Respecting Accuracy In Domestic Abuse Reporting, or RADAR, has released a searing report titled “Myths of the ABA Commission on Domestic Violence,” revealing the American Bar Association’s methods and practices applied in cases of domestic violence nationally.
These reports demonstrate that core ABA thinking, standards of practice and methodology for handling domestic violence cases is fraudulent, unethical and strongly discriminates on the basis of sex.
The ABA Commission on Domestic Violence, or CODV, bases its approach to domestic violence on a widely distributed document it created titled “10 Myths about Custody and Domestic Violence and How to Counter Them.” RADAR’s careful scrutiny found that the “facts” propounded by the ABA to counter alleged “myths” are myths themselves not backed by any credible science.
In the Executive Report, RADAR found that:
“10 Myths about Custody and Domestic Violence and How to Counter Them” is inadequate, confusing and suggests policy directions contraindicated by science. … Seven of the purported 10 myths are either misleading or found not to be myths. Ten of the 19 claims are actually false. And the quality of nine of the 20 cited documents is poor or very poor. In its quest to debunk a series of custody and domestic violence misconceptions, the ABA Commission on Domestic Violence ironically has ended up reinforcing old misconceptions.
The [ABA report] is profoundly and systematically biased. It is unworthy to be used as a foundation for legal practice or public policy.
The ABA has systematically substituted symbolism for science in family law for many years. With the passing of time, evanescent jurisprudence in the courts, legislation and training has been replaced with increasingly risible shibboleths invented by feminists strategically perched up and down the legal profession.
Profoundly biased standards of practice
The ABA Domestic Violence Standards of Practice displays overt sex bias obvious to even an untrained individual. The victim is repeatedly defined as female. For example: “The lawyer should discuss with the client her wishes regarding temporary custody and visitation, keeping in mind jurisdictional issues.”
The additional commentary attached to ABA Standards of Practice document extends sex biases even further: “May a client flee for safety to another state with her children without being charged criminally?”
Justice is not served by pre-defining victims as female. The wide body of 209 empirical reports measuring both female and male-perpetrated violence indicate women are at least as likely as men to be perpetrators of serious domestic violence. In cases of non-reciprocal IPV, women are the initiators of 70.7 percent of domestic violence.
ABA Standards fail to assess whether the accuser may be the abuser. The Standards requires no disclosure of evidence to opposing counsel when self-nominating victims make false allegations of abuse. One credible study of couples involved in adjudicated custody disputes found that DV allegations were made in 55 percent of the cases studied. Of those allegations, 59 percent could not be substantiated as true.
Elaine Epstein, former president of the Massachusetts Women’s Bar Association, writes that “allegations of abuse are now used for tactical advantage” in divorce courts and that restraining orders are doled out “like candy. … In virtually all cases, no notice, meaningful hearing, or impartial weighing of evidence is to be had.”
Despite the probability that over half of domestic violence allegations in divorce and custody situations are not true, the ABA Standards of Practice Document provides no guidance for attorneys about how to handle cases where allegations are patently false. The results are astonishing: Mothers get primary residential custody in 93.4 percent of divorces, men only 2.5 percent of divorces.
Children pay dearly for the ABA’s mishandling of family law policy. Children of single parents are 90 percent more likely to sustain moderate injury or harm than children in married families, 120 percent more likely to experience some type of child abuse or neglect, and 220 percent more likely to be educationally neglected.
Is ABA culpable for commission’s actions?
The members of the ABA Commission on Domestic Violence must be held responsible for executing feminist policy while ignoring well-known scientific fact and truths about human nature.
Framing the ABA Standards of Practice requires at least the same level of thoroughness and balance as prosecution of any individual case. Prosecutor Mike Nifong followed the CODV’s recipe to the letter pursuing the Duke rape case and was disbarred for it. Like the CODV, Nifong made wild public accusations while concealing material facts and evidence to achieve a slam-dunk. Like Nifong, the CODV made wild accusations while concealing material facts and evidence to achieve its nationwide slam-dunk.
The president of the ABA recently endorsed the CODV legislative agenda that would lead to billions in federal funding and much work for predatory feminist lawyers.
WND columnist Phyllis Schlafly points out the obvious conflict of interest involved: “Attorneys are a special-interest group just like any other group that aggressively lobbies for the interests of its members.”
Judge Robert H. Dierker points boldly to the larger core issue involved: “The femifascist confluence with liberalism has spawned a truly horrible jurisprudence. Concluding that the law should not treat men and women equally, but should treat women better than men to ‘compensate’ women for centuries of oppression, radical feminists exclude men from any reproductive rights and attack traditional marriage, with its implied contractual rights of both men and women.”
When Richard B. Teitelman (now a Missouri Supreme Court judge) was executive director of Legal Services of Eastern Missouri in the 1990s, he adamantly refused requests to provide free legal services to poor men falsely accused of domestic violence or child abuse.
Despite the fact that Legal Services Corporation aggressively prosecutes allegations by women, and is not known to defend poor men falsely accused of it, ABA President William H. Neukom recently urged the Senate Judiciary Committee to increase LSC funding to enable even more false prosecutions. Additional LSC funding will buy only two possible outcomes: more broken families and a lot of self-aggrandizing work for attorneys.
The ABA strongly supports Sen. Joe Biden’s plan to establish a volunteer army of “100,000 Domestic Violence Lawyers” (S.1515). In a press release, the ABA “applauded” the Senate Judiciary Committee for passing S.1515 out of committee.
S.1515 would cost $55 million annually – partially for college loan reimbursements for LSC lawyers. Since the Violence Against Women Act was enacted in 1994, domestic violence rates (which declined steadily between 1974 and 1994) have flattened. VAWA-related cases are largely handed by lawyers of LSC grantees.
Radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh instinctively knew that the prosperous legal profession does not need pork for feminist law school students.
Commented Limbaugh: “What a scam. So the hundred thousand lawyers are paid off with a 20 percent reduction in their student loan outstanding balance. Look, none of this surprises me. This is something that Democrats, people like Joe Biden, are entirely capable of.”
The absence of due diligence and consistent aggressive misrepresentation of science and policy demonstrated by the ABA cannot be written off as mere complaisance or oversight.
The ABA Code of Ethics Rule 8.4 states that “It is professional misconduct for a lawyer to: … (c) engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation. …” The ABA, in its entirety, appears to have violated this rule in its handling of domestic violence jurisprudence.
The public is becoming keenly aware about the ABA’s mishandling of justice in American family law. Respect for the rule of law is diminishing as we speak. Only one question remains: Is the ABA willing to reform its practices willingly or unwillingly?
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David R. Usher is senior policy analyst for the True Equality Network and president of the American Coalition for Fathers and Children, Missouri Coalition.