Laurence Goldman is a family law attorney and actively involved in the community surrounding family law. But on the weekends, you’ll find him enjoying a spin in his beloved Dodge Viper.
Larry Goldman has seen a lot of proceedings in Family Court. He’s been practicing law for more than 40 years, and is a certified specialist for more than the past 30 years. He’s a former president of the Beverly Hills Bar Association. He has served on the committees for the LA County Bar Family Law Section, and been on public council for over 20 years as a director (the largest pro bono legal organization in the country). And just for kicks, because he doesn’t have a full plate already, he serves as Judge Pro Tem.
Larry is a devoted family man with his wife, Leslie, and their two grown sons. But LG is not sporting the robes and gavel on the weekends. He loves cars and he loves speed. Growing up with motorcycles, he transitioned in 2001 to Vipers. Whether driving the local canyon roads or joining car clubs at Willow Springs or Laguna Seca, it’s clear that law and cars run deep in Larry.
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Listen to Larry’s story here.
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Intro Speaker 00:00
From Los Angeles, this is the Echelon Radio Network
Brian Hemsworth 00:04
Hey everybody, it is Brian Hemsworth. I am here with the Echelon Radio Podcast and today I have a very special guest. Larry, would you please introduce yourself to our audience?
Larry Goldman 00:29
I will. I’m Larry Goldman. I’m a family law attorney. I’ve been practicing for over 40 years. I’ve been a certified specialist for over 30 years. I’ve been the president of the Beverly Hills Bar Association. I’ve been on the committees for the LA County Bar Family Law Section. I’ve also been on public council for over 20 years as a director, and public council is the largest pro bono legal organization in the country.
Brian Hemsworth 00:59
So Larry, tell us a little bit about your sort of the family law attorney extraordinaire in our lives. Right. You’re You’re the guy around here, that’s that’s been around seen a lot done a lot is involved in a lot that’s going on. Tell us pre COVID What was family law, like it was was trips to the courthouse it was dealing with your clients. But I what I really want to see is how did that change with COVID?
Larry Goldman 01:30
Well, you described it perfectly before COVID, we would meet clients in our office, we would go down to the courthouse for hearings. Go to different offices for depositions. But as you stated COVID changed everything. The courts were closed down, except for the domestic violence order cases, we still had those, we would go down the attorneys and parties would sit in the conference room for the jury, and then we would be called into a courtroom. Otherwise, everything was done remote, la Corte connect, very little presentation are going down to court. Now we’re getting back to where the situation is where occasionally I feel that it’s important to go down to court. One of the things we miss on remote is you cannot see the expressions of facial expressions are heard.
Brian Hemsworth 02:26
I’ve heard people say that that even though you think you can see everything on a zoom screen, you really can’t You can’t get the feel of the emotions and the facial expressions, as well on zoom as you can in person
Larry Goldman 02:41
and body language. It’s important to look at what’s the other party doing? Are they getting up? Are they screaming? Are they yelling? You don’t get that in a remote situation.
Brian Hemsworth 02:53
Gotcha. So So Larry, I remember back at you know, I had a couple friends going through divorces. Oh, let’s say 15 years ago, it was 2007 2008. We had the what will now call The Great Recession. We had attorneys that were saying it’s a bad time to get a divorce. And it was kind of a rough time. And then it it normalized, at least somewhat 2010 2015. What is it like now? So we had COVID that disrupted are there? Is there more going on in family law now? Is there a pent up amount of court cases going on right now?
Larry Goldman 03:29
The answer is yes. Everything was delayed, everything was put off. We’ve lost judicial officers. There are so many only so many cases a day can be heard by a judicial officer. Usually it’s 11 in the morning, sometimes 11 in the afternoon. The other aspect is what happened in 2008. We’re seeing again, now, especially when there’s dealing with the family residence. If there’s going to be a buyout, how do they get the credit? How do they refinance it to get the other party’s name off the deed? So some of those issues. It’s come around and go around back again.
Brian Hemsworth 04:08
Larry, are there any other trends that you’re seeing right now? Are there? Are there more divorces, less divorces? Is it more custody what’s what’s kind of going on in family law right now?
Larry Goldman 04:22
It’s busy. And part of the issue is the millennials in that they grew up saying I could stop by can go out, start over again and give up the fight. The grass sometimes is not greener on the other side, but you’re not willing to work out the situation. During the pandemic. We had a lot of issues because parties couldn’t separate. They couldn’t get away from each other. We had a lot of issues of domestic violence. Custody is always a big issue. And again, people are not willing to think about do I want to be involved in the child’s life in the future? Do I want to go to the high school Graduation to college graduation, marriage and grandchildren and be involved with them. These are some of the things we have to deal with in custody and visitation.
Brian Hemsworth 05:10
Gotcha. So, so Larry are there. You know, I don’t want to, I don’t want to get you in trouble and ask you to practice law just here for our podcast. But if we were to say, you know, what are some of the things that you might suggest to people that are having troubles in their families and their relationships? Do you have any general recommendations for people? What? When should they contact attorneys? When? When does it really hit the fan?
Larry Goldman 05:41
They should contact an attorney at the earliest opportunity to find out what their liabilities, what their obligations are. Because I see it, I am also a judge pro tem, I do sit as a judge in the family law departments. And many of the self represented litigants come in, they have no concept of what they’re doing here, what they are seeking, and what’s going to happen. At least if you consult with an attorney at the earliest opportunity, you can get a sense of what may be going on in your in your relationship and what’s going to happen in the future.
Brian Hemsworth 06:19
So Larry, if you were to say, the kind of things that you’re seeing right now, is it more couples getting divorces? Are you spending more time with child custody? What’s the brunt of your time right now? With your clients?
Larry Goldman 06:42
It’s a combination of custody, visitation, and this and financial issues? What is a business worth? Who’s keeping the house? Does the House have to be sold? Do you take into account the capital gains that may be realized from the sale of a house, you have a client who says that house is my stability, I want to stay in it. And I will explain to the client, if you do what’s going to happen three years from now when you cannot beat the nut to keep up the house. At that point, you might have to pay all the capital gains on the sale of a house versus if you steal it now with your spouse or soon to be ex spouse, you share in that in that expense.
Brian Hemsworth 07:25
Gotcha. And obviously, in the area that we all live in and work in now. We’ve seen these huge appreciation. So there’s a lot more on the table right now, right? In cases,
Larry Goldman 07:39
somewhat, we’ve been seeing the prices going down. But the problem becomes if one person wants to stay in the family residence, are they going to be able to qualify? Look at the interest rates, look, what has to be done? Did you have a lot of debt during the relationship during the marriage. And this also deals with those parties who have lived together for a long period of time and didn’t get married and bought property together? So there are other issues there too.
Brian Hemsworth 08:07
Gotcha. So So there’s a question I’d like to ask that I can’t ask of a lot of attorneys because they just haven’t been around very long. They haven’t. They don’t have a depth of experience. And you have a great depth of experience. How has family law changed over the last few decades? What have you seen as major changes?
Larry Goldman 08:28
Part of the major changes are the new attorneys coming into the world of family law. They feel that they have to fight. They feel that in order to represent their client, they cannot agree to anything. in family law. I always tried to settle my cases. What is the give and take? I might tell a client. Let’s settle it now. And you’ll save attorneys fees of 1000s and 1000s of dollars. Yes, you’re gonna give up a little bit, but you’re gonna save a lot in the long run. We’re not seeing that with the young attorneys now.
Brian Hemsworth 09:03
Gotcha. Gotcha. Where are you? Okay, if I change a little bit and go a little bit back to the business card, have a little bit of fun with this. Sure. So you and I have talked, you know, many times, so I think there’s a lot of fun experience that you have that I’d like to share with the audience. Tell us a little bit about where you were born, raised and grew up.
Larry Goldman 09:26
I was born in Baltimore, Maryland. I was seventh generation born in Baltimore. But my family moved to Memphis, Tennessee shortly thereafter. I was I grew up in Memphis. When my mother passed away and 65 it gave my dad the opportunity to move to California where he wanted to be. My last two years of high school. I was out here in Southern California. I grew up, went to college out here in the San Fernando Valley at CSUN Cal State Northridge and went to law school out here
Brian Hemsworth 09:59
Yeah, so So what was CSUN called back then?
Larry Goldman 10:03
Valley State San Fernando Valley State College
Brian Hemsworth 10:06
San Fernando Valley State College. And so you you did your undergraduate work there? Yes. And then where did you go to law school?
Larry Goldman 10:15
University of San Fernando Valley College of Law.
Brian Hemsworth 10:17
Oh, wow. So give us an idea. Now. You’re somebody that seen a lot of changes, not only in the law, but also in this community. What’s it like now compared to when you came out here in with a couple years of high school left
Larry Goldman 10:35
The valley, the San Fernando Valley and orange groves all over the place, open areas, it is filled in sense. And many years ago, when I was head of a property owners organization, the San Fernando Valley actually tried to secede from the city of Los Angeles. I remember that. And I was involved in setting up Mayor debates for the San Fernando Valley. That it didn’t happen. It didn’t pass, as we all know, in the valley has grown to be a very important aspect of the city of Los Angeles.
Brian Hemsworth 11:12
Yeah, it’s a very vital, I’ve heard it said that. If the San Fernando Valley was a state, it would still be in the top 10 of states in terms of in terms of population, and gross domestic product.
Larry Goldman 11:27
If the passage of the San Fernando of the San Fernando Valley as the city had passed, the San Fernando Valley would be the fifth largest city in the United States. And that’s still with Los Angeles been in the top five, two.
Brian Hemsworth 11:43
Yeah, and we and we’ve got, you know, all sorts going on now, even even since COVID, we’ve got the Rams buying in all the property in the West Valley, we’ve got the Rams setting up shop out here. And so despite the fact that we’ve been around a long time, still a very vibrant place. And, and kind of a fun place to be.
Larry Goldman 12:03
It is changed, keeps coming around. Who thought five years even five years ago that the Los Angeles Rams will buy the area for their, their their working out area, their practice fields, taking over large buildings that used to be health centers for their business. We’re seeing a change. It’s just part of the change that we have seen throughout the valley.
Brian Hemsworth 12:30
And there’s discussions that you and I have had. And Larry, I’m just gonna say you’re really nice guy. But you really light up when I asked you about a couple of things. So one of those is family would like to hear just a little bit about your family. You’ve got family all over the world, right?
Larry Goldman 12:51
That’s correct. Leslie, my wife and I have two sons. Matt is a accountant, with a partner with a major accounting firm, and he’s been in Zurich, Switzerland for the last five years. And my wife and I have said we want to come back as one of our grandkids because they go skiing in the Alps on a regular basis. Today, they’re heading to Austria. This winter in December, they went to Kenya and Nairobi for a safari. Oh my God. They went to see the Buccaneers play at the Munich because on the autobahn, it’s only about three and a half hour drive. Wow. So they’re they’re seeing a lot. And then I have one son living back here in the Los Angeles area with two grand with two children. I have a granddaughter who’s four and a half, and a grandson who will be two in about a week. And as you have heard from me, I enjoy spending time with them.
Brian Hemsworth 13:55
So Larry, the second thing that I have noticed that really lights up your eyes family is one which is dear to my heart. But the second is also dear to my heart. You’re in a car guy. Tell us about your car passion.
Larry Goldman 14:12
I’ve always had a need for speed. Growing up, I first had motorcycles. And then I had a high performance 71 340 CUDA. Wow. And I got the bug and I’ve always had the bug. So in 2001 When I saw this car in the at a dealership, I ended up buying it it was a 2001 Dodge Viper, RT 10 and sapphire blue and a cognac interior. And that’s my track car. If you had seen Ford versus Ferrari, the first part of the movie is at Willow Springs. That’s my home track. And I’ve been to Laguna Seca Buttonwillow, Chuck Walla and various other tracks. Even I’ve been to Boston around on a couple occasions. To get more training, and then I also have a 2017 Dodge Viper GTC with a 2.0 power pack package.
Brian Hemsworth 15:09
Wow. So So you, you do spend some track time and I assume that’s probably with clubs and with Viper clubs and organize drives at the tracks. But you’re also spending a lot of time, weekends. Cruising canyons cruising the coast, aren’t you?
Larry Goldman 15:27
Yes. Especially during the pandemic, when you didn’t have anything to do. I’d get in one of the cars drive up. Pacific Coast Highway, come back, and just have a nice time.
Brian Hemsworth 15:38
Yeah. And the truth be told, I’ve been driving in the neighborhood a few times. And I’ve seen Larry go cruising by in his Viper. And it’s very fun for me to think that he’s on his way to, to somewhere very fun on a particular Saturday or Sunday,
Larry Goldman 15:53
but at the speed limit,
Brian Hemsworth 15:55
or was that the speed limit? Yeah, you’re I actually seen you several times, you’ve always been at the speed limit. But it’s a very nice looking car. It’s one of those that that I see you on a Sunday, and it just puts a smile on my face, because I know you’re just out there for for a fun time on that.
Larry Goldman 16:12
And when I go to a car show on the weekend, I get a lot of looks.
Brian Hemsworth 16:16
What’s your you mentioned a lot of the tracks, those aren’t gonna matter to a lot of people. But there’s a few of us that know those places. You mentioned some really cool places to drive. What’s been your favorite?
Larry Goldman 16:30
Willow Springs, that’s my home track. There’s a group that takes the track over for the weekend. They do it very professionally breaking down the drivers from beginners to expert. They also give driving and handling courses at the same time. And I first took a course. And 2004 Skip Barber, why? If you have a high performance car, or even when I see a friend with a jaguar, to get the experience to enjoy the vehicle, you take the course and you’ll get more out of it and more enjoyment with the vehicle.
Brian Hemsworth 17:09
So I’m going to reveal a little secret little bit of breaking rules and regulations in my life. My brother, when he was about, let’s say he was probably about 21, which would put me at about 1617. So I had my driver’s license, but he had a formula V race car. And we would go out to Willow Springs on, you know, a Tuesday or Wednesday, I’d play hooky from school, we drive out there, and it would just be an open day, we’d pay about 30 bucks. And we’d be able to just do laps, and he do a lot of laps. But during lunch, he’d come over to our little monster wagon, and he’d strip off his driver suit. And under the cover of the doors and the and the rear hatch, I would put the driver suit on and I’d go out and do a couple of hot laps as well. And, and then come back and then we’d switch driver suits. And he’d do it all again. Those are some of the best days with my brother. I just really enjoyed those days at and and so I I can really understand how you like going out there. But some of those tracks like Laguna Seca, those are not necessarily I mean, people think of just going around in circles. Laguna Seca is not one where you just go around in circles.
Larry Goldman 18:26
Well, it’s well, it’s a Road Track. Left, Right, Up Down elevations, say with the big track at Willow Springs or two tracks at Willow Springs. Here’s the Streets of Willow. And then there’s the big track. The big track is two and a half miles. So you can get a lot going with your vehicle. One thing that’s important to me is when I go to these tracks, safety comes first. Your car has to meet certain requirements and get past before you’re even allowed on the track. And we’re all out there to have fun. It’s not like NASCAR bumping doors around the track. Because we all want to go back to work the next day.
Brian Hemsworth 19:06
Yeah. A lot of people in those weekends are driving the cars, they’re gonna be driving to work the next day. So it’s probably a good thing that they’re not ranking them. Very well. Let’s just circle back. I want to ask just sort of one. One more question about you and your work and where people are today. Tell us just a little bit about your experience you you’ve been doing this long enough. You’ve seen a lot of different families in different situations. Do you have any just general recommendations for people that are having issues in their families? What what should they be looking at? What should they be saying to their attorneys about troubled relationships that they have? In this day and age? Can you just give us a little bit of a feel when’s the right time to call somebody like you?
Larry Goldman 19:57
Well, sometimes as early as possible because someone like me will ask, What have you done to reconcile your marriage? Have you gone to therapy? If you’ve seen a minister or Rabbi priest, have you spoken to someone who you trust in a family to work things out? It’s not something that may happen overnight. But something that takes over time. And I always try to see if I can keep the relationship together, versus carrying it asunder, in a legal action.
Brian Hemsworth 20:34
But I think that’s great advice for people. See if you can’t make something work before you before you really work it at tearing it apart. Larry, thanks so much. Really appreciate your coming in spending a little time with us educating us a little bit and letting us have a little fun talking about cars too. Thanks so much, Larry.
Larry Goldman 20:51
Thank you for having me, Brian. I enjoyed it.
Intro Speaker 21:02
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