CHAIR'S MESSAGE - AUGUST 2017
What better way to start a year where the theme is appropriate advocacy than with the Family Law Section's biannual Trial Advocacy Workshop! The Trial Advocacy program is a signature event of the section that is offered every two years, and it is provided as a section service (meaning we do not promote it with the intention of making money, but as a benefit to our members). It not only provides attendees a trial for purposes of board certification, but it provides lawyers of all skill levels a chance to hone their trial skills in a small group setting with both formal instruction and feedback from experienced attorneys board certified in marital and family law. The program is taught by board certified lawyers for the purpose of highlighting the benefits of board certification, and to ensure that the students receive quality instruction while receiving continuing legal education and trial credit.
With the help of over 60 volunteers, we had a remarkably successful program this year at the beautiful Vinoy Renaissance in St. Petersburg!
Having said that, on behalf of the section, I would like to thank those volunteers who provided their time and expertise to make this program not only possible, but a sold-out, career-changing event for the a
ttendees! Thank you to the program committee for their countless hours donated to this course both organizing and planning this program. Specifically, thank you program chairs
and program vice chairs
Michelle Klinger Smith
, as well additional volunteers
. Thanks of course, to our section's program
, for her support in implementing the course.
This year, we changed the format and provided the attendees with a prerecorded mock trial, so a big shout out and thank you to Melinda Gamot and Gordon Brydger, as well as Ronald Bornstein, Kimberly Rommel Enright, Sheila Furr and Cinnamin O'Shell for agreeing to provide video footage of a sample mock trial for use in the program.
Thank you to our volunteer mental health and forensic experts, who willingly volunteered their time to allow our participants to interact with them and to learn how to utilize them in the context of a family law trial. Specifically, thank you to the following experts: Deborah Carter, Deborah Day, Monica Epstein, Sheila Furr, Kyle Goodwin, Jennifer Mockler, James Morris, Mark Prange,
Shannon Ciesluk, Kristin DiMeo, J. David Harper,
Sarah Hoerber, Sonya Johnson, Kathy Mills,
In addition to our dedicated section members and others who we convinced to help out, many of our witnesses this year were law students from the local law schools who took a break from studying for the bar exam to volunteer to serve as witnesses in our small group workshops. Thanks to our witnesses
Austin Webber, Joseph Buhrts, Blake Fromang, Jaime Garcia, Doug Greenbaum, Steve Heusser, Denzel Landeen, Sterling Lovelady, Robert Ortega, Stewart Shriver, Dezerae Betancourt, Vanessa Flemming, Amanda Grgurich, Katie Holland, Genesis Quintana, Zilya Ruga, Alexa Saab, Joanna Salama, Diane Kirigin
Michelle Klinger Smith.
You made direct and cross examination memorable!
As part of the program, each participant is assigned to a small group based on experience and in one of two tracks: financial or children's issues. Two board certified attorneys lead each group for the entire length of the program, and those workshop leaders provide specific and specialized instruction on each of the topic areas. Many times these workshop leaders not only coach the participants, but they become m
entors who answer questions for the participants, even
after the conclusion of the program. Thank you to the following board certified attorneys who worked tirelessly as workshop leaders: Natalie Baird, Kathryn Beamer, Abigail Beebe, Katherine Birnbaum, General Magistrate Randi Glick Boven,
Alex Caballero, Curtis Cowan, Reuben Doupe, Kenneth Gordon, Aimee Gross, Joseph Hunt, Ronald Kauffman, Belinda Lazzara, Hon. John C. Lenderman, Jack C. Moring, Yueh-Mei Kim Nutter, Laura Davis Smith, Bonnie Sockel-Stone, Philip Wartenberg
and Karen Weintraub.
Finally, the program was rounded out by a distinguished faculty of lecturers who presented on such tops as evidence, opening statements, examination of experts, and ethics in family law, just to name a few. Thank you
Andrew Berman, Maria Gonzalez, General Magistrate Norberto Katz, General Magistrate Keith Schenck,
Charles Fox Miller, Elisha Roy, Mark Sessums, Hon. Richard Weis
and General Magistrate Maxine A.M. Williams for volunteering your expertise and educating our participants!
Visit the Family Law Section's
to see photos from the workshop.
Mark your calendars for this program's return in the summer/fall of 2019, and if you are not already an active member of the Family Law Section, I encourage you to join us and get involved this year as we work to promote appropriate advocacy throughout our profession!
Nicole L. Goetz, Esq., Naples
Chair, Family Law Section of the Florida Bar
September 6 - 10:
Out-of-State Retreat, Granby, CO.
October 5 - 7:
Fall General Meeting, Bonita Springs (Oct. 6 Committee Meetings; Oct. 7 Executive Council Meeting). Info here.
Looking for additional CLE credit?
for on-demand online CLE courses.
Featured Family Law Section Sponsor
Family Law Section Sponsorship: NOW is the time to be involved.
Your Family Law Section
this year will result in greater exposure for your company.
The section now has active social media profiles on Facebook and Twitter where we regularly will be posting information about our sponsors, including photos and links from section events. We've added sponsorship categories and benefits in each level that include speaking opportunities, inclusion in printed programs for section functions, extra ticketing for events, etc. As in the past, your annual sponsorship includes listings on our section's website; logos, links and ads in our publications; signage at events; and exhibit space at key events.
The section also offers a number of event-based sponsorship opportunities for companies interested in connecting with our near 4,000 attorney members.
Sponsorship of The Florida Bar Family Law Section is an excellent way to showcase your firm or business.
If you are interested in being involved, or have any questions whatsoever, please do not hesitate to contact Sponsorship Committee Chairs Matt Lundy and Beth Luna, or our section administrator Gabrielle Tollok. We hope to hear from you and look forward to helping you showcase your business and services.
||2016-17 Section Chair Laura Davis Smith with Elisha D. Roy
Roy Honored With Trailblazer Award
Elisha D. Roy
, the 2017 recipient of The Florida Bar Family Law Section's
Trailblazer Award. Section Chair Laura Davis Smith
presented the award during The Florida Bar
Annual Convention. The inscription reads: "In recognition of your trailblazing contributions to advance gender equality within the Bar, your hard-earned, early rise to leadership within the Family Law Section, your
desire to elevate the practice of law through Board Certification, your tireless voice for Florida's families, and your championing legislation to benefit Florida's children." Roy is a Florida Bar board certified marital and family lawyer, a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, a former chair of The Florida Bar Family Law Section and a member of The Florida Bar Board of Legal Specialization & Education.
FAMSEG will feature 2017 Family Law Section award winners in each issue. View all of this year's award recipients on the section's
2017 Out-of-State Retreat
Sept. 6 - 7 at the
C Lazy U Ranch
in Granby, CO. C Lazy U recently was awarded the third best resort in Colorado and the ninth best resort in the U.S. by Condé Nast Traveler Readers' Choice Awards, the third consecutive year the ranch has been ranked within the top three in Colorado and top 10 in the U.S. Fall is one of the most beautiful times of year at the ranch because it is nestled at the foot of the majestic Colorado Rocky Mountains. The leaves turn a vibrant gold, the air is crisp and there is always plenty to do! In addition to the 8,500-acre ranch, you can make arrangements for other fun activities in the area such as golfing, hot air ballooning and white water rafting. Please do not hesitate to contact the co-chairs of the event,
or Amy Hamlin, with any questions.
Click HERE for this month's Squibs Family Law Case Summaries.
Squib of the Mon
th: Newman v. Newman, 42 Fla.L.Weekly D1244 (Fla. 4th DCA 2017). Trial court erred not considering husband's income from his "charter boat business," especially when husband failed to disclose certain financial documents and violated discovery orders. Florida case law has long recognized that self-employed spouses, in contrast to salaried employees, have the ability to control and regulate their incomes. When circumstances suggest that a self-employed spouse has not accurately reported his or her income, the court may assign a higher income than that claimed by the spouse.
CLOUD COMPUTING BASICS
From The Florida Bar Practice Resource Institute
Florida Bar's Standing Committee on Technology has developed a
Quick Start Guide
on cloud computing to answer basic questions and suggest questions to ask potential cloud providers. Check out the PRI
cloud computing page
for free video tutorials:
The Quick Start Guide is a companion to the "
Due Diligence Considerations for Lawyers Evaluating Cloud Computing Service Providers
The Florida Bar strongly encourages lawyers considering the adoption of cloud computing to review Florida Bar Ethics Opinion
. Reliance on the proposed questions for CSPs alone is not recommended. The lawyer considering the use of the cloud should consult with an information security and cloud computing expert who can tailor these questions and identify additional issues when conducting due diligence of a cloud service provider. The Florida Bar Member Benefits
lists CSPs that have met most or all of the
Legal Cloud Computing Association
My favorite childhood memory is playing with my dogs.
Someone who truly inspires me is Hillary Clinton. She has fought through a lot of adversity, endured a lot of humiliation and still stayed true to her goal of wanting to help the world.
I define success as reaching a point where you don't seek anyone's approval and you know that you do the best for yourself, your career and your family everyday.
I began practicing family law because it was the business I would get, so it started by default. I practice it now because I feel like it is the area of the law where you can make the most difference.
I love animals and I am passionate about finding good homes for displaced dogs. When my practice becomes stressful (which is every day), I like to help with dog rescue to keep myself grounded.
The one thing most people don't know about me is that I was raised by my father alone, since the age of 4.
My favorite quote is: "I'm not interested in money. I just want to be wonderful." - Marilyn Monroe.
I don't have a favorite family law case because by it's very nature, family law cases end in loss of some type for everyone. But, I do have my favorite mediations. Lots of them. People tend to leave mediations pleased with themselves.
My favorite book is "Dragonfly in Amber" by Diana Gabaldon. It is my favorite book because it is a love story which poses a question about what would happen if you went back in time and fell in love with someone who could not return to your time with you? Just give that some thought.
My favorite song lyric is, "I've been brought down to my knees and I've been pushed way past the point of breaking but I can take it ... I'll be back ..., back on my feet, this is far from over, I am far from over, you haven't seen the last of me." from "
You Haven't Seen the Last of Me" by
My favorite superhero is Batman. He lives in a great house, has a great car, is a philanthropist by day and a superhero doing the right thing at night. He has all the wonderful toys and a great costume.
True Blood is my favorite TV show. I find the whole vampire thing fascinating.
I think that I bring a diversity to the section that is refreshing for some people, and I have authored a few articles for the Commentator that I am proud of. What I love about the section is and what has been extremely humbling for me is that people have been so welcoming and I feel like I'm part of this second family.
The benefit I receive by being involved in the section is not an easy thing to answer. There are many benefits but the most rewarding is to spend time with people who truly want to elevate our profession and really care about helping Florida families. The exchange of ideas is invigorating and inspiring.
If I were stranded on a desert island and I could only have three items, they would be: 1) my iPhone 2) my red lipstick and 3) Advil or some pain reliever just in case. Come to think of it, if there is no phone service, I would replace my iPhone with a good facial cleanser.
I imagine the one circumstance I had to overcome is that which defines me today: having been raised by one parent and not having my mother around. I had the best father anyone could ask for. But, I always felt I had something to prove. I guess I wanted to prove I had survived that situation.
The best place I have traveled to is Italy. I can't even name a favorite place in Italy, but if I had to, it would be Rome. I just feel at home there. It is magical. It is chaotic. It is ancient while at the same time modern. No place in the world like it. None.
If I could live anywhere other than Florida, it would be Florence, Italy. It is magical like Rome but a bit smaller than Rome yet only a two-hour drive from Rome. I would love to live in Italy as the Italians know how to enjoy life, they like to dress well, they love beauty and they understand the life well-lived.
CALL FOR ARTICLES
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 12-15 pages in length, complete with end notes.
Commentator: The Family Law Section's glossy quarterly magazine. Art
icles could range from substantive articles to advice about lifestyle and wellness.
an announcement? Pictures of a section event? Something light and fluffy? FAMSEG is your place! 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." Have a suggestion?