Trial Court Erred Denying Father’s Motion to Intervene in Contested Adoption

Case: In re the Matter of: I.J., Child, T.M. v. L.D. and J.D.
by Mike Kohlhaas, Bingham Greenebaum Doll

HELD: In adoption proceedings, trial court erred when it denied putative father’s motion to intervene and contest an adoption. Putative father’s intervention was timely because he registered with the putative father registry within 30 days after Child’s birth.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY:
Child was born to Mother on March 21, 2004. At the time of the birth, Mother was married to Husband. However, Mother promptly gave Child to Adoptive Parents who, on March 24, filed a petition to adopt Child. Mother and Husband both consented to the adoption.

On April 3, Putative Father advised the trial court that he believed he was Child’s father, and he filed with the putative father registry on April 15. The trial court appointed counsel for Putative Father, and he filed a motion to contest the adoption, followed by a motion for genetic testing. Adoptive Parents objected.

The trial court denied Putative Father’s motions on the basis that he had failed to register with the putative father registry in a timely manner. Putative Father appealed.

The Court of Appeals reviewed the applicable registry statute.  Ind. Code 31-19-5-12 sets a deadline for a putative father to register in order to be entitled to contest an adoption. However, in this case, that deadline was the later of: (a) the filing of the adoption petition; and (b) 30 days after the child’s birth. Here, while Putative Father registered after the adoption petition was filed, it was still before Child was 30 days old. Thus, Putative Father registered timely and was entitled to the related procedural rights and safeguards.

The trial court’s order was reversed and remanded.

To view the text of this opinion in its entirety, click here: In re the Matter of: I.J., Child, T.M. v. L.D. and J.D.

 

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James A. Reed and Michael R. Kohlhaas of Bingham Greenebaum Doll represent clients in a wide spectrum of relationship transition and wealth planning matters, including premarital agreements, estate planning, cohabitation, separation, divorce (especially involving high net worth individuals and/or complex asset issues), custody, parenting arrangements, adoption, and domestic partnerships. Bingham Greenebaum Doll, a multidisciplinary law firm serving regional, national, and international clients, is the fourth-largest law firm in Indiana. The firm’s main practices include corporate, property, litigation, labor, government law, and personal services law. Visit the firm’s website at www.bgdlegal.com.

ICLEF • Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum, Indianapolis, IN

Posted in Family Law Case Review0 Comments

Notes on Negotiations: Kids Can Benefit From Negotiation Concepts

Notes on Negotiations
By Marty Latz, Latz Negotiation Institute

“I feel so committed to my client that I have a really hard time being objective and analytical in my negotiations on their behalf,” a lawyer told me recently. “I really take things personally. What should I do?”

Several months ago I did a 30-minute presentation before a very intimidating group – my son’s 4th grade class. My goal? Help them learn one or two crucial negotiation concepts and make my son proud (or at least not embarrassed.)

While negotiation is a fundamental business skill, its concepts also apply to how children interact and socialize with each other. It also, of course, applies to how parents and kids communicate.

In fact, a recent New York Times article, “Teaching Social Skills to Improve Grades and Lives,” described a new study that found social skills of kindergartners that included: “cooperates with peers without prompting”; “is helpful to others”; “is very good at understanding feelings”; and “resolves problems on own” were predictive of a whole host of successful outcomes 13 to 19 years later.

So what should we be teaching our kids to help them learn and use these skills? Here are three, each of which parents – as an impactful parenting tool – should model for and with their kids.

1: Focus on interests – ask why
Good problem-solving skills always involve finding out the individuals’ interests underlying the problem. Don’t just find out what they want but why they want it.

I asked my son’s class to pick something they wanted from their parents and tell me how they tried to get it. While one kid tongue-in-cheek said he “extorts” things from his parents (a form of leverage, right?), one girl said she and her siblings wanted to go to Disneyland.

What did her parents do? They took a jar and marbles and each time a kid did a good deed or exhibited particularly positive behavior they put a marble in the jar. Once the jar was full, they would go to Disneyland.

This system satisfied the kids’ interests – having fun at Disneyland – while also satisfying their parents’ interests – ensuring their kids behaved really well.

The best way to help kids focus on interests is to encourage them to explore why they or their friends want something. Why is it important to not call someone names or to not cut in line? Why shouldn’t John always play quarterback during lunchtime football games?

They should also explain “why” if they want something – I want this app because it will help me learn the presidents’ names and we’re going over this in school.

I tell our kids “why” is the magic question in the negotiation world.

Ask and listen
The Greek philosopher Epictetus almost 2000 years ago said “we have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.” This is great advice. Encourage your kids – especially the more talkative ones – to listen more.

Suggest they ask more questions, too. Effective negotiators ask twice as many questions as others.

Negotiation and problem-solving is more about asking and listening than arguing and persuading.

Brainstorm solutions with them
Each Friday, during what they called Community Builder time, my son’s class would address a list of issues or problems someone had experienced that week and that they had written down. They would a) explore the issue and interests involved through questioning and listening, b) brainstorm possible solutions, and c) vote on the best solution.

I like this exercise because it emphasizes the above strategies and involves and empowers the students to take an active role in finding a beneficial solution that satisfies all their interests, including the teacher’s.

It also helps the students understand how it feels to be in another student’s shoes, a crucial problem-solving skill.

Of course, exercises like this must be age appropriate, and parents and teachers sometimes have to set policies and enforce them like a “benevolent dictator,” as my Dad used to say.

But exercises like this will help create the great negotiators of tomorrow.

Latz’s Lesson: Helping kids explore interests, ask and listen more, and brainstorm their own solutions will lead to effective problem-solving skills for kids’ – and for life’s – negotiations.

Note: This column includes insights from 10-year-old Jason Latz.

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Marty Latz is the founder of Latz Negotiation Institute, a national negotiation training and consulting company, and ExpertNegotiator, a Web-based software company that helps managers and negotiators more effectively negotiate and implement best practices based on the experts’ proven research.  He is also the author of Gain the Edge! Negotiating to Get What You Want (St. Martin’s Press 2004). He can be reached at 480-951-3222 or Latz@ExpertNegotiator.com

Marty will be Live In-Person here at the ICLEF Conference Facility, November 13. To learn more about Gain the Edge: Negotiation Strategies for Lawyers or to registerClick Here.

ICLEF • Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum, Indianapolis, IN

Posted in Negotiation/Mediation Blog, News0 Comments

Intellectual Property: Introduction to Criminal Copyright Infringement

By: Paul B. Overhauser Publisher: Indiana Intellectual Property Law News

First Element: Existence of a Valid Copyright
The first element of a criminal prosecution for copyright infringement under 17 U.S.C. § 506(a) requires proof that the copyright at issue is a valid copyright. This may be established by demonstrating that the formal requirements of copyright registration have been satisfied. Although registration of a copyrighted work is not necessary to obtain copyright protection, it is usually required before prosecuting a copyright defendant in criminal court.

Registration of a copyright is typically proven by obtaining a certificate of registration from the Register of Copyrights. Under 17 U.S.C. § 410(c), a certificate of registration “made before or within five years after the first publication of the work shall constitute prima facie evidence of the validity of the copyright. . . .” If the defendant contests the validity of the copyright at issue as a defense in a criminal prosecution, the government would need to make an independent evidentiary showing that the copyright is valid. This would involve showing that the copyright was not obtained by fraud and the registration certificate is genuine.

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By: Paul B. Overhauser, Publisher, Indiana Intellectual Property Law News

Overhauser Law Offices, LLC provides intellectual property services including patents, trademarks, copyrights and infringement litigation. Whether you’re an entrepreneur launching your first invention or a corporation looking for a litigation specialist, we have the legal experience to meet your goals.

To learn more about how Overhauser Law Offices can help you, browse our website to meet our lawyers and peruse our practice areas.  Then contact us, and we’ll put our expert team to work for you.

© 2015

ICLEF • Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum, Indianapolis, IN

Posted in Intellectual Property Blog0 Comments

Family Case Law Review: Indiana Supreme Court Vacated COA Opinion on Excessive Visitations

Case: Stanley Kahn v. Beverly (Kahn) Baker
by Mike Kohlhaas, Bingham Greenebaum Doll

HELD: In a grandparent visitation case, the Indiana Supreme Court affirmed the trial court’s order that gave the grandparents a significant visitation schedule: approximately 79 days per year, 24 of which would be overnights. The transfer vacated a Court of Appeals opinion from earlier this year in which the Court of Appeals determined the extent of the visitation schedule was excessive.

In its opinion, the Supreme Court was clear that trial courts should have broad discretion in fashioning a grandparent visitation schedule, that there were no specific statutory limitations on the amount of time the visitation schedule could provide, and that the appropriate amount of visitation will inevitably vary depending upon the circumstances of each case. Here, the trial court’s visitation order was appropriate given the young age of the child, the significant prior involvement the grandparents had in the child’s life, and the fact that much of the visitation was thoughtfully scheduled to occur on the Father’s call weekends.

Chief Justice Rush, joined by Justice Rucker, wrote a separate concurring opinion to suggest a preferred, less deferential analysis for grandparent visitation orders that would give heightened sensitivity to the constitutional considerations set forth in Troxel and elsewhere – specifically, that court-ordered grandparent visitation is necessarily in tension with parents’ constitutional rights to make decisions for their children. “I find it unhelpful to frame this issue as involving our usual ‘substantial deference to the trial court’s determination of family law matters.’” However, under the facts of this case, her less deferential analysis would have reached the same conclusion to affirm the trial court.

To view the text of this opinion in its entirety, click here: In Re the Visitation of L-A.D.W., R.W. v. M.D. and W.D.

To read the original digest of the Court of Appeals’ opinion, Click Here.

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James A. Reed and Michael R. Kohlhaas of Bingham Greenebaum Doll represent clients in a wide spectrum of relationship transition and wealth planning matters, including premarital agreements, estate planning, cohabitation, separation, divorce (especially involving high net worth individuals and/or complex asset issues), custody, parenting arrangements, adoption, and domestic partnerships. Bingham Greenebaum Doll, a multidisciplinary law firm serving regional, national, and international clients, is the fourth-largest law firm in Indiana. The firm’s main practices include corporate, property, litigation, labor, government law, and personal services law. Visit the firm’s website at www.bgdlegal.com.

ICLEF • Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum, Indianapolis, IN

Posted in Family Law Case Review0 Comments

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