May 2007

Section News

Spring Meeting
The Section's Spring CLE Conference was held at the beautiful setting of Monterey, California, in late April. We were blessed with warm weather, soft sea breezes and a chance to learn together and network with about 175 family law attorneys.

I want to thank all our attendees and the Host Committee, led by Kathleen Robertson of Los Altos, California. We are thankful to the many sponsors that made our many social events, culminating with a beach party at Pirates Cove, possible. (We discovered that Section Director Paula Nessel was a professional hula hoop contestant...a true ringer.)

I want to thank Ham & Ortiz, Jaffe & Clemens, Kolodny & Anteau, Gregg Herman, Lynne Yates-Carter, Northern Trust, Pasternak & Fidis, Robertson Family Law, Schiller, DuCanto, & Fleck, Sideman & Bancroft, Stacy Simonton, Walzer & Melcher, Mary Molinaro, and Wolf & Akers for their generous financial contributions.

We also appreciate our vendors from Depo by Trial Prep, eJustice, Divorce Marketing Group, and Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings. Please contact them if you are interested in their excellent products.

Our CLE ranged from special needs children in divorce to two exciting, cutting-edge technology presentations by Martin Dean. We discussed the newest in QDROs, cohabitation agreements, faith & divorce and tax issues, as well as parenting plans, and the impact of retirement on alimony.

Our social networking, in addition to the beach party, included a winery tour, two in-hotel wine and hors d'oeuvres receptions, as well as committee lunches and three Chair's Suite late-night dessert parties.

All in all, a grand time was had. While I can't share with you the social events, we do have the CLE programs available for your purchase ( compendium or cd-rom) through our website. I hope you can join us at the ABA Annual Meeting in San Francisco in August.

Jim Preston, Chair

Committee Corner

Family Courts Committee
Family Courts Committee Chair Randy Kessler attended the Unified Family Courts Summit in Baltimore, MD, May 3-4, 2007. The Summit, presented by the ABA and the University of Baltimore, brought together lawyers, judges, psychologists, court administrators, and a multitude of other professionals. Kessler, who was also on the Planning Committee for the event, writes:

"The interaction and cross pollination of ideas, concepts, materials, resources and energies was a watershed for the Concept of Family Centered Courts in our country. Judges from Hawaii, Court Administrators from California and professionals from across the country presented, discussed and learned how others were developing, running and handling their family court systems. The afternoon sessions allowed for attendees with different needs in their state to get the most relevant information; the three tracks allowed those from states with no family court (but an interest in getting one) as well as those who are still building theirs and those who have long standing courts to all benefit."

For more information, contact the University of Baltimore's Center for Families, Children and the Courts or Randy Kessler at


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

Lester Barenbaum
Robert D. Feder
Walter Schubert

Product Code 5130147

Just 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!

Law Student Central

Schwab Essay Contest Update
We received many high-quality entries for this year's Howard C. Schwab Memorial Essay Contest, and are looking forward to announcing the winners at the ABA Annual Meeting in August. (The Section will meet August 10-12.) Prizes include: possible publication in the Family Law Quarterly or on the Family Law Section website, certificates, and a one-year complimentary Section membership. Oh, and of course, your dean will be notified of your success!

To learn more about the contest (perhaps for next year?), visit the Schwab Essay Contest website.


Best of the List Serve

This month's Best of the FamLawEsq list focuses on determining income in relation to determining child support (mandatory state guidelines, income share model, etc.).

Read more about this month's selected topic. (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

ABA Family Law Annual Meeting
August 10-12, 2007
San Francisco

Summer in San Francisco the Family Law way! Our Annual Meeting CLE will include the popular Hot Tips from the Experts as well as Contemporary Issues in Assisted Reproduction, and Managing Business Valuation Engagements. There will also be networking and social events you won't want to miss! Visit our website for more information.

Don't forget, the early bird registration deadline is May 31, 2007, so register now!

June 19, 2007
Fact or Fiction: Is Child Sexual Abuse Often Alleged in Custody Cases?

Allegations of child sexual abuse raise complicated legal, evidentiary and ethical concerns. This teleconference will help give family law practitioners tools to help navigate the serious issues these cases raise. Two experienced practitioners (Ann Haralambie and Lisae C. Jordan) will discuss what to do when allegations arise, the interrelationship between custody litigation, child protective services, and criminal cases, hearsay and other evidence, and myths about CSA allegations. Join moderator Allen Bailey and our faculty members for this informative seminar!

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

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

Save the Dates for These Upcoming Conferences!

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

You won't get the blues (or will you?) when you decide to join us for the Fall CLE Conference in Memphis! Enjoy music, food, and all that the city has to offer while snagging your CLE credit. Keep your calendar clear and be sure to bookmark the Fall CLE Conference website, which will contain the most up-to-date information about the conference as the date approaches.

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

At this meeting, CLE programs will be produced for psychologists, lawyers, and for both professions together to discuss areas of common interest and learn from each other.

Make sure you can join us for this enlightening conference!

NACC 30th National Children's Law Conference
August 15-18, 2007
Keystone Mountain Resort
Keystone, CO

The ABA Family Law Section is a co-sponsor of the National Association of Counsel for Children's upcoming conference, "Achieving Quality Legal Representation for Children, Families, and the State." For more information, visit the NACC website.

Tech Corner

No Mess with RSS
How would you like to create your own personal newspaper that automatically compiles just the news and current awareness information you want to see without having to visit multiple websites? With RSS--Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary--you can do exactly that, and more. Instead of visiting websites to get daily news, blogs and commentary, court opinions, or court orders, rely on your RSS feeds to deliver your materials, just like the morning paper.

There are a few basics in getting started with RSS. First, you need a feed reader. Just like a web browser (i.e. Internet Explorer) renders HTML code to show you a webpage, a feed reader renders the XML code that the RSS "feed" is based on. Next, pick your feeds. Most blogs, many news sites, government sites, and some courts offer feeds. Once you get the hang of it, you'll know where to look; you can also explore RSS directories and search engines for feeds. Then just follow the simple instructions and voila--you've created your own personal newspaper.

Feed readers, like any application, vary widely. Some are super simple, like MyYahoo! or iGoogle, and only show new headlines for a certain period of time and with limits on how many headlines will be shown. Online feed readers, such as Bloglines, Google Reader, or Newsgator offer more features in handling feeds, and are available to you wherever you can get on the Internet. Software, such as Newzcrawler and Feed Demon, offers more sophistication in handling and archiving feeds.

There are RSS feeds for news, blogs, podcasts and videos. Discussion forums now offer RSS feeds to alert you when new posts are available. Document sharing and collaboration sites, such as Google Docs, allow users to subscribe to feeds that show the latest changes to the document. Lawyers will find that many of the e-mail newsletters they subscribe to are now available as feeds. Many things are now available as feeds, so get started with your RSS set-up today!

For more information see: FYI: RSS

   —Catherine Sanders Reach, ABA Legal Technology Resource Center

Tell Us! Are there any feeds you subscribe to that are noteworthy? Got a tip about how you use technology? Feel free to share it with us; we may use your quote in a future edition of the eNewsletter! Or is there some other technology you would like us to investigate? Just e-mail


Editor's Note: The April 2007 eNewsletter may have contained broken links. We learned that the software we use to send out the newsletter malfunctioned during the transmission. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you. An archived version of the April news, with working links, exists online.

This month's
featured benefit:

Committee List Serves

What is it?
When you join a Family Law Section committee, you have the opportunity to sign up for its list serve. List serves are a great way to discuss committee business and related substantive issues, but a list is only as strong as its members/participants.

What's in it for me?
The chance to learn more about specific family law topics, share resources, and get involved with the work of the committee. Your Committee Chair may even wish to submit your resources for posting on the committee website!

How do I access it?
Just visit the Family Law Committees webpage. Once there, use the listing at the right to visit specific committee webpages and join their lists. List archives are also available from committee pages.


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

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