UPCOMING TELECONFERENCE
Wednesday, February 17th
Evidence for Family Lawyers

   January 2010
 

Section News

Spring Meeting Registration Is Now Open!
Take it easy--the Big Easy, that is! Join us in New Orleans this April 14-17 to gain CLE credits, network with other family law practitioners from across the country, and become more involved in Section activities, all while enjoying the charm and sultriness of the Crescent City.

You'll want to secure the special discounted registration rate you receive as a Section of Family Law member, so be sure to register by March 12th to get a good savings.

Our CLE committee has worked hard to bring you outstanding programs on a variety of topics, including alimony, assisted reproductive technologies, custody and the special needs child, and the ethical use of private investigators in family law cases, to name just a few.

We'll also be co-sponsoring a special joint program on long term care (Sex, Divorce, and Care for the Elderly) with the ABA Section of Individual Rights & Responsibilities and the Senior Lawyers Division.

When you register, don't forget to sign up for our social event at Muriel's on Friday, April 16th. We'll begin by parading through the streets of the French Quarter with the legendary Storyville Stompers and end up at Muriel's, where we'll partake of a sumptuous meal with live entertainment by the Joe Simon Jazz Trio.

We'll also have a special Cocktail Reception at the Louisiana Supreme Court House on Thursday, April 15th, and a Newcomers Dinner on Thursday (at the Court of the Two Sisters). To sign up for the Newcomers Dinner, just mark "This is my 1st time attending an ABA Family Law conference" when you register.

More information about these and other events will soon be available on the Conference website linked below.

Register Now

Become a Better Trial Lawyer
Enroll in the 2010 ABA Family Law Trial Advocacy Institute (TAI)
Whether you're a new lawyer or just want a refresher, attending the nation's premier trial training program sponsored by the ABA Section of Family Law is the best way to achieve your goals. 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!

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.)

Have you attended our TAI before?
If you're an ABA Trial Advocacy Institute alum, take the next step and 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.


Section Elections at Annual Meeting
The Section of Family Law will meet August 6-8, 2010, in conjunction with the ABA Annual Meeting in San Francisco, CA. Section leadership elections will take place at the meeting.

Slated nominees are:

Officers: Randall Kessler (Chair-Elect); Maryann Foley (Vice Chair); Scott Friedman (Secretary).

Council: Jonathan Levine (At Large); Edward Newman (At Large); Peter Walzer (At Large); Mary Vidas (Region I); Dianna Gould-Saltman (Region VI).

We will soon be posting brief bios and pictures of the nominees on our website so you can get to know them a bit better. In the meantime, congratulations to our nominees, and thank you to our Nominating Committee (Gregg Herman; Lori Nelson; Anne Marie Jackson; Jonathan Wolfe; and Debra Lehrmann, Committee Chair) and all of the Section members who offered their nominations!



Committee Corner

International Law:
Expand Your Horizons

In recent months, the Section's FamLawESQ listserve has been abuzz with two hot topics illustrating the interconnectedness of family law and international issues. First, on Christmas Eve, 2009, a "left behind parent" from New Jersey concluded a multiple year struggle to secure the return of his son from Brazil pursuant to the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. Both the U.S. and the Brazilian rulings stated the matter fell under the Hague Convention. The Hague Convention orders that a child be returned to his or her country of "habitual residence." In this case, it meant that the child was to be returned to New Jersey.

Second, in early January 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Abbott v. Abbott, a case exploring the definition of "rights of custody" under the same Hague Convention, and whether those rights include a ne exeat order issued by a foreign country. The Court will soon rule on this case, addressing if a clause that prohibits one parent from removing a child from a country without the other parent's consent confers a right of custody within the meaning of the Hague Convention on International Child Abduction.

Many practitioners developed their skills through domestic cases. However, it is becoming more likely that a typical family lawyer now has at least one client who has some type of international issue in his or her case - whether it be a parent's job relocation abroad, international property interests, or even cross-cultural complications in negotiating a valid and successful custody arrangement.

Involvement with the International Law Committee is the perfect way to stay informed of international family law developments and better meet the needs of your clients.

The International Law Committee prides itself on the quality and breadth of knowledge of its members and leaders. However, you need not be an international family law expert to join this committee. The committee is seeking new members who have an interest and passion in learning more about the various realms where "international" meets "domestic." The committee is looking for innovative ways to communicate about the emerging international issues that are increasingly affecting each one of us. Our committee is also looking to build upon its strong relationships with the ABA Section of International Law, government agencies and nongovernmental organizations.

--Melissa Kucinski, Vice Chair, International Law Committee

Learn more about the International Law Committee by contacting its chair, Eric Fish ( eric.fish@nccusl.org), or vice chair, Melissa Kucinski ( mkucinski@bulmandunie.com) and by attending its committee meeting in New Orleans this April.

You can also join the International Law Committee online; in doing so, you'll automatically be added to its discussion list.

Want more information about Family Law Section Committees? Visit our Committees website.


Spotlight On...
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.


Publications

101+ Practical Solutions for
the Family Lawyer,
Third Ed.
(includes cd-rom)

Gregg Herman, Editor


Product Code 5130167

New edition! A collection of practice-proven tips from leading family lawyers, 101+ Practical Solutions for the Family Lawyer is full of straightforward information that you can apply immediately to your own practice. This updated edition also includes a cd-rom with the book's numerous forms, sample letters, agreements, charts, and checklists ready to be customized for your practice.

This collection is comprised of material presented at the popular "Hot Tips from the Experts" program presented at the ABA Section of Family Law Annual Meeting. The program's presenters are experienced professionals, including lawyers, judges, CPAs, and psychologists, who offer their real-world experience in a concise tip that can help improve your family law practice.

The third edition features 23 new tips that have been presented since the last edition was published in 2003.

The book's tips are divided into fifteen areas: client relations, fees, office practice, custody, discovery, trial techniques, support, avoiding malpractice, discovery, premarital agreements, tax issues, retirement plans, valuation, settlement, and evidence, plus a final section on issues a lawyer faces after the client's divorce is final. More information

To order today, call the ABA Service Center at 800-285-2221 and request Product Code 5130167 or order online.

Buy Now!


   

CLE Calendar

FREE CLE CREDIT
Teleconference
February 5, 2010


Smart Soloing:
Success Strategies for Diverse Lawyers


Part of the ABA Career Productivity Series, this program is designed to help the recent solo/small firm lawyer build the skills and have the confidence needed to operate a successful law practice, and to candidly address some of the barriers and opportunities faced by diverse lawyers. Complimentary for ABA members; space is limited. More information is available on the registration page.

Register today!

Teleconferences
February 17, 2010

Evidence for Family Lawyers

Every family lawyer needs to know the rules of evidence. This program will help you understand the hurdles to the admission of evidence that commonly arise in a family law action.

Register today!

ABA Family Law Spring CLE Conference
April 14-17, 2010
New Orleans, LA


Register online and don't forget to reserve your hotel room at the Hotel Monteleone now; we have negotiated a special discount rate of $205. Rate expires March 16, 2010, at 5:00 p.m. Central, so don't delay. Call the hotel at 866-338-4684 to make your reservations. Remember to mention that you'll be attending the ABA Family Law Spring CLE Conference. See column at left for more information.

Visit the Spring Conference Website


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

Due to technical difficulties, this month's Best of the FamLawEsq is hiding somewhere within the confines of ESQ moderator Ron Nelson's computer. Unfortunately, it did not surface in time for this month's eNews. This informative and exciting feature will return next month.

In the meantime, if you're not on this popular discussion list, we encourage all of our lawyer members to subscribe. Read more about How to Join FamLawEsq in the Members Only section of our website.

AICPA Corner

A column by members of the AICPA's Forensic and Valuation Services Section
This month's column is by Donald J. DeGrazia, CPA/ABV/CFF.

Read this month's AICPA Corner: QDROs: An Underutilized Option in the Search for Collateral and Security in Marital Settlement Agreements (You will need to log in to the ABA website.)



Call for CoLAP Liaison

Volunteer for Liaison Appointment to CoLAP (ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs)

The ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs (CoLAP) would like a Section of Family Law member to be appointed as liaison between their group and the Section of Family Law. For more details, please read this letter.

If you're interested in serving in this capacity, please e-mail Hilary Glazer by 5:00 p.m. Central on Friday, February 12th.


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.

Request entry number by April 2, 2010.

Deadline for entries:
April 9, 2010

Tech Corner

Smartphone Voice Recognition, Dictation, and Transcription Software

Smartphones are increasingly gaining the ability to perform many tasks that laptop and desktop computers are capable of, enabling users to: search the Internet; view and send e-mail; create and edit documents; and take advantage of a wide variety of applications ("apps") with other functions. However, the small size of smartphone keyboards can hamper users' efficiency in typing, especially for those unaccustomed to using on-screen virtual keyboards on phones without physical keyboards.

Fortunately, there are several voice recognition, dictation, and transcription software applications available that enable you to operate smartphones and input text just by using your voice. For many of these applications, the operation may not be entirely hands-free--some button pressing may be required. The current crop of voice recognition software typically does not require users to "train" the software to recognize their voice and speaking patterns, a time-consuming ordeal which older voice recognition software often required. Also, the software does not require users to dial in to any phone numbers to begin dictation, unlike dial-in services like Jott and Dial2Do.

Vlingo is voice recognition software currently available for BlackBerry, iPhone, Nokia, and Windows Mobile smartphones. Users can use Vlingo to perform certain tasks such as sending e-mails and text messages, searching the Web, dialing their phone, updating their Twitter and Facebook statuses, and more. For most supported mobile operating systems, there is a free version of Vlingo which is limited in that it does not allow voice creation of e-mail and text messages--for that functionality Vlingo Plus must be purchased. Another Vlingo product for BlackBerrys, Vlingo Everywhere, lets you use your voice to add text anywhere you'd normally type."

MyCaption is software for BlackBerry phones which enables users to work on e-mail and text messages, memos, tasks, contact notes, and calendar entries with their voice. Up to three minutes of dictation can be recorded at a time. MyCaption is available via monthly subscription plans with prices based on per-message recording time limits, or pay-as-you-go plans based on cumulative talk time.

Dragon Dictation, from Nuance, the makers of Dragon NaturallySpeaking, is voice recognition software available for the iPhone. Dragon Dictation software cannot currently insert voice-generated text directly into e-mails and applications due to limitations of iPhones-- the software first has to transcribe the users' speech, and then the user has to choose where to insert the text as a separate step. The Dragon Dictation application uploads users' iPhone contact lists to Nuance's servers, which has caused some to express privacy concerns, to which the company posted a response online.

Voice Text, an application for Google Android smartphones, utilizes built-in Android voice recognition capabilities to enable voice as the primary text input method for entering text on the phone and into any Android application. TalkToMe Keyboard is a Google Android smartphone application which "integrates with the Android keyboard" to enable voice text input in any Android application.

Those considering using such voice recognition, dictation, and transcription software should read the applications' privacy policies and determine if use meets their ethical obligations as lawyers such as preserving client confidentiality, and should take common sense precautions such as being aware of their surroundings when dictating messages containing sensitive information. For more information on client confidentiality issues, see the ABA articles The Ethical Implications of Online Software and Keeping Secrets Secret, Safeguarding Client Confidentiality In Your Law Office and consider contacting ABA ETHICsearch, a research service which provides lawyers and other legal professionals with information on ethics issues.

   —Stephen Stine, 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 glazerh@staff.abanet.org. Keep the Tech Corner working for you!



Midyear Madness

If you're attending the ABA Midyear Meeting in Orlando this February, consider stopping by the following programs.

Free CLE Credit
Diversity on the Bench: Is the 'Wise Latina' A Myth?

The National Conference of Federal Trial Judges (NCFTJ) invites you to attend this informative and provocative program on Saturday, February 6, 2010, from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the ABA Midyear Meeting in Orlando, FL.

The distinguished panel aims to educate judges and lawyers in every field about the potential effect of judges' race, gender and other demographic characteristics in certain types of cases, and to encourage judges, lawyers, and others to consider how to ensure that "the rule of law" prevails, by promoting accuracy, fairness, consistency, and predictability in the justice system in light of the disparities documented in recent studies. This program is co-sponsored by the ABA Section of Family Law.

Our Youth Deserve Better: Changing Laws, Policies & Legal Practices

Download this flyer to read more about these three special programs presented by the ABA Commission on Youth at Risk, the ABA Commission on Homelessness & Poverty; the ABA Standing Committee on Substance Abuse, and the ABA Center on Children and the Law.


Also of Interest

ABA Women in Law Leadership (WILL) Academy
April 29-30, 2010
Philadelphia, PA

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
Denver, CO

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.

     


 



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Editor
Hilary Glazer
Hilary.Glazer@americanbar.org
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