781.708.4445

wmlevine@levinedisputeresolution.com

Divorce Mediation Blog

In the Way Back Machine, or Where Are Our Priorities?

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Monday morning’s email included a notice from Massachusetts Bar Association Chief Legal Counsel, Martin W. Healy (via the Norfolk Bar Association), that next week, the Massachusetts House of Representatives will take up MBA’s proposed legislation to increase the hourly rate paid to court appointed counsel in Child In Need of Services cases to $55 per hour, and for Family Law and Care and Protection cases to $60 per hour. The long-standing and present rate is $50.

Looking at the situation on the glass-half-full side, those are 10% and 20% increases, respectively. Not bad in a virtual no-inflation economy.

On the other hand, what kind of a society are we?

This news caused us to reflect on the fact that when one of us entered private practice of family law, his hourly associate billing rate was also $55 per hour. So where’s the beef? That was 1981. And, it was roughly half of the rate charged for seasoned practitioners in the practice.

Can it be that in 2015, the representation of children and indigents in the most profound child delinquency, abuse and neglect and custody cases, is not yet valued as highly as the lowest lawyer in a private family law firm of 34 years ago, a period over which the cost of living has increased nearly 2 ½ times?

We know that there is a difference between privately contracted legal relationships and taxpayer paid appointments. But the constitutional ramifications in state intervention cases are far greater than in family law matters generally; and for the children involved, these cases cast a lifetime shadow, good or bad.

Please support this bill. It is the least we all can do.



Get e-mail notifications of new blog posts! Enter email address below.:



Delivered by FeedBurner

other articles


recent posts


tags

divorce mediators arbitrators support orders med/arb divorce litigation pre-ARA alimony annulment DOMA divorce agreement family law health coverage mediations family law mediation Levine Dispute Resolution divorce judgment traditional negotiations family law arbitrator divorce arbitrators Family Law Arbitration The Seven Sins of Alimony lawyer alimony orders high-risk methodology Alimony Reform Act how baseball arbitration works Divorce Agreements Defense of Marriage Act special master disputes alimony statute Matrimonial Arbitration health insurance Chouteau Levine rehabilitative alimony Massachusetts alimony and child support separation divorce lawyers Massachusetts alimony Same Sex Marriage private dispute resolution arbitrator divorce mediator Uniform Arbitration Act Massachusetts lawyers medical benefits family mediation mediator divorce and family law Child Support Guidelines COLA IRC §2704 divorce mediation alimony reform legislation lawyers Major League Baseball Arbitration General term alimony Baseball Players self-adjusting alimony family and probate law disputes dispute resolution divorce process Levine Dispute Resolution Center LLC Massachusetts divorce mediators conciliation lawyer-attended mediation mediation Levine Dispute Resolution Center resolve disputes Act Reforming Alimony in the Commonwealth Levine Dispute Resolutions facilitated negotiations Obamacare LDRC SJC litigation divorce and family law mediators Boston Massachusetts divorce lawyers alimony law divorce arbitrator divorce arbitration Baseball Arbitration divorced Cohabitation Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly Divorce fraud arbitration child support med-arb MLB labor agreement Massachusetts mediators Massachusetts Alimony Reform Act Baseball Self-adjusting alimony orders family support alimony family law arbitrators divorce mediations