better and well reasoned lead of sister states to discard the concept of personal goodwill as a divisible, community asset. “Fiction and Imagination” made a similar point, focusing on celebrity goodwill.

These articles can be found on the Articles page.