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Diana L. Courson

Zuckerman Spaeder LLP Pro Bono Brief Helps Victim of Domestic Violence

April 10, 2005

Zuckerman Spaeder helped a victim of domestic violence secure the reversal of court decisions that denied her marital assets in a divorce because she obtained a protective order against her abusive husband, who subsequently lost his job. On behalf of the Domestic Violence Legal Empowerment and Appeals Project (DV LEAP) and 23 other organizations committed to the protection of victims of domestic violence, Zuckerman Spaeder lawyers David Byrd and Eleanor Smith prepared an amicus curiae brief seeking review and reversal of the lower court decisions by the Washington State Supreme Court. The Court granted review and reversed the lower court decisions. In its reversal, the Court made clear that "a trial court cannot hold one spouse's assertion of his or her legal right to a protective order against that spouse during the property distribution where the order results in the loss of employment for the other spouse."

This was DV LEAP's first case. For more on this case, read the article by Joan Meier of DVLEAP on page 7 of Zuckerman Spaeder's inaugural edition of Pro Bono Matters below.

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