Spring Semester 2013
Course No. 406, Section II
Professor Franks

This syllabus lists the material to be read and briefed in advance of each class.  The required casebook is K. S. Spaht, Family Law in Louisiana (latest edition), Louisiana State University Law Center.  Students are required to have a current edition of the Louisiana Civil Code.  Students from states other than Louisiana should please contact Professor Franks for additional materials pertaining to their state of interest.

Students are responsible for all divorce, curatorship and tutorship provisions of the Louisiana Civil Code, Louisiana Code of Civil Procedure, and Louisiana Revised Statutes, as well as 28 U.S. Code §§ 1738 and 1738A, and Louisiana Revised Statutes 13:1801 et seq.  Students should also familiarize themselves with the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act, Louisiana Children's Code article 1301.1 et seq.

Additionally, all codal and statutory material and all cases listed in the syllabus are required reading.  Furthermore, students are expected to read all items listed as required reading for this course on Professor Franks's web site, including the pleadings and discovery document available there and the articles listed there by Professor Katherine Shaw Spaht and Barbara Dafoe Whitehead.

Your attention is called to page 55 of the current catalog. "Attendance of 80 percent of the scheduled classes is a prerequisite for credit in a course."  Roll will be taken.  This policy will be enforced.  There are 42 scheduled classes this semester.  More than eight absences will be disqualifying.  Students are expected to prepare their assignments.  Students are expected to attend class whether prepared or not.  Attendance is a factor in your academic success.  Your professor's home telephone is available from the Castle Communication Centre on the ExStellis web site.  Your professor's office hours this semester are also posted on the web site.


The goal of this course is to teach students the fundamentals of family law.  Students will learn how to handle a simple divorce.  Students will also learn to recognize family-law issues lurking in other types of legal matters.  When a student completes this course, he or she should be able to recognize most family-law issues that arise in various settings.

Students will demonstrate the ability to properly analyze family law issues.  Students will apply relevant rules to hypothetical problems in class and will demonstrate the ability to make persuasive oral and written arguments for or against the granting of relief in a family court.  Students will also prepare a divorce petition, due 25 March 2013, that would actually succeed if it were to be filed in a real case.

Students have the option of receiving extra credit for a book review of George Gilder's controversial work, Men and Marriage.


The class will be taught incorporating the problems approach.  This method of learning demands the student digest the basic material on his or her own before class and be ready to apply the materials to factual situations.  Testing will primarily be by multiple-choice and true-false questions.

Day Date Be prepared to discuss
Wednesday      9 January       Casebook Table of Contents.  Also B. D. Whitehead, Dan Quayle Was Right, The Atlantic, April 1993, at 47 (available on the web site and also on reserve in library).  Also Eunice Yu and Jianguo Liu, Environmental Impacts of Divorce (available on the web site).
Friday 11 January Casebook pp. 1-23.
Monday 14 January Casebook pp. 23-52.
Wednesday 16 January Casebook pp. 53-78.
Friday 18 January Casebook pp. 79-101.
Wednesday 23 January Casebook pp. 101-119 and K. S. Spaht, Louisiana's Covenant Marriage, 59 La. L. Rev. 63 (Fall 1998) (available on reserve in library); also Louisiana Revised Statutes 9:307-309.
Friday 25 January Louisiana Civil Code articles 86-100; Louisiana Revised Statutes 9:201-291.
Monday 28 January Casebook pp. 121-141.
Wednesday 30 January Casebook pp. 143-178.
Friday 1 February Casebook pp. 179-200.
Monday 4 February Casebook pp. 201-223.
Wednesday 6 February Review grounds and procedures for divorce in Louisiana: Louisiana Civil Code articles 101-124; Louisiana Code of Civil Procedure articles 10, 3941-3958; Louisiana Revised Statutes 9:301-302, 371-375, 381-384.
Friday 8 February Casebook pp. 224-240.
Wednesday 13 February Casebook pp. 241-266.
Friday 15 February Casebook pp. 266-294.
Monday 18 February Your friendly family lawyer's guide to the use and misuse of telephones: a short course on wiretapping, including Louisiana Revised Statutes 15:1301 et seq.; Meredith v. Gavin, 446 F.2d 794 (8th Cir. 1971); Kirk v. State, 526 So.2d 223 (La. 1988); State v. West, 553 So.2d 945 (4th Cir. 1989); In re Hagarty, 257 La. 1, 241 So.2d 469 (1970); In re Marriage of Lopp, 268 Ind. 690, 378 N.E.2d 414 (1978), cert. denied, 439 U.S. 1116, 99 S.Ct. 1023, 59 L.Ed.2d 76 (1979); Briscoe v. Briscoe, 641 So.2d 999 (La. App. 2d Cir. 1994); Op. La. Att'y Gen. 96-183 (1996).
Wednesday 20 February No class if convocation is held as scheduled.  If convocation is cancelled we meet and use 22 February assignment.
Friday 22 February Casebook pp. 295-311.  Troxel v. Granville, 530 U.S. 57, 120 S.Ct. 2054, 147 L.Ed.2d 49 (2000).
Monday 25 February Casebook pp. 311-332.
Wednesday 27 February Louisiana Civil Code articles 131-137; Louisiana Revised Statutes 9:331-356.
Friday 1 March Casebook pp. 333-347.
Monday 4 March Casebook pp. 347-370.
Wednesday 6 March Casebook pp. 371-397.
Friday 8 March Louisiana Revised Statutes 9:303-306, 311-324.
Monday 11 March Review to date.
Wednesday 13 March Practice midterm.
Friday 15 March Casebook pp. 397-422.
Monday 18 March Casebook pp. 422-452.
Wednesday 20 March UCCJA -- Louisiana Revised Statutes 13:1801-1842;
FPKPA -- 28 U.S. Code § 1738A.
Friday 22 March Casebook pp. 453-483.
Monday 25 March Casebook pp. 485-513; Atkins v. Atkins, 623 So.2d 239 (La. App. 2d Cir. 1993).  ASSIGNMENT DUE.
Wednesday 27 March UIFSA (Uniform Interstate Family Support Act): Louisiana Children's Code article 1301.1 et seq.
Friday 29 March Casebook pp. 513-535.
Wednesday 3 April Casebook pp. 535-549.
Friday 5 April Casebook pp. 549-565.
Monday 8 April Louisiana Civil Code articles 184-245; Louisiana Revised Statutes 9:391-400.1.
Wednesday 10 April Casebook pp. 567-591.
Friday 12 April Casebook pp. 593-620.
Monday 15 April Casebook pp. 621-643.
Wednesday 17 April Casebook pp. 645-686.
Friday 19 April Casebook pp. 687-705.  Louisiana Civil Code articles 246-399; Louisiana Code of Civil Procedure articles 3991-4643; Louisiana Revised Statutes 9:601-734, 1001-1034; Travelers Indemnity Co. v. Bengston, 231 F.2d 263 (5th Cir. 1956); Fed. R. Civ. P. 17.
Monday 22 April Review for final.
Wednesday 24 April Review for final.

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