A Year in Review
The 2008 ABA Annual Meeting in New York City, August 7-12, 2008, combined great CLE, the business of the section, camaraderie, and fun. The business of the Family Law Section featured observance of its 50th anniversary. Former Section Chair Sandra Morgan Little narrated a PowerPoint presentation tracing the progress of the section for each decade of its existence. Another former chair, Dick Podell, highlighted some of the fun moments of the past half-century.
As always, Council met to discuss the business of the Section, and the annual luncheon featured the swearing-in of Anita Ventrelli, Section Chair for 2008-09. Also recognized during the award luncheon were Deborah Akers-Parry, for her service as Financial Officer; Maryann Foley, for serving as co-chair of the CLE Committee; Linda Ravdin, for serving as chair of the Publications Development Board, and Laura Morgan, for her service in providing Case Update. David Hofstein received the Chair's Cup for organizing the joint meeting with the American Psychological Association.
For camaraderie, host committee chair Sondra Harris arranged a reception at the New York City Water Club, which combined good food with a beautiful location. Section CLE included the annual fast-paced "Hot Tips from the Experts," along with "It's Not Just about E-mail: What the Family Trial Lawyer Needs to Know About Electronic Evidence Prior to and During a Trial" and "Child Abuse/Neglect (Dependency) Law for the Domestic Relations Attorney.
It's been my pleasure to serve as chair of the section this past year; some highlights are below:
We had a great joint meeting in Chicago with the American Psychological Association;
the Trial Advocacy Institute moved to a new site in Denver;
the Model Act Governing Assisted Reproductive Technology was approved;
We cosponsored numerous programs and projects, including Domestic Violence Standards of Practice;
And much, much more!
Thank you to everyone who contributed to making this year such a great success.
Gregg Herman (Immediate Past Chair)
View the 50th Anniversary PowerPoint
View photos from Annual (Thank you to section shutterbug Peter Walzer!)
The Next Fifty Years
As the Family Law Section celebrates its 50th anniversary and we look back on all the Section has achieved, we have much to celebrate. The list of accomplishments of our volunteer members in service to our long-range-plan goals is astounding, ranging from publications to continuing legal education programs, to the visibility of our membership in the ABA at large, as well as in the media. I am honored to have been chosen to shepherd a Section of this caliber.
The Section's officers look forward to serving as we move ahead. A primary focus has been, and continues to be, the development of new relationships that will expand benefits to all our members.
The Section is now working with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and, thanks to the extensive efforts of Section member Miles Mason, we are moving forward with joint teleconferences, member participation in AICPA Webinar programs, and joint programming during a portion of our Baltimore spring conference (April 22-25, 2009). We hope to put an infrastructure in place to maintain the relationship so that benefits to our members will continue to grow.
Section officers also have had discussions with the leadership of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers in hopes of improving, where possible, communication and coordination of action on issues common to both groups.
Members of the Section also continue to work on initiatives to preserve families, which benefit both practitioners and the public. Section Chair-Elect, Mitchell Karpf, and section Vice Chair, the Honorable Debra H. Lehrmann, have taken the lead on a project whose mission is "to develop practice methods and approaches to minimize the destructive consequences of divorce on families." From time to time, their committee will call upon various committees and individuals within the Section to help develop the project.
Our long-range plan calls upon our officers, council, and members to serve the Section's goals of being the preeminent voice on marital and family issues; serving our members; improving public and professional understanding about marital and family law issues; increasing the diversity and participation of our membership; and improving professionalism of all participants in the administration of marital and family law. Daunting though these goals may be, the Section has done and continues to do, much work in service to these goals. It is our hope that by taking our meetings to locations where the section has not previously met, we will do so even more effectively in the future. I look forward to serving you this year.
Anita Ventrelli, Chair
Ed. Note: This is an abridged article; the full text will be available in the fall 2008 issue of Family Advocate (Vol. 31, No. 2).
Call for Nominations
The ABA Section of Family Law Wants You!
If you'd like to get more involved with the Section, why not consider a leadership or Council position?
The Nominating Committee, chaired by chair-elect Mitchell Karpf, North Miami Beach, FL, is accepting nominations for the 2009-2010 section year. Committee members include: Steven Peskind, St. Charles, IL; Dianna Gould-Saltman, Los Angeles, CA; William Biviano, Warren, OH; and Don Schiller, Chicago, IL.
The committee seeks nominations for the following positions:
Chair-elect (one-year term)
Vice Chair (one-year term)
Secretary (one-year term)
Delegate to the ABA House of Delegates (three-year term)
Region II Representative (three-year term) composed of Maryland, District of Columbia, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, and Mississippi
Region IV Representative (three-year term) composed of Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota
To be considered for nomination, submit a letter of interest by November 3, 2008. Send your letter (e-mail with Word attachment preferred) to Section Director Paula Nessel, e-mail Paula.Nessel@americanbar.org and Chair-elect Mitchell Karpf, e-mail email@example.com.
Visit the Nominations page for more details and what to include with your letter of interest.
Toss your hat in the ring, don't be shy! We look forward to receiving your letters of interest.
Last chance for free ground shipping on all orders placed through the ABA Web Store by August 31; order your family law books today and save!
Collaborative Law: Achieving Effective Resolution in Divorce without Litigation,
Pauline H. Tesler
Product Code 5130160
Now substantially revised and expanded, Collaborative Law serves both as a broad, comprehensive introduction to collaborative legal practice for lawyers new to the area as well as a current reference for more experienced practitioners. Reflecting the developing interest in collaborative representation, this new edition covers the theoretical and practical advances made in the field and features significant additional information on topics such as ethics, marketing, and public education, as well as a number of new forms from a variety of sources for use in a collaborative law practice.
The manual includes a user-friendly, question-and-answer handbook designed to orient clients to the collaborative process. This Handbook for Clients is also included on the accompanying cd-rom, along with the book's other forms, and may be reproduced for client use.
To order today, call the ABA Service Center at 800-285-2221 and request Product Code 5130160 or order online.
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Best of the List Serve
This month's Best of the FamLawEsq covers a plethora of issues, including UCCJEA, military pension, custody (special needs children), and more.
Read more about this month's topics. (You will need to log in to the ABA website.)
Not on the list? All of our lawyer members are encouraged to join this popular discussion list. Read more about How to Join FamLawEsq in the Members Only section of our website.
September 10, 2008
Double Dipping in Divorce
This session will address the concept that is frequently described as "double dipping" and its relevance in matrimonial cases to the division of property and the awarding of alimony/child support. The double-dip issue questions whether the same excess income should be used to value an asset and considered a source for the payment of alimony and support.
Please note that this teleconference will take place from 12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. Eastern time (i.e., 11:00 a.m. Central, 10:00 a.m. Mountain, 9:00 a.m. Pacific)
View more details and register online
(Remember, you get a discount just for being a Section of Family Law member!)
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Fall CLE Conference Discounted Registration (Ends Sept. 2nd)
Family Law Fall CLE Conference
October 2-5, 2008
If you haven't yet registered for the Fall CLE Conference, time's a-wasting! You only have until September 2nd to lock in the discount registration price of $425. (Law students, new practitioners, judges, full-time law school faculty, Canadian and International Bar members, as well as full-time legal services or social service practitioners always enjoy reduced registration fees.)
The discount hotel rate of $219 is also only good if you reserve your room by September 2nd.
And, our first-timers recruitment award deadline is also...September 2nd. The member who signs up the most newbies to attend the conference will win a delightful spa package! Details are on the website.
Our CLE topics include (but are not limited to) reproductive and genetic technologies, elder law, marital property, and ADR. And after you've earned your credits, relax at the Camelback Inn with your family or continue networking with your peers.
Sign Up for Tours
We've put together some great tours that you and/or your family may want to check out! Choose from Carefree and Taliesin, Sedona, or the Heard Museum and City Tour. For details, pricing, and sign-up information, visit the website.
Golfers Take Note:
Saturday, October 4th--1:00 p.m. Tee Time
Camelback Golf Club, one of Arizona's original gems, features 36 holes of championship golf located in beautiful Scottsdale. If you are interested in playing golf on Saturday, October 4, please contact Peter M. Walzer at 818-591-3700 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Accommodations & Registration
Reserve your hotel room by September 2, 2008, to lock in the discount rate of $219. (See hotel information on site linked below.)
Register online, use the registration link on the Fall CLE website. Register by September 2nd in order to get the early-bird discount rate.
Please note: All CLE will take place on October 3-4, while some committee meetings and the Council meeting will be held on Thursday, October 2. Check the Schedule page on the website for a full listing of all committee meetings. (Our hotel room block and discount rates apply beginning on October 1st, should you wish to arrive early and take advantage of the resort and its surroundings.)
Fall CLE Conference website. *Bookmark and check back for updated information!
Additional CLE Opportunity
In connection with the Maricopa County Bar, our own military experts Mark Sullivan and Patricia Apy will be presenting a one-day CLE program for civilian attorneys (as well as Guard/Reserve JAG officers) in the Phoenix area on aspects of military divorce: Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, custody, pension division, support and hidden assets.
The program will take place on October 2nd, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Maricopa County Bar Association.
For more details, download the flyer.
Unable to attend a teleconference or a Section CLE conference? Not to worry, you can learn on your own time when you purchase the CLE materials.
See a listing of available CLE materials
Metadata is the information hidden in the background of electronic documents; it includes the name of the author, the date created and last edited, as well as the undo/redo history. Metadata resides in almost every type of electronic document or file created in a law office. Evidence of tracked changes and comments that occur during the review and collaboration process are most potentially damaging. The disclosure of the metadata could lead to a breach of confidentiality, not to mention be highly embarrassing. There are quite a few high profile examples as highlighted at MetadataRisk.org News. Currently 8 states and the American Bar Association have ethics opinions on how lawyers should deal with removal and receipt of metadata. So, how do you get rid of it?
A metadata removal tool or scrubber filters and cleans metadata from documents. It can be an add-on that integrates with existing programs or an extra step taken after document creation before the final document is shared or stored. Following are several metadata removal tools and techniques to consider.
* The Remove Hidden Data tool for Office 2003 and Office XP removes hidden and collaboration data, such as track changes and comments, from Word 2003/XP, Excel 2003/XP, and PowerPoint 2003/XP files. You can run the Remove Hidden Data add-in on individual files from within your Office XP or Office 2003 applications or, you can run Remove Hidden Data on multiple files at once from the command line.
* The Document Inspector feature in Microsoft Office Word 2007, Microsoft Office Excel 2007, and Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007 can help you find and remove hidden data and personal information in your Office documents.
* Metadata Assistant by Payne Group analyzes Word/Excel/PowerPoint (97-2007) files to determine the type and amount of metadata that exists within then offers a variety of options to remove unwanted metadata from documents, workbooks and presentations. The enterprise version can operate as a standalone utility or can run from within Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook 2000 and above.
* Workshare Protect Standard and Workshare Protect Premium provide the option of one click or automatic removal of hidden data and metadata. This utility also provides real-time warnings when your email (Lotus Notes and Groupwise) or Office files contain passwords, social security and credit card numbers, financial data, history of deleted text, left over comments, private notes, and content analyses and protection of confidential information for laptops, desktops and mobile devices.
* iScrub by Esquire Innovations, Inc. is a metadata removal and document management application for Microsoft Office (Word, Excel & PowerPoint) and PDF files. iScrub also provides Outlook, Lotus Notes and GroupWise Integration. The SpinCycle utility performs batch metadata removal utility and scrubs hundreds of Microsoft Office and PDF files at once.
* Metadact, a joint venture between Litera Corp. and SoftWise combines Out-of-Sight and Metadata Sweeper. This utility removes metadata embedded in Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint) and PDF documents. It is compatible with Office 2007 and Windows Vista.
* WordPerfect® X3 has settings that allow you to control how much metadata is retained in your documents when you save them by performing the following steps: Click File > Choose Save Without Metadata option.
* MetaData Clean is a free tool that uses macros to cleanse Metadata from documents created in Microsoft Word or WordPerfect.
* Acrobat 8.0 and later versions offer the option to remove metadata, including document properties, by using the "Examine Document" feature. Though not as prevalent, metadata can end up in PDF documents when a user adds comments or notes or when a converted document, Word for example, contains track changes or comments before the PDF conversion. See the website for pricing.
When considering a metadata removal tool, consider its compatibility with your entire office suite, whether you want to treat files individually or many at a time (batch), whether metadata removal should be automatic or require user intervention. Also, its compatibility with existing document management systems and ease of use as well as licensing fees should be considered when evaluating the true cost of a metadata removal solution.
Get Metadata Alerts!
Besides the aforementioned metadata removers, in Word 2003 and 2007, you can create a warning to tell you before you print a document, save to PDF or send if there are any tell-tale comments or tracked changes lurking within the document. In MS Word 2003 go to Tools – Options – Security and under privacy options check "warn before printing, saving or sending a file that contains tracked changes or comments." In MS Word 2007, go to the Office Button – Word Options – Trust Center – Trust Center Settings – Privacy Options and check "warn before printing, saving or sending a file that contains tracked changes or comments." These alerts can help prevent metadata disasters and keep you from sending out potentially confidential or damaging information.
Dangerous Curves Ahead: The Crossroads of Ethics and Technology--Arkansas bar Mid-year Meeting, January 2008
Metadata: The Ghosts Haunting e-Documents-- The Georgia Bar Journal, February 2008 pp. 16-25
—Tonya Johnson, ABA Legal Technology Resource Center
Ask Us! Is there a technology question that's been on your mind? Ask us about it! We may answer your question in a future edition of the eNewsletter. If there's some other technology you would like us to investigate, just e-mail email@example.com. Keep the Tech Corner working for you!
For a Laugh...
We thought you might like to end the summer with a little levity. Click on the link below for a sampling of legal cartoons. Have a great Labor Day and we'll see you in September!
Show me the funnies!
(Please note that the ABA is not responsible for content on external web sites; we also do not endorse same.)