MONTHLY ARCHIVES: FEBRUARY 2015
FROM OUR FIRM:
Partner Eva N. Juncker is presently halfway through her year as Chair of the Diversity Conference of the Virginia State Bar. This year the Diversity Conference has been working with quite a few organizations to enhance diversity in the practice of law, including working with the Center for Teaching the Rule of Law, assisting with program development for the Old Dominion Bar Association’s 75th Anniversary Conference, and working hard to bring Harvard Professor Dr. Banaji to the Virginia State Bar Annual Conference this summer to speak about the critical issue of Implicit Bias. To learn more about the Diversity Conference, please visit www.dcvsb.org
In the premiere issue of Next Divorce, founding partner Michele Zavos discusses some of the hard truths behind the reality of marriage in order to provide helpful insights into the process of divorce.
Michele is featured in a recent Washington Post article on successful parenting. She discusses raising her daughter. Click here for the article
Partner Camellia Jacobs recently led a workshop for World Bank employees on the topic of “Collaboration for Effective Meetings.” Aside from her regular litigation practice, Camellia provides services as a family mediator.
IN LOCAL NEWS:
If passed, a bill recently introduced in Virginia would grant women the legal right to breastfeed in all public places. Virginia will then join 47 other states that already recognize this right. See here
A bill introduced in Virginia’s legislature would have prohibited drivers of popular car services (such as Lyft and Uber) from discriminating against riders on the basis of sexual orientation. When legislators discovered the anti-discrimination clause, it was sent back to committee, where the clause was removed. See here
Maryland’s new governor, Larry Hogan, withdrew regulations that would have prohibited Medicaid providers from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, and further issued an Executive Order that omits gender identity as grounds for equal opportunity. See here
Equality Maryland is leading efforts to pass a bill during the 2015 Maryland legislative session to expand the existing mandate which currently requires health insurance coverage for IVF treatments for infertile straight married couples. If passed, the bill would extend the mandate to cover same-sex married couples as well, after trying to other less costly fertility treatments first. Contact Carrie Evans at [email protected] if you would like to help in this effort.
Medicare: Check out the below link from the Medicare website for information on how same-sex couples who want to sign up for Medicare may be affected by marital status.
Military: In December, two transgender veterans were permitted to legally change their names to reflect their correct genders on military discharge forms.
Despite major progress towards equality for same-sex individuals and families, there are extra legal steps individuals should consider to ensure they are fully protected. This National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) resource, “Protecting Your Family After Marriage Equality: What You Need to Know” is an excellent breakdown of marriage-related access to states’ adoption and parentage laws and public benefits. The article suggests modifying estate planning to include your legally recognized same-sex spouse accordingly.