Weekly Links

More on the Advance Fee Scams:
Fish & Richardson was targeted by scammers sending out fake checks drawn on firm accounts in mystery shopper scam:
http://www.law.com/jsp/article.jsp?id=1202434447042&hbxlogin=1
 

Why Do We Need the State’s Permission to Get Married Anyway?
http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2010/01/14/why-do-we-need-to-ask-the-state-for-permission-to-get-married-anyway/
 

Surrogacy Battles Expose Uneven Legal Landscape
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704362004575000974247846294.html
 

Oral arguments in the Supreme Court family case
Here’s a summary of what happened during the oral argument of the Supreme Court case I sent out last time:
http://www.slate.com/id/2241236/pagenum/all/
 

More Men Marrying Wealthier Women
Men 30 to 44 years old are increasingly likely to marry women with more education and income than they have.
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/19/us/19marriage.html?em
 

Therapists Report Increase in Green Disputes
Are we going to see the first organic food and Prius-related divorces?
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/18/science/earth/18family.html?em
 

A fun law-related read:
If a Siamese Twin Commits Murder, Does His Brother Get Punished, Too?
http://www.slate.com/id/2240595/pagenum/all/
Potentially interesting to a family lawyer: “The best analogy might be a pregnant convict, who, like our conjoined criminal, is physically attached to an otherwise innocent member of her immediate family. When you throw a pregnant woman in jail, you’re locking up her fetus, too. (Indeed, something like 10,000 pregnant women are now in federal or state prisons.) At first glance, incarceration means little to a developing fetus, though, whereas an innocent, adult twin would suffer for it. On the other hand, there’s some evidence that expectant mothers often receive inadequate prenatal care in prison. When an inmate finally gives birth, the baby is either taken away from her—which could be seen as its own form of punishment for the newborn—or it remains with the mother for up to a year in a prison nursery. Either way, the baby might be harmed by the incarceration of the mom. It’s not unusual for the courts to take such collateral damage into account when sentencing a defendant.”
 

Random question/idea I’ve been thinking about:
I just read the article from October in Texas Lawyer with more detail about the gay divorce case in Judge Callahan’s court. I think I remember from law school that you can’t make a full faith and credit clause argument because a marriage is not a judgment of a court that must be recognized in another state. What if there was a gay couple who not only married in Massachusetts, but also divorced there and received a divorce decree judgment from a MA court containing provisions regarding all the main issues – property, spousal support, child support, child custody, etc. To the extent Texas law allows modification of any of those issues, would a Texas court have to accept jurisdiction over the modification dispute since the judgment of another state’s court is at issue? I think probably so. So then you can’t marry in Texas, you probably can’t divorce in Texas, but you probably can do a modification in Texas? I haven’t researched the issue, but it might be a fun idea to kick around…

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Emily Miskel

Judge Emily Miskel was appointed by Texas Governor Greg Abbott as the first judge of the 470th family district court of Collin County, Texas. She graduated from Stanford University and Harvard Law School and she is board certified in family law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Find Emily on Google+, Facebook, and other social media.

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