Durie Case and the Impact on 16.2 Disclosures
Rule 16.2 was a sea change in how the courts and family law practitioners handle cases. It recognized for the first time that “Family members stand in a special relationship to one another and to the court system.” The Rule embraces the principle that spouses and parents are in a fiduciary role to each other and to their children. It was aspirational in its goals to make the process less adversarial and to provide families with “…a just, timely and cost effective process.”
We are now fifteen years down the road with Rule 16.2. The verdict on whether it has met its goals is mixed. Lawyers could do a better job of meeting deadlines and making sure their clients update their disclosures. Lawyers could do a better job with the JTMC. Judges struggle with finding time to do meaningful case management given their busy dockets but those who do so see favorable results with fewer contested trials or trials on narrower issues. Enforcement of the Rule is uneven at best and lacking at worst. But, as one judge said: “What’s the point in having the Rule if we don’t follow it.” Everyone would benefit if those involved would focus on defining what the important issues are and tailoring the process to the needs of each case.
Speaker: David Johnson
David M. Johnson has practiced law for more than 42 years. He has practiced family law exclusively for over 35 years. His background includes serving as a family court magistrate judge in El Paso County and representing children in juvenile cases and bitter divorce battles over children. His practice concentrated on complex cases involving children’s issues and high value marital estates. He has handled many cases involving business valuations, complex trust issues, and spouses with substantial wealth. He has drafted prenuptial agreements and post nuptial agreements involving multimillion dollar estates.
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