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METRO Cb0 Angeles STimee Editorial Pages Mondny, February 7, 1983 CCtPnrt II A Divorced Spouse's Professional Degree: Is It Community Property? By ROXANE ARNOLD, Times Stall Writer 'There is the expectation that the marriage will last. But if it doesn't, that is the risk she took. That's the way the cookie crumbled, that's the way the marriage crumbled. ' taw professor's assessment of Janet Sullivan's suit. gree Is community property and if ' so, how to measure its future value. Ultimately, however, the court's decision will affect not only physicians but those who earn professional degrees while married. Some argue that a degree-is-property ruling could apply to every faltering marriage, creating nightmares for the courts and never-ending entanglements for couples who just want to split. Others predict it will produce a booming market for pre-nupital agreements and bring romance to an end. "It's not going to be very good for the couples," said Sacramento attorney Fred J. Hiestand, who filed a brief forhe California Medical Assn. Hiestand said that the association decided to become involved in the case when its members agreed "they didn't want their degrees to become a target for a vindictive spouse or a potential future creditor." Hiestand said that when "you Please see SETTLEMENT, Pago 6 requires an even distribution of property accumulated during a marriage regardless of who wanted to end the marriage. The state definition of community property includes furniture, real estate and other tangible assets as well as intangibles such as pensions and professional reputations that have recognized value. "California doesn't have the flexibility of other states," said Blumberg, the co-author of a friend-of-the-court brief on Janet's behalf. "The California Supreme Court is not going to be able to fudge the issue. "In other states, courts can give her something without giving her too much. In California, it has got to be an all-or-nothing proposition. The future earnings represented by her husband's degree is either property or it isn't, and she gets half or she gets nothing." The court actually faces two declsions.Justices must first determine whether Mark's medical de- the "most Important women's Issue of the day" and has prompted at least one California assemblyman to draft -so-called Sullivan legislation to take care of former spouses like Janet. It also has spurred Mark's fellow doctors In Orange County to establish a legal defense fund to battle what they call a "threat to ell people who have a degree" and has convinced the powerful California Medical Assn. to enter the fray on behalf of Its members. "The ramifications of the case are shocking for some," said UCLA law professor Grace Blumberg. "It means that people could be paying through their noses for the rest of their professional lives." Although a rash of cases involving professional degrees have been heard in courtrooms across the country in the last two years, few have been heard in state high courts and none is likely to have the national impact of a Sullivan decision, since the California Supreme 3Jk tk judges have discretion in dividing marital assets, California is bound by a no-fault divorce law that Latino Group Endorses Snyder Foe Steve Rodriguez Backed for Council Seat in 14th District J tannic After 10 years working as an acccountant while husband Mark completed medical school, an internship and residency in urology, Janet Sullivan decided their marriage was over. She walked out, taking their young daughter with her. When the couple filed for divorce two years later In Santa Ana, there wasn't much to divide In the way of community property some used furniture and two cars that weren't paid for. Janet decided to try for more a share of Mark's earnings as a doctor. On Tuesday, the California Supreme Court is scheduled to take up the Sullivan case, which centers on Janet's claim that she should be compensated for putting her ex-husband through medical school. It is a contention that has jolted medical and professional groups and unleashed a storm of clashing views. The case has become a cause celebre among those who see it as 4 More Fires Break Out at Cedars-Sinai No One Injured in Latest in Series of Suspicious Blazes at Medical Center By D. ANTHONY DARDEN, Times Staff Writer Pour suspicious fires broke out Sunday morning at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, bringing to 13 the number of fires discovered in the West Los Angeles hospital in two months. Authorities believe that all of the fires were set. No one was injured in Sunday's fires and evacuation was not required, but investigators for the Los Angeles Fire Department said there was minor structural damage. Bill Cass, a Fire Department arson investigator, said the medical center's sprinkler system helped put out the blazes, none of which took longer than 35 minutes to extinguish. Cass said the first fire broke out at 7:47 a.m. in a plastic trash can in a men's rest room in the Frances & Steve Broidy Tower. Damage was minor. While firemen were cleaning up after that fire, another broke out at 8:49 in a men's locker room on the eighth floor of the Viola & Alfred Hart Tower. Structural damage was estimated at $200 and there was some smoke in the vicinity. 3rd Fire in Locker Room Just as firefighters were putting out that blaze, another broke out at 10:24 in a men's locker room three floors below in the same tower. Battalion 18 Chief Willard Bisson said the third fire caused an estimated $1,700 in structural damage and an estimated $500 damage to contents of the room. The fourth fire broke out at 10:30 a.m. in a a men's locker room in the medical center basement. It damaged some soiled linen in a plastic bag. Cass and Bisson said they are not ruling out the possibility that someone among the center's 5,000 employees and 1,800-person medical staff could be setting the fires. However, they pointed out that access to much of the medical center is relatively easy. Investigators are looking for two suspects, including a former employee. However, Cass said Sunday that .air of the fires could have been set.by one person. The first fire was set Dee. 23 and two more broke out Jan. 4. After those fires, the medical center set up around-the-clock patrols. The only injury so far has been to a fireman who suffered from smoke inhalation in a fire set Jan. 1 1. Writer Latino supporters of Snyder countered with boos and hisses and yelled, "We want Snyder." As tele-" vision cameras turned on their lights, the sight of competing campaign signs filled the convention room. Rodriguez asked the crowd to join him "in a historic mission . . . foreclosure to the morally bankrupt leadership of the incumbent." Snyder's fund-raising tactics have been the source of controversy for several years, and the state Fair Political Practices Commission recently fined him $14,000 for admitted violations of conflict-of-interest laws. Chairman Backs Snyder Rodriguez attacked Snyder, an attorney who last year resumed practicing law, as a "part-time councilman" and called for a leader that Latinos "can trust, respect; and admire." Rodriguez's speech, which he delivered somewhat haltingly, was followed by a fiery address by Snyder. Snyder was endorsed personally by MAPA convention chairman Jimmy Arenas and cheered by supporters, many of whom were not MAPA members and could not vote for the endorsement. Snyder pointed to many projects HARRY FISHER Youthful demonstrator leading an anti-Communist chant at USC. Lessons of Vietnam War to Be Considered at USC Symposium By ALLAN PARACHINI, Times Staff Writer for 1984 Demonstration for Big Olympics Eve Rally Court is regarded as a trend-setter in family law. Unlike most other states, where rain, complaining that the meeting was biased against the South Vietnamese regimes that finally were ousted in 1975. Even, before its formal opening Sunday, the conference had generated news: American veterans had disrupted earlier screenings of documentary films, and Nguyen Ngoc Dung, deputy permanent representative of the present Vietnamese government to the United Nations, who had been invited to participate, announced last week that the State Department had denied her a visa for travel to Los Angeles. Still scheduled for appearances are Daniel Ellsberg, the former policy analyst who leaked the Pentagon Papers to news media; former CIA agent Frank Snepp; William Shawcross, the British historian who detailed the secret American bombing of Cambodia: former South Please see VIETNAM, Page 3 ican Indian Movement camp near Chatsworth. After a record 2V4 years of pretrial proceedings and a yearlong trial Los Angeles County's longest and the third-longest criminal trial in California historythe two were found not guilty. The marathon trial was marked by a fracas between Skyhorse and a Sheriff's Department deputy, the arrest of a prosecution witness for being drunk on the stand and the dismissal of a juror seven months into the trial for what the judge called "flagrant sleeping," Mohawk and Skyhorse spent about 3V4 years behind bars after their arrests in the murder jail-ings that they said were politically motivated. After their release in 1978, prose-Please see HOLDUP, Page 3 and public improvements that have been built during his time in office. "I've bit, and I've scratched, and I've been mean and bad because in City Hall sometimes you have to do that," Snyder said. "... I submit myself to the judgment of the people." Asked about his admission of guilt to violating conflict-of-interest laws, Snyder said as he has in the past that he "didn't mean it." "If you don't believe me, that's OK," he said, as one woman yelled, "We don't!" Still Claims Victory Snyder asked the crowd to weigh the FPPC fine against his deeds in the district "and see which is heavier." In spite of his later loss, he still claimed victory, considering that MAPA is a Latino group and he still received one-third of the votes. MAPA generally endorses Democrats. Rodriguez is a Democrat and Snyder is a former Republican turned independent. Convention delegates also endorsed candidates in a few other municipal races: Jackie Goldberg, Board of Education, District 3; Larry Gonzalez, Board of Education, District 5: Reynaldo P. Garay, Board of Education, District 7; and Michael L. Gotz, Board of Trustees, Office No. 1. pics to make political points because "the Olympics has always been political ... So many political statements have been made at the Olympics." She added that she hopes some of the athletes coming here from abroad for the games would join in the rally. Organizational Meetings A series of further organizational meetings, beginning later in the month, were called. Olympic organizers here have long said they believed that demonstrations by political groups during the 1984 games are likely, but this is the first announcement of any. The presence in host Olympic cities in the past of thousands of news reporters from throughout the world has meant that such demonstrations have been widely reported. nrmmtti By JANET CLAYTON, Times Staff City Council candidate Steve Rodriguez's challenge to incumbent Councilman Arthur K. Snyder got a boost Sunday when Rodriguez received the endorsement of the Mexican-American Political Assn. Over cheers, some boos and wild waving of campaign signs, the MA-PA convention delegates at the Holiday Inn in East Los Angeles selected Rodriguez as their choice for councilman in the largely Latino 14th District. There has not been a i Latino on the City Council since Rep. Ed Roybal (D-Los Angeles) left that post in 1962. The endorsement of Rodriguez, 34, an urban planner, over educator David Sanchez places Rodriguez a step ahead of other candidates as the major opponent to the controversial Snyder, who has held the office for 16 years. Snyder has never been endorsed by MAPA, but he said Sunday that he had never before sought the endorsement. This time he did, and he received 20 votes, compared to 41 for Rodriguez. The endorsement was hotly pursued by both candidates, whose supporters were highly visible and vocal. Campaign Shouts "We can't wait! A Chicano in '83!" screamed Rodriguez supporters. Hope to Attract 500,000 Activists Call By KENNETH REICH, Times Staff A Los Angeles coordinating group for social activists, meeting over the weekend at UCLA, issued a call for a rally by 500,000 or more people to demonstrate here for peace and economic reform on July 27, 1984, the day before the Olympic Games begin. The Los Angeles Federation for Progress which includes on its advisory board such reform advocates as Ramona Ripston, the Southern California executive director for the American Civil Liberties Union; attorney Leonard Weinglass: former White House aide Midge Costanza and Assemblywoman Maxine Waters (D-Los Angeles) said it hopes the local Olympic Committee would provide facilities for the rally. While the organization endorsed the Olympics, a succession of speakers at the UCLA meeting attended Perfect weather Cyclists snow in the Hungry Valley off-road Ten years after the last American troops left Vietnam, an assortment of veterans, journalists, and political observers came to the University of Southern California campus Sunday to reexamine that bitter Southeast Asian conflict. Journalist David Halberstam, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his reporting of the early stages of the U.S. involvement, called the four-day symposium, known as "Vietnam Reconsidered: Lessons From a War" an "act of self-examination." He' noted that, at the time, many reporters who covered the war were criticized for being "too critical" of U.S. actions. To the contrary, he said, "We were not critical enough." But while he and others were participating in a special news conference before formal opening of the symposium, about 200 Vietnamese who had come to the United States as refugees picketed outside in the Los Angeles police, FBI spokesman John Hoos said. - Three robbers, armed with a shotgun, shot and seriously wounded a customer at the bank on West 6th Street during the holdup, which netted them $1,300. Sgt. Ron McCarthy of the SWAT team described the bandits as "very danr gerous people," and said a bank film showed them shoot the customer in the legs while his hands were raised above his head. The arrested suspects were not harmed, although one of them tried to escape through a back window, McCarthy said. Mohawk and Skyhorse, organizers of the American Indian Movement, were arrested in 1974 in the murder of George Aird, whose mutilated body was found at the Amer Writer by about 200 people expressed fear that the large security apparatus being established for the games might turn out to be oppressive to some of the city's minority communities where many of the events will be held. Harry Edwards, a UC Berkeley sociology professor who has long been an Olympics critic, and Judy Chu, a professor of Asian-American Studies at UCLA, said the point of a mass rally would be to mobilize critics of the Reagan Administration throughout the country for the 1984 elections and to demonstrate to the rest of the world the strength of Reagan's opposition on key peace and economic issues. Both emphasized their desire that all Olympics-related demonstrations here be peaceful. Chu said the federation has no compunction about using the Olym far - churn up the recreation area near Gorman. the mountains, 2 Box Canyon Murder Figures Seized in Robbery Third Suspect in Bank Holdup and Shooting of Customer Also Arrested. By G.M. BUSH, Times Staff Writer Three suspects, two of whom were acquitted of the much publicized Box Canyon murder, were arrested and booked on charges of armed robbery Saturday evening in connection with a Jan. 28 holdup of a Security Pacific National Bank. An FBI spokesman said Richard Mohawk, Paul Skyhorse and Ver-dell Thundershields are being held at the Parker Center Jail in lieu of $100,000 bail each. Mohawk, 32, and Skyhorse, 37, who were acquitted in 1978 of the torture-slaying of a taxi driver in Box Canyon, were arrested at 6 p.m. by FBI agents and the Los Angeles Police Department SWAT team in an apartment building in the 1400 block of West 5th Street. Thunder-shields, 38, was arrested a short time later at 5th and Main streets by KEN LUBAS Us Angclci Times More snow was forecast for and more rain for Los Angeles.