Thursday, March 16, 2017

Y.R. v. A.F. (Cal. Ct. App. - March 15, 2017)

This actually took me a good five minutes to figure it out.  And I'm not being sarcastic.  Usually it takes me a lot less.

We (understandably) use initials in family law cases.  And the briefs and records are similarly not available online.  That way, you won't know the intimate details of someone's life just by having an opinion published by the Court of Appeal

So, from reading the opinion, we know that Y.R. is a hair stylist who works in Santa Monica, and that she had a brief affair with A.F. that resulted in the birth of a daughter (Z) in 2006.  A.F. makes a lot of money, so voluntarily paid Y.R. $5,000 a month to make things right.  This goes on for several years. But Y.R. eventually wants more money, so gets an attorney and makes a formal child support claim.

The trial court discusses the equities, makes a support order, Y.R. appeals, and the Court of Appeal remands.

That's the legal part.

But it's a juicy little private affair, right?  So lest we be deprived of the details, the Court of Appeal lets us know that A.F. "is a successful director and producer," is "married and lives with his wife and three children, one of whom is an adult," and makes "$2,282,512 per year (approximately $190,000 per month)."

Oooh.  Celebrity!  With a wife a three kids and a secret baby from an affair.  Who could it be?!

Let's see.  Director.  Male.  Tolerably successful.  Initials of A.F.


Don't be surprised if no one immediately springs to mind.  Like I said, it took me a good five minutes of searching to actually figure it out.

It's him.

You might say:  "But Professor Martin, how are you certain?  Same initials, yes.  Three kids, check.  But couldn't it just be a big coincidence?"

Maybe, except the Court of Appeal's opinion also repeatedly mentions the name of A.F.'s production company.  Cartel Productions, Inc.  Which leads to this.  Same name.

Now that'd have to be a huge coincidence, right?  Though judge for yourself.  You know everything I know at this point.  But, as they say, if I were a betting man, my personal opinion would be to bet the farm.  (If, in fact, I owned a farm.)

I then tried to find out if this was already public (albeit nonlegal) information.  Though I couldn't find anything, so maybe it's the Court of Appeal that's let this one out of the bag.  One of the downsides of publishing an opinion.

Though I'm not sure that A.F. has all that much to worry about from the opinion.  There's this, which reflects that this may not be his only love child (and is a really bad story).  And then, recently, this, a story that really doesn't leave much of his personal marital situation a secret.

Nor is this apparently the only legal problem that A.F. has confronted in this arena.  According to this, anyway.

And all that's just after looking for five minutes.

The entire opinion gives you an inside take on an (otherwise anonymous) complicated life.  Of both parents, as well as the child.

And then some outside reading uncovers some additional details as well.

Your dose of celebrity for the day.  Courtesy of -- at least in part -- Justice Manella.