Representing the Domestic Violence Survivor, 2nd Edition

Representing The Domestic Violence Survivor, 2nd Edition Critical Legal Issues; Effective Safety Strategies By Barry Goldstein, J.D., and Elizabeth Liu, J.D.

"… a must for every practitioner representing abuse survivors.” —Margaret B. Drew, J.D. LL.M. Domestic Violence Consultant

“. . . this book will help attorneys overcome the advantages abusers have in court and in the process help good judges learn the best ways to protect children and avoid being manipulated by common abuser tactics.” —Rita Smith, Executive Director, National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Successful advocacy begins here …

Demonstrate abusers’ history and pattern of abuse Respond to common legal tactics abusers use Use current behavioral science research to support your client’s case Successfully work with—and, if necessary, challenge—court-appointed "neutral" individuals such as guardians ad litem and mental health professionals Understand trauma and incorporate healthy and productive ways of addressing trauma into case work Too often, the courts get domestic violence cases spectacularly wrong—favoring abusive fathers while placing protective mothers and their children in grave jeopardy. In fairness to judges, some of the mistakes are caused by the failure of victims’ attorneys to present needed information to courts. We all need to do better!

Written by two nationally respected attorney advocates based on “best practices” in trial court and on current science on the effects of interpersonal violence, Representing the Domestic Violence Survivor provides attorneys and advocates with a complete roadmap for planning, preparing, briefing, and arguing DV cases—including civil protection cases, custody cases, and criminal cases—in the most effective way possible in order to provide better protection for survivors of domestic violence and their children.

This completely updated edition includes new chapters on using the compelling scientific research that has emerged on “Adverse Childhood Experiences” in reaching just custody decisions, and on the stealth role that gender bias, especially implicit bias, can play in compromising judicial decision making.

You’ll discover:

How to build a productive working relationship with your client and play a constructive role in empowering your clients to improve their lives How to create a safety plan for each client—and why safety plans should be standard practice in DV cases How to educate the court about current scientific research on violence and victim behavior, and how to use these facts effectively on your client’s behalf How to work effectively with domestic violence experts—specialist advocates familiar with research on DV and safety How to respond to the possibility of publicity How to handle allegations of child sexual abuse How to challenge abusers’ false allegations and pseudoscientific claims of Parental Alienation Syndrome and its new iteration, child alienation How to focus the court’s attention on issues and approaches that promote the safety of mothers and children How to “prepare in advance” in case an appeal is required How to challenge the status quo by focusing on safety for survivors, especially children who witness violence in the home “Chances are every fourth female client of every law office in America needs to be advised of her legal rights concerning domestic violence. Some male clients need the same help. And chances are, most lawyers lack the professional skills to recognize this and are unprepared to advise those clients even if they did. That is why this is a book lawyers need. . . .

“Domestic violence victims need competent representation. Their children need protection. The legal system needs lawyers who will reform its scandalous failures. This book provides valuable tools for those efforts. An alternate title for the book might be “What They Never Taught You.” A debt of gratitude is owed by lawyers and their domestic violence clients to the work of two seasoned legal experts to bring this wealth of knowledge together here. . . . This commendable work encapsulates the lessons they have learned and brings decades of relevant research to the hands of those who will carry on this work.” —Mike Brigner, J.D., from the Foreword to Representing the Domestic Violence Survivor

“This book is a gift for all legal professionals and concerned community members as it provides comprehensive, evidence-based guidance to improve our interventions with abuse survivors, offenders and their children. It will be an invaluable resource for our Family Protection Clinic attorneys and law students.” —Sarah M. Buel, Clinical Professor of Law, Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law, Arizona State University; Founding Director and Senior Advisor, Halle Center for Family Justice; Director, Ruth V. McGregor Family Protection Clinic, Tempe, AZ

“Barry Goldstein and Elizabeth Liu have answered my dreams, by creating this outstanding and comprehensive legal guide. It is currently challenging for abused women to find any attorney who understands the complexities of their circumstances, and who will assiduously represent their interests. For any lawyer who is interested in filling this urgent gap, Representing the Domestic Violence Survivor is their ticket. Goldstein and Liu leave no stone unturned in this book, and that thoroughness is necessary, because abusers and their allies have a seemingly endless series of legal tricks up their sleeve. The publication of this book is a blow for justice.” — Lundy Bancroft, author, The Batterer as Parent

“Goldstein and Liu have given those who serve survivors the platform for competent advocacy. Lawyers and advocates should pay close attention to the chapter on vicarious trauma and strategies to prevent service providers from burning out.”—Margaret B. Drew, J.D. LL.M.

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