The Florida Bar Family Law Section Monthly Newsletter
Co-editors: Ron Kauffman and Eddie Stephens

When I planned this year's theme of appropriate advocacy, one of the key components  was the revision and republication of the "Bounds of Advocacy," which focuses on goals for family lawyers in Florida.  Originally published by the Family Law Section in 2004, the " Bounds of Advocacy was a Florida - specific adaptation of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers publication by the same name.

Through the years, the  Bounds has been seen as an in valuable work that guides practitioners through the ethical dilemmas unique to families and family law in Florida. I personally received a copy when I first entered into private practice, and it became a go - to resource for me when I was a young lawyer. Over the years, and since the Bound s' original publication in 2004, we have experienced major changes not only in the law, but in technology, ethics and professionalism. As a result, it became clear that it was time to revise the publication to once again make it a key resource for all attorneys who handle family law issues  in Florida

I am incredibly happy and proud to report that our Ad Hoc Bounds of Advocacy Committee led by Richard West and Melinda Gamot and assisted by members Judge Scott Bernstein , Dr. Deborah Day , Maria Gonzalez , Ky Koch , David Manz , retired judge Ray McNeal and Ashley Myers finalized the revision of the publication. The committee, a group of some of the most experienced family law professionals from throughout the state, worked incredibly hard to produce this revised publication, and the committee's work was approved for publication by the Family Law Section Executive Council  earlier this year.  

As a section, we are hopeful that this publication will help increase the level of professionalism and civility as well as increase awareness and observance of the ethical issues unique to the practice of family law. Committee C o-chair Richard West stated, "We hope family lawyers will use the Bounds to better serve our clients, our system of justice and our individual practices by reducing the emotional and financial costs of family law conflicts;"  and C ommittee C o-chair Melinda Gamot commented, "We strive to raise the level of positive behaviors for the lawyers and their clients." 

An electronic copy of the revised " Bounds of Advocacy " will be available to the public later this month on our website, and our members will be receiving their own printed cop ies.  Look for your copy in the mail soon! 

Nicole L. Goetz, Naples
Chair, Family Law Section of The Florida Bar
2018-19 Leadership Slate

It is with great pleasure that the Family Law Section's Nominating Committee presents the following slate for leadership for the 2018-2019 Bar year, to be presented for installation by acclamation at our annual luncheon on June 13 at the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek.

Executive Committee

Chair, Abigail Beebe
Chair-Elect, Amy Hamlin
Treasurer, Douglas Greenbaum
Secretary, Heather Apicella
Immediate Past Chair, Nicole L. Goetz

Executive Council
(terms ending June 2022*)
Lauren Alperstein
Reuben Doupe
Anastasia Garcia
Andrea Reid
Kimberly Rommel-Enright
Robin Scher
C. Debra Welch
Maxine Williams
*Shannon Carlyle will fill  Heather Apicella's term ending 2020 in light of Ms. Apicella's nomination as Secretary.
Please join us at the Family Law Section's June luncheon --- held in conjunction with The Florida Bar Annual Convention --- to see the presentation of the slate, to vote and to congratulate all of the worthy candidates!
Section Room Block C loses May 4 for May 25-28 In-State Retreat  

Make your hotel  reservation  and register online today!

Please join your Family Law Section colleagues for networking, CLE and fun during the annual in-state retreat and executive council meeting at the newly renovated  JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort You'll earn 2.0 credits during Saturday's CLE, "Bias: Not That There is Anything Wrong With It! Understanding the Role of Cognitive Bias in Case Resolution," by Jill Kelderman, PhD ABPP and John F. Schutz. Options on the schedule include a 10,000-island wave runner tour, a trolley trip to Naples, a dolphin watch and shelling tour, and a day at the beach. Additional registration is required for some of the outings. We hope to see you there!
Special Thanks to Our Retreat Platinum Sponsor

In-State Retreat Sponsorships

Be a sponsor for the upcoming Family Law Section In-State RetreatPromote your company or firm to retreat attendees--- a unique opportunity to present your business and product to a number of elite family law attorneys and ancillary professionals. Each sponsorship is limited to one company, and is being offered on a first come, first served basis.

Interested? Please contact Sponsorship Committee Co-chairs Matt Lundy and  Beth Luna or Section Administrator Gabrielle Tollok at or (850) 561-5650 for details.
Registration Now Open: The  Florida Bar 2018 Annual Convention
Network with your colleagues during The Florida Bar Annual Convention June 13 - 16 at the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek.  Download the brochure and register online for one of the many CLEs, special events and meetings. Annual Convention hotel reservations also are available; book now to reserve your space.

The Family Law Section has a busy schedule in conjunction with The Florida Bar Annual Convention. Everyone is welcome to attend the section's events* and committee meetings. If you have not yet gotten involved with a section committee, please  review the schedule and come join your section colleagues at a committee meeting that interests you. 
*You must sign up for the Membership Awards & Installation Luncheon through Florida Bar Annual Convention registration. Register online or download the form.

Wednesday, June 13
  • 8-9 a.m. Membership Breakfast
  • 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Committee Meetings
  • 12-1 p.m. Membership Awards & Installation Luncheon*
  • 6-8 p.m. Membership Reception
Thursday, June 14
  • 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. Executive Council Meeting
You can find all Family Law Section schedule and registration information for Annual Convention at this link . We hope to see you there!
Stephens' Squibs
Click  HERE  for this month's Squibs family law case summaries .

Squib of the Month: Erlinger v. Fererico, 43 Fla.L.Weekly D6060 (Fla. 1st DCA 2018). Trial court properly denied second motion to recuse based on Judge's statement wife "does just what she wants," judge made facial expressions and had "highly questionable rulings in the past." It is well settled that a judge may form mental impressions and opinions during the course of a hearing. Mere characterizations and gratuitous comments, while offensive to the litigants, do not in themselves satisfy the threshold requirement of a well-founded fear of bias or prejudice.  Non-verbal expressions do not provide grounds for disqualification.

Leadership Retreat & Fall Meeting: Scholarships Available
Mark your calendars for the Aug. 22-25 Family Law Section Leadership Retreat and Fall Meeting at The Colony Hotel in Palm Beach.

The section offers five, $500 scholarships for individuals to attend the retreat. The section will waive the retreat registration fee and reimburse each scholarship recipient up to $500 after receipt of proof of payment for travel and hotel expenses. Other expenses over and above $500 are the participant's responsibility, and each participant must attend all retreat meetings and functions. 

To apply, you must:
a] be a member in good standing of The Florida Bar.
b] be an active member of the Family Law Section of The Florida Bar.
c] affirm under oath that without the scholarship, you cannot attend the course.

Please email your completed application to Family Law Section Treasurer Amy Hamlin at no later than Friday, June 1, 2018.
Family Law Section Annual and Semi-Annual Sponsors  

Platinum Level

Gold Level

Bronze Level
Executive Council  Member Profile: Tenesia Hall
Legal Aid Society of the Orange County Bar Association
Tenesia and Andre Hall

Who is someone who inspires you? 
My children inspire me to be the best version of myself that I can be.

How do you define success?  I define success as being able to make a positive change in someone's life, even if it's in the smallest way. 
Why do you practice family law? Our  families are our most important treasures. 
What is something few people know about you?  Few people know that I am an introvert. Some strongly disagree with me when I tell them.   
Favorite quote?  "Be the change you wish to see in the world."

Favorite family law case?  My favorite case is my first case. My client, the mother, sent her child to Florida for summer timesharing. While the child was here, my client served the father with child support modification papers. The father became so upset he refused to return the child at the end of the summer, filed a DCF abuse report and obtained an emergency timesharing order. Four months later, the timesharing case and DCF investigation were closed without findings of abuse, and the child was returned to my client. 

Favorite book and why?  The Bible of course. The Bible is one of the oldest books that I have read, and by far the most revered. It provides my foundation.   
Favorite TV show and why?  "This is Us." The characters are beautifully flawed and the storylines are captivating. 
Favorite song lyric?  "Feels so good, when you're doing all the things that you want to do... Get the best out of life, treat yourself to something new." - Mary J. Blige's "Just Fine"
Favorite superhero?  Black Panther recently dethroned Wonder Woman. 
Best place you have traveled?  Paris, France.

Proudest accomplishment within the section?  My proudest accomplishment is the completion of the Domestic Violence brochure. 

What benefits do you receive as a result of your section participation?  Section participation provided me with the opportunity to make systemic changes through legislative changes, drafting new forms, learning different nuances in the law, and networking with attorneys and affiliates throughout the state.

Coffee or tea?  Tea.

If you were stranded on a desert island, what three items could you not live without?  A satellite phone (to maintain contact with my family), a water filtration system, and a waterproof and well-padded sleeping bag.
Alberto Romero Making a Difference Award
Please submit nominations by May 31, 2018, for the  Family Law Section's  2018 Alberto Romero Making a Difference Award. The award recognizes the work of section members and affiliates who provide outstanding pro bono se rvices, engage in significant volunteer community activities that improve the lives of Florida's children and families and encourage other section members to volunteer. Magistrate Diane Kirigin, a former section chair, founded the award.  Eddie Stephens  was the 2017 recipient.

The Alberto Romero Making a Difference Awards will be presented at the Family Law Section's Annual Luncheon in June. The section will select one member and one affiliate member to honor for their service and commitment to their communities. If you have questions, please contact  Robin Scher  at (561) 626-5640 or . Details are at this link .
Call for Articles
The Family Law Section WANTS YOU to write for one of three publications: 
  • JournalTo be considered for publication in The Florida Bar Journal, the article should be scholarly and relate in some manner to family law. It should be 12-15 pages in length, complete with end notes. 
  • Commentator: The Family Law Section's glossy quarterly magazine. Articles could range from substantive articles to advice about lifestyle and wellness.
  • FAMSEG: Have an announcement? Pictures of a section event? Something light and fluffy? FAMSEG is your place! Please contact Editor Ron Kauffman.
For more information about section publications, please contact Publications Committee Co-chairs  C. Debra Welch  or  Lori Caldwell-Carr .
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