October 2007

Section News

Fall Meeting
Two years ago, along with my site selection mentor Dick Podell and Section staff, I traveled to Memphis to consider it as a site for a Section meeting. We fell in love with its southern charms and the opportunities it offered. Thanks to the efforts of the host committee, co-chaired by Amy Amundsen and the Hon. Bernice Donald, and Section staff, the meeting exceeded our greatest expectations.

The "Three Kings" meeting—so named for its associations with civil rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., blues legend B.B. King, and of course, rock and roll's own king, Elvis—was special for many reasons, including our Awards Luncheon. The luncheon was held at the National Civil Rights Museum, built at the Lorraine Motel, site of the assassination of Martin Luther King. At the luncheon, we presented the "Friend of the Family Award" to our host committee co-chair, Judge Donald, the first female African-American judge in Tennessee and current Secretary-Elect of the American Bar Association.

After lunch, attendees were invited to tour the museum, which not only covers the entire Civil Rights Movement, but also serves as a legacy to Dr. King's life. Thank you to Crone & Mason, LLP, for sponsoring the luncheon.

Our main social event was a barbeque and dancing at B.B. King's, followed by an evening on Beale Street. The music and the people were great fun. (The photos of the event are being held by Peter Walzer for blackmail purposes, though you can expect some of them to find their way onto the Section's website soon.) Thanks are due to Mark Chinn & Associates for their sponsorship of this event.

And, of course, no meeting at Memphis would be complete without a visit from the "King" himself. Thanks to Judge Butch Childers, Elvis was very much in the building during our opening reception. Thank you to TX Direct for sponsoring our "one night with Elvis." (We also had a trip to Graceland for those who could not get enough of the King.)

Beyond socializing and networking, high-quality CLE offerings are a hallmark of our conferences. This time, Maryann Foley did the work normally done by two CLE co-chairs in putting together an outstanding program. I would also like to thank all of our CLE presenters, as well.

In addition, Section staff arranged for numerous committee and board meetings which are so necessary for the Section to function. Thank you to Paula and her staff: Alissa, Carrie, and Hilary.

I'd also like to thank ScanCafé and our other sponsors and exhibitors for making our conference a success.

With the exception of the loss of the Badgers on Saturday afternoon, a more perfect weekend cannot have been imagined. Thank you again to all who made it possible.

If you were unable to join us in Memphis, we will soon have the CLE programs available for purchase (cd-rom, compendium, or audio). Just visit the Calendar section of our website for more information. (Click on "Past Conferences")

I look forward to seeing you at our spring meeting in Chicago.

Gregg Herman, Chair

Hit the Books & Read All about It!

In between CLE and social events, the Section rolled out its new book donation program at the fall meeting. The program allows members to donate children's books to local schools in the cities where we meet, and also offers the opportunity to "go back to school" and read to children.

The Section collected close to 100 books which were donated to Downtown Elementary School, and some of our readers (Financial Officer Deborah Akers-Parry, ahem) had such a good time that they missed the photo that was taken for the Memphis Rotary Newsletter!

We would like to express our thanks to Jim and Bonnie Preston, Amy Amundsen, and all of those who volunteered to read, including Aubrey Brown, Judge Patricia O'Dell, Judi Wolf, and Laura DeWoskin. (If you volunteered to read but your name is not here, please let us know.)

The Section plans to continue the book donation program, so keep those kiddie book titles in mind for next time!

Nominations for Leadership Still Being Accepted

Still ruminating over whether or not to become a leader in the Section? Ponder no more, time's running out! The deadline for submissions is November 1, 2007.

We are currently 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.


Creating Effective Parenting Plans
John N. Hartson, Ph.D.
Brenda J. Payne, Ph.D.

Product Code 5130141

Gear up for our November 30th teleconference on Parenting Coordinators with this book!

An essential tool for anyone dealing with resolution of custody matters, Creating Effective Parenting Plans will assist you and your clients in developing a parenting plan that effectively meets the needs of children at the time of divorce from birth through age 18.

More information (including a table of contents)

To order today, call the ABA Service Center at 800-285-2221 and request Product Code 5130141 or order online.

Buy Now!


Best of the List Serve

This month's Best of the FamLawEsq looks at agreed choice of law for pre-marital agreements and retroactive child support.

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

This month, we have two teleconferences that are sure to enhance your skills!

November 1, 2007
How Using a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst Can Strengthen Your Core Divorce Practice
(Co-sponsoring with GP Solo & Small Firm Division)

Join an expert panel of CDFA professionals, a respected divorce attorney, and a family court judge as they demonstrate how adding a CDFA professional to your litigation team can help you: present complicated financial documents clearly and compellingly for your client and the court; increase your clients’ satisfaction with their settlements, thus retaining clients and increasing referrals for long-term growth; and prevail in court.

More details/register online

November 30, 2007
Parenting Coordinators: Who Are They and Can They Help?

This teleconference will give you insight into the role of parenting coordinators, how they can assist you in developing parenting plans, and much more.

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.

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

Submit a CLE Proposal
Want to submit a CLE proposal for our 2008 programming? Proposals for our Fall CLE Conference are accepted on a rolling basis; proposals for Annual Meeting must be in by November 1, 2007. (Spring 2008 programming is already in place.) 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

Legal Technology Resources for New Practitioners
Starting a new practice is a major endeavor. You have business to develop, clients to find, an office to manage, and a great deal of legal technology to consider using. Following are resources culled by the ABA Legal Technology Resource Center (LTRC) to help ease the transition.

ABA Services
The LTRC Hotline: Contact the ABA Legal Technology Resource Center on the web, by e-mail, or call (312) 988-5465 for help with questions about technology.

ABA-CLE Newsflash: Sign up to receive monthly updates at your desktop about upcoming ABA-CLE programs and products in the practice area(s) of your choice.

ABA Ethics Research Service: Provides help when you have a sticky ethics issue.

ABA Member Advantage: Get great discounts (including retirement funds and insurance) just for being an ABA member!

Online Research Tools
Lawlink: The ABA's Legal Research Jumpstation. Includes a slew of websites you may find useful.

LTRC Legal Technology Web Search: This search engine focuses your query on some of our favorite legal technology websites, so you can get the information you need without going through dozens of pages of useless results.

ABA Journal's Blawg Directory : A collection of web logs (blogs) related to the practice of law that can be sorted alphabetically, by author type, region or law school.

Using Technology to Market Your Practice
How will you market your practice? By e-mail, a blog, or a website? Get tips on each below!

E-mail Marketing
Marketing your practice with blogs
Building a Web Site That Works

Purchasing Legal Technology Software for Your Law Office
Checklist for Purchasing Software for the Law Office

Practice and Case Management Software: Comparison Chart

Time & Billing Software: Comparison Chart

American Bar Association Sections for New Practitioners
GP|Solo, dedicated exclusively to the needs of general practitioners, solo and small law firm lawyers.

The ABA's Law Practice Management Section provides practical education and assistance to lawyers and firms in the core areas of the business of practicing law: Marketing, Management, Technology and Finance.

The Young Lawyers Division is open to all ABA members under 36 years old or who have been admitted to practice for five years or less.

Don't forget, the ABA Legal Technology Resource Center has scads of other resources that family law practitioners (whether firmly established or just starting out) will find helpful, so visit today.

   —Tonya Johnson, ABA Legal Technology Resource Center

Tell Us! Have a favorite legal resource? 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 glazerh@staff.abanet.org. Keep the Tech Corner working for you!

Family Law Web

If you haven't visited our website lately, you don't know what you're missing. Here's a sampling of what you'll find when you and your mouse decide to take the plunge!

1. The Who
Okay, not the band, sorry. But if you're a Family Law Section groupie, you'll want to know who your officers and council members are. You might even want to find out who your committee chair is. All of this and more can be found either by clicking on "Membership" or "Committees" in the navigation bar on the left. (Then just click on the appropriate links on the pages you land on.) Take note: we'll soon be adding brief bios and contact information for our Council members. Get to know your Section leaders and become more involved with your committees, too!

2. The What
So you're a member, but you still don't know much about the Section? Not to worry. We've got our bylaws, Administrative Guide ( the tool of choice for a quick Section intro), and Council Agenda Books. If you missed a Section meeting, check out the Council Agenda Book for a peek at the issues of the day. (Please note that some of these items are in our members-only area, so you'll need to be logged in to the ABA website.) All of these things can again be found by clicking on our Membership link. (We've also handily linked to some of them directly above.)

3. The Why
Knowledge is power, or so they say. Thus, the Section website also provides you with the Online Resource Center, which you can read about in last month's eNewsletter (member benefit column). To submit resources, just e-mail Hilary.Glazer@americanbar.org and be sure to note under which topic(s) your resource belongs.

We'd like for you to think of the Family Law website as your mainstay for family law knowledge sharing.
So please visit today, take a look around, and let us know what you think. We'll cover other sections of the website in future issues of the eNewsletter, and we always appreciate suggestions and feedback. Happy bookmarking! www.abanet.org/family.


This month's
featured benefit:


What are they?
Specialized areas of interest within family law. We've got over 20 substantive committees for you to choose from.

What's in it for me?
Did you know that joining committees and becoming active in discussions over the committee list serve can not only increase your knowledge, but also allow you the opportunity to plan a CLE program? That's right -- you can help drive CLE programming at the conference level or teleconference level. (Of course, you'll have to fill out a proposal and have our CLE committee approve it, but don't be intimidated. Our CLE chairs are great to work with!)

Becoming more active in committees also helps you rise through the ranks, if that's what you'd like to do. Many of our Section leaders have been active in committees or served as chair or vice chair of committees.

Committees also draft model acts, compile resources, work on legislation, and also work to develop products and benefits for all Section members. (And only members of the Family Law Section can join our committees.)

Oh, and don't worry, just because you've joined a committee doesn't mean you've signed up for boot camp! Your level of involvement in your committee(s) is up to you. But remember, the more you put into it, the more you get out of it.

I'm Ready! How Do I Join a Committee?
Just go to our Committees Homepage and browse until you find one (or two) that interest you.

You can join committees online, sign up for the list serve, and then it's up to you. Feel free to ask your committee leaders how you can get involved, or start a discussion on the list serve.

Family Law Committees are the heart of the Section's work...so join today and start breathing new life into the Section! (It's not an oversell, we promise!)


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

Contact Information
Section of Family Law
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Chicago, IL 60610
Tel: 312-988-5145
Fax: 312-988-6800

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