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Winter 2020 Book Drive

Book Drive

Each quarter we will seek donors to purchase a new title for the Law Library. Here is our Wish List for the Winter season. Growing our collection is about so much more than a single book—it is a living demonstration of how the Library expands the public’s access to justice and provides legal practitioners with the tools they need to represent members of our local community. Please see our Donation Guide for more ways to support the Law Library.

Complete QDRO HandbookThe Complete QDRO Handbook, 4th ed.
Written by Patricia D. Shewmaker and James Robert Lewis IV
$149.95, ABA, 2019
ISBN: 9781641053587

Discovery across the GlobeDiscovery across the Globe: Obtaining Evidence Abroad to Support U.S. Proceedings
Edited by Brett Harrison, Gavin Foggo, and Jorge A. Mestre
$149.95, ABA, 2020
ISBN: 9781641055086

DRONES A LEGAL RESEARCH GUIDEDrones: A Legal Research Guide
Written by Carol A. Fichtelman
$85, William S. Hein & Co., Inc.,2019
ISBN: 9780837741161

Family Law Financial DiscoveryFamily Law Financial Discovery 
Written by Roberta B. Bennett et al.
$290, CEB, 2019
ISBN: 9780762613045

HIPAA A Practical Guide to the Privacy and Security of Health DataHIPAA: A Practical Guide to the Privacy and Security of Health Data, 2nd ed.
Written by June M. Sullivan and Shannon B. Hartsfield
$119.95, ABA, 2020
ISBN: 9781641055727

Negotiation Essentials for LawyersNegotiation Essentials for Lawyers
Edited by Andrea Kupfer Schneider and Christopher Honeyman
$99.95, ABA, 2019
ISBN: 9781641054812

Removal DefenseRemoval Defense: Defending Immigrants in Immigration Court, 3rd ed.
Written by Erin Quinn and ILRC Staff Attorneys
$225, ILRC, 2020

Sexuality LawSexuality Law, 3rd ed.
Written by Arthur S. Leonard and Patricia A. Cain
$140, Carolina Academic Press, 2019
ISBN: 9781611632361

The Waivers BookThe Waivers Book, 3rd ed.
Edited by Ruth Lozano McChesney and Sarah K. Redzic
$279, AILA, 2019
ISBN: 9781573704373


Please take a look at our Book Drive page to see Wish List items from prior months. We are still wishing for these books!


To donate, please contact sflawlibrary@sfgov.org or call (415) 554-1791. We appreciate your contribution!


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January Book of the Month: Representing Children in Dependency and Family Court

Representing ChildrenRepresenting Children in Dependency and Family Court: Beyond the Law
By Rebecca M. Stahl and Philip M. Stahl​
Reviewed by Andrea Woods, Reference Librarian

Representing Children in Dependency and Family Court: Beyond the Law is a thoughtful new book from the ABA that guides legal representatives of children in dependency and family court through the professional and emotional challenges they will encounter. As the subtitle indicates, it takes readers “beyond the law” and delves into the complex psychological issues that children experience prior to and during these proceedings that their lawyers must understand. Authors Rebecca and Philip Stahl begin by examining the unique attributes that a child’s representative must have, noting that they need a fundamental curiosity about their child clients and a willingness to understand their motivations, feelings, and experiences. Only with this deeper level understanding of the child’s perspective can a lawyer adequately inform the judge what decisions the court should make, and the authors emphasize that the judge’s entire comprehension of the child will come from the lawyer’s ability to know and communicate the child’s views. In fact, the authors urge a new interpretation of the lawyer’s role, in which the lawyer uses the concept of an imaginary friend to guide their representation. In this model, the child retains a sense of autonomy and is able to use the lawyer to make sense of the adult world. This is especially relevant for children who are enmeshed in high-conflict situations, in which their parents are likely to put their own needs before their children’s.

The authors’ discussion of psychological issues provides the bulk of the book’s content, and it covers in detail trauma, child development, the impact of domestic violence on children, high-conflict separation and divorce, alienated-resistant children, and special circumstances such as neglect, immigration status, oppositional defiant disorder, and sexual abuse. Readers will benefit from the authors’ expertise with these complicated topics. With a thorough understanding of the ways that psychological issues manifest themselves both emotionally and physically, and what conditions are needed for a child to heal and recover, the lawyer can learn the proper way to communicate with their client and provide the best representation possible. The authors note that trauma-sensitive interviewing requires considerable patience and self-regulation on the part of the lawyer, and an awareness of the child’s reaction so that the representative can help the child client release emotion but also move forward. Again, the authors emphasize how critical it is for a child’s representative to understand why a child behaves in a certain way, rather than to focus on what the problematic behavior is.

The last three chapters of the book are devoted to the personal and professional challenges that a child’s representative will experience directly—ethical issues, bias, and personal impact. The authors acknowledge that the ethical issues are bound to be unique because of the tendency for the child’s representative to be the only legally trained person on the case other than the judge, as more and more litigants in these types of proceedings represent themselves. Furthermore, there is an inherent tension between the best interests of the child model and the child client’s personal autonomy that the lawyer must navigate. The authors’ comprehensive discussion of the types of bias that a child’s representative must grapple with is insightful and recognizes the difficulty of this type of work. They observe that children’s lawyers must be so fully trained in understanding bias that they can also recognize the biases of their own clients, unlike other areas of law practice where this is not necessary. Finally, the authors discuss the emotional and physical toll that representing children in dependency and family cases will have on their lawyers. With an understanding of how legal practice differs from healing professions, and the resulting limitations in terms of what children’s representatives can do that they must accept, the authors provide thoughtful advice on how to avoid compassion fatigue and continue to find reward in representing children. The authors do not suggest that there are easy ways to reconcile these personal and professional issues, but their knowledge and the breadth of their experience in representing children provides ample guidance.


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Book Review: Checklist for My Family

Checklist for My Family

The thought of getting your affairs in order, including finances, legal documents, online accounts, wishes about medical care, etc. for your final days can be overwhelming and downright depressing. With her book, Checklist for My Family: A Guide to My History, Financial Plans, and Final Wishes, author Sally Balch Hurme makes it easy and even enjoyable to create a plan as she directs readers to look at it as a “gift to your loved ones, sparing them stressful decisions and needless frustrations when you’re ill or upon your death.”

Each chapter walks you through the steps and what to consider when putting an end-of-life plan together. Chapters cover everything from your personal history, assets and liabilities, to medical care and final wishes. Each chapter offers sample forms to record your personal data and checklists to help you determine what to include. Helpful tips are scattered throughout, such as taking advantage of family gatherings to compile family medical history; explanations of insurance policies; special items for Veterans; finances and assets to include; and all the optional personal considerations for your final wishes. Appendices offer additional reading lists and websites for further research into specific topics.

Give yourself and your family the gift of security and calm by getting your life in order today.