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PRESS RELEASE

August 6, 2008
Contact: Alan Karmin, <>

Bar Association Seeks to Tilt the Scales of Justice, Group Charges

WASHINGTON, August 6, 2008 – A recently released analysis by the advocacy group RADAR, "The DV Volunteer Attorney Act – A $55 Million Earmark for Lawyers," reveals the American Bar Association is trying to cash in on its promotion of misinformation regarding domestic violence.

RADAR – Respecting Accuracy in Domestic Abuse Reporting – is a non-profit organization of men and women working to improve the effectiveness of our nation's domestic violence laws.

On June 2, 2008, RADAR released a report that analyzed the ABA Commission on Domestic Violence's "10 Myths about Custody and Domestic Violence and How to Counter Them." The RADAR report concluded the ABA document is so filled with misrepresentations that of its 19 claims, only two are true. The overriding theme is the presumption of guilt of the accused.

The American Bar Association recently expressed its support for a related bill introduced in Congress. The proposed National Domestic Violence Volunteer Attorney Network Act would spend $55 million over five years to create a network of lawyers to do volunteer work for alleged victims of domestic violence. Of the $55 million, $14 million would be specifically earmarked for the ABA. The remainder would go to other organizations created by the ABA or required to collaborate with them.

None of the funds would provide legal help for persons falsely accused of abuse. RADAR estimates one in five divorce actions involve a false accusation of abuse.

"The presumption of innocence is one of the first principles you learn in law school," notes RADAR spokesman and attorney David Heleniak. "The attorneys involved in the drafting the DV Volunteer Attorney Network Act seem to have forgotten it."

By promoting myths about domestic violence and supporting a one-sided bill, the ABA is undermining fundamental principles of our legal system, RADAR claims.

The RADAR analysis, "The DV Volunteer Attorney Act - A $55 Million Earmark for Lawyers," is available at: http://www.mediaradar.org/docs/RADARanalysis-HR6088-S1515-55-million-earmark-for-lawyers.pdf

The RADAR report is available at: http://www.mediaradar.org/docs/RADARreport-Myths-of-ABA-Commission-on-DV-Summary.pdf

The ABA Commission on Domestic Violence's publication is available at: http://www.abanet.org/domviol/custody_myths.pdf

R.A.D.A.R. – Respecting Accuracy in Domestic Abuse Reporting – is a non-profit, non-partisan organization of men and women working to improve the effectiveness of our nation's approach to solving domestic violence. http://www.mediaradar.org.

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