Finding the Right Lawyer for You

A good lawyer is like a good friend – someone who is smart and honest, has your best interests at heart, and is enjoyable to be around. But finding such a lawyer can be an intimidating experience. Should you look online? Ask a friend to suggest someone? And how do you know when you’ve found the lawyer you need? Here are four things to look for when seeking legal counsel: 1) LGBT bona fides – Your first priority should be to find a fellow member of the LGBT community. Working with a lawyer means letting down your guard and entrusting […]

The Loss of 1,500 Kids in ICE Custody in 2017

In 1997, the administration of former President George W. Bush entered into a settlement agreement to address the problems that caused a lawsuit against Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”). The “Flores Agreement” of 1997 became law when most of the provisions were included in Federal regulations. The “Flores Agreement” and regulations required that ICE officials detaining unaccompanied children (“UAC”) who entered the US without a parent or guardian provide 1) food and drinking water, 2) medical assistance in emergencies, 3) toilets and sinks, 4) adequate temperature control and ventilation, 5) adequate supervision to protect minors from others, and 6) separation […]

Separating Children from Parents Is it legal under US law? Under international law?

  It’s become clear that the zero-tolerance policy of the current administration began with a memorandum issued by Attorney General Jefferson Sessions this past April 6th (to clarify the memorandum he issued on April 11th, 2017, about “the prioritization of the prosecution of certain criminal immigration offenses”) has a direct result of separating children from their parents. In fact, there’s no limit to the age of the children given the evidence that nursing mothers have had their infants taken from their arms, with no hope of seeing them again. The mental and physical health risks of such actions are enormous […]

The Loss of 1,500 Kids in ICE Custody in 2017

In 1997, the administration of former President George W. Bush entered into a settlement agreement to address the problems that caused a lawsuit against Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”). The “Flores Agreement” of 1997 became law when most of the provisions were included in Federal regulations. The “Flores Agreement” and regulations required that ICE officials detaining unaccompanied children (“UAC”) who entered the US without a parent or guardian provide 1) food and drinking water, 2) medical assistance in emergencies, 3) toilets and sinks, 4) adequate temperature control and ventilation, 5) adequate supervision to protect minors from others, and 6) separation […]

MD ‘Conversion Therapy’ Ban

Though largely discredited by medical and mental-health associations, conversion therapy, also referred to as “reparative therapy” and “ex-gay therapy,” seeks to treat and resolve a person’s sexual orientation and/or gender identity as though it is something curable. In 2012, California was the first state to ban such therapy on youth. Since 2012, ten other states have followed suit prohibiting the use of conversion therapy on children. In Maryland, the new law is referred to as the Youth Mental Health Protection Act. Practitioners who attempt to engage in conversion therapy will be subject to disciplinary proceedings. This is not the first […]

The Baker and the Colorado Civil Rights Commission Supreme Court decision is more LGBT-friendly than it seems

On June 4th, 2018, the US Supreme Court issued a decision in the case of Masterpiece Cakeshop, et al. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, et al. The case involves the 2012 decision by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission (“CCRC”) finding that the bakery had violated Colorado law in denying a request by a gay male couple to prepare a wedding cake for their reception. The couple was getting married in Massachusetts because, in 2012, same-sex marriage was not legal, and they wanted to have a nice reception in the Colorado town where they lived. Indeed, Justice Kennedy, the author of […]

What is the Best Interests of the Child Standard? How judges decide the fates of the young

After families separate, parents must decide where the children will primarily live. Some families can settle this among themselves while others require court intervention. Often parents assume the court will award custody to the mother however, that’s not necessarily the case. Put simply, the Best Interests of the Child standard simply means that the court looks at certain factors to determine what is in the best interest of the children involved in the family situation. Even when parents have an agreement, the court still must make a finding that the agreement is in the best interest of the child. Often […]

An Estate Plan for Your Small Business

A successful small business is rightly a point of pride. It means that plans were made, risks were taken, and sweat equity was liberally invested. When things go right, the resulting enterprise may become the livelihood of the founder and members of his family. After the hope for initial success, the founder’s greatest desire may be for the business to continue after he is out of the picture. This is easier said than done. Business “succession planning,” as it’s called, can be complicated stuff. But it can also be vital to ensuring that the business continues if something unexpected happens […]

Co-Parenting Resources

  Figuring out how to co-parent after a break-up, separation, or divorce is difficult. Some parents find difficulty in communicating with one another. At times the communication is simple and other times, it is rather difficult. Nonetheless, both must parent their children. Removing face-to-face conversation is sometimes the best place to start when trying to co-parent effectively. The below programs and apps provide various resources for the separated and divorced parents. Our Family Wizard is an online program which provides a platform for communication. The parents can “email” back and forth, add items to a joint calendar, and, most importantly, […]

How Maryland Law Discriminates Against Same-Sex Parents

  The LGBT community has powered ahead in recent years in terms of legal recognition for same-sex relationships. In 2013 the Supreme Court in the pivotal case of United States v. Windsor struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act which defined marriage as between one man and one woman. Then, in 2015, the high court took one step further in Obergefell v. Hodges, by asserting that the fundamental right to marry is granted to same-sex couples equally. Despite these strides, many local laws have failed to confer the marital benefits presumed upon heterosexual couples to homosexual couples. […]