Don't worry, you can still attend.
Register on-site at the Hilton Montreal Bonaventure.

   September 2009

Section News

Last Call for Montreal
Although Friday, September 25th, is the last day to pre-register for the ABA Family Law Fall CLE Conference, you're still welcome to join us in Montreal this October 7-10. If you're in the area and want to pick up CLE credits, just stop by the hospitality room and register on-site. You'll be able to network, learn more about family law issues, and discover tips that will help you in your practice.

CLE credit is also available for those who practice in Canada; the ABA's provider number (numéro du dispensateur) is 5418603.

We would like to thank MarcumRachlin, a division of Marcum LLP, and all of our other sponsors and exhibitors for helping us make this conference possible.

During the conference, make sure you stop by our exhibitor booths to see how their products and services can assist you in your practice. (You'll also have a chance to win a great prize if you play our Exhibitor Bingo game!)

Visit the Conference website for more information.

Spotlight On...
For all of his tireless work for the Family Law Section, we are honored and proud to pay tribute to Mark Sullivan in our first "Spotlight On" feature.

Mark Sullivan

Mark Sullivan is truly a lawyer who "gives back." He organized, recruited lawyers for, and maintained "Operation Stand-by," which is a list of family law attorneys who volunteer to provide information about the law in their jurisdictions gratis to JAG officers and military troops stationed far from home.

He wrote The Military Divorce Handbook for the ABA Section of Family Law, which should be required reading and study for anyone representing a service-member or spouse of a service-member in a divorce.

He has organized, produced and taught at numerous one-day conferences held in conjunction with the Section of Family Law Spring or Fall Conferences, for JAG officers and family law attorneys. He has chaired the Military Committee for the Family Law Section. He is always ready to help where he can.

Mark was admitted to practice law in Ohio in 1971 and in North Carolina in 1976. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law. Before entering private practice in 1978, he served as a JAG officer in the Army for four years, and he is a retired colonel in the Army Reserves, with over 30 years of commissioned service. He practices law in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Mark has been married "for a long time" to Teri, who is a reading teacher and tutor. They have two grown children: Anne, who just graduated from NC State University's Agricultural Institute, and is now working at a local veterinarian hospital; and Greg, a musician, whose band is called Old Avenue. Most musicians have day jobs and Greg's day job is working in Mark's law office.

While Mark does not yet have any grandchildren, he does have two dogs to play with, if this dynamo ever has any spare time. An avid reader and history buff, Mark has a special interest in World War II.

Now for the things you really never knew about Mark: He is a gardener, who loves to grow things, such as tomatoes, in his back yard; he sings bass in the Spiritual Choir at Sacred Heart Cathedral and once led a barbershop quartet (called the BareAssters) while in law school at U.Va.; he collects OLD Uncle Scrooge comic books, and he loves listening to recorded books.
Now that you know Mark, be sure to say hello to him at the next Family Law meeting. He's a great guy to call a friend!

-- Do you know any ABA Section of Family Law members who deserve to be recognized for their contributions to family law? E-mail Jean Crowe your nominations.

Be a Leader in the ABA Section of Family Law
Now that you've read all about Mark's contributions, doesn't it inspire you to get more involved in the Section of Family Law? Start by running for a leadership or Council position!

Nominations are being sought for the following positions:

Chair-elect (one-year term)
Vice Chair (one-year term)
Secretary (one-year term)
At-Large Council Representatives (three positions; three-year term)
Region I Representative (three-year term) -- Region composed of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware
Region VI Representative (three-year term) -- Region composed of Alaska, Washington, Nevada, California, Hawaii, Oregon

To be considered for nomination, submit a letter of interest by November 1, 2009. Send your letter (e-mail with Word attachment preferred) to Section Director Paula Nessel, e-mail and Chair-elect Debra Lehrmann, e-mail

You'll also need to submit a Nomination Data Form. You can download this form, and find more details about what to include with your letter of interest, on the Nominations page.

Be sure to read the description of responsibilities and duties, too, so you know what's expected of you.

We look forward to receiving your letters of interest.


Confronting Mental Health Evidence
John A. Zervopoulos Ph.D., J.D.

Product Code 5130156

Confronting mental health issues and materials in family law cases is often confusing, and, at times, daunting. But this analytical and thoughtful book will provide lawyers a practical guide by which to address the key question to mental health professionals, "How do you know what you say you know?" and effectively challenge these experts' work and opinions.

More information

To order today, call the ABA Service Center at 800-285-2221 and request Product Code 5130156 or order online.


CLE Calendar

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

Registration extended through October 16, 2009.

If you have even the slightest interest in mediation, take advantage of this special training opportunity.

You'll 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 program is open not only to lawyers, but also our Associate members. You won't want to miss being trained by experienced practitioners and mediators! (Lead trainer: David Hoffman, Esq.)

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

November 18, 2009

Getting Paid for the Work You Do: How to Increase Your Income from Domestic Relations Cases

This program will provide information about evergreen retainers, provisions to include in fee agreements, and the pros/cons of suing a client. You'll also learn how to bill effectively and debate value billing versus hourly billing, along with many other useful tips.

Save the date; registration will be opening soon.

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!

2010 Trial Advocacy Institute
Registration opens
November 15, 2009.

For extensive (and intensive) trial advocacy training, you need to learn from the best. That's just what we have lined up for you this spring (May 22-29, 2010, at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law).

Our expert faculty will mentor you, train you, and help you become a better lawyer in just seven days. The Institute accepts a limited number of family lawyers each year so that faculty members can work closely with each student. Small group sessions also enhance your learning experience.

The Advanced Trial Advocacy Institute program is back! Past TAI participants are highly encouraged to attend this course May 26-29, 2010. The focus of the Advanced Institute is "Mental Health Experts & Psychological Testing."

For more information about the Institute visit the TAI 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

Best of the List Serve

This month's Best of the FamLawEsq looks at research on joint legal custody. Other topics include evicting a former live-in partner and father's traditional role with children. 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.

AICPA Corner

A column by members of the AICPA's Forensic and Valuation Services Section
This month's column is by Carlton R. Marcyan, JD/CPA/CFP.

Read this month's AICPA Corner: How to Use Financial Experts More Effectively or How to Avoid CPA Rage (You will need to log in to the ABA website.)

Tech Corner

Securing Your Tech: More Than Just Data

Most discussions about security and technology revolve around data security, including topics like virus protection and data backup. Given the importance of electronic data in the modern law office, this focus is not only appropriate, but necessary. Nevertheless, there are other security issues that attorneys must consider, and one such issue is the physical security of their technology.

Lapses in physical security frequently lead to data breaches. Smartphones, thumb drives, and other portable devices are easily--and frequently--lost. Laptops loaded with sensitive information have been stolen or misplaced. Computers that should be secured are accessed by unauthorized individuals. In a range of situations, sensitive data is exposed or put at risk due to a simple lack of physical security.

The following are some tips you can use to keep your technology--and your data--secure:

* Use a computer lock. Most laptops, desktop computers, and larger peripherals (like monitors and printers) sold today have small slots called "K-slots" or "security slots" that allow owners to attach a computer lock. The locks themselves are sold by various vendors, including Kensington and Belkin, and feature a metal cable and either a key or combination lock. The cable should be attached to something solid and immovable; putting it around a desk leg won't help if the desk can be lifted and the cable removed.

* Control access. Know who has access to your technology--co-workers, cleaning staff, outside contractors--and secure it appropriately. Also consider access when you're outside of the office. Don't leave your laptop unattended in a coffee shop while you go for a refill; don't leave unlocked technology sitting around in your hotel room; don't leave your laptop bag sitting in plain view in the back of your car while you run into the mall. Failing to control access to your technology is an invitation to disaster.

* Mark your technology. There are many solutions for marking your technology to indicate ownership, including etching and permanent asset tags/stickers. These markers make your devices less desirable to thieves and can help you recover technology that's simply misplaced.

* Be inconspicuous. Keeping your laptop in an obvious laptop bag makes it an easy target for thieves. Instead, try putting it in a smaller protective laptop sleeve and then carry that around inside a regular backpack or other bag.

* It's not just the computers. Laptops and other big-ticket items tend to get the most attention, but from a security and confidentiality standpoint, losing a $10 thumb drive or a $0.50 burned CD could be just as devastating if it contains sensitive information. Consider the value and importance of stored data when formulating your security strategy.

   —Joshua Poje, 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!



ABA Member Advantage

What is it?
A program that offers you great discounts on products and brands you already know and love.

What's in it for me?
Um...discounts. Need we say more?

Okay, fine. Participating companies include Lands' End, Brooks Brothers, HP, Hertz, Toshiba, Whirlpool, Office Depot, Xerox, and many more. (Even FTD, so you can send flowers and gifts to your friendly ABA Family Law staffers.) :)

I'm convinced, sign me up!
That's the beauty of ABA Member Advantage; you don't need to sign up for anything--you're already enrolled! Visit the
Member Advantage website to learn more.


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

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