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

   November 2009

Section News

ABA Family Law Trial Advocacy Institute
Denver, CO

The wait is over! Registration for the 24th Annual ABA Family Law Trial Advocacy Institute (TAI) is now open. Register for the weeklong course (May 22-29, 2010) and become a better trial lawyer in just 7 days!

Our expert faculty will mentor you, train you, and give you personalized attention and feedback to help you refine your skills. The Institute accepts a limited number of family lawyers each year so that faculty members can work closely with each student. Small group sessions and video reviews also enhance your learning experience.

If you've already attended an ABA TAI program, take your career one step further by registering for the ABA Family Law **Advanced** Trial Advocacy Institute. The Advanced program will take place May 26-29, 2010, and enrollment is limited to 12 attorneys. The focus of the Advanced Institute is "Mental Health Experts & Psychological Testing."

ABA Section of Family Law members receive a discount on registration. We're also pleased to offer discounted group registration. For more information, or to register, visit the ABA TAI website.

Call for CLE Proposals
Have a great idea for a family law CLE program? Now's the time to tell us!

Our CLE Committee is currently accepting proposals for 2010-2011 CLE programming; the deadline is January 15, 2010.

If you have an idea for a CLE program (one-hour session or 2.5 hour plenary) or teleconference (90 min.), just fill out the appropriate form linked below and return it to us via facsimile at 312-988-6800.

CLE Proposal Form

Teleconference Proposal Form

Not sure where to begin? Take a look at some of our previous CLE programs ( one-hour; plenaries) to get an idea of what we've done. You can also browse our Fall 2009 CLE Conference brochure.

All proposals must be submitted by January 15, 2010 in order to be considered.

LEI 27th National CLE Conference
Time to register for the 27th National CLE Conference in Vail, Colorado, where you will combine top-notch Family Law Education taught by nationally recognized family law practitioners with Invaluable Networking Opportunities, all while enjoying World-Class Skiing and Luxurious Resort Accommodations, January 6-10, 2010! Don’t wait...the snow is deep and the adventure of a lifetime awaits YOU!

This conference is co-sponsored by the ABA Section of Family Law. To register for the conference, visit the LEI website.

Join the ABA Emergency Management in Family Law Task Force
Barbara Gislason, Chair of the ABA Emergency Management in Family Law Task Force, is looking for ABA Family Law Section members to join the Task Force and support its mission.

Who should join? Anyone is welcome, but we especially encourage those who have been affected by hurricanes, floods, and terrorist acts. If you're capable of thinking outside the box about what contributions the Task Force can make not only with regard to the preparedness of our own section members, but also what we can contribute to the ABA-wide effort to develop the ABA Disaster Law Resources website, we encourage you to contact Barbara for more information.

You should also get in touch with Barbara if you're conversant on subjects like using the social media to support a culture of preparedness. Barbara Gislason may be contacted at

Children and Disasters
The ABA Section of Family Law received the following message from Robert (Bob) Horowitz, Director of Professional Services, ABA (Washington, D.C).

The ABA President's Office received the interim report of the National Commission on Children and Disasters. We have been invited to review the initial recommendations and help implement changes "to end the cycle of benign neglect of children in disaster planning and management."

Whereas the report is not yet final, there is also an opportunity to share with the Commission any additional recommendations or comments.

Needless to say, if any of you have suggestions or wish to share this with others who might, feel free to.

Please click the link above to read the report, and send any feedback to by November 23.

40-Hour Family Mediation Training a Success!
The ABA Section of Family Law held its first 40-Hour Family Mediation Training in Boston, MA, in early November. Hosted by Boston Law Collaborative, LLC, the program allowed attendees to learn via lectures, demonstrations, and role-playing exercises. Participants not only honed their problem-solving and active listening skills, but also received feedback from experienced mediators.

Program topics included the basic structure of a divorce mediation, alimony and child support, gender and diversity issues, mediation in the age of technology, alternatives to mediation, and much more.

The Section would like to thank Boston Law Collaborative, LLC--especially Israela Brill-Cass (Executive Director and ADR Program Manager, BLC) and Lead Trainer David Hoffman--for their assistance in putting on this program.

If you weren't able to attend this special training, we will be holding another in the future. Keep an eye on the ABA Section of Family Law website for more information, or bookmark the Section's Calendar of Events page.


101+ Practical Solutions for the Family Lawyer,
Third Ed.
(includes cd-rom)

Gregg Herman, Editor

Product Code 5130167

New edition! A collection of practice-proven tips from leading family lawyers, 101+ Practical Solutions for the Family Lawyer is full of straightforward information that you can apply immediately to your own practice. This updated edition also includes a cd-rom with the book's numerous forms, sample letters, agreements, charts, and checklists ready to be customized for your practice.

This collection is comprised of material presented at the popular "Hot Tips from the Experts" program offered each year during the ABA's Annual Meeting. The program's presenters are experienced professionals, including lawyers, judges, CPAs, and psychologists, who offer their real-world experience in a concise tip that can help improve your family law practice.

The third edition features 23 new tips that have been presented since the last edition was published in 2003.

The book's tips are divided into fifteen areas, including client relations, fees, office practice, custody, discovery, trial techniques, support, avoiding malpractice, discovery, premarital agreements, tax issues, retirement plans, valuation, settlement, and evidence, plus a final section on issues a lawyer faces after the client's divorce is final.
More information

To order today, call the ABA Service Center at 800-285-2221 and request Product Code 5130167 or order online.

Buy Now!


CLE Calendar

December 9, 2009

"The Love Bug" and Other Ethical Issues Arising from the Use of Technological Tools

***Ethics Credit***

If you missed this program at the Spring CLE Conference in Baltimore, now's your chance to attend! Faculty will address ethical issues that arise from the increasing use of technological tools by family law attorneys and litigants, including issues that arise from the use of spyware on computers, metadata, electronic surveillance, recording devices, and website advertising.

Register today!

ABA Family Law Spring CLE Conference
April 14-17, 2010
New Orleans, LA

Jambalaya, crawfish pie, and CLE gumbo are on the table at our spring conference in New Orleans!

Reserve your hotel room at the Hotel Monteleone now. We've got a special discount rate of $205. Rate expires March 16, 2010, at 5:00 p.m. Central, so don't delay. Call the hotel at 866-338-4684 to make your reservations . Remember to mention that you'll be attending the ABA Family Law Spring CLE Conference.

Our website has been updated and now includes a preliminary (tentative) schedule so you can begin making your travel arrangements. (Note that the Saturday afternoon committee meetings run until 1:45 p.m., so stick around to attend them. The Friday & Saturday afternoon committee meetings focus on topical areas of family law, and are open to all registrants.)

We've also added directions to the hotel, a map, and a special "New Orleans Lagniappe" (lexicon). The glossary includes everything from pronunciation of street names to types of food and phrases you might hear in the Crescent City.

Visit the Spring Conference Website

2010 Trial Advocacy Institute
Registration open

See column at left for more information or visit the TAI website.

Free CLE Credit at Midyear
Diversity on the Bench: Is the 'Wise Latina' A Myth?

The National Conference of Federal Trial Judges (NCFTJ) invites you to attend this informative and provocative program on Saturday, February 6, 2010, from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the ABA Midyear Meeting in Orlando, FL.

The distinguished panel aims to educate judges and lawyers in every field about the potential effect of judges' race, gender and other demographic characteristics in certain types of cases, and to encourage judges, lawyers, and others to consider how to ensure that "the rule of law" prevails, by promoting accuracy, fairness, consistency, and predictability in the justice system in light of the disparities documented in recent studies. This program is co-sponsored by the ABA Section of Family Law.

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

Best of the List Serve

This month's Best of the FamLawEsq looks at the UCCJEA and UIFSA Intersection with Uniform Parentage Act; disputes over children's vaccinations; and income taxes and the dependency exemption. Read 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.

AICPA Corner

A column by members of the AICPA's Forensic and Valuation Services Section
This month's column is by Cheryl B. Hyder, MT, CPA, CFE, CVA, and Stacy Preston Collins, CPA/ABV, CFF.

Read this month's AICPA Corner: Beware of the Risk of Financial Fraud in a Divorce (You will need to log in to the ABA website.)

Tech Corner

This Year's Stocking Stuffer: The Mini Netbook

In the July 2008 eNews Tech Corner, we addressed Subnotebooks/Ultramobile Laptop Computers: Highly Portable and Affordable? We speculated that these computers appealed to users who not only wanted laptop computers to be smaller and more lightweight, but also wanted Smartphones to have larger keypads and screens for easier web browsing and typing. Since that time, the options in this niche market have exploded into what is popularly referred to as a netbook (short for Internet notebook).

A typical netbook display is 7 to 10 inches wide with a correspondingly small keyboard. Netbooks have built-in Wi-Fi, Ethernet, USB ports and slots for flash memory cards. Netbooks eschew an optical (DVD/CD) drive to maintain a lightweight, slender figure, typically three pounds or less. Netbooks can be found in the $300-$500 price range, but offerings from wireless service providers AT&T, Sprint and Verizon can be even cheaper. These devices may not cost as much initially, but you may find yourself stuck with a lower powered netbook and bound by a two-year contract. Current netbook offerings include a 160GB or greater hard drive, a far cry from the 2 GB capacity of the early models. Netbooks can be purchased in a variety of colors which adds an additional degree of excitement . Netbooks are probably better suited as a backup computer or travel partner. In the article "Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Netbooks," legal technologist Brett Burney surmised that the top two things lawyers do on a computer are 1) email, and 2) surfing the Web, making the netbook an ideal choice. However, the features that make netbooks so popular--small size, light weight, and portability--are the same features that make it a less than ideal candidate to be your primary workstation. A 2008 Wall Street Journal article declared notebook computers to be "inherently unergonomic--unless you're 2 feet tall." What about netbooks, which are even smaller? Despite the increases in processing power and storage capacity, for longer term mobile computing work, a conventional laptop computer that will accommodate full-sized accessories would be the healthier choice.

Netbooks have been shipping with Linux and Windows XP operating systems, but just in time for the holidays, a new crop of netbooks will be shipping with the Microsoft Windows 7 version for Netbooks: Windows 7 Starter edition. However, USA Today reported that Windows 7 Starter lacks key features. Windows 7 Starter Edition is a low-cost, stripped-down version of the new operating system developed specifically for netbooks. It offers limited user display options and does not support an external monitor or DVD player. For those desiring additional functionality and options, Windows 7 Starter Edition will give users the option to upgrade to Windows 7 Home Premium edition for an additional $80. Visit the Microsoft website for more information.

With the holiday season around the corner, most computer manufacturers have a netbook or mini model. This can make for an overwhelming array of choices. However, the Dell, HP and Toshiba models profiled in the CNET reviews of the best netbooks and ultraportable laptops are available to ABA members at preferred pricing through the ABA Member Advantage program. Be sure to visit ABA Member Advantage for more information about member discounts and benefits.

Additional Resources

Update on Windows 7 (LTRC site-tation)

For the Health of It--Computer Accessories (LTRC site-tation)

The Digital Edge--An Attorney's New Best Friend: The Netbook (Joel Braithwaite for The Young Lawyer)

Everything you ever wanted to know about netbooks for ABA GP Solo Technology eReport

CNET reviews of select netbooks

Thinking about a netbook? (Brian Peterson's West Virginia Legal Weblog post linking to two netbook reviews)

Netbooks: The Next Big Thing? (Steven J . Richardson's Legal Technology Blog post)

Can a Netbook REPLACE Your Workhorse Laptop? (Ross Kodner's Ross Ipsa Loquitur blog post)

Is a Netbook right for you? (Alicia A. Slade for Pennsylvania Family Lawyer)

   —Tonya Johnson, 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 Keep the Tech Corner working for you!



Bilingual Handout for Divorce Clients

20+ Frequently Asked Questions about Divorce--in Spanish and English

What is it?
New from Family Advocate, this bilingual handout for divorce clients offers Spanish/English answers to common questions about the legal process, property division, custody, taxes, and more. Purchase and download the pdf, then print out what you need.

What's in it for me?
The opportunity to provide your Spanish-speaking clients (and your English-speaking clients) with information they can use in an easy-to-read format.

Each question and answer is printed in both languages. Sample questions include: Can I read my spouse's mail or e-mail? Can I change the locks? How long will the divorce take?

And, since the product is a downloadable pdf, you can purchase and begin using immediately. (No need to wait by the mailbox!)

Sounds great, how do I get it?
Just visit the
ABA Web Store to purchase and download. Or visit our link from the Client Handbook page.


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

Contact Information
Section of Family Law
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Fax: 312-988-6800

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