February 2008

Section News

ABA Adopts Model ART Act
Months of hard work by the Section's Reproductive and Genetic Technologies Committee finally paid off when the ABA House of Delegates voted at Midyear to adopt the Model Act Governing Assisted Reproductive Technology.

Section Delegate Marshall Wolf presented remarks to the ABA House of Delegates on February 11, 2008, in which he justified the need for such an Act to be passed:

"Today, with a growing number of court decisions and fast-paced medical developments such as cryopreservation of gametes and embryos, in vitro fertilization and other exotic scientific measures, it is clear that some legislation on assisted reproduction is needed. Unlike a Uniform Act that urges uniform adoption by the states and territories, this Act is intended to provide model provisions that can be considered in whole or in part by legislative bodies in the states and territories. ....[The Act] will serve as a mechanism to assist in resolving contemporary family law and probate controversies that now reach the courts with little legislative guidance or regulation."

The Act can be found as a .pdf and a Word document in a variety of places on the Family Law website:

1) Resources: Reports and Recommendations page
2) Committees: Reproductive & Genetic Technologies page
3) Members Online Resource Center: ART page

Read the Act

Continue reading Marshall Wolf's remarks

Section Elections at Annual Meeting
The Section of Family Law will meet August 8-10, 2008, in conjunction with the ABA Annual Meeting in New York, NY. Section leadership elections will take place at the meeting.

Slated nominees are:

Mitchell Karpf (Chair-Elect); Debra Lehrmann (Vice Chair); Randall Kessler (Secretary); Marshall Wolf (Section Delegate)

Melissa Avery (At Large); Roberta (Bobbie) Batley (At Large); Greg Ortiz (At Large); Deborah Akers-Parry (Region III); Lori Nelson (Region V).

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 (Gerald J. Babbitt; Dianna Gould-Saltman; Richard (Dick) Podell; Jonathan Wolfe; and Anita Ventrelli, Committee Chair)!


The Indian Child Welfare Act Handbook, Second Ed.
B. J. Jones, Mark Tilden, Kelly Gaines-Stoner

Product Code 5130150

Now completely revised and updated, The Indian Child Welfare Act Handbook is a one-of-a-kind guide to the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 (ICWA). This book examines evolving case law from federal and state courts as well as new federal laws that have changed the legal landscape in the area of child welfare practices involving Indian children and the courts. This is an invaluable and much-needed update of a topic that affects a surprisingly broad range of practitioners: ICWA is not an issue confined to reservations and their border towns.

Social workers, counselors, and others whose professions and interests involve them with Native American children will also gain much from this book.

More information (including a table of contents)

To order today, call the ABA Service Center at 800-285-2221 and request Product Code 5130150 or order online.

Buy Now!

Law Student Writing Contest

2008 Schwab Essay Contest
Want to tell your professor what you really think? All you have to do is enter the Schwab Essay Contest and win; your Dean will know of your achievement, you'll be lauded by the ABA Section of Family Law, and oh yeah, your work could be published in the Family Law Quarterly. The contest is open to all law students, not just those who are Section of Family Law members, so feel free to spread the word. (After all, it's more fun trouncing the competition than staving them off.)

More information about the contest--rules, eligibility, etc.--is available at the Schwab website.

Deadline for entries: May 15, 2008

Tech Corner

Office Live Small Business: Putting Your Firm on the Internet Map
Thinking about establishing a presence for your family law firm on the Information Superhighway? If so, Microsoft's Office Live Small Business (OLSB) wants to be your on-ramp! OLSB is a one-stop shop where you can set up a website, register a domain name, set up an Internet ad campaign or create e-mail promotions, and provide secure online access to documents. It's a great resource for family law practices because you don't have to be a tech guru to get started, and OLSB includes five free web-based tools:

1) a web-hosting feature that helps you set up a website and your own domain name; 2) Contact Manager for managing contact information; 3) Document Manager for centrally storing documents; 4) Workspaces for collaborating with others online; and 5) Project Manager for planning projects and monitoring your progress.

All you need to get started is an e-mail address. Once you sign up, you receive immediate access to the Office Live Small Business tools and resources. Need more info on the major tools? Keep reading...

Web site set-up and hosting
OLSB provides assistance in creating a professional presence on the Internet, free Web hosting, tools to design your website, and site traffic reports that tell you how site visitors find and use your site, as well as free support.

A custom domain and business e-mail can give you a polished presence on the Internet, help clients find you on the Internet, and promote your firm every time you send an e-mail. OLSB gives you a free domain name and up to 100 business e-mail accounts. The first year, including private domain registration, is free.

Contact Manager
Contact Manager can help your law office by providing a place to record client matter history, notes, or employee action items. Since it's web-based, you can check the status of your accounts and business opportunities from any location with a Web browser. You can import data to the Contact Manager, then track every contact with each client to maintain a running dialogue throughout the relationship. Contact Manager will also send automatic e-mail messages based on specific trigger events. (Ex.: Automatically send an e-mail to the paralegal reminding her of an upcoming annual filing date.)

(Continues, see Tech Corner, ctd., next column)


Best of the List Serve

This month's Best of the FamLawEsq includes questions and comments on the following four subjects:

Court Authority over Parental Dispute on Schooling (Public vs. Parochial; Home Schooling); Collection of Support from NATO Employee; and Protections for Military Servicemembers in Child Custody Matters.

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

We have 2 courses scheduled for March, one of which is part of our Family Law 101 CLE Series. Read more below.

March 19, 2008
Military Custody and Visitation: Twists and Turns

What are the rules followed by courts, by the U.S. Department of Defense, and by the military parent in working out custody and visitation during periods of long absence due to military orders? Learn about these and Family Care Plans, the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, and other terms and tips to help you represent clients with visitation or custody issues against a military backdrop.

Please note that this teleconference 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)

More details/register online

March 26, 2008
Preparing a Custody Case from Intake through Trial
(Part of the Family Law 101 Series)

This program will help you learn methods to assist you in obtaining a satisfactory resolution for your client in a custody dispute. Learn what your client can do to help build a case as well, and discover how to prepare your client for the forensic examination. The role of the court-appointed guardian or Custody Investigator will also be explored.

Please note that this teleconference 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)

More details/register online

Family Law 101 CLE Series
Want to sharpen your skills as a family law practitioner? Whether you're new to the field or a seasoned attorney looking to refresh your basic knowledge, Family Law 101 is for you. The 3 remaining sessions include preparing child custody cases (intake through trial), discovery, witness preparation and trial performance. You can register for single sessions or get a discount by registering for 2 or 3 of the sessions. For special discount pricing, contact Kate Tresley (ABA Center for CLE) at tresleyk@staff.abanet.org.

For more details about each of the programs in the series, visit the Family Law 101 CLE Series website.

Register for the ABA-APA Meeting!

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

Haven't registered yet? You still have time to meet the early-bird deadline and get a discount on registration. (Early-bird registration deadline: March 15, 2008)

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. Read more about the speakers on the Conference website.

The Section's regular committee meetings (and luncheons) will be held, and the Council will also be convening. You'll soon receive a schedule of these meetings in the mail, and we'll also post the information on our meeting website. Please note that committee luncheon tickets must be purchased through the ABA Section of Family Law; these cannot be purchased when you register for the meeting.

Reserve your hotel room: Our special discounted rate of $219 is only good until April 15, 2008, so please make your reservations as soon as you can. For more information about booking you room, visit the Conference website linked below.

Visit the Conference Website for more information.

Trial Advocacy Institute

May 18-24, 2008
Denver, CO

There are still some slots open for this year's Institute, but they won't last long! To register, visit the TAI website. We've just posted information about this year's faculty on the website, so just click on a name to learn more about the instructors.

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

Tech Corner, ctd.

(Continued from left column)
Document Manager
Document Manager provides an online storage area for documents and provides version control. This keeps documents easily accessible and creates the potential for a truly mobile office. Once you've signed up for OLSB, just upload the documents you want to share. This creates a centralized database that you can access from home or the office using the Internet, and it facilitates group collaboration by providing staff and colleagues with an online space to review and work on documents. This could be a great place to store fillable forms for routine filings, or provide easy access to form letters that ensure a standard look for all outgoing correspondence.

Say goodbye to e-mail and hard copies with handwritten edits and say hello to Workspaces, an application that allows you to grant secure access to documents via a central online location. This is especially handy for document review/collaboration, and you can grant access to clients, staff, co-counsel, or opposing counsel, or anyone else you choose. There are pre-designed templates to create workspaces specifically for clients, workgroups, and meetings.

Project Manager
This application lets you plan, track, and update a project or case's progress from one central, shared location. You can assign tasks to others and track progress towards milestones; sort and filter projects by fields (including completed and active tasks, due date, assigned to, etc.,); and document and monitor issues that arise during a project or case.

Fee-based tools

* Store Manager is the result of a partnership with eBay and lets you create a customized online store where you can accept credit cards, create invoices and generate real-time sales reports with information on revenue and orders. There are no transaction fees for sales on your site until April 1, 2008.

* E-mail Marketing beta helps you develop an online promotions and marketing campaign for your business.

* adManager helps with search engine placement and advertising by putting your business in front of people already searching for the services you provide. There are nationwide or local advertising options available targeting specific geographic areas. Be sure to check with your local regulating authority to maintain compliance with ethics rules.

When you subscribe to OLSB, you (or your site administrator) control access to the workspaces and business applications. There are different levels of access/permissions you can assign to different users, such as Reader, Editor, and Administrator. You might want your clients designated as Readers, for example, to give them read-only access to documents. (They won't be able to edit, add, or delete any documents.) Editors can add, modify, and delete information. Administrators can set user permissions, add, modify, and delete information.

In short, OLSB has much to offer. It helps you set up a domain name and a website along with e-mail, a password-protected private website for sharing information with key contacts, and several Internet-based applications that can help automate client, project and document management. Visit the OLSB website to see if its resources can help take your practice to the next level.

   —Tonya Johnson, Research Specialist, ABA Legal Technology Resource Center

Tell Us! Did OLSB work for you? Does your firm use different web technology? Tell us about it. We may use your feedback 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!



This month's
featured benefit:

Case Update

What is it?
A free monthly electronic digest that keeps you apprised of case law developments around the country on a variety of family law topics.

What's in it for me?
You can stay up-to-date on legislation and recent cases and the laws they impact. Who wouldn't want to closely monitor case law as it develops? Topics include everything from adoption, third-party visitation, child custody (Hague Convention) spousal support, same-sex marriage, parentage, relocation, and much, much more.

Okay, How Can I Get Case Update?
There are 2 ways you can send a request to sign up online: 1. Visit our List serve Page in the Members Online Resource Center, and scroll down to the Case Update entry. Click on the link provided to sign up.

2. Visit the Case Update page on our site and use the sign-up form.

Please note that both pages above are in the member-protected area of our website, so make sure you're logged in to the ABA's site with your member ID and password.


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

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