Editors Lindsay B. Haber, Lindsay A. Gunia and Amanda P. Tackenberg
Matthew Lundy and Amy Hamlin
A huge thank you to everyone who attended the 2020 Marital and Family Law Review Course at the Royal Pacific Resort in Orlando. We had approximately 1700 people attend the day and a half seminar covering everything everyone needs to know about family law. The event was a huge success and the planning for next year's seminar is alread y under way.
Unfortunately, there was a bit of a microphone mishap during the introductions on day one of the event. John Schutz, the President of the Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, and I were not heard as we encouraged people to become involved in the Family Law Section or become a member of the AAML. Just to recap what wasn't heard, the Family Law Section has about 20 committees. All committee meetings are open and membership to just about all the committees is also open. The committees have three live meetings a year along with our governing body, the Executive Council. There were 18 speakers at the Marital and Family Law Review Course and 14 of them were either past or current members of the Section's Executive Council and five of them were past Chairs of the Family Law Section. That fact alone should encourage you to become an active Section member!
This is the time of year when the Chair-Elect makes the committee appointments for the next Florida Bar year which begins July 1. Please click on the link in the section below if you are interested in being a member of any of the Family Law Section Committees or applying to be a member of the Executive Council. Applications are due by Monday, March 16.
I also want to congratulate Matthew L. Lundy for receiving the 2020 Visionary Award which was presented during the seminar. Matt has been involved with the sponsorship committee for some time, and through his extremely successful efforts, has allowed the Section to continue to provide scholarships and donations which benefit all members of our community. Matt is innovative, energetic, results oriented, and, as I stated during the presentation, a really good person. I am fortunate to get to work with him on the Executive Council and it was my honor to present him with this prestigious award.
Matt is also one of the co-chairs of the Section's In State Retreat which will be held from May 14-17, 2020 at the Resort at the Longboat Key Club. Activities include a CLE about compassion fatigue, meditation on the beach, a trip to Ringling, and a harbor tour. Registration should be open by mid-February. You can find more information on the Section's website.
Congratulations Matt, and I hope to see everyone at the Marital and Family Law Review Course in 2021!
Join a Committee or Apply to be a Member 
of the Executive Council
We encourage everyone to get involved with the Family Law Section, and participating as a Committee member or serving on the Executive Council is a truly rewarding way to get to know your peers and serve in a leadership role to help shape the mission of FLS.

Want to know more? Info and applications are HERE! The deadline is Monday, March 16, so don't delay and get involved with FLS today!! 
Family Law Section of the The Florida Bar has a new LinkedIn business page, and we'd love to connect with you!
Follow us at linkedin.com/company/familylawfla for all the latest news and info on the Section. We'll be closing the current group page soon, so click and link with us today!
Don't forget to follow, comment and tag us @familylawfla on Twitter and Facebook too!
You're likely familiar with the 'Three C's' of mentorship: Consultant, Counselor, Cheerleader. As mentorship is our Section Chair's theme this year, we'd like to give a shout-out to some mentors who have left lasting impressions on our Section Members. 
If you've had a memorable mentor - or, if you have a success story of someone you've mentored - we'd love to hear from you! Email  tba@thebuzzagency.net and we'll share your story on our social media pages! (Photos are welcome, too!)
More Mid-Year Meeting photos to be posted on our website soon!

What You Need to Know

The Rules and Forms Committee of the Family Law Section is led this year by Beth Luna, Esq. and Anthony Genova, Esq. The Committee has been actively monitoring and analyzing this year's rules and forms which have an impact on the practice of family law. This year, they have been diligently working on providing comments to the proposed forms for the collaborative law process prepared by the Florida Bar Rules and Forms Committee, the Fifth Circuit's Self-Help Forms, and the 2020 Regular Cycle Amendments to the Florida Family Law Rules and Forms. Presently, the Committee is working on responses to the Florida Bar's Children's Issues Committee's  Draft Guidelines for Lawyers Who Represent Parents in Chapter 39 Proceedings and proposed amendments to the Florida Supreme Court  Forms - Forms 12.948(a)-(e) Military Deployment Forms . Additionally, the Committee plans to address the need to change the notary forms, based on recent statutory changes. This Committee met at the Section committee meetings which took place on Thursday, January 30.  For more information contact the committee chairs at  Rules@familylawfla.org .
A big thank you to all who attended the Section committee meetings on the Thursday before the 2020 Marital and Family Law Review Course! As you make plans to attend the 2021 Review Course make plans to arrive early to attend and participate in one of the many committee meetings taking place at the same hotel as the Review Course.
Recharging After the Holidays (Part II)
by Alexander Kranz, Esq.
Alexander Kranz
In a conflict situation, you can choose between being right or having peace. You can stick to your guns, prove your point, and make dozens of well-reasoned factual arguments with family and friends. But if it doesn't result in peace, have you really won? Is there a win in that situation? Ask yourself this question: "Do I like feeling angry, sad, overwhelmed, or otherwise inadequate?" Of course not; those are all negative feelings that make us feel isolated and alone. In fact, those are all classically negative feelings associated with anxiety and depression. Ask yourself another question: "Do I really want the people I love and care about to feel isolated and alone?"

Letting Go of Conflict
I think the better way is to take a few steps back and recognize that even if you are convinced you are right, the negative feelings resulting from your approach just aren't worth it. I suggest avoiding critical, negative judgments and instead embracing active listening. Make it clear from the start that you respect what is being said, that you hear them - nod your head, smile, rephrase what you are hearing so it is clear to the other person that you get what he is saying. Not only will that help the other person feel safe and secure in communicating their feelings, it will also result in a better comprehension on your part of what is being said.
So often the basic points in a conflict are reasonable. Most people want the same things out of life. Demonstrate your receptiveness and acceptance of others in the way you communicate and the way you receive communication. Making it "safe" to communicate will also result in making real communication more frequent so that pent-up issues can be more easily and openly discussed. Good communication results in open dialogue. Open dialogue is about communication without fear of rejection or hostility from the "other side."
I've been using this technique very successfully for years as a lawyer as well as a therapist. I can't even begin to tell you how many family law cases were resolved because we were able to move into real dialogue instead of the blame-game. It's not only been great for my clients, it's been great for me too. I feel more equipped and capable of representing my clients. I know that by focusing on the real issues, I am not missing the forest for the trees. I always bring out these tools, especially at mediation. When opposing counsel is not responsive, I often remind them that we are not gladiators fighting to the death. Sometimes I get a smile back and the tensions are reduced. Regardless, I continue making my points in a positive and constructive manner.
Alex Kranz has been a practicing family law attorney in Palm Beach Gardens for over 25 years. He is also a licensed mental health counselor working primarily with addiction, depression and anxiety. He can be reached at 561-255-9350.
By William "Trace" Norvell, Esq.
Have you ever had this thought in a deposition or trial, or maybe even in the middle of the night as your recent case is bouncing around in your thoughts, "I wish I could access the file without having to go to the office." Instead of frantically calling your staff to e-mail you a specific document, or making that late night drive to the office, consider the Cloud.
What is the Cloud? Where is the Cloud? Basically the Cloud is a means of storing and accessing data and programs over the Internet instead of your computer's hard drive. As such the Cloud is just a metaphor for the Internet. The term goes back to the days of flowcharts and presentations that would represent the gigantic server-farm infrastructure of the Internet as nothing but a puffy, white cloud.
Cloud based practice management software, of which there are several, allows its users to access their desktop from anywhere in the world, from any computer (provided you have the internet). This gives you the freedom to access your entire files and applications from the court room, the comfort of your own home, or maybe even a hotel in Canada. This level of mobility for you, and your staff, opens up a world of greater productivity, which likewise has been shown to increase productivity, and overall job satisfaction.
So next time you need that file, or you are planning a trip away from the office (They happen sometimes, right?) consider the Cloud and how it can help alleviate the stress of being disconnected.
Squib of the month:

Schutt v. Schutt, 44 Fla.L.Weekly D3055 (Fla. 1st DCA 2019).  Trial court abused discretion by denying request for attorney's fees.  Where the parties' income disparity is substantial, a trial court abuses discretion by denying a request for fees.  Earning 2 ½ times more than spouse constitutes a substantial income disparity.
Click HERE for all of this month's case law updates!

Harriet Williams, 2019 Award Recipient
Nominations are now being accepted now through May 31, 2020  for the Family Law Section of The Florida Bar's 2020 Alberto Romero Making a Difference Award and will do so through May 31, 20. The Award  recognizes the work of  S ection 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  S ection 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 ) .

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 more information, please contact Robin Scher at  rjs@flafamilylawfirm.com  or telephone (561) 626-5640.  

Signature Annual Sponsor

Platinum Level

Gold Level

Silver Level

Law Firm Sponsor

Support the Family Law Section with an annual sponsorship to showcase your firm or business and connect with our nearly 4,000 members.

We have updated our sponsorship categories and boosted the benefits in each level. Your annual sponsorship includes listings on our Section's website; logos, links and ads in our publications; signage at events; and more.  The Section has active social media profiles on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram where we post information about our sponsors, including photos and links from Section events. 

We also also offer event sponsorships. Online payment is available for
If you are interested in being involved or have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Sponsorship Committee Chair  Matt Lundy . We hope to hear from you and look forward to helping you promote your business and services.  
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