Early-Bird Discount for Spring Meeting Registration Flies Away March 12th
Take advantage of the special discounted registration rate that's reserved just for ABA Section of Family Law members! The discount is only good through March 12th, so don't delay.
To save even more, make sure to book your hotel room at the Hotel Monteleone prior to March 16th (5:00 p.m. Central) in order to lock in the special $205 per night rate. Due to local festivals, we strongly encourage you to book your hotel room early. Contact the Hotel Monteleone at 866-338-4684 or 504-523-3341.
What to Expect
Once the conference begins, you'll have plenty of opportunities to attend CLE courses, network with friends and colleagues, and learn more about Section activities. Our Committee Luncheons on Friday and Saturday allow you to meet with other practitioners who are interested in specific areas of family law. Interested in adoption? Want to meet others who are interested in family courts or domestic violence? Just check the conference schedule in the brochure to find out when these and other groups will meet, and sign up when you register.
But committee luncheons aren't the only place to meet people--take socializing to the next level by coming to our receptions, dine-arounds, and our Friday night event at Muriel's. (Sign up for dine-arounds on-site; purchase tickets for Muriel's when you register for the conference.)
Joint CLE Program on Long Term Care*
We're pleased to co-sponsor "Family Law, Elder Law and Individual Rights: The Intersection of Marriage, Long-Term Care and the Rights of Those Involved" with the Section of Individual Rights & Responsibilities (IR&R) and the Senior Lawyers Division on Friday, April 16, from 2:00-3:00 p.m. at the Royal Sonesta Hotel. Region I Council Representative Mary Vidas is a speaker on the panel. A description of the program is on our website.
Tickets are $75 for Family Law Section members and may be ordered from Senior Lawyers Division.
*This program was previously referred to as "Sex, Divorce, and Care for the Elderly."
Give Back to New Orleans
New Orleans has bounced back, but there are still areas recovering from Hurricane Katrina. If you'd like to participate in a community service project (Thursday, 12:30-4:30 p.m.), please contact Kendra Randall-Jolivet by Saturday, March 20, 2010.
Visit the Conference website for more information or Register online now.
Enhance Your Trial Skills in Just 7 Days!
Attend the 2010 ABA Family Law Trial Advocacy Institute (TAI)
The nation's premier trial training program sponsored by the ABA Section of Family Law is a must for any family law attorney!
Take a week to learn from highly experienced and well respected family law professionals from across the nation. They'll give you the personalized attention and feedback you need to: master the skill of persuasion; argue motions effectively; enhance your understanding of business valuation principles; retool your witness preparation for trial; polish your cross of mental health and financial experts; and develop a system for organizing your case. The program offers you expert feedback from opening statement through closing argument!
Sound too good to be true? See what some of our 2009 attendees had to say:
"This program was truly one of the highlights of my career. I am confident that I am now a better lawyer for it. For anyone practicing in the area of family law, whether for 2 years or 20 years, this course is an absolute must!" - Julie Gerock, Washington, D.C.
"Best part of the course is the faculty. They come from across the country and include the highest quality of practioners and judges, feedback is tailored to the unique needs and performance level of each student." -- Gil Pilkington, Jenks, OK
"An amazing and unforgettable experience. It was a "boot camp" for trial attorneys. I am, no doubt, a better attorney because of this program. Although rigorous and intense, it was well worth it. A cameraderie with all; I acquired lifelong friends and experience." -- Jacqueline M. Grasso, East Providence, RI
"Phenomenal faculty. I now know what excellence in family law advocacy should look like. Worth the price of admission." -- Cindy Perusse, Minneapolis, MN
The Institute will take place May 22-29, 2010, at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law in Denver, Colorado, and enrollment is limited to 48 attorneys.
Tuition for the program is $3600, with a special discounted rate of $3400 for ABA Section of Family Law members, and is payable in full at the time of your application. This fee includes 7 full days of instruction including simulated trial practice, special workshops, course materials, textbooks, videotaping, daily lunches and refreshment breaks, transportation between the hotel and program site, and a closing luncheon. (Travel, lodging, and other meals are not included.)
Are you a TAI alum?
If you've attended an ABA Trial Advocacy Institute in the past, you can enroll in the Advanced Trial Advocacy Institute. The Advanced program is an intensive four-day course (May 26-29, 2010) that goes even more in-depth and builds on the skills you acquired from the weeklong program. This year's focus is: Mental Health Experts & Psychological Testing. Space is limited to 12 attorneys. For more information, visit the website linked below.
If you'd like to enroll with a friend or colleague, take advantage of our special discounted group registration.
Ready to register? Need more information? Visit the ABA TAI website.
The ABA Section of Family Law co-sponsored a number of recommendations that were adopted by the ABA House of Delegates, including:
102A Collateral Consequences for Juveniles (as amended by the changes demanded by FLS Delegates)
102B Simplified Miranda Warnings for Juveniles
102E Impact of Incarceration on Parent/Child Relationship
102F Need for Legal Services to Prisoners on Family Law
We also co-sponsored the resolution urging reauthorization of Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), the resolution urging debt relief from law school debt for military legal assistance officers, and several resolutions dealing with foster care. To see a list of recommendations/resolutions that the Section of Family Law co-sponsored, read the Midyear Daily Journal.
At our Fall Conference in Montreal, the Section of Family Law Council also voted to support the Uniform Collaborative Law Act (UCLA) proposed by the Uniform Law Commission (ULC). The UCLA was designed to regulate the use of collaborative law, a form of alternative dispute resolution, and standardize its most important features. Its reach would extend beyond family law into all areas of civil practice.
However, since a number of other ABA sections and divisions opposed the UCLA in its current form, the Uniform Law Commission chose to withdraw the act and will attempt to revise and resubmit it to the ABA House next year. Read more about this in the upcoming spring issue of Family Advocate.
Thanks very much to FLS Delegates Tim Walker and Marshall Wolf for their hard work on our behalf.
Family Law Members Speak at Career Luncheon
Earlier this month, FLS members Carl Gilmore and Steven Peskind attended a career luncheon for students at the Northern Illinois University College of Law. Approximately 50 students turned out to hear them speak about what they do in their practices, what they like about being family law practitioners (including some of the not so pleasant aspects of the practice), and how to get into the field. Gilmore and Peskind not only covered areas of family law, but also touched on the importance of belonging to the ABA. Comments from the students were very positive, and noted that Gilmore and Peskind were very informative and friendly.
Carl Gilmore is chair of our Adoption Committee, vice chair of the Family Courts Committee, and serves on the Family Advocate Board of Editors. Steven Peskind is vice chair of our Assisted Reproductive Technologies Committee and chair of our Law Practice Management/Technology Committee.
NIU College of Law and the ABA Section of Family Law would like to thank both speakers for donating their time and generating interest in the field of family law.
Chicago-Kent Law School
Call for Volunteers
If reading the above has inspired you to meet law students and get them thinking about a career in family law, you're in luck! On March 24th, a reception will be held from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the Second Floor Cafeteria at Chicago-Kent School of Law. The format will be speed networking--students will move among tables, staffed by a lawyer representing a particular practice specialty. Every 8 to 10 minutes, the students will be moved to a new area.
If you're in the vicinity and would like to participate, e-mail Hilary Glazer. (More details will be provided to interested parties.)
If you'd like to be contacted for a future event taking place in your neck of the woods, please let us know. Be sure to include your city and state.
If you're planning to speak to law students about family law, be sure to tell us about it. We'd be happy to provide membership materials for distribution (and maybe even sing your praises in a future issue of the eNews)!
Look for the return of this column in an upcoming issue of the eNews. Know a member of the ABA Section of Family Law who should be recognized for his/her contributions to family law? Please e-mail Jean Crowe to submit your nominations.
The Family Lawyer's Guide to Bankruptcy
Shayna M. Steinfeld and Bruce R. Steinfeld
Product Code 5130153
This new edition of The Family Lawyer's Guide to Bankruptcy provides a valuable and concise resource for understanding the country's Bankruptcy Code as it affects divorce and divorcing parties. Now updated to reflect the sweeping changes to bankruptcy law enacted in 2005, this guide offers practical guidance to how the Bankruptcy Code pertains to the particular needs of a practicing family lawyer. The first part of the book focuses on the most common discharge exception provisions applicable in the divorce arena, while the second part presents a general overview of the bankruptcy system, from the types of bankruptcy cases and case commencement to the priority of alimony, maintenance, and support debts and revocation of discharge.
Appendices, which are also contained on an accompanying cd-rom, provide essential information for the family lawyer. More information
To order today, call the ABA Service Center at 800-285-2221 and request Product Code 5130153 or order online.
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March 24, 2010
Bankruptcy and Marital Debts: Is It Enforceable or Dischargeable?
The nexus between bankruptcy and divorce is never more prevalent than in these tough economic times. This panel of experts will provide you with information on the bankruptcy code as it relates to marital debts, what pitfalls may lurk in the bankruptcy code for the divorcee, and how to avoid financial surprise for the client.
Stay up-to-date on CLE offerings with our CLE Calendar.
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.
Best of the List Serve
A double feature this month showcases the best of the list from January and February of this year. January topics cover immigration issues in divorce; military pay and child support; UCCJEA jurisdiction and third party custody/visitation with parent(s) incarcerated; parental resources for teenagers; and abuse and child custody proceedings.
Read the January issue.
February topics cover the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization of Documents in Civil and Commercial Litigation; military benefits for children; and UCCJEA jurisdiction and judicial communication.
Read the February issue.
(You will need to log in to the ABA website to read Best of ESQ.)
We encourage all of our lawyer members to subscribe to this list. Read more about How to Join FamLawEsq in the Members Only section of our website.
A column by members of the AICPA's Forensic and Valuation Services Section
This month's column is by Craig K. Billings, CPA/ABV/CFF, ASA.
Read this month's AICPA Corner: Reconstruction of Income Based on Expenditures (You will need to log in to the ABA website.)
Call for Volunteers
ABA Military Pro Bono Project
The ABA Military Pro Bono Project is a first-ever web-based case referral program for connecting servicemember clients with civilian volunteer attorneys around the country, on civil law matters.
All cases are referred by military attorneys, and all are screened to help ensure that the military client's cause is meritorious and appropriate for referral.
In a little more than a year, more than 160 servicemember clients have received pro bono assistance, and more than 500 pro bono attorneys have signed up for the program.
But as the program has grown, so has the need for volunteers with family law expertise.
If you are an experienced family law specialist and you, like many members of the bar, want to give back to this generation of American servicemembers, please apply to volunteer for the ABA Military Pro Bono Project.
If you have any questions, call or e-mail Project Director Jason Vail at 312-988-5783 or Jason.Vail@americanbar.org. More information about the Project may be found at www.militaryprobono.org.
Don't forget, you can also volunteer for Operation Standby, a project of the ABA Section of Family Law Military Committee. Those who sign up agree to take calls, e-mail or other correspondence from JAG officers and answer inquiries about family law issues in their state. For more information about Operation Stand-By, please contact the list administrator, Melissa Kucinski, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Law Student Corner
Schwab Essay Contest:
Call for Entries
Show us you've got the "write" stuff by entering the Howard C. Schwab Memorial Essay Contest!
Just pick a topic in the field of family law, get about 5,000 words down, and you're done. (That's about 25 double-spaced, typewritten pages including footnotes. Don't go overboard; we disqualify entries over 28 pages.)
If you win, we'll tell your Dean, you'll likely be published in Family Law Quarterly (and on the Family Law website), and you'll get a nifty certificate, too.
This contest is open to all law students, not just those who are Section of Family Law members, so feel free to spread the word and mention it at your study group. The more entrants we have, the better you can feel about winning.
More information about the
contest--rules, eligibility, etc.--is available at the Schwab website.
Entry number must be requested by April 2, 2010.
Deadline for entries:
April 9, 2010
"Smart Soloing" Program Offers Lawyers Guide for Running Own Firm
If you couldn't make it to Midyear and you're a solo or small firm practitioner, click on the link below to watch the video of the "Smart Soloing" program. If you'd prefer just to listen, there is also an audio version linked from the page. The program is approximately 80 minutes long and topics include resources for finding committed staff; strategies for attracting new lawyers; and techniques for work-life balance.
"Smart Soloing" Program
Call for Papers
National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges
The Juvenile and Family Court Journal is a peer-reviewed quarterly journal, published for more than 50 years by the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges. We are seeking articles for an upcoming special issue focused on judicial ethics, particularly related to ethical issues faced by juvenile and family court judges. Scheduled for Winter 2011, the deadline for submissions is August 1, 2010.
Writer’s guidelines are available online, or contact Jackie Ruffin at email@example.com.
Expand Your Reach with a Virtual PBX
A virtual PBX or phone system provides big firm phone functionality for the small firm budget. Virtual phone services offer professional quality voice communications at an affordable price while sparing you the expense and overhead of maintaining a phone system or a phone lease. You should be able to manage the service in a Web browser, view usage reports and add additional extensions and features as needed. Your client should be able to listen to music while on hold which not only adds an elegant touch, but also indicates that the call hasn't been dropped. Most virtual phone services also provide an automated attendant, call forwarding, and voicemail.
The ABA GP Solo article Phone and Communications Systems For the Solo and Small Firm explains the inner workings of a Virtual PBX system and compares it to traditional PBX systems. Virtual PBX systems route all incoming and outgoing calls through a third party's call management equipment and software to your virtual internal phone system. This is a more sophisticated process than simply using several independent lines or call forwarding to your cell phones. Outbound calls are placed by first connecting to the virtual PBX provider, who then makes the outbound call on your behalf. Because the virtual PBX system always has control of the call, each call can be seamlessly routed or conferenced among all phones on the system.
Each call will then forward to the specified individuals regardless of location. This enables your staff to be contacted via a centralized telephone number while residing in disparate geographical locations. Internal users of the system can dial each other using traditional internal extensions and can route external calls between themselves. In this manner, a virtual PBX system can be a simple and efficient way to link groups of cell phones together as if they were part of a full PBX implementation. If the call is not answered, it can be routed to voice mail (which in turn can be sent to you as an e-mail attachment). For a human touch, a virtual receptionist can be utilized that answers and directs your calls with professionally recorded greetings!
When considering a virtual PBX provider, the PBXCompare website suggests that you look for a 30-day free trial period with no activation fee and a minimum of 5 extensions with the ability to add more for a reasonable price. Call forwarding, holding, and transfer should be standard along with a "follow me" feature that allows you to submit several additional forwarding numbers. The basic service should also include a message alert feature, conversion of voicemail to email, a dial by name directory and a web interface to manage the service. Also compare the number of included minutes the plan offers, just as you would with a mobile phone service.
Ask questions about uptime, since many of these services utilize VOIP and offline access of messages in the event of service outage. The ABA Family Law article "Voice Over Internet Protocol: To VoIP or Not to VoIP" advises that "ultimately, your law practice is a business and having reliable communications technology is of paramount importance to any business. With VoIP you will have to pay for a business class VoIP plan in order to get any kind of reliability and customer support." Virtual PBX can be a great tool in the arsenal of the solo and small practitioner, providing affordable functionality that levels the playing field and allows you to focus on the practice of law. Following is a selection of service providers that offer Virtual PBX solutions.
Grasshopper, formerly GotVMail, includes unlimited extensions with all of its plans along with free 24/7 support and the option of voicemail and fax delivery and local as well as toll free numbers. There is an activation fee for some plans.
my1voice works with your existing phones to provide "Find Me/Follow Me" call forwarding, auto-attendant, a local or toll-free phone number, faxes and voice-mail services and customized greetings. Mention your ABA membership for an additional discount through ABA TechEZ.
Onebox virtual phone system features an auto-attendant with a customized, recorded greeting, multi-level menus, voicemail, faxing, conferencing and administrative tools for tracking usage and managing users and a 14-day risk free trial.
RingCentral Office delivers a virtual PBX, VoIP phone service and full-featured IP phones as one complete system for one or multiple office locations. ABA members receive an additional discount through ABA TechEZ.
—Tonya Johnson, ABA Legal Technology Resource Center
Ask Us! Have you found a great technology deal somewhere? Is there a technology question that's been on your mind? Tell us or ask us about it! We may feature your info or 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Keep the Tech Corner working for you!
Also of Interest
ABA Women in Law Leadership (WILL) Academy
April 29-30, 2010
Presented by the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession and the ABA Young Lawyers Division, the WILL Academy is a terrific opportunity for women lawyers to develop their leadership skills and network with a prestigious group of law firm partners, general counsel, and judges from around the country.
Participate in a number of interactive and highly informative programs that address a wide range of important and cutting-edge subjects. Sessions include: Attributes of a Leader; Navigating to Partnership, Rainmaking and Succession Planning; Best Practices and Advice from General Counsel; Alternatives to Law Firm Practice; Developing Your Personal Strategic Plan; Advice from the Bench; Restructuring Law Firms in a Down Market: Alternative Models & Work/Life Flexibility as Part of the Solution; and Negotiation Skills for Lawyers.
For more information or to register, visit the WILL website.
AFCC 47th Annual Conference
June 2-5, 2010
The Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC)'s 47th Annual Conference will be held at the Sheraton Denver Downtown, June 2-5, 2010. The conference, titled Traversing the Trail of Alienation: Rocky Relationships, Mountains of Emotion, Mile High Conflict, will address the difficult topic of alienation. The program builds on Alienated Children in Divorce and Separation: Emerging Approaches for Families and Courts, the January 2010 special issue of Family Court Review.
This exciting program features 90 sessions from which to choose, including four plenary sessions and your choice of six all-day pre-conference institutes. From alienation to negotiation, research to practice or domestic abuse to child abuse and neglect, this conference has something for judges, lawyers, custody evaluators, mediators, therapists, parenting coordinators, parent educators and anyone working with children and families in conflict.
For more information, to view the full conference brochure or register online, visit the AFCC website.