September 2007

Section News

New Council Member
Congratulations go out to Lori Nelson of Salt Lake City, UT, on her recent election to the Section Council. Ms. Nelson is the new Region V--Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas--representative for 2007-2008, filling the vacancy that was created when Debra Lehrmann was elected as Section Secretary in August. We look forward to her participation in Council affairs! The Section would also like to thank the Nominating Committee and all those who voted.

Looking for a Few Good Leaders
Call for Nominations

Want to get more involved with the Section? Have new ideas that will assist the Section of Family Law and its members? Then consider a leadership or Council position!

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.

Deadline for submissions is November 1, 2007.

Step up to the plate, don't be shy! We look forward to receiving your letters of interest.

Spotlight: Free Podcast

Military Divorce
Fire up your computer and listen to Mark Sullivan as he discusses the ins and outs of divorce practice involving military personnel, including the Service Members Civil Relief Act and the pitfalls of military retirement benefits. This short podcast (part of the ABA Book Briefs Podcast series) clocks in at just over ten minutes (10:35) and you don't even need an iPod to listen to it! (The file linked above is an mp3.)

If the podcast leaves you wanting more, check out Mark Sullivan's book, The Military Divorce Handbook: A Practical Guide to Representing Military Personnel and Their Families.

You can also visit the Military Law Committee website for other helpful resources and links.

More information about ABA Book Briefs Podcasts.


How to Build and Manage a Family Law Practice
(includes cd-rom)

Mark A. Chinn

Product Code 5130140

If you missed the September 26th Teleconference Building a Successful Family Law Practice, or just want to build on the skills you picked up, this book can help.

Its content will help you understand the specialized skills and knowledge necessary to build and manage a successful and rewarding practice. The book takes a no-nonsense, nuts-and-bolts approach in explaining the most critical issues for developing a thriving family law practice, and is a must-read for any family lawyer.

CD-ROM includes forms and supporting materials.

More information (including a table of contents)

To order today, call the ABA Service Center at 800-285-2221 and request Product Code 5130140 or order online.

Buy Now!

Also of Interest...

Domestic Violence Awareness Month
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. In recognition of same, the ABA will be hosting a four-part workshop series on issues of domestic violence and the law. The first three sessions will occur in Washington, D.C., but the fourth will be a conference call (webinar) that will allow nationwide participation.

Topics are: Elder Abuse & DV Later in Life (October 3, D.C.); The National Domestic Violence Volunteer Attorney Network Act (October 10, D.C.); Domestic Violence and Islamic Law (October 17, D.C.); and Civil Remedies for Human Trafficking Victims (October 24; webinar/conference call).

Registration is required. For more information and a downloadable flyer, visit the ABA Commission on Domestic Violence website.

Call for Papers
The University of Baltimore School of Law seeks submissions for its upcoming Feminist Legal Theory and Feminisms Conference. The conference will begin with a keynote address by Gloria Steinem on Thursday, March 6, 2008. On Friday, March 7, 2008, presentations will be given by legal academics, practitioners and activists regarding current scholarship and/or legal work that explore the evolution of feminism and feminist legal theory and its application to current legal theory and practice.

The conference begins with three questions: What wave of feminism currently exists, how is it affecting society and effectuating change, and how is it linked to the past waves?

Practitioners' and activists' papers need not follow a strictly academic format. Papers should address the questions listed above and might consider some of the following issues as well:

1. How has feminist legal theory colored the scholarship and practice in a particular area of the law, such as domestic violence law, welfare law, employment law, corporate law, bank lending, reproductive justice law, international human rights law, criminal law, and family law? How does third wave feminism affect the current understanding of that area?

2. What types of legislation are being proposed and/or enacted that reflect third wave feminism and feminist legal theory?

3. How does feminist legal theory relate to other social justice movements and how is that relation reflected in practice?

Abstracts for the papers should be sent by 5 p.m. on October 15, 2007, to Professor Margaret E. Johnson ( Abstracts should be no longer than one page. Presenters of selected papers will be notified no later than November 15, 2007.

Working drafts of papers, which can include works-in-progress, completed drafts, and papers already scheduled for publication elsewhere, are due no later than February 15, 2008. All abstracts and working drafts will be posted on the conference website to be shared with other participants and attendees.

The University of Baltimore's Law Forum, a law journal with a circulation of 10,000, has agreed to offer publication to accepted papers. The deadline for final drafts of papers to be published would be set by the author and the Law Forum. A limited amount of money may be available to presenters for travel expenses.


Best of the List Serve

This month's Best of the FamLawEsq looks at the Railroad Retirement System and benefits for divorced spouses.

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

Start walkin' to Memphis (or use your preferred mode of transit) for the Fall CLE Conference! There's still time to join us for CLE, music, and other special events.

Conference program topics include child custody and the UCCJEA; hidden assets in military divorce cases; same-sex couples and interstate recognition; and much more. To wind down after you've soaked up the knowledge, join your fellow Section members at B.B. King's Restaurant and Beale Street, where you can soak up libations and good times.

Be sure to participate in our new book program for elementary school students, too. Just bring a new kiddie book (or more) to the Hospitality Room. We're offering Section bookplates so you can make your donation more personal, but you can donate anonymously if you'd prefer.

Besides collecting books, we're collecting volunteers to read to students at a local elementary school on Thursday, October 11, at 9:00 a.m. (If you've ever craved a captive audience, classrooms of schoolchildren are the way to go...)

If you'd like to sign up (either for book donations or reading or both), just fill out this form. More information will also be available in the Hospitality Room.

Ready to register online for the conference or want more information? Visit the Fall CLE Conference website.

Our next teleconference will be held in November; parent coordination is the topic. More information, including the date, will soon be available on our website. Bookmark our CLE Calendar and check back soon to reserve your spot.

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 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

Get Your Law Office to Go Green
The concept of "green business"—the idea that businesses (including law firms) can save money, attract clients, and help protect the environment by adopting environmentally-friendly business practices—is garnering a lot of attention these days. As a result, techniques and products have been developed that allow you to cut costs, lessen your environmental impact, and impress clients, all without breaking your bank or requiring you to forego modern business necessities.

Here are some cost-saving, environmentally friendly ideas for your law office:

1. Invest in a duplex (double-sided) printer. You can save on paper costs by decreasing your paper usage.

2. Use recycled paper.

3. Purchase compact fluorescent light bulbs. These can use up to 75 percent less energy than standard incandescent bulbs and they can last 10 times longer.

4. Replace any CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) monitors with LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) monitors. In other words, downsize your large, boxy monitors to the ever popular flat panel monitors. In addition to taking up less desk space, LCD monitors can use up to two-thirds less energy than CRT monitors.

5. Use environmentally friendly cleaning products.

6. Switch to re-usable utensils, mugs, and food containers instead of disposables.

7. Have recycle bins handy at every employee's desk.

8. Install automatic faucets and storm windows to save on water and heating bills.

There are plenty of other ways to make your office eco-friendly. For more information, see the Legal Technology Resource Center's "FYI: Going Green" guide, which contains many other cost-saving environmental tips and links to resources (including the ABA Standing Committee on Environmental Law's Sustainable Law Office page and the ABA-EPA Law Office Climate Challenge page).

   —Stephen Stine, ABA Legal Technology Resource Center

Tell Us! Have you gone green? Know any other eco-friendly tips? Feel free to share them 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

If you played along last time ( August eNews), here are the answers, as promised.

1. The first Section Chair was Godfrey L. Munter of Washington, D.C. He held the position for the year of 1958-1959.

2. The Section's flagship magazine is Family Advocate. You can peruse the latest issues of it online in the Family Advocate library (for members only).

3. At this point in time, there is no Estrangement Committee. (But then, this is the 2000s and anything can happen...)

4. It's true, you can indeed find Standards of Practice on the Family Law website.

5. FamLawEsq is the Section's list serve for lawyer members. See above for the latest "Best of FamLawEsq" feature, which culls the best Q&A posted to the list each month.

6. The Section's Annual Essay Contest is named after Howard C. Schwab. The contest was originally established by the Toledo Bar Association and the Ohio Bar Foundation. Read more about it.

This month, Family Law Fun gives you a sneak peek at the upcoming Family Law Section Survey. Basically we'll be asking you things that will help us serve you better and find out where we can improve.

To get you in the mood to do a survey, here's a very short one regarding the eNewsletter.

The survey is anonymous, so feel free to tell us what you really think without fear of reprisal. (But remember we gentle staffers have feelings, too.) :)

Take the short survey.


This month's
featured benefit:

Online Resource Center

What is it?
The Members Only Online Resource Center contains articles and information vital to your practice; the information helps keep you up-to-date on various topics within the wide world of family law.

What's in it for me?
The ability to access sample forms, articles, state-by-state guides and other information specifically designed by family lawyers for family lawyers.

You also have the opportunity to share what you know with your peers! We're always looking for topical information to add to the Online Resource Center, so if you've prepared an article, presentation, or tips on a certain topic, just send it to us at . (Be sure to note which topic your material fits under.)

How do I access it?
Ready to log on and see what valuable content awaits you? Use this handy link: Online Resource Center .

You can also access the ORC from anywhere on our Section website. Just click on "Resources" (in the left navigation bar) and then click on Members Online Resource Center.

Remember, you'll need to be logged in to the ABA site with your member ID and password in order to access this members-only material.


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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