July 2009

Section News

Get on the Bus!
Make sure you're on board for the City Tour of Montreal at the Fall CLE Conference this October! Bring your family along and enjoy the sights (and some bagels), or come solo and relax after the day's CLE courses. The tour will take place on Thursday, October 8, from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m., and will include stops at the Notre-Dame Basilica and the summit of Mount Royal.

Tickets must be purchased by August 31st; order yours when you register for the meeting.

Fall CLE Conference: Registration Open

Your brochure is in the mail, but you can always register before you receive it. Just visit our Fall CLE Conference website and register online. Save money by registering before September 4th.

CLE sessions take place on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday mornings (October 8-10). Council will meet on Friday afternoon, and will include a debate on the pros and cons of alimony guidelines. All Section members are encouraged to attend and participate.

Working committee lunches will be held on Friday and Saturday. Tickets are $35 and can be purchased when you register for the meeting.

For more information about CLE courses, social events, and the meeting in general, visit the Fall CLE Conference website.

Early-bird deadline: September 4

Annual Meeting Kicks Off

The ABA Section of Family Law Annual Meeting begins Friday, July 31st. We look forward to seeing you at our "Hot Tips" program on Friday, July 31st, and our Joint Program with GP Solo, "How Solo, Small Firm & Family Law Practice Owners Can Build a More Effective Dream Law Business...That Clients Love...While Working Half the Time." All CLE takes place at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Chicago; the Family Law Section hotel is the Westin Michigan Avenue.

For more information, visit our Annual Meeting website.

Interested in Mediation?
40-Hour Family Mediation Training
November 9-13, 2009
Boston, MA

Whether you're an attorney or one of our associate members (e.g., psychologist), attending the 40-Hour Family Mediation Training will benefit you. You'll not only get an overview of the mediation process (including strategies and skills you could use), but you'll also learn how mediation is used to address a variety of family law issues, including divorce, post-divorce modification, asset division, and custody and parenting arrangements.

The training will involve active participation in addition to lectures and multimedia presentations. Training and role-play coaching will be provided by experienced practitioners and mediators.

Register by the early-bird deadline of August 31, 2009, in order to receive a discount on registration. Discounted registration is available for ABA Section of Family Law members, and members of the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution. If you know of another attorney or professional who might be interested in this program, please feel free to spread the word.

For more information or to register for the program, please visit the Mediation Training website.

Early-bird deadline: August 31

Schwab Essay Contest Winners

This year's contest showcased work from law students across the country, and selecting the winners was no easy task. We would like to thank Jeff Atkinson (Chief Judge) and judges Melanie Brown, Courtney Joslin, Holly Abery-Wetstone, Virginia Hager, and Kelly Murray for their time and dedication.

Congratulations go to this year's winners:

First place: Andrea "Drew" Lehman, USC Gould School of Law, "Inappropriate Injury: The Case for Barring Consideration of a Parent's Homosexuality in Custody Actions"

Second place: Kathleen L. Lee, Indiana University Maurer School of Law, "In Support of a Gender-Neutral Framework for Resolving Selective Reduction Disputes"

Third place: Sean Masson, Hofstra University School of Law, "Cracking Open the Golden Door: A Proposed Amendment to Extend Refugee Status to Spouses Who Have Been Persecuted by China's One-Child Policy"

Upon notification of placing first in the contest, Drew Lehman shared, "This is such an incredible honor. I am so proud to have won such a prestigious contest and to be affiliated with the ABA Section of Family Law."

Congratulations again to this year's winners, and be on the lookout for information about the 2010 contest!

Read the winning essays online. (Essays may also appear in a future issue of Family Law Quarterly.)

Follow Us on Facebook
The ABA Section of Family Law has succumbed to social networking in the digital age! Our Facebook page is now live, and includes upcoming events and CLE opportunities, as well as other information.

If you have a Facebook account, we want to hook up with you! Just visit our Facebook page and become a fan.

2010 Trial Advocacy Institute
The 24th Annual ABA Family Law Trial Advocacy Institute will take place May 22-29, 2010, at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. Those who have attended past TAIs often cite the intensive boot-camp training as the highlight of their career. The Institute accepts a limited number of family lawyers each year so that faculty members can work closely with each student.

We will also be offering an Advanced Trial Advocacy Institute (May 26-29). Past TAI participants are highly encouraged to attend. The focus of the Advanced Institute is "Mental Health Experts & Psychological Testing."

For more information about the Institute, visit the TAI website.

Registration will open November 15, 2009.


The Complete QDRO Handbook, Third Ed.
David Clayton Carrad

Product Code 5130166

A comprehensive resource for effectively handling QDROs and working with all of the parties involved, this updated bestseller provides basic knowledge of all aspects of the substantive law of QDROs plus valuable, step-by-step guidance and advanced techniques for all stages of the drafting and approval process.

This updated edition features an added chapter on current trends and predicted developments in the area, as well as a new analysis of the QDRO Provisions of the Pension Protection Act of 2006. This edition also includes major changes that discuss the effect of the Federal Defense of Marriage Act on QDROs, coverture fractions, and the use of QDRO experts.

Includes cd-rom. More information

To order today, call the ABA Service Center at 800-285-2221 and request Product Code 5130166 or order online.


Best of the List Serve

This month's Best of the FamLawEsq covers bankruptcy and domestic relations, and drafting dependency exemption language. 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 on
Wednesday, August 5

August 5, 2009
Ten Ways That Attorneys Kill Their Own Experts

Faculty will identify common events that neutralize otherwise professionally competent experts and explore how to prevent them. If your case relies on expert testimony, you can't afford to miss this course.
Register today!

Keep an eye out for these other teleconferences:

September 2, 2009
How to Develop an Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) Practice

December 9, 2009
The Love Bug and Other Ethical Issues Arising from the Use of Technological Tools

Call for CLE Proposals
(Deadline: August 7, 2009)

Have a topic or CLE proposal for our Spring 2010 CLE Conference or teleconference? Submit it to us by Friday, August 7th. Our CLE Committee will be meeting soon to discuss program planning for spring, so be sure they consider your ideas.

Download the CLE proposal form

Fall CLE Conference
October 7-10, 2009
Hilton Montreal Bonaventure
Montreal, Canada

Don't forget to book your hotel room by September 8, 2009, at 5:00 p.m. Central time in order to get the special discount rate of $193 (CAD). Given current US/Canadian exchange rates, this is a great deal! Call the hotel directly at 1-514-878-2332 and remember to mention that you're attending the ABA Section of Family Law Fall Conference.

Visit the Fall 2009 CLE Conference website for more information.

40-Hour Family Mediation Training
November 9-13, 2009
Boston, MA

See column at left for more information, and register now by visiting the Mediation Training website.

Stay up-to-date on CLE offerings with our CLE Calendar.

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

AICPA Corner

A column by members of the AICPA's Forensic and Valuation Services Section
This month's column covers Form 8332 requirements and is by Jerome Johnson, CPA/ABV/CFF, CVA Jerome@theforensicfirm.com

Read this month's AICPA Corner: Divorced? Who Can Claim the Child as a Tax Exemption? (You will need to log in to the ABA website.)

Tech Corner

Avoid Loss of Law Firm Data and Business Downtime by Keeping Software Updated

If your firm's computer systems are infiltrated by malware such as viruses and Trojans, you risk losing confidential client information, not to mention business downtime while your systems are being repaired. Safety measures include antivirus software, firewalls, and backing up data. Just as important is keeping your computer software updated.

Software products are not perfect; they may have bugs or security holes that leave your computer vulnerable to viruses and Trojans. When software companies discover holes in their products, they may release updates (or "patches") to help fix the bugs. It's up to you to download and install these updates so your system won't be vulnerable to malware.

As important as it is to keep software up-to-date, many software programs do not automatically inform users when patches are available. Trying to keep track of all the software that may require updating can be a headache, especially given the wide variety of software on most people's computers. The programs below are designed to help!

Windows Update and Microsoft Update are free updating programs from Microsoft. Windows Update is designed to keep users' Windows operating systems up-to-date, and Microsoft Update helps keep both Windows and other Microsoft software (such as Microsoft Office) up-to-date.

Windows XP users require a one-time software installation to use Microsoft Update, available from the Microsoft Update website, while Windows Vista comes with Microsoft Update installed. These Update programs can be set to automatically download and install updates; automatically download updates and prompt users to install the updates; or notify users when updates are available and allow users to choose when to download and install the updates. You can access these programs through the Windows Control Panel (see these instructions from Microsoft), or access them online using Microsoft Internet Explorer at the Windows Update and Microsoft Update websites (use of these programs online requires Microsoft Internet Explorer's Active-X technology). There is also link to Windows Update in the Tools menu of Internet Explorer.

Update notification programs are available to help users manage updates for the wide variety of third-party software often installed on users' computers (including commonly used software like Adobe Flash, Apple QuickTime, and Yahoo! Messenger). Clean Softs Update Notifier ( review) and FileHippo Update Checker ( review) are free, and UpdateStar ( review) has free and Premium versions are available. Secunia Personal Software Inspector ( review) is often mentioned as a useful and free third-party software update notification tool--however, it is licensed only for personal/home use, which presumably would exclude use on law firm computers as commercial usage. The Secunia Online Software Inspector has more limited functionality, but appears not to have restrictions on commercial use, while the Secunia Corporate Software Inspector appears priced for medium and larger corporations.

There are several programs available which perform audits of hardware and software on users' computer systems. Belarc Advisor is often mentioned as a useful free computer auditing tool; however, it is not licensed for commercial use, which would likely exclude its use on law firm computers. Belarc's commercial-use software offerings seem priced for medium and large corporations. System Information for Windows ( review) is a computer auditing program has a business/commercial-use license which starts at $100 for up to 10 computers.

Using the programs mentioned above to keep software patched can help you protect your firm's computer systems from malware; avoid possible theft or loss of law firm data; and avoid debilitating business downtime due to computer problems.

   —Stephen Stine, ABA Legal Technology Resource Center

Ask Us! Have you found a great technology deal somewhere? Is there a technology question that's been on your mind? Tell us or ask us about it! We may feature your info or 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 glazerh@staff.abanet.org. Keep the Tech Corner working for you!



Solo Practitioner Guide

What is it?
It's a roadmap to success for the solo practitioner! This free booklet outlines the many programs and resources available to you as an ABA member.

What's in it for me?
If you already know about all of the ABA programs and resources that can help you and your practice, probably nothing.

But...do you want to take that chance?

Maybe you already know about SoloSez and the Legal Technology Resource Center Hotline. But what about business office overhead insurance? And ABA retirement funds?

Take a moment to peruse the booklet online and discover more benefits of your ABA membership. Remember, the booklet was designed with solos in mind.

Okay, I'll take a look. Where is the booklet?
Just visit
Membership Guide for Solo Practitioners and click on the appropriate link.


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

Contact Information
Section of Family Law
321 N. Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60654
Tel: 312-988-5145
Fax: 312-988-6800

ABA Email Privacy
Your e-mail address will only be used within the ABA and its entities. We do not sell or rent e-mail addresses to anyone outside the ABA. The complete ABA Privacy Statement is posted on ABAnet.org for your review.

Unsubscribe or Update Your Email Address
To change your e-mail address or remove your name from any future general distribution e-mails, use these links:
Update your profile or Unsubscribe.

If you prefer, call us at
800-285-2221 or write to:
American Bar Association
Service Center
321 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60654

American Bar Association
ABA Copyright Statement