Spring has arrived and it is important to take time to remember how many changes have occurred in just one year — to both our personal and professional endeavors.    
Many people make New Years’ resolutions on or about January 1 every year, but I encourage you to revisit your resolutions in this time of renewal, and revise them if necessary. The world is an ever-changing place, and we continue to learn and grow each day and through each experience. This is the perfect time, as the world is opening back up, to think outside of ourselves and create goals that also benefit humankind. 
The Family Law Section will, again, have our annual section meetings and awards ceremony on June 9, using a virtual platform. Please mark your calendars to celebrate our achievements and welcome the new incoming executive committee, including the installation of Heather Apicella as the new Chair of the Family Law Section.

In closing, I want to leave you a quote from Mahatma Ghandi, “Honest disagreement is often a good sign of progress.” I couldn't agree more.

I look forward to seeing you at our In-State Retreat next month.

Douglas A. Greenbaum, Chair
Dear Members: We are sharing today's press announcement regarding our Section's position on HB 1559. We urge you to share this with your lawmakers and constituents. Thank you for your continued hard work on behalf of Florida's families!

Douglas A. Greenbaum, Chair, Family Law Section
Social Security & Divorce:
Things Every Divorce Lawyer Need To Know
Thurs., April 15 & Thurs., May 6, 12:00 - 12:30 p.m.
Board-Certified Family Lawyer Rana Holz of Rubinstein & Holz, P.A., Fort Myers, will share insights regarding how to get important information to assist both attorneys and clients in evaluating how Social Security contributions and entitlement impact financial issues in divorce, including property distribution and support needs and obligations. 
Part 1 - Thurs., April 15, at 12:00 p.m.:
Social Security Basics, Entitlement and Alimony Considerations

Part II - Thurs., May 6, at 12:00 p.m.:
Property Distribution, Child Support and Case Law

2019 Social Security Facts
·      64.1 million people received some form of Social Security Benefits.
·      117.9 million workers contributed to Social Security.
·      The number of women who received benefits only as a dependent declined to 19%.
·      At the same time, 24% of all women eligible for benefits have dual entitlement
·      2.8 million children under age 18 received Social Security benefits in 2019.

If you know someone who has gone above and beyond the recommended pro bono case or occasional community involvement in a truly exceptional way, making the lives of others better, then we encourage you to nominate them for the Family Law Section of The Florida Bar's 2021 Alberto Romero Making a Difference Award. Nominations are open through April 30, and you can download the form HERE.

The Award recognizes the work of Section members and affiliates who provide outstanding pro bono services, engage in significant volunteer community activities that improve the lives of Florida's children and families, and encourage other Section members to volunteer. Recent recipients of this distinguished award are Eddie Stephens of West Palm Beach (2017), Sarah Sullivan of Jacksonville (2018) and Harriet Williams of Tallahassee (2019), and Kimberly Rommel-Enright of West Palm Beach (2020).

The Chair, on behalf of the Family Law Section of The Florida Bar, presents the Alberto Romero Making a Difference Award at the annual awards and installation luncheon at The Florida Bar Annual Convention in June.

For any additional information, please contact Robin Scher at or call (561) 626-5640.  

Reservations are now OPEN for the Family Law Section's annual In-State Retreat, taking place - in person! - Thursday, May 13 - Sunday, May 16 at the Hutchinson Shores Resort & Spa in Jensen Beach. To receive the special rate, hotel reservations must be made by April 23, 2021. Can't wait to see you all there - in person!

CLICK HERE to register for the Retreat

CLICK HERE to make your Room Reservation

CLICK HERE to download a PDF of the Retreat Brochure
Virtual and In-Person Events Scheduled
Join your colleagues and friends at the 71st Annual Florida Bar Convention at the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek & Waldorf Astoria. The Annual Convention provides the ultimate environment to network with colleagues, judges and friends. There will be several CLE opportunities, Section and Committee meetings, luncheons and special events.

Click above for information on hotel rates, sponsorships, and exhibitors.
By Philip J. Schipani, Esq., B.C.S.
S.H.Y. V. PG, 46 Fla. L. Weekly D671a (Fla. 2d DCA 2001) – This case involves the waiver of psychotherapist-patient privilege under Fla. Stat. §90.53 and the opinion includes an informative discussion on the psychotherapist-patient privilege for minor children in the specific context of custody litigation including a discussion of Attorney Ad Litem for D.K. v. Parents of D.K., 780 So.2d 301 (Fla. 4th DCA 2001). 

The trial court erred in finding that the psychotherapist-patient privilege under §90.503 barred psychotherapist from testifying as to privileged matters psychotherapist previously disclosed during deposition and prior emergency hearing. The Court found that the psychotherapist-patient privilege is no different than other statutory privileges and may be implicitly waived by conduct or disclosure that is inconsistent with the maintenance of the privilege. The Court went on to state that the Psychotherapist alone may exercise the privilege so long as psychotherapist is acting on behalf of the patient, and the record clearly established that psychotherapist chose not to invoke privilege on behalf of minor child and that the psychotherapist may reinvoke the privilege as to matters not previously disclosed.

In essence this case states that the psychotherapist can waive the psychotherapist-patient privilege on behalf of the minor child. Once that is done, it cannot be taken back at a later date. The privilege must be raised as soon as the confidential nature of the communication becomes apparent. Jenny v. Airdata Wiman, Inc., 846 So.2d 664 (Fla. 2d DCA 2003). The Court’s determination was only as to the privileged information previously disclosed and held that the trial court on remand, although not required, may consider appointing a guardian ad litem to determine whether to assert or waive the privilege as to additional privileged matters.
Not Familiar with Non-Fungible Tokens?
By Krystine Cardona, Esq.
Here is a quick breakdown of the current digital craze – NFTs. Learning about this emerging technology was equally bizarre and fascinating.
What it is:
·     Non-fungible tokens, or NFTs for short, are a class of cryptocurrency assets. Each NFT represents a unique digital item.
·     NFTs can represent digital files including but not limited to art, music albums, digital real estate, digital fashion, and video footage of iconic sports moments.
·     Some consider NFTs as the next era of fine art collecting while others view it as collector’s items akin to baseball cards. They are not interchangeable.
What it is not:
·     It is not “fungible” like cryptocurrency, e.g., bitcoin. Unlike bitcoins that can be traded for another identical one, NFTs are not interchangeable.
How NFTs remain their authenticity in the digital world:
·     NFTs are protected by blockchain technology to maintain their authenticity and track ownership.
·     Blockchains, in their simplest forms, are ledgers through which a series of events or transactions are recorded in a chain sequence. As one article illustrated, “Alice sent Bob two bitcoin, Bob sent Charlie one bitcoin, etc.” [1]

·     The transactions on the ledger are public. Ownership can be tracked and authenticated, which prevents attempts to recreate, steal, or destroy NFTs.[2] 
·     The digital file can be copied infinitely; however, the ledger will reflect the true owner of the NFT; tantamount to verifiable historical artwork.
The most mind-boggling element of this emerging market is the massive amount of money spent to date on NFTs. As of the date of this article:
·     Image sold by Beeple, “Everydays- The First 5000 Days,” auctioned off at Christie’s sold for $69 million.[3]
·     A virtual plot of land sold for $1.5 million.[4]
·     The first NFT digital home, the Mars House, sold for $500,000.[5]
·     N.B.A. Topshot has generated over $230 million in digital collectibles and highlights- the tech equivalent of basketball cards.[6]
·     The sale of virtual sneakers raised $3.1 million in seven minutes.[7]
·     Top luxury brands are delving into virtual spaces, such as Gucci.[8]
·     Kings of Leon are the first musicians to release albums as a series of digital tokens.
·     Digital kittens, Cryptokitties- the rarest digital image sold for more than $100,000.[9]
Income from NFTs:
·     Other than selling the NFT, artists who created the NFT can receive recurring income from royalties every time the NFT is sold or changes hands.[10]
Tips to find NFTs in Discovery:
NFTs may be easy to overlook if you are not familiar with this new asset and it is not requested during disclosure. Tips to find NFTs during the discovery process:
·     Cryptocurrency wallets can be funded with credit cards, ACH transfers, or wire transactions. Bank account statements and credit card statements may reflect transactions to a cryptocurrency wallet, which is then used to purchase an NFT in a cryptocurrency marketplace.
o  Each NFT has its compatible wallet services and marketplace such that an NFT based on the Ethereum blockchain, will be sold on an Ethereum-based NFT marketplace, such as OpenSea, Rarible, and Mintable, and supported by an Ethereum wallet, like Meta Mask, Trust Wallet, or Coinbase wallet. [11] Ethereum is currently the most commonly used cryptocurrency for NFTs.
·     Subpoena cryptocurrency marketplaces.
·     Subpoena request for wallets, including paper wallets, hardware devices that store the wallet, applications downloaded on electronic devices, wallets through an online browser, or cloud-based wallets.[12] 
·     Subpoena emails that reflect virtual currency addresses.[13]
·     Use blockchain technology to review the ledger to determine the ownership history.
o  If necessary, consider retaining blockchain forensic experts or experts who specialize in cryptocurrency tracing.
There’s always one constant:
In the wise words of Benjamin Franklin, “[I]n this world nothing can be certain, except death and taxes.” Don’t forget to review tax records during discovery. It appears NFTs are subject to capital gains tax. [14]

[1] Cathy Hackl, Non-Fungible Tokens 101: A Primer On NFTs For Brands And Business Professionals, Forbes (Feb. 28. 2021),
[2] Hackl, supra note 1.
[3]Scott Reyburn, JPG File Sells for $69 Million, as ‘NFT Mania’ Gathers Pace, The New York Times (Mar. 11, 2021),
[4] Hackl, supra note 1.
[5] Kevin Stankiewicz, Creator who sold NFT house for $500,000: We’ll be ‘living in an augmented reality lifestyle’ soon, CNBC (Mar. 17, 2021),
[6] Jabiri Young, People have spent more than $230 million buying and trading digital collectibles of NBA highlights, CNBC (Feb. 28, 2021),
[7] Rob Nowill, A Sale of Virtual Sneakers Raised $3.1 Million USD in Seven Minutes, Hypebeast (Mar. 3, 2021),
[8] Jeremy S. Goldman, United States: A Primer On NFTs And Intellectual Property, Mondaq (Mar. 12, 2021),
[9] Scott Reyburn, JPG File Sells for $69 Million, as ‘NFT Mania’ Gathers Pace, The New York Times (Mar. 11, 2021),
[10] Mitchell Clark, NFTs, Explained, The Verge (Mar. 11. 2021),
[11] Ollie Leech, How to Create, Buy and Sell NFTs, coindesk (Mar. 12, 2021),
[12] Mark Reeth, What’s the Best Bitcoin Wallet, U.S. News (Feb. 18, 2021),
[13] Yessi Bello Perez, Bitcoin wallets aren’t addresses — a secret guide for embarrassed crypto noobs, TNW (Jun. 21. 2019),
[14] Robert Frank, Tax surprise looms for NFT investors who use crypto, CNBC (Mar. 17. 2021),
In this month's "Faces of Family Law," we introduce you to Executive Council member Jack A. Moring, Board-Certified family lawyer with Moring and Moring, P.A. in Crystal River, located in Citrus County.

Click the video to learn more about Jack, who is also the Section's 2020-2021 Recipient of the Honorable Raymond T. McNeal Professionalism Award. (And, you'll never guess what he used to do for a living!) Watch, learn and enjoy!
Domestic Violence
Yvonne Alonso, Esq., Longwood
Philip J. Schipani, Esq., B.C.S., Sarasota
Mission of the Committee: To improve the domestic violence practice by enhancing awareness, knowledge and the skills of attorneys working within the field. 
What the Committee does: The Domestic Violence Committee meets regularly to review and study practices and procedures throughout the state and to monitor and review proposed legislation, as they relate to domestic violence. When appropriate, the Committee works with other Family Law Section Committees to propose changes to new legislation, bring awareness to trends within the state, identifying those which need improvement, and educating practitioners through participating in continuing legal education programs. 
Goals of the Committee this Bar cycle: Continue working to identify areas of interest and those which impact the domestic violence practice; Create a proposed standard or uniform hearing request form to create consistency and provide clarity to those filing a Petition for an Injunction for Protection within the state; and working to improve and remedy conflict created by existing legislation.
How the Committee’s work supports its members, the Section and/or Florida’s Families: The Committee’s work supports its members by providing an opportunity to increase member awareness, knowledge, and skills through meetings, discussion, and legal education opportunities within the area of domestic violence. The support given to practitioners affects Florida families by improving the domestic violence practice, community awareness and resources to those affected. 
One thing you did not know about the Committee until you joined:  I was pleasantly surprised by the significant member interest and a commitment among Committee members to create a positive impact within the area, as seen by member longevity, throughout the state, working together to improve the practice and ultimately those impacted by domestic violence.

Rules & Forms
Magistrate K. Beth Luna, Jacksonville
Kristin Kirkner, Esq., B.C.S., Tampa
Mission of the Committee: Develop the best rules and forms for use by practitioners and pro se litigants in order to efficiently move cases forward in a clear and concise manner.  

What the Committee does: Provide comments, suggestions, and assistance regarding proposed rule and form changes to the Florida Bar Family Law Rules and Forms Committee.

Goals of the Committee this Bar cycle:
1.      Develop talent and leadership in the section by actively seeking out new people for the Committee and allowing the opportunity to contribute substantively to the Committee work;
2.      Review pending proposed rules and form changes and either set subcommittees to complete the work and/or sunset;
3.      At least one article for publication that increases awareness of rule changes and/or solicits new ideas for improvements to current rules and/or forms;
4.      Provide early assistance on proposed rule and form changes to Florida Bar Family Law Rules and Forms Committee by connecting and working with the Florida Bar Rules and Forms Committee liaison to the Committee; and
5.      Improve organization of reporting work in a manner that can be transferred each year to the following year’s chairs.

How the Committee’s work supports its members, the Section and/or Florida’s Families: The rules and forms provide a solid basis for practicing family law in Florida. We assist in making the rules and forms as clear and concise as possible.

One thing you did not know about the Committee until you joined:  This committee does a lot of work! It is interesting to see the process for drafting, commenting, and the immense amount of thought and time that goes into each work and document.

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