August 2007

Section News

Annual Meeting Recap
Over 200 members of the ABA Family Law Section met in San Francisco in conjunction with the ABA Annual Meeting from August 9-12, 2007. Section members participated in many CLE presentations, with Family Law Section presentations including Assisted Reproductive Technology and Hot Tips From The Experts. Our Council had a productive session and we discussed numerous issues of concern to the area of Family Law, and also received reports on the successful operations of the many publications and projects in which we participate. A number of committees and boards met as well and conducted their important business.

Section members also participated in the many networking opportunities available as well as social events, including a wine trip to the Sonoma Valley and a fun Section dinner at Castagnola's restaurant at the famous Fisherman's Wharf.

We concluded with the Annual Section Luncheon where the accomplishments of the Section were discussed and a number of our members were honored for their outstanding service to the Section this last year, including Anita Ventrelli (Chair's Award), Gregg Herman (Special Chair's Cup), Deborah Akers-Parry (Financial Officer), Linda Ravdin (Publications Board Chair), Linda Elrod ( Family Law Quarterly Editor), and Willard DaSilva ( Family Advocate Editor), as well as outgoing Council members and Committee Chairs. We also presented our Schwab Essay contest winner, Lila Slovak, with her award.

It has been a very interesting experience leading the Section this past year, and I appreciate the privilege and honor of serving as the Chair of the Family Law Section.

Jim Preston (Immediate Past Chair)

(Editor's Note: Photos from Annual will soon be featured on the Family Law website.)

Looking Ahead
It was a great honor to be sworn in as Chair of the ABA FLS at the annual meeting in San Francisco on August 11, 2007. Jim Preston set an impressive standard of hard work, professionalism and commitment to the section. Fortunately, I am blessed with an outstanding executive committee, consisting of Chair-Elect Anita Ventrelli, Vice Chair Mitch Karpf, Secretary Debra Lehrmann, Section Delegates Marshall Wolf and Tim Walker and Financial Officer Deborah Akers-Parry.

During my year as Chair, there will be, as usual, two Section meetings. From October 10-13, we will enjoy the Southern hospitality of Memphis, thanks to our gracious Host Committee Chair, Amy Amundsen. In addition to outstanding CLE (thanks to Co-chairs Maryann Foley and David Hofstein), the meeting will feature the "Three Kings":

(1) We will have a luncheon at the Civil Rights Museum which is at the Lorraine Motel where Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated; (2) our social event Friday evening will be at B.B. King's; and (3) of course, we will have a visit from "The King" himself.

The spring meeting will be different and special; from April 30 - May 3, 2008, we will have a joint meeting in Chicago with the American Psychological Association. We will explore areas of common interest and continue an ongoing, developing dialogue between the two professions.

In addition to these meetings, the usual member benefits and services will continue at a high level. Want to help? Have ideas, questions, comments? Give me a call or better yet, an e-mail at

Gregg Herman, Chair

More information about the Fall Meeting

Call for Nominations
The ABA Section of Family Law Wants You!

If you'd like to get more involved with the Section, consider a leadership or Council position.

We are currently accepting letters of interest for a one-year term for the Region V Council position to fill the remaining year (2007-2008) of the unexpired vacancy created when Debra Lehrmann was elected as Section Secretary. (Region V is composed of Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas.) Visit the Nominations page for more information on submitting letters of interest.

Deadline for submissions is September 5, 2007.

We are also seeking nominations for the following leadership positions for the 2008-2009 Section year: Chair-Elect; Vice Chair; Secretary; Delegate to the ABA House of Delegates; Council Members-at-Large; Region III Representative (composed of Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Illinois); and Region V Representative (composed of Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas).

Visit the Nominations page for more details and how to submit letters of interest.

Deadline for submissions is November 1, 2007.

Toss your hat in the ring, don't be shy! We look forward to receiving your letters of interest.

Committee Corner

Young Lawyers Committee
There's a new committee on the Family Law Section block, and it's for young lawyers and those new to the field of family law!

Chaired by Henry DeWoskin, this committee strives to assist young and new lawyers in advancing their family law careers and to expand their knowledge regarding family law. The committee also aims to teach young and new lawyers the operations of the Section of Family Law, and get them actively involved in the Section. In addition, the committee serves as the bridge for young and new lawyers to the Section of Family Law. And if that weren't enough, it also encourages participation in the community. We expect good things from this newly-formed committee, so get in on the ground floor.

If you'd like to get involved, just visit the Committee's webpage. We will be adding more to the website very soon, but in the meantime, you can join the committee online and sign up for the list serve.


Free ground shipping on all orders placed through the ABA Web Store by August 31; order your family law books today and save!

The Family Lawyer's Guide to Stock Options
(includes CD-ROM)

Lester Barenbaum
Robert D. Feder
Walter Schubert

Product Code 5130147

Published in May 2007, this book provides a complete examination of executive stock options within the unique context of family law. Written by experts in financial compensation and a practicing family lawyer, The Family Lawyer's Guide to Stock Options begins with a discussion of whether a grant of an option should be considered marital property, to what extent exercising an executive stock option generates income for child support and alimony, valuation, taxation, and the advantage and disadvantages of the immediate offset vs. the deferred distribution approach.

More information (including a table of contents)

To order today, call the ABA Service Center at 800-285-2221 and request Product Code 5130147 or order online.

Buy Now!


Best of the List Serve

This month's Best of the FamLawEsq list features four questions that focus on foreign divorce judgments; UCCJEA modification jurisdiction; IRA/401(k) early distribution penalties; and contingent fees in child support actions.

Read more about this month's selected 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.

CLE Calendar

Fall CLE Conference
October 10-13, 2007
Peabody Memphis Hotel
Memphis, TN

September 7, 2007, is fast approaching, and time is running out. In order to ensure the discounted rate at the hotel, please make your room reservations now. Early-bird registration for the meeting also ends on September 7th. (The earlier you register, the more spending money you'll have for Beale Street or Graceland...)

Conference program topics include same-sex couples and interstate recognition; hidden assets in military divorce cases; child custody and the UCCJEA; and much more. When you're done learning, join your fellow Section members at some great special events we've lined up. There's dinner at B.B. King's Restaurant, a luncheon at the National Civil Rights Museum, and you can probably pick up a fried peanut butter and banana sandwich on the tour of Graceland. (No promises, though.)

The Section is also collecting books for elementary school students, so bring one with you to donate. More information and online registration is available at the Fall CLE Conference website.

September 26, 2007
Building a Successful Family Law Practice

Learn the skills, tips, and tricks that will help your family law practice flourish from Mark A. Chinn and Mark Powers!

Topics will include: tips on how to start a practice, office systems, fees and billing and dealing with clients, as well as specialized aspects of a family law practice, such as how to develop an ideal client mix, and how to manage the law office's staff, cases and finances.

Please note that this teleseminar 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)

Details and registration information will soon be available online; bookmark our CLE Calendar and check back soon to reserve your spot.

Want to gain CLE credit from the comfort of your own office? The teleconference series can help! To keep abreast of future topics, visit the Section Calendar online.

Unable to attend a teleconference? Not to worry, you can learn on your own time when you purchase the CLE materials.
See a listing of available CLE materials

Submit a CLE Proposal
Want to submit a CLE proposal for our 2008-2009 programming? Proposals for our Spring and Fall CLE Conferences are accepted on a rolling basis; proposals for the 2008 Annual Meeting must be in by September 15, 2007. We look forward to hearing your ideas!

Download the CLE Proposal form

Save the Date!

Spring 2008 CLE Conference of the ABA Section of Family Law and American Psychological Association
April 30-May 3, 2008
Marriott Chicago Downtown
Chicago, IL

This special interdisciplinary conference, "Reconceptualizing Child Custody: Past, Present and Future--Lawyers and Psychologists Working Together" will provide CLE programming that is specially designed to appeal to both professions. Multiple plenaries and breakout sessions will span three full days and allow pyschologists and lawyers the opportunity to learn from judges, lawyers, psychologists, researchers, and academicians.

More information will be forthcoming; make sure you can join us for this enlightening conference!

Tech Corner

Getting More from Google
Google is the search engine of choice for millions of people, but it can do more than just find websites. Here are a few useful tricks for getting a little bit more out of Google:

Search a Single Site
Want to search for something on a website that doesn't have its own search bar? Google can do that for you. Just add "site:" followed by the URL for the website you want to search to your search query and Google will limit the results to that website only. See example below:


Entering the above will search for all occurrences of the term "adoption" on the ABA Family Law website.

Google Dictionary
Google puts a dictionary--several, actually--right at your fingertips. Just type in "define:" before the word you want to look up and Google will return definitions from a number of different dictionaries. See example below:

Tracking Links
Want to know who is linking to your firm's website? A Google search for "link:" followed by your URL will return a list of some of the websites currently linking to your website. See example below:
Google SMS (Short Message Service)
Need to look something up when you're away from the office? Just use your cell phone to send a text message with your inquiry to 466453 (GOOGLE) and Google will send an answer almost immediately. The results aren't as thorough as you'd get through your computer, but it's a useful way of looking up the address of a restaurant or checking flight status. Note: while Google doesn't charge for this service, your cellular provider might! Check to see if text messages are included in your cellular plan. See example below:
Peabody Hotel Memphis [sent via SMS to 466453]
Use "Quotation Marks"
This may be the simplest and most useful tip, but it's one surprisingly few people use. Placing your search terms in quotation marks will tell Google to show only results that contain those exact terms. So while a search for John Doe might return a page with the names John Smith and Mary Doe on it, a search for "John Doe" will return only websites that actually include the full name John Doe. See example below:
"American Bar Association"
   —Joshua Poje, ABA Legal Technology Resource Center

Tell Us! Do you use a search engine other than Google? Have any search tips you'd like to share, or tips about how you use technology? Feel free to share it with us; we may use your quote in a future edition of the eNewsletter! If there's some other technology you would like us to investigate, just e-mail Keep the Tech Corner working for you!

Family Law Fun

On the Horizon
As summer ends and we gear up for fall, we thought you might like to take a little break as Labor Day approaches. The Section's 50th Anniversary is coming up, too. How much do you know about the Family Law Section? Test yourself and find out below. (All answers can be found somewhere on our website, and we'll print them next issue.) We'll start with an easy one.

1. Who was the first Section Chair?
a. James B. Preston
b. Gregg Herman
c. Godfrey L. Munter
d. John Jay
2. What's the name of the Section's flagship magazine?
a. Family Advocate
b. Family Law Quarterly
c. Law, Family-Style
d. A Family Approach to the Law
3. Which of these family law committees does not exist?
a. Military Law
b. Custody
c. Estrangement
d. Technology
4. True or False: You can find Standards of Practice on the Family Law website.
a. True
b. False
c. The Section has a website?!?
5. FamLawEsq is:
a. A username of some sort
b. A secret society of barristers
c. The Section's list serve for lawyer members
d. The Section's latest publication
6. The Section's Annual Essay Contest is named after:
a. Howard C. Schwab
b. Howard W. Schwab
c. Howard R. Schwab
d. Howard Schwab
Well, we didn't want them to be brain-busters, after all. :) Hope you enjoyed the diversion.

Visit the Family Law site to discover the past chairs, committees, read standards of practice, and learn about the Schwab Essay Contest.


This month's
featured benefit:

Online Meeting Registration

What is it?
Online meeting registration allows you to register for Section meetings and Teleconferences with just the click of a mouse!

What's in it for me?
Save time (and paper) by registering for events via your computer. Select the ticketed events you'd like to attend, the format you'd like your meeting materials in (compendium, cd-rom, or both), and register guests. When you register online, your total is automatically computed, so you don't have to fiddle with your calculator or exercise your math skills. And all transactions are secure, so your credit card is safe.

Online registration is a great way to save your time, your environment, and your Section's resources!

How do I access it?
Links to online meeting registration can be found on the Family Law Website: on the homepage, specific meeting website or teleconference page, and our Calendar page, which lists all upcoming events. Just find the event you'd like to register for and click on the provided registration link. It's that simple. Use these handy direct links:

Remember, you'll need to be logged in to the ABA site with your member ID and password in order to register for events/meetings. This will also ensure that you get the Section discount price, too.


Hilary Glazer
Please send proposals for future content submissions to the editor.

Contact Information
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Tel: 312-988-5145
Fax: 312-988-6800

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