Spring 2016

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September 17, 2016
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Levitt & Quinn is a recipient of the GuideStar Gold rating for our commitment to transparency
Our Founders
Ziva Sirkis Naumann
Ethel Levitt (1911-1995)
Grace Quinn (1915-2006)

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 A Message from the Board President
As we embark on the 35th year of the Levitt & Quinn Family Law Center, we remember and give tribute to the three ladies who had a vision and followed through with the hard work of starting a charitable organization that has helped thousands of families. We give thanks to Ziva Naumann, Ethel Levitt and Grace Quinn for all that they did to provide a bridge from helplessness and despair to a better future for so many parents and their children. 

But we are not standing still. Over the past two years we have devoted ourselves to a client-centered approach that addresses changing community needs in thoughtful and innovative ways. We established the Kids Fund that provides free assistance to the poorest clients who need help with issues involving their children. We also reduced our fees to all other clients who can afford to pay a little but who still struggle to make ends meet in low wage jobs. In 2015, Levitt & Quinn provided over $2.8 million worth of free and low-cost legal services to our clients. We were able to do this because of your support, and we thank you.

As you will see in this issue, we continue to explore additional ways to help the thousands of people who need a lawyer by their side but cannot afford market rates. We have wonderful volunteers and supporters who bring a fresh perspective and unique talents to share. 

So, in this season of renewal and reawakening, please know that the staff and board of directors are working hard to integrate new approaches with those that have stood the test of 35 years of practice. 

Thank you so much for supporting this vital work.



Dinah Ruch
President of the Board of Directors
Levitt & Quinn Family Law Center
Client Story
A Family Stays Together
All too often, when a client arrives at Levitt & Quinn's office, it is in a state of desperation. This was the case for Miguel*, a loving father who had raised all three of his children for their entire lives. Midway through a lengthy divorce and custody battle, his wife filed a motion claiming that the youngest children were not Miguel's biological children and asking the court to name a second man as the children's father. The allegation rocked Miguel - at the time of filing he was the primary custodial parent of all three children.
At the heart of 80% of Levitt & Quinn's cases is a child, and for a family in crisis like Miguel's, our attorneys seek child-centered outcomes in service of justice. Miguel's commitment to his children was strong, despite what any blood test might reveal. In court, Levitt & Quinn successfully defended against his wife's attempt to introduce another other man into the case, and into the children's lives. Miguel was able to remain the primary custodial parent of his three children, and was elated to have found the help he needed to keep his family together. 

Read more client stories   here.
*Not client's real name.
Levitt & Quinn Volunteer Leads New Project
California law mandates that parents receive an opportunity to reach mutual agreement about their child's care and control before a family court judge has the power to impose a custody arrangement. In Los Angeles County, neutral mental health professionals through Family Court Services work to help parents talk about possible plans for their children. Parents must attend, but do not have to reach an agreement. Mediated outcomes tend to be better for families over the long run, and mediation is most effective when parents understand the process, and have spent time preparing in advance for their session.

In order to best help our clients maximize this opportunity, Levitt & Quinn began offering a free custody mediation preparation class. Led by Levitt & Quinn supporter and volunteer Jennifer Winestone, this workshop offers clients the opportunity to understand their rights and responsibilities in mediation, and how it can help them to achieve child-centered outcomes. "I am thrilled to be working with Levitt & Quinn to help educate clients about the benefits of mediation, tools for preparing for mediation, and what they can expect from the process itself," said Jennifer.

We launched this class with Jennifer to give our clients - as well as members of the community who may not already be clients - the knowledge and tools to thoughtfully engage with the other parent around issues of custody and visitation. This includes tools to help our clients manage conflict and stay focused on achieving the best possible outcomes. We want to see them enter into mediation feeling confident in their ability to make decisions regarding their child's parenting plan. "Mediation is a process that helps parties take control of their conflict, and more importantly, their resolution," Jennifer went on to say. "For families in dispute, the process is invaluable."

Learn more by visiting levittquinn.org/mediation
J ennifer Winestone, Esq., LL.M. (ADR) is a family law attorney and mediator. Find out more about Jennifer's practice at  www.winestonemediation.com/

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Hon. Mark A. Juhas
Los Angeles Superior Court
Mark E. Minyard, Esq.
Minyard | Morris

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To learn more about giving to Levitt & Quinn Family Law Center, contact Caitlyn Kowalczyk, Development Manager, at  (213) 482-1800 ext. 306 or ckowalczyk@levittquinn.org