Family Law Section Monthly Newsletter
Chair's Message

Happy February, everyone!  One of the highlights of the Bar year is the selection and presentation of the Chair's Visionary Award. 

Historically presented at the Annual Marital and Family Law Review Course, I was honored to be able to present Douglas Avery Greenbaum, skilled attorney, compassionate Guardian ad Litem, and solution-minded mediator, with the 2017 Chair's Visionary Award on Friday, January 27.  Doug has given countless hours of his time and talent to the Family Law Section over at least the last two decades.  He has actively served on the Executive Council for years, always saying "Yes!" to requests to assist - whether it be serving on the Nomination Committee or the Big Bar CLE Committee, planning Section retreats or the Section's Trial Advocacy Workshop, revising the Section's ByLaws, running the committees for General Magistrates and Hearing Officers, Membership or Nomenclature, or staffing the table at the Kozyak Minority Mentoring Picnic, Doug is always at the ready.  He is a shining example of what a committed Executive Council Member looks like, and his vision of Section work - to be inclusive and positive and hardworking - is one I find inspiring.  I hope that you all do, too.  If you see Doug, congratulate him, and let him know how much he is appreciated.  He is one incredibly special human being.

On the heels of the most well-attended Marital and Family Law Review Course in the history of the Section, I would be remiss if I did not shout from the rooftops (or the pages of FAMSEG) a loud and proud "Congratulations on a job well done!" to Aimee Gross, Philip Wartenberg, Bonnie Sockel-Stone and Heather Apicella (along with, of course, Natalie Lemos, President of the AAML, Florida Chapter, Jorge Cestero, liaison to the committee from AAML, Florida Chapter, Susan Duggar Stafford, Administrative Director of the AAML, Florida Chapter, and our Section Administrator, Gabrielle Tollok).  Having been responsible for the seminar, myself, I know exactly how much work goes into executing it successfully, and I honestly believe it was the best ever.  The speakers were spectacular from the start with the irreverently entertaining Charles Fox Miller to the finish with the Caselaw Update delivered by the one and only Cynthia Greene.  I offer my sincere thanks to all the speakers as well as to those who assisted in the preparation of materials and powerpoint presentations.    I want to give a special congratulations to first-time speakers Reuben Doupe and Ronald Kauffman whom I thought brought their absolute best to the 1600 attendees!  I am so proud of and grateful to all of those involved.

Please stay tuned for Legislative Updates as we enter Session; be on the look out for the newest issue of the Commentator; and, please, enjoy the rest of this issue of FAMSEG!  

Stay well, and remember to breathe,
Laura Davis Smith, Esquire
Chair, Family Law Section of the Florida Bar
Upcoming Events

May 18 - 21, 2017 - In-State Retreat.  Islamorada, FL. Info here.

June 21, 2017 - Section Committee Meetings, Boca Raton Resort & Club

June 22, 2017 - Executive Council Meeting

July 20 - 23, 2017 - Trial Advocacy Workshop

September 6 - 10, 2017 - 2017 Out-of-State Retreat

Board Certification:
Bonnie Sockel-Stone, Philip Wartenberg, Laura Davis Smith, Aimee Gross, Heather Apicella and Susan Stafford

Executive Committee Spotlight: 

Favorite Quote:  Don't find fault, find a remedy. -Henry Ford
Something we did not know about you:  I am an extremely shy person.
Favorite Family Law Case:  I have no favorite family law case.  Every case has a purpose and a special meaning to those involved.  I recommend that all attorneys read case law as it makes all of us better attorneys.
Favorite Book:  Les Miserables - it is the story of a person who overcame adversity, and left the world a better place.  He acknowledged his mistakes, he took responsibility for them, and he was able to achieve success.
Favorite TV Show:  Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.  The show deals with current topics.  It is both educational and entertaining.
Favorite Superhero:   Superman
Best Place I Have Traveled to:  Within the United States my favorite place is Glacier National Park and Outside of the United States is Prague.  I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to travel extensively.  I believe that traveling to different countries and interacting with other people and seeing how they live is a great opportunity for personal growth.
Proudest Accomplishment within the Section:  Receiving the Visionary Award for 2017.  The honor of being recognized for doing something that has brought me great pleasure and has allowed me to meet great friends and also enhance my education and knowledge is unbelievable.  The Family Law Section is a great organization which is here to serve Florida's Families.  I do encourage each member of the Family Law Section to become more involved with an organization to make the world a better place.

Section News:

David Manz, of the Florida Keys, received the Florida Bar President's Pro Bono Award for the Sixteenth Judicial Circuit 

David Manz, of the Florida Keys, received the Florida Bar President's Pro Bono Award for the Sixteenth Judicial Circuit in Monroe County. Manz, of Manz Law in Marathon, is an active pro bono participant with Put Something Back and many worthy causes. A leader among the family law bar, he has taken over ten family law and guardianship matters for Put Something Back in the past few years expending hundreds of hours on matters for clients with nowhere else to turn for assistance. 

Out of State Retreat - September 6 - 10, 2017 - Granby, Co

Join Family Law Section colleagues and their families at the out of state retreat from September 6-10, 2017 at the C Lazy U ranch in Granby, Colorado.  Experience true Western hospitality, revitalize, and recharge at a luxury dude ranch in the foothills of the Rocky Mountain National Park!
Space is limited, so register early for this fabulous retreat!  Ranch activities include horse trail rides, archery, mountain biking, hiking, fishing, and much more!  Don't miss this experience of a lifetime! 

We hope you will take advantage of this unique opportunity!

Congratulations to Matt Lundy!

On the birth of his son, Harry, on December 23rd!

Squib of the mon

Koch v. Koch , 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2701 (Fla. 1st  DCA 2016).  Trial court affirmed for prohibiting Father from "discussing ANY religious matters with children" because there was a clear, affirmative showing that the religious activities at issue were harmful to children.  Normally, restrictions against parent's right to expose children to their religious beliefs unless there is a clear affirmative showing that religious activity at issue is harmful to child.
Family Law Section Board Certification Sponsors

Platinum Level:

Gold Level:

Bronze Level:
Call for Articles

The Family Law Section WANTS YOU to write for one of its three publications: The Florida Bar Journal, The Family Law Commentator, and/or FAMSEG.

The Journal: To be considered for publication in The Florida Bar Journal, the a rticle should be scholarly and relate in some manner to family law. It should be twelve to fifteen pages in length, complete with end notes. For more information contact C. Debra Welch or Belinda Lazzara.

The Commentator: The Family Law Sections Glossy Quarterly magazine. Art icles could range from substantive articles to advice about lifestyle and wellness. For more information contact Tenesia Hall or Heather Apicella.

FAMSEG: Got an announcement? Pictures of a section event? Something light and fluffy? FAMSEG is your place! You might have noticed something different in this edition of FAMSEG. So if you have any of the above, or suggestions to improve the look and feel of FAMSEG, contact Eddie Stephens.

We are also having a contest to rename "FAMSEG".  Got a suggestion?  Email us!

Advertise in FAMSEG!
For information: Contact Gabrielle Tollok at