Spring Newsletter  
               Sponsored by  Newman Aaronson Vanaman  
Table of Contents
From now until Mother's Day, every dollar you give will be  doubled by an anonymous angel.  See our progress  and give  today.
L evitt & Quinn is a proud sponsor of the Third Annual
Cultural Competency in Family Law Practice:
New Frontiers of Divorce
July 25, 2015. Learn more.
S aturday, September 12, 2015
at the Skirball Cultural Center.
2014 Stand for Justice Video
Find out about the work we do in the community.

Levitt & Quinn  is a 2015 recipient of the Guidestar  Gold  rating for our  commitment  to transparency.

Levitt & Quinn is a 2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit!  2015 voting is already open.  Show your support today!

About Us
Our Founders
Ziva Sirkis Naumann 
Ethel Levitt (1911-1995) 
Grace Quinn (1915-2006)


A Message from the Board President

Picture this. Young mother left penniless with two small children. There is a court case that goes on for two years. The case ends well and the custody and child support issues are finally resolved so that they can all move on with their lives. I was that mom. I had a lawyer who stood by me even though I had no money to pay for legal fees. I wasn't alone.

 

I have never forgotten how important that lawyer was to me. Later I would become a lawyer myself. At Levitt & Quinn I have worked for some time to set up free services for the very poor, and so the Kids Fund was born two years ago. I am proud to say that several donors have committed their donations to the Kids Fund with multi-year pledges. We now have one attorney dedicated to providing this service. Last year she helped 182 families, impacting over 350 children.


Levitt & Quinn has always focused on kids because most family law issues for modest means families involve the safety and security of children. Thousands of children have benefited from having a Levitt & Quinn lawyer work with their parents. Clients who can afford to pay a part of the cost of their case contribute what they can. But there are others who are truly destitute. They struggle to feed and clothe their children and have nothing left over at the end of the month. The Kids Fund provides a lifeline to them as one was extended to me many years ago.


Thanks, as always, for your continued support.

 

Have a wonderful summer with your families,

 



Dinah Ruch
President of the Board of Directors

A Child's Best Interest

Thirteen years ago, Jill* came to Levitt & Quinn for help with a dissolution when her daughter Abigail was just two years old. Jill has had primary custody of her young daughter since that time. Over the years, Jill and her ex-husband have experienced a more and more contentious co-parenting relationship. As a result, matters ended up back in the courtroom on several occasions, and recently Abigail's father demanded primary custody. Jill returned to Levitt & Quinn for help. Her very low income qualified her for the Kids Fund's free services, and attorney Jenny Skoble represented her in court.

 

Following that hearing, at a court-ordered evaluation, Jill became convinced that the best course of action might be  to agree to Abigail spending more time with her father. Abigail's father responded positively to Jill's willingness to consider the shift, and both parents decided to have lunch together and discuss their need for better communication. They then returned to the evaluation and, without need for a court hearing, signed an agreement in which Jill retains primary custody and Abigail spends more time with her father. The end result is less contentious co-parenting and less stress for Abigail. In Los Angeles, over 80% of people in family law court go unrepresented when addressing issues greatly impacting their children's lives. The feeling of vulnerability caused by facing these issues alone can lead to clouded judgment and make it difficult to focus on the children involved in the case. Feeling secure with an attorney at her side allowed Jill to focus on her daughter's best interests, and her daughter's father followed her lead. 

 

 

*not client's real name.

Volunteer Work Is Rewarding

Amy Good has a Bachelor's degree in accounting from Pepperdine University. She has been a CPA for the past ten years. She began her career as an auditor at PriceWaterhouseCoopers and then transitioned to Forensic Accounting at Gursey Schneider. She also spent eight years in the Marine Corps Reserves, during two of which she was activated and deployed to Iraq. She has two children.


LQ: What has your experience been like volunteering with Levitt & Quinn Family Law Center?

AG: I have had the most amazing experience volunteering at Levitt & Quinn. It is so exciting to work with people who are not only dedicated to an important cause, but who are also extremely talented at what they do. I have gotten to be involved in the continuing education of the attorneys that do the important work with family law clients, but I have also been lucky enough to get to understand the inner workings of Levitt & Quinn through assisting with the organization's first audit. It was really gratifying to see how Levitt & Quinn operates and makes it possible to provide all the services that they do.    

 

LQ: How did you decide to get involved with Levitt & Quinn?

 

AG: I first learned of Levitt & Quinn while working in Family Law at Gursey Schneider, though I didn't immediately begin to volunteer. There was a specific moment that was the catalyst for me to reach out. It was at the Annual Gala. I was listening to the story of some grandparents who selflessly decided to adopt their grandchildren and take them into their home to raise them. Without Levitt & Quinn's help, they never could have made it happen. When I heard that story, I knew I wanted to do whatever I could to be involved with the group of people who could make that happen. 

 

Once I started volunteering I learned of Levitt & Quinn's Veteran's Project, which is also near to my heart being a veteran myself.  

 

LQ: What would you say to someone who is considering volunteering for this organization?

 

AG: I would tell anyone I know that they would not regret volunteering for this organization. It is so rewarding to be involved with such smart, dedicated people who do amazing work.


Board Member Appointed to Judgeship

 

Longtime Levitt & Quinn board member Joseph M. Quinn has been appointed to a judgeship in the San Francisco Superior Court. Judge Quinn is the grandson of Levitt & Quinn co-founder Grace Quinn and served on Levitt and Quinn Family Law Center's board from 2007 until the time of his appointment. 

 

Upon his resignation following his appointment, Judge Quinn said, "Levitt and Quinn provides essential legal services to underserved communities across Southern California and should serve as a model all over California, all over the country.  I'm proud of my grandmother's contribution to this important organization. And I'm proud of my service to, and affiliation with, L&Q. My experience as a director has been gratifying and inspiring."

 

Board President Dinah Ruch expressed her heartfelt regret at Judge Quinn's resignation stating, "while Joe's important contributions to the board will be missed, all of us at Levitt & Quinn are happy for his success and are confident he will serve the community with extraordinary dedication and intellect."

 

Sponsored by Newman Aaronson Vanaman

Newman Aaronson Vanaman focuses exclusively on representing children and adults with disabilities and their families. For the last 35 years, NAV has partnered with families who are fighting to receive an appropriate education for their child. Their areas of expertise include obtaining conservatorships, creating special needs trusts, and advising on estate planning issues specific to parents of children with disabilities.  

 

Newman Aaronson Vanaman is committed to the ideals that brought about the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and California's Lanterman Act. Its practice involves providing specialized legal services to members of the community, and the firm is actively involved in the fight to improve the services children and adults with disabilities receive. 

 

"Our firm battles every day to help parents advocate for their children and so does Levitt & Quinn Family Law Center. We consider it an honor to sponsor the work of an organization whose mission is so closely aligned with ours," says founding partner Valerie Vanaman.


 

How You Can Support Levitt & Quinn

In many ways, Levitt & Quinn's impact is tied to the overall financial commitment and participation of its donors. Every gift, whether $10,000 or $10, makes a difference. There are many ways to give:

To learn more about giving to Levitt & Quinn, contact Tai Glenn, Executive Director at (213) 482-1800 or  tglenn@levittquinn.org . To contribute online, visit our donation page  here .