New column debuts this month: CPA Corner   October 2008

Section News

Fall Meeting Recap
The Fall Section meeting held at the Camelback Inn in Scottsdale, Arizona, was the ideal mix of business and pleasure, with committee meetings that generated a plethora of innovative ideas, CLE programs that received rave reviews, and lots of networking and social activity. The CLE included topics such as assisted reproductive technology, bankruptcy, retirement benefits, tax returns and financial analysis, legal ethics, depositions, collaborative law and elder law.

Section members enjoyed the beauty of the Sonoran Desert at cocktail receptions sponsored by Chaim Steinberger, P.C.; Kessler, Schwarz & Solomiany, PC; Law Office of Allen M. Bailey; Law Offices of Mark E. Sullivan, P.A.; Law Office of Noel Tucker; Melissa F. Brown, LLC; Rice, Amundsen & Caperton, PLLC; Walzer & Melcher LLP; and the State Bar of Arizona, as well as a casual evening of cowboy games and BBQ at La Puesta del Sol. All of this was made possible by our exhibitors Divorce Marketing Group; Domestic Relations Resources LLC; Lexis Nexis; The OurFamilyWizard Website; SupportCertain; TX Legal Payment Solutions; and last but not least, by Schiller DuCanto and Fleck LLP, our elite Conference sponsor.

While members enjoyed CLE, the Section's officers met with the leadership of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants to discuss future joint programming opportunities including additional webinars/teleconferences and CLE conference participation. In anticipation of our spring meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, the Spring issue of the Advocate will feature articles from AICPA members. (Ed. Note: See middle column for the new CPA Corner featuring articles by the AICPA.)

All Conference attendees enjoyed networking in a variety of venues from the Camelback Inn's R Bar (which featured live music nightly) to list serve (ESQ) and First-Time Attendees' dinners, Dine-Arounds and hearty breakfasts.

All of the things we enjoyed could not have been possible without the invaluable assistance of host committee co-chairs Helen Davis and Annette Burns and their committee members, Laura Belleau, Leonard Karp, and Kathleen Robertson, and I appreciate everyone's positive attitudes and enthusiastic participation.

Anita Ventrelli, Chair

Couldn't attend the conference or missed one of the sessions? See Member Benefit column at far right for information on ordering materials.

Become a Section Leader for the 2009-2010 Year
Officers/Council/Committee Leaders

Whether you've been involved with the ABA Section of Family Law for many years or are just now testing the waters, now's the time to seek leadership positions for the 2009-2010 membership year!

Not sure what to apply for? If you've been active in the Section for a while, you might want to nominate yourself for an Officer or Council position. If you're just starting to get involved with the Section, a committee leadership position might be just the thing for you.

Officer/Council Positions
The Nominating Committee is chaired by Chair-Elect Mitchell Karpf, North Miami Beach, FL, and committee members include: Steven Peskind, St. Charles, IL; Dianna Gould-Saltman, Los Angeles, CA; William Biviano, Warren, OH; and Don Schiller, Chicago, IL.

The committee seeks nominations for the following positions:

Chair-elect (one-year term)
Vice Chair (one-year term)
Secretary (one-year term)
Delegate to the ABA House of Delegates (three-year term)
Representatives at Large (three positions; three-year term)
Region II Representative (three-year term) composed of Maryland, District of Columbia, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, and Mississippi
Region IV Representative (three-year term) composed of Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota

To be considered for nomination, submit a letter of interest and Nomination Data Form by November 3, 2008. Send your letter and NDF (e-mail with Word attachment preferred) to Section Director Paula Nessel, e-mail and Chair-elect Mitchell Karpf, e-mail

Visit the Nominations page for more details, and to see what's expected of you in these leadership roles.

Committee Leadership Appointments
Chair-elect Mitchell Karpf will be making these appointments in the coming months, and encourages anyone in the Section to apply. (If you already hold a committee leadership position and are interested in continuing to serve, it would be helpful if you submitted an application, but it is not required.)

We have over 20 substantive committees to choose from, and becoming a committee leader is a great way to get more involved in the Section.
Read more about what the chairs, vice-chairs, and executive members are expected to do, and submit your application today!

Deadline for committee appointment applications: Monday, November 10

Visit the Committees website for more information.

Good luck to everyone; we look forward to seeing you in a leadership role in 2009-2010!


The Family Lawyer's Guide to Bankruptcy: Forms, Tips, and Strategies, Second Edition (includes cd-rom)
Shayna M. Steinfeld and Bruce R. Steinfeld

Product Code 5130153

This new edition of The Family Lawyer's Guide to Bankruptcy provides a valuable and concise resource for understanding the country's Bankruptcy Code as it affects divorce and divorcing parties. Now updated to reflect the sweeping changes to bankruptcy law enacted in 2005, this guide offers practical guidance to how the Bankruptcy Code pertains to the particular needs of a practicing family lawyer. The first part of the book focuses on the most common discharge exception provisions applicable in the divorce arena, while the second part presents a general overview of the bankruptcy system, from the types of bankruptcy cases and case commencement to the priority of alimony, maintenance, and support debts and revocation of discharge.

Appendices, which are also contained on an accompanying CD-ROM, provide essential information for the family lawyer.

More information

To order today, call the ABA Service Center at 800-285-2221 and request Product Code 5130153 or order online.

Buy Now!


Best of the List Serve

This month's Best of the FamLawEsq includes issues regarding deployed military servicemembers (e.g., final divorce hearing, virtual parenting time, and non-servicemember parent move during deployment) and step-parent involvement in parent-teacher conferences.

Read more about this month's 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

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Get CLE Credit This Wednesday, November 5

November 5, 2008
No Time Like the Present: Parenting Plans for Any and Every Age Child

Successful negotiation of parenting plans begins with understanding how children's developmental needs change over time and require schedules that evolve as a result. Child-centered plans take into account the child's age, gender, developmental stage and family variations in ways that help parents stay focused on the child, relieving some of the pressures of decision-making faced by parents, attorneys and judges. Knowing more about what most children experience at different ages and maturity levels can give you an edge in developing a parenting plan that is likely to be supported by both parents and promote optimal adaptation for children.

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)

View more details and register online

(Remember, you get a discount just for being a Section of Family Law member!)

Ethics Credit
December 3, 2008
Billing Pitfalls and Pratfalls: Avoiding the Ethical Issues That Snag Attorneys

Join our expert faculty as we examine ways to avoid billing pitfalls while using best practice methods designed to prevent serious ethical dilemmas. Learn how to create a practice routine that will help you reduce complaints and challenges to your bills without forfeiting your hard earned attorney’s fees. Faculty will discuss hot topic issues relating to retainer agreements, payments, and billing, the issues with accepting credit card payments as well as billing based on "value pricing" and the right to withdraw from "headache"cases.

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)

View more details and register online

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

CPA Corner

A column by members of the AICPA's Forensic and Valuation Services Section
Beginning with this edition of the ABA Section of Family Law eNewsletter, members of the AICPA's Forensic and Valuation Services (FVS) Section will be writing an ongoing column. Content will typically come from FVS members that are, or have been, part of our section's Family Law Task Force--practitioners with a focus on family law matters. We are pleased with the ABA's commitment to providing this type of information to you on an ongoing basis.

The column will focus on financial issues that are relevant to Family Law Section members. Suggestions for future columns are welcome; feel free to send an email to the author of that month's column or to the eNewsletter editor.

In this month's column, we are providing you with a summary of the various services that CPAs can provide in divorce engagements. This is an excerpt from A CPA's Guide to Family Law Services, AICPA Practice Aid 05-1, which provides a terrific overview of the type of work we do. It was written by Sharyn Maggio, CPA/ABV/CFF and Thomas F. Burrage, CPA/ABV/CFF.

   —Compiled by Stacy Preston Collins, CPA/ABV/CFF, Financial Research Associates,

Read this month's CPA Corner: CPA Services in Divorce (You will need to log in to the ABA website.)

Tech Corner

Keeping Track of Information with Evernote and OneNote 2007
For busy family lawyers keeping track of disparate types of information, there are several software-based note-taking and organization tools that may be worth looking into, such as Evernote and Microsoft OneNote (which we wrote about in July 2007).

Evernote and OneNote can be used to store and organize a wide variety of information, including text and images from web pages, photographs and scanned images of receipts, handwritten notes, and business cards (to name just a few), and information typed in or "digitally handwritten" with a mouse or tablet PC. Both programs index all of the available text, even in images. (Images are OCR'd using Optical Character Recognition technology and indexed, automatically in Evernote, and by user command in OneNote.)

OneNote 2007 is included with certain versions of Microsoft Office 2007 (you may already have it installed and not realize it) and can also be purchased separately for a suggested retail price of $99.95. Evernote has both a free version and a premium version, currently for $5 per month or $45 per year, which allows for more storage space/uploads per month.

There are several significant similarities and differences in workflow between Evernote and OneNote 2007. Both programs rely on a "notebook" metaphor in which you add text, images, and other information to digital "notebooks" in the respective programs.

OneNote notebooks feature an intuitive organization technique that uses tabs. Tabs across the top provide access to different sections of the notebook, while tabs on the right allow you to access the pages within a section.

While Evernote has a less orderly organization scheme for its notebooks, navigating through search results is easier done in Evernote than it is in OneNote. Evernote shows several search results per screen (as do most search engines like Google or Yahoo!), while OneNote shows only one search result per screen. If you search for something in OneNote, you may have to flip through a lot screens in order to find the results you were looking for.

Both programs make it easy to drag and drop various text, images, and other files and information into the notebooks. Importing selected information from webpages is easily done by clicking on a button installed in a browser toolbar; right-clicking and choosing the appropriate command; or by dragging and dropping information from the browser into the program's notebook work area.

Unlike Evernote, OneNote does not install a button onto Firefox's toolbar that allows you to import information. However, you can still drag and drop the information into OneNote or use an installed print driver to send the information to OneNote. (And if you really want to use a button, you can always install a third-party plug-in.)

OneNote is a desktop software program you install on your computer's hard drive, with no corresponding online version. Evernote has both a desktop version and also a complete online version, although some features are more robust in the desktop version. The Evernote "Web Clipper" button allows you to save information from webpages straight into the online version of Evernote without needing a copy of the desktop version installed on that computer. You can sync up your desktop and online Evernote applications, and then access all of your saved notes and information from either version.

When it comes to collaborating and sharing notebooks, OneNote offers more features. OneNote lets you privately share notebooks with others on a network (such as a law firm computer network), e-mail static sections to others, and also allows live and private collaboration with others via a peer-to-peer feature called OneNote Live Sharing. Evernote does not allow others to privately access your Evernote information, but you can e-mail static sections of notes to others, or publish sections of your notes publicly on the Internet.

Continue reading this month's Tech Corner for more information about searching text in images.
Evernote and OneNote

   —Stephen Stine, ABA Legal Technology Resource Center

Ask Us! Is there a technology question that's been on your mind? Ask us about it! We may answer your question 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!



This month's
featured benefit:

Fall Conference Materials @ a Discount

What is it?
It's the program and course materials from the sessions presented at the ABA Family Law Fall 2008 CLE Conference. It's also the opportunity to order audio recordings from all the programs.

What's in it for me?
If you couldn't join us at the Camelback Inn in Scottsdale, here's your chance to peruse all the session materials on cd-rom or listen in on the presentations. And hey, even if you were there, you likely didn't make it to all the sessions you wanted to. Why not pick up audio of the sessions you missed out on?

You're Right, I Could Learn Something! How Do I Order These Things?
Well, the course materials are available on cd-rom, which you can purchase through the ABA Web Store. (We've provided a handy link below.) As a Family Law Section member, you'll get a nice discount, too.

The audio is available from Convention Media (also linked below) and can be ordered as audio recordings on cd or MP3s on a cd. You can purchase individual sessions or programming from the entire conference.

Materials on CD-ROM
Purchase cd-rom from the ABA Web Store.

Audio Recordings
Purchase audio recordings from Convention Media.


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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