ABA Handbook Guides Lawyers in Providing Assistance for Domestic Violence Victims and Recognizing Related Issues in Their Practice Areas
WASHINGTON, D.C., Sept. 1, 2004 – At some point in their careers, lawyers in most practice areas will have a client who is either a perpetrator or a victim of domestic violence, according to a new handbook on the issue, “The Impact of Domestic Violence on Your Legal Practice.” Because most people are reluctant to share information about the abuse, even with their lawyer, issues related to the violence often are not dealt with, and may even go unrecognized by lawyers.
“Domestic violence may be a hidden factor in many areas of the law,” according to American Bar Association President Robert Grey. “It is the hope of the ABA Commission on Domestic Violence that this guidebook will help lawyers recognize issues associated with domestic violence, so that they can provide their clients with informed, competent legal representation.”
The growing number of domestic violence incidents has led lawyers to recognize the impact of these issues on the legal system, according to the publication. It cites increased cases reported by law enforcement personnel and legal professionals, and notes that some of the nation’s largest law firms have incorporated domestic violence work into their practices, or provided specialized pro bono programs in this area.
The publication is a compilation of articles from noted lawyers, domestic violence victim advocates, academics, and others involved in the field. It is the second edition of the book first published in 1996 and widely used by lawyers nationwide to help them identify and deal with domestic violence issues as they relate to their practices. The new edition includes subject areas such as workplace domestic violence and employer liability, housing and homelessness issues, custody and child support, accessing the court system, and the role of men in addressing these issues.
“Attorneys in a variety of fields will learn from this publication that their practices are impacted by domestic violence,” said Margaret Drew, chair of the ABA Commission on Domestic Violence. “Lawyers dealing with tax law, estate planning, insurance law and many other areas can learn how to recognize issues related to domestic violence. This book is an invaluable tool to assist lawyers in any practice area.”
A copy of the publication may be ordered by contacting the ABA Service Center at 800/285-2221. Product Code 5480020. The cost is $75.00, with a special rate of $65.00 for ABA members. For more information on this and other commission publications, see the commission’s main website: www.abanet.org/domviol/home.html.
In response to the pervasiveness of domestic violence and its impact on the legal profession, the American Bar Association formed the Commission on Domestic Violence in 1994. The commission’s mission is to mobilize the legal profession to increase access to justice and safety for victims of domestic violence.
With more than 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is the largest voluntary professional membership organization in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law in a democratic society.