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Bounds of Advocacy

Goals for Family Lawyers


The idea for the Bounds of Advocacy was conceived in November 1987 by James T. Friedman of Chicago, Illinois, then President of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. The original Bounds of Advocacy was then drafted, discussed, debated and approved during the terms of former Presidents Friedman, Leonard L. Loeb of Wisconsin, Donn C. Fullenweider of Texas and Sanford S. Dranoff of New York.

After ten years, new ethical issues have arisen. With the idea of addressing new concerns and updating the original report, Presidents George S. Stern of Georgia and Miriam E. Mason of Florida jointly appointed our Committee. The Committee wishes to thank all of these presidents for their encouragement and support during the lengthy process of developing the Original Bounds of Advocacy and in producing this revision.

The majority of the Committee that drafted these revisions consists of the same Fellows who wrote the original version, with the continued assistance of the same Reporter. This revision is offered to ensure that the aspirational goals of the AAML continue to respond to changes in society and the various court systems and approaches to family law matters.

Had any of us not served on this committee, this work would be different. Special praise is due Steve Sessums, our chair. Steve’s dedication to the project never flagged. His uncanny ability to help our disparate group find consensus continues to amaze. A special acknowledgement is due Rob Aronson, our representative from academia. Rob contributed the knowledge of an ethics expert and the perspective of someone who has not practiced divorce law. He admirably performed the daunting task of finding logic in, and adding structure to, our often random ideas.

The committee thanks the Academy for giving us another opportunity to ponder and discuss problems important to our clients and us. This project was challenging, enlightening, and, at times, humbling. This publication, we hope, will serve to advance the debate about what we, as family lawyers, do.

November, 2000

  • Stephen Sessums, Chair, Tampa, Florida
  • Gaetano Ferro, New Canaan, Connecticut
  • Joan Kessler, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Diana Richmond, San Francisco, California
  • Barbara Salomon, Denver, Colorado
  • Gary Silverman, Reno, Nevada
  • David Walther, Santa Fe, New Mexico
  • Errol Zavett, Chicago, Illinois
  • REPORTER: Robert Aronson, Seattle, Washington

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