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When one parent abducts a child to another country, a variety of laws and courts are implicated. Such laws and courts might come into play following the application of uniform rules contained in international conventions to which countries involved are parties. In these highly technical and complicated cases, parents may be filing lawsuits in more than one country and more than one court. The Left Behind Parent may file a lawsuit under the Hague Abduction Convention, a custody lawsuit, or even lodge a criminal complaint. The Taking Parent may seek protections under a country’s domestic violence statutes or seek temporary emergency protective measures for the child.

In recent years, there have been two highly topical and heavily litigated cases between the United States and Italy. Both Monasky v. Taglieri and Golan v. Saada have involved children abducted from Italy to the United States by a parent. Both reached the highest court in the United States on various points of law. Both involved a variety of court cases filed in more than one country.

Join private international law experts from the U.S. and Italy as they discuss the various child custody lawsuits filed on the periphery of the Hague Abduction Convention cases in Monasky v. Taglieri and Golan v. Saada. What suits could be filed? What has or might happen in each suit based on the principles of custody jurisdiction, particularly since the United States has not ratified the 1996 Hague Child Protection Convention? How could the custody lawsuits impact the families? Could the Left Behind Parents choose to not file Hague Abduction Convention suits? Does the family have dispute resolution options, including cross-border family mediation? Do the Italian and U.S. governments/Central Authorities have a role in these cases?


Ester di Napoli (Italy)
Ester di Napoli is an Italian-Spanish attorney based in Florence (Italy), specialised in Private International Law. She holds a PhD in International Law from the University of Padua, currently Post-Doc Researcher and Adjunct Professor of Private International Law at the University of Ferrara. Between 2016 and 2020, she taught European Private International Law at the LUMSA University (Rome), and collaborated with the Department for Family Policies of the Italian Presidency of the Council of Ministers as an expert in the field of Children's Rights. She is currently working as an independent consultant at the Italian Authority for Children and Adolescents. She is Project Manager and administrator of Aldricus, the Portal of the EJNita-Building Bridges, the EU co-funded Project coordinated by the Italian Minister of Justice aimed at fostering judicial cooperation in civil and commercial matters in Italy. Her main areas of interest and publications concern EU Private International Law in the field of Family and Children's Rights.


Michele Lupoi (Italy)

Michele Angelo Lupoi is Full Professor of the Department of Legal Studies of the University of Bologna. He teaches Civil procedural law at the Ravenna Campus of the Unibo and several other seminars and smaller courses both in Bologna and Ravenna,

He is a lawyer of the Bologna Bar Association and has written extensively in matters of transnational litigation, cross-border jurisdiction, procedural family law, and other areas of civil procedure.

He is an editor of the International journal of civil procedure and of the Rivista trimestrale di diritto e procedura civile and is a member of the Associazione italiana tra gli studiosi del processo civile, the International Association of Procedural Law, and the European association of private international law.


Ashley Tomlinson (U.S.)

Ashley Tomlinson is a senior associate attorney at Laura Dale & Associates, P.C. in Houston, Texas. She is Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and a fellow of the International Academy of Family Lawyers. Ms. Tomlinson’s practice consists primarily of child abduction suits, international and multi-jurisdictional family law disputes, high-conflict divorce and custody suits, and federal and state appeals involving family law matters and child abduction suits. Ms. Tomlinson is a frequent speaker on topics related to international and interstate family law, such as the UCCJEA and various Hague Conventions. She currently serves by invitation on the United States Department of State Advisory Committee on Private International Law.

Ms. Tomlinson earned her juris doctor from Tulane University, where she focused on international law and family law. She served as the Senior Articles Editor for the Tulane Journal of International and Comparative Law, one of the leading scholarly journals in international law.


Melissa Kucinski (U.S.)

Melissa A. Kucinski is an attorney who focuses her practice in the area of international family law. Ms. Kucinski has chaired several committees and task forces within the American Bar Association that relate to international family law and international family mediation. She previously consulted for the Hague Conference on Private International Law on the Hague Child Abduction and Hague Child Protection Conventions. Ms. Kucinksi is a member of the U.S. Department of State’s Advisory Committee on Private International Law, and is a member of the Uniform Law Commission’s Joint Editorial Board for Uniform Family Laws. She designed an advanced mediation training and trained mediators across the globe to handle complex cross-border custody and child abduction cases. Ms. Kucinski was invited to speak at the 5-year anniversary symposium celebrating Japan’s ratification of the Hague Child Abduction Convention by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She has served on international delegations for the U.S. government and International Social Service on topics related to the Hague Child Abduction Convention and cross-border mediation.

Ms. Kucinski is a seasoned author, writing the seminal handbook for practicing lawyers on representing children in their parents’ custody cases. She co-authored Family Law Across Borders for West Academic. She authored a chapter in a treatise on the Hague Conference’s work in international family mediation and numerous scholarly articles on international family law. Ms. Kucinski is admitted to practice in DC, Maryland, Virginia, and New York. She routinely serves as an expert on international family law matters, including parental child abduction cases. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and the International Academy of Family Lawyers.

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