The Daily Journal has recognized Partner Thomas Sprankling as a 2023 CLAY (California Lawyer Attorney of the Year) Awards recipient for his significant appellate victory for domestic violence survivors.
A WilmerHale team of lawyers, led by Sprankling, worked with the Family Violence Appellate Project to secure a victory that will help ensure that family law judges who grant joint custody or significant visitation to an abusive parent provide an explanation for doing so. Specifically, in City and County of San Francisco v. H.H., the California Court of Appeal held that “when a judge awards joint custody or significant visitation of children to someone who has committed domestic violence, the judge must, if asked, explain why in detail.”
This ruling "gives survivors of domestic violence a chance to make their record below and…present what happened to the Court of Appeal, which otherwise defers to what the trial court says, even if it said very little,” Sprankling said in his Daily Journal profile. “Previous to this, there was no right to that upon request.”
Partner Mark Flanagan and Associate Melissa McCall were a part of the legal team who contributed to the success of this victory. The CLAY Awards recognize California lawyers who have changed the law, substantially influenced public policy or the profession, or achieved a remarkable victory for a client or for the public.