June 2008

Section News

Get with the Annual Meeting Programs
The ABA Family Law Section Annual Meeting will take place August 8-10, 2008, and we hope you'll be able to join us as we celebrate the Section's 50th Anniversary and deliver top-notch CLE programming. (See middle column for more details about registration, etc.)

In addition to our own programming, the Section of Family Law is proud to co-sponsor other sessions you may wish to attend. A sampling is below:

The 21st Century Judge: Challenges for the Future
Thursday, August 7, 2008
Part I: 8:30 - 11:45 a.m.
Part II: 1:15 - 4:30 p.m.
New York Marriott Marquis Marquis
Salon C, 9th Fl.

Co-sponsored with the [ABA Judicial Division] National Conference of State Trial Judges, this two-part CLE program will focus on I: Technology: Changing What Happens Inside and Outside the Courtroom; and II: Successful Collaborative Courts and How to Develop Them & Collaborative Courts: A Skills Workshop.

A non-CLE "Lunch and Learn" with Mark Curriden will also take place from 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. (You may bring your own lunch or purchase a box lunch.)

Download the flyer for more details about this special program.

Problem-Solving Courts and Their Federal Obligations
Saturday, August 9, 2008
8:30 - 10:00 a.m.
Sheraton New York Hotel
Conference Room E
Executive Conference Center

This program, co-sponsored with the ABA Standing Committee on Substance Abuse, will explore successful, innovative and replicable problem-solving courts that are responding to epidemics of drunk driving and substance abuse in their communities. An overview of the clinical aspects of substance abuse, recovery and treatment will be provided, in addition to the National Association of Drug Court Professionals’ components of a drug court program.

FLS Council Member-at-Large and nominee for Secretary Randall Kessler is one of the panelists on this program.

Download the flyer for more details.

On the Docket: The Supreme Court's 2007-2008 Term
Saturday, August 9, 2008
2:00 - 3:30 p.m.
Sheraton New York Hotel
Conference Room E
Executive Conference Center

This CLE program, co-sponsored with the ABA Division for Public Education, will analyze the major trends of the October 2007 Supreme Court Term, which featured such cases as Baze v.Rees (upholding Kentucky's method of lethal injection), District of Columbia v. Heller (on the meaning of the Second Amendment), and Crawford v. Marion County Election Board (upholding Indiana's voter ID laws).

Panelists include Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Linda Greenhouse and Laurence Tribe of Harvard Law School. Visit Supreme Court Preview to watch for details.

A complete list of other co-sponsored CLE programs and special events is available on our Annual Meeting Schedule page; check back often for updates.

Joining FLS Committees and List Serves
Want to join a topical committee or its list serve, but not sure where to begin? Here's a simple way to get started!

1. Go to the Committees page on our website. (Use the direct link above or go to the Family Law Section website and click on "Committees" in the left-hand navigation bar.)

2. Once there, you'll see a listing of committees at the right of the page. (There's also some information about determining your level of involvement. You might just want to keep abreast of what's going on in a particular area of family law, or you might want to help develop CLE proposals. You could share resources via the list serve, or ask questions.) When you see a committee you like, click on it and voila, you're on its page.

3. A "Join Our Committee" link appears at the upper right of each committee page. Click to join and you will also automatically be subscribed to its list serve. Just make sure you're logged in to the ABA website first.

4. That was pretty easy, wasn't it?

5. Although you *can* join just a committee's list serve without signing up for the committee itself, we don't recommend it. Why? Because if you do, you won't appear on the committee roster. The committee roster is a great way to see who else is involved in your area of interest. If you click on a committee member's name, you'll be able to access that member's contact information via our online member directory. If you haven't actually joined the committee, then you might miss out on some networking opportunities.

6. If you ever have any questions about joining Family Law committees or lists, contact Section staff member Hilary Glazer at glazerh@staff.abanet.org. If you have questions about the committee itself, contact its Chair (or Vice Chair or Executive Member). These folks are also listed on the committee pages.


The Family Lawyer's Guide to Stock Options (includes cd-rom)
Lester Barenbaum, Robert D. Feder, Walter Schubert

Product Code 5130147

The Family Lawyer's Guide to Stock Options is a handy, practice-focused guide to all aspects of employee stock options and their equitable division in divorce. The book provides comprehensive guidance on the valuation, taxation, and distribution of stock options upon divorce, including sample provisions for property settlement agreements. It begins with a discussion of how and when employee stock options are considered marital property through a review of major court cases. Following this, the authors discuss stock option terminology and how they are valued based on certain critical assumptions and how those assumptions are validated. An accompanying cd-rom has appendices, including sample language, checklists, and charts.

More information

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 contains a multitude of military issues, as well as dealing with clients who may have diminished capacity. Military topics include health insurance and benefits; child custody jurisdiction; child support jurisdiction; and more.

Read more about this month's 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

July 9, 2008
Removal of Children from Their Parents: The Tightrope of Family Integrity vs. Protection

This special teleconference will examine the laudatory but frequently conflicting goals in dependency proceedings of seeking family reunification, determining the best interests of the children and balancing parents' rights to raise their children and individual liberties. Cases discussed will include the recent litigation regarding the removal of children from the Texas FLDS (Yearning for Zion Ranch).

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

Head to the Big Apple for the Family Law Annual Meeting

Family Law Annual Meeting
August 8-10, 2008
Westin Times Square
New York, NY

Tuesday, July 8, is the deadline for advance registration and housing. If you haven't registered by 5:00 p.m. Central on that date, you can still register on-site at the Hilton New York.

When you register, be sure to select our special ticketed Family Law events, such as our Friday night reception (July 8, at The Water Club, from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m.), and our Annual Awards Luncheon (Saturday, August 9, noon to 2:00 p.m.).

You might also want to check out the Happy Hour our Young Lawyers Committee is having on Thursday, August 7, at the Heartland Brewery Chophouse. (It's Dutch treat, and everyone is invited to attend. For more information about our Young Lawyers Committee, visit the homepage.)

Don't forget, we'll also be sponsoring CLE sessions on electronic evidence and child abuse/neglect (dependency) law, plus the popular Hot Tips program.

For details about our Annual Meeting events and programming, visit our Annual Meeting website.

Save the Date for Fall CLE Conference

Family Law Fall CLE Conference
October 2-4, 2008
Camelback Inn
Scottsdale, AZ

Your whole family will enjoy the Southwest and all the amenities the Camelback Inn resort offers! Create great memories on the green, the hiking trails, the tennis and basketball courts, or just relaxing by the pool(s). And don't forget to pick up your CLE credits, too.

Session topics will include: alternative dispute resolution; bankruptcy; collaborative law; elder law issues; reproductive and genetic technologies; retirement benefits; taxation; and trial practices and techniques.

Reserve your hotel room by September 2, 2008, to lock in the discount rate of $219. (See hotel information on site linked below.)

Please note: All CLE will take place on October 3-4, while some committee meetings and the Council meeting will be held on Thursday, October 2. (Our hotel room block and discount rates apply beginning on October 1st, should you wish to arrive early and take advantage of the resort and its surroundings.)

Registration is not yet open, but you can visit the Fall CLE website for more information, and be sure to check back for updates.

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

Digital-Age Communication Concerns for Family Law Attorneys
The technological advances of the computer age have helped attorneys become more effective and efficient, but they've also created a variety of concerns--many related to the security of client information and communications. This is particularly true for family law attorneys whose clients may share a computer--or even an e-mail address--with potential opposing parties.

It isn't difficult to imagine how such an arrangement could lead to embarrassing revelations or breaches of confidentiality. For example, a spouse may notice that the family computer has been used to Google "divorce attorneys" or may see web sites related to divorce in the web browser's history. More significantly, a spouse who knows (or guesses) the other's email password may stumble on information of great significance, such as evidence of an affair or suspicious financial activity.

So what can a family law attorney do to help guard a client's privacy? Here are a few suggestions:

* Immediately determine your client's computing situation: Do they live alone? Do they share a computer? Do they share an e-mail account or do others know their password? Take these factors into consideration when communicating with your client and inform them of the potential risk involved in sharing computers or passwords.

* Make sure your client is using secure passwords that other parties can't easily guess, and be sure that they aren't setting their web browsers or other software to "remember" the password. (For more information about creating a strong password, see Tech Corner, April 2008.)

* Consider recommending security tools to your client including encrypted e-mail (like Hushmail or Polyscribe) or encryption software (such as PGP). Also, most office software will allow the user to password-protect files, a step that--while not foolproof--is better than nothing.

* If your client maintains a blog or has a presence on a social network (such as MySpace or Facebook), make sure they understand that nothing posted on such sites should be considered private or confidential.

*While your client should use security measures where appropriate, they should understand that such measures may arouse suspicions--a potentially serious concern if they're at risk of abuse.

*Counsel your clients about the potential risks of their own cyber-snooping. As discussed on the South Carolina Family Law Blog, such conduct may have serious repercussions for the client and possibly for the attorney as well.

*Finally, if your client's computer security is in doubt, simply avoid using the computer. Handle communications the old-fashioned way: by phone or in person.

   —Joshua Poje, ABA Legal Technology Resource Center

Tell Us! Have you or your clients used any of the above programs? Or do you have any tips or tales about protecting your client's confidentiality when it comes to cyberspace? 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!

Related Events

13th World Conference of the International Society of Family Law
"Family Finances"
September 16-20, 2008
Vienna, Austria

The 13th World Conference will consider whether and how the law supports the family and its members and, respectively, whether the state and the economy provides sufficient means to sustain family structures, or vice versa.

The ISFL (International Society of Family Law) is a global scholarly organization dedicated to the study of family law with over 500 members from over 50 nations.

View flyer for more details.



This month's
featured benefit:

Online Resource Center

What is it?
Just a collection of tips and practical information on a variety of family law topics, such as marital property, assisted reproductive technology, collaborative law, military law, custody, and much, much more.

What's in it for me?
What isn't? If you can't find anything of benefit from the plethora of articles, presentations, and tips included in the Members Online Resource Center, well, frankly, I'd be surprised.

But it's not a one-way street--in fact, we encourage you to share your resources with your fellow FLS members.

Okay, Well, How Do I Access and Contribute to This Resource Center, Anyway?
I'm so glad you asked! You can use this handy direct link (you'll need to be logged in to the ABA website) or visit the Family Law website and click on Resources in the navigation bar to the left. From there, click on Members Online Resource Center.

Once you've accessed the site, you'll see a list of topics that act as your gateway to knowledge. Click on the topic(s) of choice to see what's there.

To add to the library, just e-mail your materials to me (Hilary) at glazerh@staff.abanet.org , and be sure to let me know which topic your item should be placed under.

Whether it's case law, a checklist, or presentation, if you find it useful, odds are your Family Law Section compatriots will, too. So share the wealth!


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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