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Law Professor John Myers Blames Rampant Family Court Corruption on Judicial Council Forms

University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law professor attributes family court corruption and judge-attorney collusion to Judicial Council forms

In the new documentary film Divorce Corp, whistleblower Ulf Carlsson describes egregious California family court corruption.
In the new documentary film Divorce Corp, whistleblower Ulf Carlsson describes egregious California family court corruption.


In a laughably inaccurate editorial published by the Sacramento Bee, McGeorge School of Law family law professor John E.B. Myers redefined the meaning of the out-of-touch, ivory tower academic. Among other clueless assertions, Myers made the bizarre, demonstrably false claim that:

“Sacramento’s family court, under the wise leadership of Judge James Mize, serves the community well.”

Family court watchdogs have collected and catalogued overwhelming evidence that Judge Mize provides anything but “wise leadership,” and that the court – which operates essentially as an organized, criminal enterprise – serves only a select, exclusive group of judge pro tem lawyers. The community at large, and especially those financially disadvantaged family court users without an attorney, are subjected to second-class status under an illegal two-track system of justice.  

Myers went on to attribute what in fact is incompetence and corruption by family court judges and employees to “incomprehensible” Judicial Council family court forms:

“Today, there are more than 200 family-law forms, making the law incomprehensible to anyone but an expert…The amazing thing is that so many lawyerless litigants somehow navigate the labyrinth of financial and other forms to accomplish their goals in family court. Countless others simply give up. Many try their best but do not receive justice. Not because the people at family court don’t care, but because our form-driven family law system is unworkable,” Myers wrote.  

Dear McGeorge School of Law Professor Myers: Real world, lawyerless family court users will be happy to explain to you that the “people” at family court not only don’t care, the “people” at family court knowingly and routinely collude with a secretive, insular group of for-profit, private sector judge pro tem divorce lawyers to deprive lawyerless litigants of their children, income and assets, and civil and constitutional rights.

Click here to view a list of the divorce lawyers who also act as judge pro tems and run the family court settlement conference program in exchange for favorable treatment by judges and court employees. The number of family law forms is not why lawyerless litigants do not receive justice, and the claim that there are “200 family-law forms” is a misleading red herring. But, nice try, professor.

Few, if any, uncontested divorce cases require more than 6-8 forms in total to complete a divorce, and a typical family court law and motion hearing requires just 1-3 forms. As the recently released documentary film Divorce Corp makes clear, lawyerless litigants do not receive justice because of rampant, garden variety corruption and collusion between attorneys and judges.  

And, in an ironic coincidence, the most corrupt, unethical attorneys in the group of attorneys from the cases chronicled in Divorce Corp are graduates of McGeorge School of Lawwhere Myers has taught family law and other courses since 1984. In addition, two McGeorge alumni not included in the movie have been disbarred by the State Bar of California: divorce lawyer Scott Kendall (for multiple acts of misconduct), and divorce lawyer Gary Appelblatt (for sexual battery against clients).

The Sacramento County judge pro tem group accurately is called a cartel by family court reform advocates.  The cartel is led by the Sacramento County Bar Association Family Law Executive Committee, known among cartel attorneys by the acronym FLEC. Click here to read a laundry list of documented examples of collusion and corruption between cartel attorneys and family court judges and employees.

In addition, corrupt and controversial family court Judge Matthew J. Gary is a McGeorge SOL graduate.  Gary has been involved in a string of misconduct allegations dating back to when he became a full-time judge in 2007, and reportedly is currently under investigation by the Commission on Judicial Performance, the state agency responsible for oversight and discipline of California judges.

Apparently coordinated with Judge James Mize and Sacramento Family Court administrators and employees, Professor Myers’ editorial is nothing more than strategically timed damage control and blame shifting. The nationwide release of the documentary film Divorce Corp has put the local court system under intense, national scrutiny. Featuring four cases from Sacramento County – more than from any other court jurisdiction covered in the film – the documentary portrays the family court system as the most corrupt in the nation. The Sacramento Family Law Court cases of litigants Andrew Karres, Mike Newdow, Robert Saunders and Ulf Carlsson all get screen time in the movie.

The details of the Carlsson case, involving criminally convicted and twice CJP disciplined Judge Peter McBrien and judge pro tem attorney – and McGeorge graduate - Charlotte Keeley, are the most disturbing, and Ulf Carlsson himself rightfully receives a starring role. The Divorce Corp video excerpt above provides the unsettling details of the Carlsson case. For more on the film, visit the Divorce Corp website or the Divorce Corp YouTube Channel. Sacramento Family Court News is the only California news source accurately reporting on family court corruption. Click here to visit the SFCN home page.


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