CHAIR'S MESSAGE - SEPTEMBER 2018
How to effectively say:
Since I began my leadership track in the Family Law Section, I envisioned my "year" as Chair. In those visions, I always saw laughs, friendships, history but never in my wildest dreams did I anticipate the level of success we've already met! This leadership retreat group, with little institutional background, no history and limited exposure overall--- coming together and overcoming ALL that previously stood in its path. Week before last in Palm Beach, several members of the Executive Council as well as many members of the Section at large, enjoyed spending time attending the leadership retreat, which was held in conjunction with the Section's annual fall meetings.
The goal, in my vision for the leadership retreat, was to give both Executive Council members and all members of our Section an opportunity to not only learn about the Section, our legislative process and leadership within the Section, but also to bring back the camaraderie that I so vividly recall of my early days in Section involvement and also to let all participants loosen up, lighten up and have FUN! We definitely did just that!!!
We were lucky enough to welcome Past President of The Florida Bar Greg Coleman, President-Elect John Stewart AND our Madam President, Michelle Suskauer, all of whom joined us for discussions about our Section, The Florida Bar and the practice of law in the State of Florida.
Really, Trish Armstrong and Andrea Reid, co-chairs of this retreat, took my "crazy" thoughts, rambled over a series of conversations and literally nailed it to a tee--- on all fronts. They managed to put together an agenda of events, including a beautiful and unbelievably delicious leadership dinner at the amazing Palm Beach "hot spot," Buccan. Followed by many team-building activities, including mixology on the lawn of the gorgeous Colony Hotel, and topped it off with my personal favorite--- a lip sync battle, where David Hirschberg totally crushed it and took first place by a landslide! All who came, had a blast!!!
To close, we welcomed Patricia McDougle, a registered parliamentarian, to bring some law and order to the group. She gave us such helpful guidance in Robert's Rules, specifically relating to our Section's bylaws.
Then, we kicked off our second Executive Council meeting of this Bar year with "the encouragement circle," where each member and guest were asked to share some words of encouragement and/or inspiration directed to the person sitting to their right, whether that person was an old friend, acquaintance or neither.
In the end, leaving The Colony Hotel, I felt a complete sense of "MISSION ACCOMPLISHED"! The success, not for ME, but for each person who took the time away from their practices, work and families to attend the Section's Leadership Retreat and Fall Meetings, whether as a new participant or one who has been a member, active or inactive, for a long time.
Quite honestly, I think I am still smiling from this sense of "accomplishment"--- for this group of amazing Florida lawyers, longtime friends, new colleagues and all others I have known but not gotten to know for over a decade of service--- and this feeling of happiness that for me, the true meaning and spirit of "leadership" was met!!! That is how I say "MISSION ACCOMPLISHED"!
I would be absolutely remiss not to say a HUGE thank you to Terry Hill,
Division Director, Programs, The Florida Bar, who in a moment's notice and utter chaos swooped in and most efficiently, effectively and kindly, made this event possible with his incredible assistance, and provided us unfettered access to him on nights and weekends. We also thank Willie Mae Shepherd, Program Administrator of Professional Development, an absolute angel, who was kind enough to drop everything and assist our Section! Her guidance, patience and assistance saved the day. We appreciate The Florida Bar for allowing us to continue to successfully operate in the absence of a designated administrator and a lot of demands, requests and hand-holding! I thank you, not only for myself, but on behalf of the entire Executive Committee and Executive Council for all you did and continue to do for ALL of the sections of The Florida Bar. We are forever grateful!
To say thank you seems
--- simply insufficient. There are so many people I want to ensure are aware of how much their attendance, participation and support attributed to this events absolute and complete success!!!
The past chairs, trustees, personal friends and colleagues and my own personal mentors who brought their "A game" to this event! It is those relationships, which were formed from being a part of this TEAM!!! I am so grateful for you, those who showed up, partook and added so much. I hope that all events for the Family Law Section continue to reap lifelong relationships and a sense of team, accomplishment and success for The Florida Bar, the people who volunteer for The Bar, for our Section and Florida's families!!!
"Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success." - Henry Ford
Abigail M. Beebe, West Palm Beach
2018-2019 Chair, Family Law Section of The Florida Bar
Upcoming CLE Opportunities
Ninth Annual Case Law Update - Sept. 20
Live Audio Webcast (Noon - 2 p.m.)
For the 9th year running, Florida Bar board certified Marital & Family Law specialists
will provide an update of published Florida family law since Jan. 1, 2018. This two-hour presentation will include an insightful and engaging discussion of recent case law tackling a wide range of topics, including but not limited to alimony, parenting, relocation, equitable distribution, child support, paternity, enforcement, modification, attorney's fees, contempt, procedure and ethics.
Section member price $125; non-section-member price $180.
. CLE Credits: 2.0 General; 0.5 Ethics; 2.0 Marital & Family Law Certification Credit. Special discounted registration for full-time law professors and full-time law studen
Out-of-State Retreat - Oct. 18-21
Family Law Section for
its annual out-of-state retreat in Music City. Guests will experience Ryman Auditorium, Puckett's Grocery, Lower Broadway, Kayne Prime and much more. There will be a special CLE presentation on Business Valuations by Z. Chris Mercer, FASA, CFA, ABAR, founder and CEO of Mercer Capital. Register online by the Sept. 27 deadline and view more details in the event brochure. Special thanks to event sponsor Foster*Morales Sockel*Stone. We hope to see you there!
KAAA Fix Bill Explained - Oct. 26
Live Audio Webcast (Noon - 1 p.m.)
Florida Bar board certified Marital & Family Law specialist and 2017-18 Legislation Committee Co-chair Bonnie Sockel-Stone, Esq. will explain the ins and outs of the new KAAA Fix Bill, which was effective as of July 1, 2018. Learn how the bill differs from previously existing laws, its possible impact on prior and existing family law cases and potential pitfalls to avoid. Section member price $75; non-section-member price $130. Course #3036. CLE Credits: 1.0 General; 1.0 Marital & Family Law Certification Credit.
Save the Date
Mechanics of Board Certification - Nov. 29
Live Audio Webcast (Noon - 2 p.m.)
Gain insights into why you should become board certified: the application process, exam, study tips, format, administration, exam-taking tips and grading. This seminar is intended to assist both those who have applied to take the certification exam and those who are thinking about taking the exam in the future. Registration details coming soon.
Certification Review Course Scholarships - Apply by September 27
The Family Law Section of The Florida Bar offers 20
of $1,000 each for the Jan. 25-26, 2019, Marital and Family Law
Certification Review Course
at the Gaylord Palms Resort in Orlando.
Ten scholarships are available for individual section members and 10 are available for General Magistrates and Hearing Officers.
The section will reimburse each scholarship recipient up to $1,000 after receipt of proof of payment of registration, travel and hotel expenses. Expenses greater than $1,000 are the responsibility of the scholarship recipient. Each recipient must attend the entire course and provide paid receipts for reimbursement. Upon receipt of the award letter, the scholarship recipient must register and pay for the course and reserve hotel accommodations. Registration for the review course opens Sept. 4 on the AAML - Florida Chapter website.
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, and c) affirm under oath that you cannot attend the course without the scholarship.
Please email your completed application to Family Law Section Treasurer Douglas Greenbaum at
no later than Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018 at 5 p.m.
Family Law Section Leadership Retreat and Fall Meetings
Family Law Section Annual and Semi-Annual Sponsors
Matthew Lundy Law, P.A., Coral Gables
||Matt Lundy and his family.
Who is someone who inspires you?
Mike Krzyzewski, Duke basketball coach.
How do you define success?
I would define success as intentionally and ethically overcoming difficult challenges (or interactions) to achieve
goals, without creating collateral damage.
Why do you practice family law?
I have worked in family law since I was 20, and frankly, it is the only thing that I know how to do. I am now sub-specialized in retirement
account issues, and I love the confidence that comes along with having done something for so long and with such repetition.
What is something few people know about you?
I have an encyclopedic knowledge of movie quotations and trivia.
"Victory has a thousand fathers, but defeat is an orphan."
- President John F. Kennedy.
Favorite family law case?
Actually, it is a federal case that comes from New Jersey divorce: Samaroo v. Samaroo. It has to do with the interplay between federal pension
laws and state law governing family law cases.
Favorite book and why?
American Pastoral by Philip Roth. Among other things, this book was intended to put parent-child relationships under a microscope and asks
the reader to consider how parents can unintentionally harm their children, who can in turn harm themselves and others.
Favorite TV show and why?
Pardon the Interruption on ESPN. Mike Wilbon is the best NBA analyst on television.
Favorite song lyric?
Simon and Garfunkel, The Boxer:
"In the clearing stands a boxer and a fighter by his trade,
and he carries the reminders of every glove that laid him down
or cut him 'till he cried out, in his anger and his shame;
'I am leaving! I am leaving!', but the fighter still remains."
Best place to which you have traveled?
Proudest accomplishment within the section?
In my first year as the chair of the sponsorship committee myself and Magistrate Beth Luna quadrupled the number of sponsorships.
What benefits do you receive as a result of your section participation?
For starters, I love having positive and purely social interactions with my peers; working with people in cases can be tense, so socializing with everyone has been a huge relief. It is such a great group of people. Also, I love traveling in and out of the state with everyone, and the excuse the section gives me to take off and do so. Perhaps most importantly, as someone who has spent their entire adult life working in family law, I enjoy the feeling that I am giving something back to my field.
Something we did not know about you?
My wife is a world-class painter.
Coffee or tea?
If you were stranded on a desert island, what three items could you not live without?
My iPhone, 2) my running shoes, and 3) a good bottle of bourbon.
The Family Law Section WANTS YOU to write for one of three publications:
- Journal: To 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? FAMSEG is your place! Please contact Editor Ron Kauffman.