Hon. PRJO: Hypothesis to Cultural Consideration

About Hon. PRJO:
[The Hon. Phantom Retired Judicial Officer (PRJO) is a dear friend of  the “Culture Counts”. After many years of family law practice as a California
attorney was appointed to the bench as a Commissioner. In both capacities, as an attorney and a Judicial Officer, he  handled thousands of complicated family law disputes, many  involving multi-cultural litigants.  The PRJO  is currently retired, yet handles a busy calendar as a Private Judge, as well as conducting seminars and workshops on the California Family Law Code and Case law. The PRJO has been (and is) deeply involved in reading and writing about the cultural issues,  and seeking solutions in application of the cultural values to the division of property and support in family disputes.
For many reasons, both personal and professional, the PRJO has decided not to reveal his identity at the present time, but he has promised that the secrecy will not last forever. “Culture Counts” welcomes arrival and contribution of Hon. PRJO to this forum and hopes that sooner, rather than later, be able to reveal his name.
Admin]

The Phantom Retired Judicial Officer:
Hypothesis to Cultural Consideration

Gitu, Diana, Abbas:
I am supportive of your mission to increase awareness of cultural diversity and its implications for family law.  You guys are early campaigners–call yourselves pioneers–to bring a serious and important problem to wider public attention and to affect how everyone involved in any facet of family law conducts himself or herself so that problems arising out of cultural diversity are better handled.
I see you all as kind of analogous to the people who long ago started to campaign to deal with domestic violence very differently from the way it had been both handled and perceived.  They ultimately caused a real shift in public attitudes and public policy in that area, for which they deserve huge applause.  (This doesn’t mean that I don’t think that the current laws have gone too far, primarily because theLegislature has chosen to characterize a huge range of different conduct as all constituting one offense, domestic violence, and the collateral consequences of that label are draconian.  Using a criminal law analogy, the Legislature treats minor misdemeanors the same way it treats major felonies, and that produces a lot of bad outcomes.  Folks who ought not suffer all the collateral consequences of being found to have engaged in something called domestic violence, even if it was just being annoying, do so suffer, and some judges are reluctant to find that someone has engaged in domestic violence when the offending conduct is minor just because the judges see that the collateral consequences are so draconian. There is a solution, of course.  Create two class of DV.  One could be DV Classic, and the other DV Lite.  But I digress.)
I am sending you  (2) Comments, one about your
“Amicus Brief Page”, and other about “Cultural Gifts in the Family Courts” [Published by Abbas Hadjian,  June 26, 2010. Admin]. They are intended to be private.
Having said all this, you can publish my comments as is, or better yet, you can take them and rework them, PROVIDED THAT YOU DO NOT IDENTIFY THE SOURCE other than to say a retired judicial officer who requested not to be quoted publicly until he could think his way through the complex problem, or something like that.  You could even call me the PRJO, the Phantom Retired Judicial Officer.  Or not. I thought that  if my hypothesis has merit, it will be valuable for it to see the light of day, and better yet, it will result in some adjustment in tone and substantive content of your valuable Culture Counts publication.

PRJO,
The Phantom Retired Judicial Officer

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