Divorce HQ.com
   July 2010

Section News

"Families Matter" Symposium Summary
On June 24th and June 25th, the Section of Family Law in partnership with the University of Baltimore, School of Law, held its first "Families Matter Symposium." Approximately 60 lawyers, judges, psychologists and accountants from all over the country met for two days, at their own expense, in order to develop practices and methodologies to lessen the disruptive impact on Family Law litigation. I am pleased that many of our Section members were present.

The symposium was led by facilitator Joe McNeely. The participants were asked to first identify problems in our system. That was the easy part. Next, we were divided into six working groups. Each group was charged with a particular problem area in Family Law, including domestic and family abuse, financial issues, alternative dispute resolution, lack of resources, and children's issues. Then, we reconvened with the entire group to discuss each group's identification of the problems. The remainder of the symposium was focused on coming up with potential solutions to the problems and then to develop ways to implement those solutions. The group ended the symposium by reviewing each of these together, with the promise that the Section of Family Law is committed to carefully analyzing this work and continuing with the project until the much needed change is made.

I would like to thank Scott Friedman, Ed Newman, Pat Lasher, Barbara Babb, Gloria Danziger and everyone who committed their time and effort to making this dream a reality. I would also like to thank Herb Belgrad for assisting with obtaining Justice Bell as our keynote speaker and for organizing a cocktail reception and harbor cruise for our attendees. This symposium has generated a great deal of press for the Section of Family Law. Articles were written in the Baltimore Sun, the Miami Herald and many other publications. Our Section is getting the recognition it deserves, and families are learning that Families Matter!

Mitch Karpf, Chair

Annual Meeting Kicks Off

The ABA Section of Family Law Annual Meeting begins Friday, August 6th. We look forward to seeing you at our "Top Strategies for Taking Your Family Law Practice to the Next Level" program on Friday, and our "Representing the Lawyer in a Divorce" program on Saturday, August 7th. We are also pleased to co-sponsor, "The Best Program for Real Lawyers," with GP Solo. All CLE takes place at the Moscone Center West in San Francisco; the Section of Family Law hotel is the San Francisco Marriott Marquis.

If you haven't registered for Annual Meeting yet, you can do so on-site at the Moscone Center West. Pending availability, you may also purchase tickets for our Section Dinner at Le Colonial Restaurant (Friday, August 6th, 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.) and our Annual Awards Luncheon sponsored by Seiler LLP, Certified Public Accountants, (Saturday, August 7th, noon to 2:00 p.m.).

For more information and to view the Family Law meeting schedule, visit our Annual Meeting website.

Experience Cowboys and Culture at the Fall CLE Conference
(Fort Worth, TX)

Join us this fall as we enjoy various aspects of Texas culture, while having access to some of the best continuing legal education opportunities in the country!

At this wonderful educational networking event, you will have the opportunity to meet and mingle with Justices from the Texas Supreme Court, as the Court pays tribute to family law practitioners and judges throughout our nation. Spearheaded by retired Justice Harriet O'Neill, the Court recently created the Permanent Judicial Commission on Children, Youth and Families, recognizing the importance of this area of the law and its impact upon society. On Thursday, October 21, the Section will honor Justice O'Neill with the prestigious "Friend of the Family" award for her important work in this area.

Superior CLE opportunities will be available, including programs on presenting and challenging mental health testimony; the use of stock options and other forms of executive compensation to calculate support; terminating a client without getting into trouble; and parenting plans for children under age three. A lively and fun-filled musical revue of ethical issues involving family law is sure to entertain, while teaching about critical legal issues. Because many of our CLE programs contain an ethics component, seven hours of ethics credit have been applied for.

The theme of "cowboys and culture" reflects the variety of experiences that Fort Worth offers. Evening events include a Mexican Fiesta with mariachis at Joe T. Garcia's on the North Side and an elegant evening at the Modern Art Museum, where we will dance the night away to "Me & My Monkey," an award-winning Beatles tribute band. You will not want to miss Thursday's luncheon at the City Club, where Dr. Karyn Purvis will discuss developmental issues associated with at-risk children. A tour of the Cultural District, highlighting the world-class Kimbell Art Museum, will be fun for all on Saturday afternoon. During the weekend, cowboy poets from throughout the country will converge on the North Side for Poet Laureate Red Steagall’s Annual Cowboy Gathering.

To make your hotel reservations, see middle column.

Conference registration will be open soon; download the full schedule of events to begin planning your conference experience now!

40-Hour Family Mediation Training Wants You!

Are you a mediator or someone who's interested in mediation? If so, you're encouraged to attend the ABA Family Law 40-Hour Family Mediation Training this November 8-12, 2010, in Boston, MA.

This marks the second year of our training, which is again co-sponsored by Boston Law Collaborative, LLC. All of last year's students lavished praise upon the training and its instructors; many cited it as the best professional training they've ever attended!

ABA Section of Family Law members receive a discount on registration, so make sure you can attend this worthwhile program. Even experienced mediators will learn something new!

There is only space for 30 participants, so visit the 40-Hour Family Mediation Training website for more information and register today!

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: Vanessa Lu, Loyola University Chicago School of Law, "The Plan B Age Restriction Violates a Minor’s Right to Access Contraceptives"

Second place: Katherine Herrmann, Ave Maria School of Law, "Reestablishing the Humanitarian Approach to Adoption: The Legal and Social Change Necessary to End the Commodification of Children"

Third place: Nellie Herchenbach, Saint Louis University School of Law, "Giving Back the Other Mommy: Addressing White v. White's failure to recognize legal parent status following Same-Sex Relationship Dissolution"

Congratulations again to this year's winners, and be on the lookout for information about the 2011 contest!

You will soon be able to read the winning essays online at the Schwab Essay Contest website. (Essays may also appear in a future issue of Family Law Quarterly.)

Spotlight On...
Do you know any unsung ABA Section of Family Law members who should be recognized for their contributions to family law?

E-mail Jean Crowe your nominations for a future "Spotlight On..." feature.


Save 10% and Get Free Ground Shipping Through August 31st!

Use code PAB9ISAV1 at checkout when ordering online.

The Lawyer's Business Valuation Handbook, Second Edition

Shannon Pratt, Alina V. Niculita

Product Code 5130172

Highly technical and often difficult to understand, the subject of business valuation is a critical one for lawyers in many areas, such as family, corporate and tax law, and estate and financial planning. Now updated and expanded, The Lawyer's Business Valuation Handbook is a concise reference book that will help you understand and evaluate expert reports and testimony on business valuation issues. It is a comprehensive, easy-to-use, and authoritative reference on the merits of business valuation positions.

To see a full listing of topics or table of contents, click the "More information" link below.

More information

To order today, call the ABA Service Center at 800-285-2221 and request Product Code 5130172 or order online.

Buy Now!


CLE Calendar

Our next teleconference will occur in September. More details will soon be available on our website and in the August 2010 edition of the eNews.

Fall CLE Conference
October 20-23, 2010
Omni Fort Worth
Fort Worth, TX

Hotel Reservations
Reserve your room now! Our special discounted rate is $199.

Make your reservations before Tuesday, September 28, 2010, 5:00 p.m. CT in order to get this rate; don't forget to mention you'll be attending the ABA Section of Family Law Fall Conference.

Omni Fort Worth
1300 Houston Street
Fort Worth, TX 76102
Tel: 817-535-6664
Visit the hotel website

Conference registration will open soon; visit the Fall Conference website for more information.


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 covers a potpourri of military topics, including UCCJEA/UIFSA/Ethics. Read about this month's topics. (You will need to log in to the ABA website.)

Not on the ESQ list? All of our lawyer members are encouraged to subscribe. 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 Brenda Clarke, CPA, CVA.

Read this month's AICPA Corner: Using an Expert for Asset Tracing (You will need to log in to the ABA website.)

Tech Corner

Legal Research and Other Smartphone Apps for Lawyers

According to the 2010 Legal Technology Survey Report (Vol. II: Law Office Technology), smartphone availability and use in law firms continues to increase. Of the respondents to Vol. VI: Mobile Lawyers, who report using a PDA/smartphone/BlackBerry while away from the office, 16% report regularly and 16% report sometimes using mobile-specific research apps.

Mobile-specific legal research apps include Fastcase and LexisNexis apps for the iPhone. The LexisNexis "Get Cases and Shepardize" iPhone app, introduced in November 2009, allows users to retrieve specific cases by entering citations. Cases include Case Brief overviews, Shepard's Signal indicators, and Shepard's reports with Shepard's Summaries can be generated. The app is free to download but requires a LexisNexis subscription for use.

The Fastcase iPhone app, introduced in January 2010, allows users to browse statutes and search caselaw and statutes using boolean keyword, natural language, and citation search. Fastcase describes it as the "the largest free law library on the iPhone." It is free to download and use, but registering for a free account is required..

Fastcase has also released an app tailored for use with iPads. (Most iPhone apps also work with iPod Touches and iPads, while some apps are tailored specifically to take advantage of the larger screen size or other features of iPads).

Other mobile apps that might appeal to lawyers include:

QuickOffice for the iPhone allows you to create, open, and edit Microsoft Office Word documents and Excel files, and e-mail, view, and access attachments with other common file formats. QuickOffice Connect enables cloud storage.

Documents to Go, with versions for BlackBerry, iPhone, Palm OS, Windows Mobile, and Android phones, generally allows for viewing, editing, and creating of Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files, and viewing of PDF files, as well as other features.

PocketJustice for the iPhone provides abstracts of U.S. Supreme Court opinions and recordings of oral arguments and opinion announcements. Some recordings are accompanied by synchronized, searchable transcripts.

Black's Law Dictionary, 8th Edition, by West, is an iPhone app version of the legal dictionary that's supplemented with hyperlinked cross-references and thousands of recorded word pronunciation guides.

Real Time Congress for the iPhone provides access to real-time legislative process information. The Congress app for Android phones is a Congressional directory that allows you to view information about members of Congress.

Dragon Dictation for iPhones digitally transcribes users' speech for use in documents, e-mail messages, and for other purposes. Dragon E-mail for Blackberry transcribes users' speech for use with e-mail messages.

The Law Pod produces iPhone apps that allow you to search the text of the U.S. Constitution, the U.S. Code, the C.F.R., and several Federal Rules collections.

WaffleTurtle Software produces law-related apps, many of which allow you to search U.S. Code titles, Federal and state rules collections.

The ABA Journal iPhone app provides convenient access to ABA Journal legal news stories and magazine articles.

Related blog posts and articles:

ABA Site-tation:
iPhone and iPad Users: AT&T Discontinues Unlimited Data Plans

iPhone Apps for Lawyers

Smart phone buying guide

   —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!

Also of Interest

AFCC's Ninth Child Custody Symposium
October 28-30, 2010
Hyatt Regency Cambridge
Cambridge, MA

Visit the AFCC website for more information and to download the Symposium brochure.

Income Withholding for Child Support

Request for Comments

The Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement has revised the Income Withholding for Support (IWO) form. As of June 30, 2010, a notice for public comment has been posted to the Federal Register.

Enclosed [linked below] are copies of the proposed IWO form and the instructions for the form. Also enclosed [linked below] is the notice from the Federal Register. Below are the proposed modifications to the IWO form. The changes reflect the intent of Congress to streamline the withholding process and to reduce the burden on employers/income withholders to comply with Section 466 of the Social Security Act.

Elimination of Shading: Shading of sections of the existing IWO form causes problems when it is faxed to employers/income withholders. Vital information is obscured, requiring employers to contact states to resend the form. The shading has been eliminated from the proposed version of the IWO.

Checkbox for Employer Returns: A checkbox has been added to page two of the form for the employer to indicate that the IWO is being returned because it does not direct payments to the State Disbursement Unit (SDU). Instructions for this box have been added to page two, "Payments to SDU."

If you wish to comment on the form, please follow the instructions for public comment in the Federal Register notice. When commenting, please be sure to reference the OMB number associated with the form, i.e., OMB 0970-0154.

Consideration will be given to comments and suggestions submitted within 60 days of the Federal Register notice.


Vicki Turetsky
Office of Child Support Enforcement

Please visit the website for access to these documents.

Advertise in the eNews!

Have a program or product you'd like ABA Section of Family Law members to know about? Advertising in the ABA Section of Family Law eNewsletter is a great way for you to get the kind of targeted exposure you need, and at a very affordable price, too.

For more information, please contact Hilary Glazer.

*Please note that advertising in the ABA Section of Family Law eNewsletter does not constitute an endorsement of the featured program/product.



Your Parenting Plan Client Handbook

What is it?
It's the latest Client Handbook issue from Family Advocate!

What's in it for me?
Technically, the information in Your Parenting Plan is for your clients, but let's not quibble.

Articles will help your clients understand the legal process, their children's developmental needs, and answer many of their questions about parenting plans and coparenting.

Your clients will understand how to share parenting; how to craft age-appropriate parenting plans for their children; when and how to use a parenting plan coordinator; and much more.

How can I purchase the Client Handbook?
You can purchase the Client Handbook in bulk to distribute to your clients. With our special bulk discount pricing, the more you buy, the more you save!

If you'd prefer, you can purchase the PDF copy, which allows you to print out what you need to distribute to clients.

Both versions are available for sale in the ABA Web Store:

Don't forget we have other Client Handbook titles for sale, too. Take a look to see which ones your clients will benefit from, and place your order today!


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

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