David Shebby lectures on preparations for domestic violence hearings

David Shebby recently lectured to lawyers throughout the state regardingpreparations for domestic violence hearings. The lectures focused on Family Code §6309, a new statute that took effect on January 1, 2024.

Mr. Shebby, together with Judge Hank Goldberg (ret.) and attorney Ryan Wedeking, presented Preparing for Domestic Violence Hearings: Pointers and Pitfalls to the Bar Association of San Francisco on October 12, 2023. On October 23, 2023, they presented California’s New Law (SB741) Regarding Discovery in Domestic Violence Actions to the Beverly Hills Bar Association. Finally, the trio presented Domestic Violence Law Update Family Code Section 6309 to the Alameda County Bar Association on March 28, 2024.

Family Code §6309 became effective January 1, 2024, and addresses civil discovery in proceedings brought pursuant to the Domestic Violence Prevention Act. This new statute clarifies that civil discovery is permitted in proceedings under the Domestic Violence Prevention Act. However, it imposes limits with regarding that discovery, including the necessity of a judicial finding of good cause before the discovery is commenced. Family Code §6309 requires the trial court’s good cause determination to be made at a specified time in the proceeding and provides the trial court with tremendous discretion regarding the discovery, if any, that will be permitted. This is a significant departure from existing law and may impact the due process rights of those accused of domestic abuse. Because Family Code §6309 provides individual judicial officers with such wide discretion, it will take time to see how courts throughout the state interpret and implement this law.

Mr. Shebby, an adjunct professor at Loyola Law School, is a frequent lecturer for the State Bar of California, the Los Angeles County Bar Association, the Beverly Hills Bar Association, the Association of Certified Family Law Specialists, the Bar Association of San Francisco, the Alameda County Bar Association, the American Inns of Court, and other organizations.