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Keeping It All Together: Today's Family Law Paralegal CPE, Part II

8:30         Welcome and Introductions

8:35         All About Depositions

Evonne S. Hopkins, Raleigh Law Center Family Law, Raleigh
Jennifer M. Gaff, Raleigh Law Center, Raleigh

This session explores Rule 30 and Rule 32 of the North Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure. Learn about depositions upon oral examination including when depositions can be taken, notice of examination requirements, examination and cross-examinations, objections, and de bene esse depositions. This session also discusses how to prepare your attorney and client for a deposition.

9:30         Break

9:40         Arbitrations

Nancy L. Grace, Wake Family Law Group, Raleigh

With the courts backlogged from the effects of COVID-related restrictions and closures, litigants are turning more often to arbitration to resolve their cases. This presentation reviews the NC Family Law Arbitration Act, provides helpful forms and tips for a successful arbitration.

10:35       Break

10:45       Utilizing OurFamilyWizard: Streamline and Improve Co-parent Communication and Simplify Case Management

Danielle E. Kestnbaum, OurFamilyWizard, Raleigh

Through communication technology with OurFamilyWizard, simplify and strengthen communication between your clients and their respective co-parents. Learn how to connect to clients on OurFamilyWizard and how to generate reports of communications.

11:40       Break

11:50       NC Child Support Guidelines: It's "Never Enough!" or It's Always "Too Much!"

Kristin H. Ruth, Smith Debnam, Raleigh

This session provides an overview of the North Carolina Child Support Guidelines and cases outside the guidelines. Learn about gathering financial information and determining income, how and where to file for child support, enforcement and modification of child support orders.

12:45       Lunch Break

1:15         Family Law 2.0: The Future Is Already Here (Legal Issues in Constructing and Defining the Modern Family)

Jennifer S. Tharrington, Village Law Group, Chapel Hill

It is important to understand the changing composition of the American family. Assisted reproductive technology, defining and re-defining parentage, and how the legalization of same-sex marriage has impacted family law are just a few of the topics at hand. This session provides information on the current omissions and deficiencies in North Carolina law with regard to the construction and definition of the modern family.

2:10         Break

2:20         Everything You Need to Know About Termination Proceedings

Kathleen M. Putiri, KP Law Center, Raleigh

This session provides an overview of the statutes for understanding the parental rights termination process. In addition, learn best practices to streamline information-gathering from the client, get tips for creating a case checklist to make sure nothing unexpectedly causes delay, and discuss ways to be prepared for pre-trial and trial.

3:15         Break

3:25         Overview of the North Carolina State Bar (and Why It Matters to Paralegals!)*

Brian P. Oten, North Carolina State Bar, Raleigh

This session provides information on the structure and purpose of North Carolina State Bar, including resources available to both lawyers and paralegals through the State Bar. Hear about the importance of paralegals and the role they play in self-regulation of the legal profession, including common ethical pitfalls and how to avoid them.

4:45         Adjourn

*Indicates portion providing Ethics/Professional Responsibility credit

Thank you

Thank you for joining us for Keeping It All Together: Today's Family Law Paralegal CPE, Part II CLE.


  • Jennifer M. Gaff

    Jennifer M. Gaff is a senior litigation paralegal with the Raleigh Law Center.

    Jennifer is an Illinois native but has resided in North Carolina for thirty years. Jennifer earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She is a North Carolina Certified Paralegal, earning her paralegal certificate from Meredith College in 2007. Since her certification, Jennifer has worked exclusively in family law, first in the private sector and, more recently, for eight years as the Family Court Case Coordinator for The Honorable Lori G. Christian in the Wake County Family Court Office.

    In her spare time, Jennifer enjoys reading, spending time with her friends and family, and cheering on her favorite sports teams: the UNC Tarheels and Carolina Panthers.

  • Nancy L. Grace

    Nancy L. Grace is a principal of Wake Family Law Group in Raleigh. She is a Board Certified Specialist in Family Law, a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, and a DRC certified Family Financial Mediator.

    Nancy is a former Chair of the Family Law Section of the North Carolina Bar Association and a former Chair of the Family Law Section of the North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers (now North Carolina Advocates for Justice). She is the Immediate Past President of the Tenth Judicial District Bar and has previously served as President of the North Carolina Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.

    Nancy received a B. A. degree in Spanish in 1982 and a Master's Degree in Teaching in 1986 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She taught Spanish at North Carolina State University prior to attending law school. In 1996, She received a J.D. with Honors from the University of North Carolina School of Law and then served as law clerk to the Honorable James A. Wynn, Jr. of the North Carolina Court of Appeals prior to entering private practice.

    Nancy has a long history of serving on committees and in leadership positions in professional organizations relating to family law and is a frequent speaker at or course planner for family law CLE programs.

    Click here for more information about Nancy.

  • Evonne S. Hopkins

    Evonne S. Hopkins is a North Carolina Board Certified Family Law Specialist and Certified Parent Coordinator. She originally founded Raleigh Law Center, PC in 2007 and has spearheaded its growth into the Raleigh Law Center. As the President of Raleigh Law Center, Evonne's passion for providing Triangle families with stellar legal representation is apparent throughout the firm.

    Evonne is licensed to practice in North Carolina, California and the District of Columbia. She earned her J.D./M.B.A. degrees from the University of San Francisco in 2003 and her Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy with honors from Rollins College in Winterpark, Florida in 1998. Evonne utilizes her joint JD/MBA daily to manage Raleigh Law Firm and advocate for her clients to get them the best result in the "business" of identifying and valuing assets in a divorce.

    Evonne serves on many committees for the North Carolina Bar Association and North Carolina Advocates for Justice and enjoys teaching "continuing education" classes to fellow attorneys. Evonne currently serves as the Chair of the Family Law Section for the North Carolina Advocates for Justice. For the 10th Judicial District, Evonne serves on the Grievance Committee and Committee of Indigent Appointments.

    Evonne's world has always been one of many cultures filled with diversity and family. Outside the courtroom, Evonne is an avid swimmer, gardener and chef.

    Click here for more information about Evonne.

  • Patricia Kelly

    Patricia Kelly is a North Carolina Certified Paralegal and has been with Vitale Family Law in Raleigh since 2013. Prior to joining Vitale Family Law, she worked in the areas of medical malpractice, criminal and family law in both Florida and North Carolina.

    Patricia is a member of the North Carolina Bar Association Paralegal Division - Family Law Section and she received her North Carolina State Bar Paralegal Certification in 2008.

    In her spare time, Patricia volunteers for Family Promise of Wake County to help families experiencing temporary homelessness. She also enjoys cooking, traveling and spending time with her husband, children and grandchildren.

  • Danielle E. Kestnbaum

    Danielle E. Kestnbaum is a professional liaison for the OurFamilyWizard website in Raleigh.

    Danielle earned her J.D. degree with honors from IIT/Chicago-Kent College of Law in Chicago, Illinois. Prior to graduating from law school, she received her Masters degree in Social Work from Columbia University in New York City and a B.A. degree from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts.

    Danielle externed with the Chief Judge of the Domestic Relations Court for the Circuit Court of Cook County during law school. She has worked in the public sector as a child's advocate and also in the private sector representing parents in a broad range of family law matters.

    Click here for more information about Danielle.

  • Andrea J. "Andi" McCullen

    Andrea J. "Andi" McCullen is a North Carolina Certified Paralegal and has been with Vitale Family Law in Raleigh since it formed in 2011. She has worked as a family law paralegal for attorney Lori Vitale for over 23 years.

    Andi is a member of the North Carolina Bar Association Paralegal Division - Family Law Section and obtained her North Carolina State Bar Paralegal Certification in 2005.

    When she is not working, Andi enjoys spending time with her husband and children, co-leading her daughter's Girl Scout Troop, and attending concerts with friends.

  • Brian P. Oten

    Brian P. Oten is the director for ethics and special programs at the North Carolina State Bar.

    Brian joined the State Bar's Office of Counsel in 2007 as deputy counsel and moved to his current role in 2018 where he serves as chief ethics counsel and director for the boards of legal specialization and paralegal certification.

    Brian earned his B.A. from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2002 and his J.D. from the UNC School of Law in 2005.

    Click here for more information about Brian.

  • Peggy Pardue

    Peggy Pardue is a North Carolina Certified Paralegal with Hampson Family Law. She is a member of the North Carolina Bar Association Paralegal Division – Family Law Section and is a Notary Public. Peggy has volunteered as a proctor for the North Carolina Paralegal Certification Exam. In May 2019, Peggy was appointed as a Council Member for the Paralegal Division of the North Carolina Bar Association.

    Peggy began working as a Paralegal in 2003 with McGill & Hampson, P.A. She continued her role as a Family Law Paralegal transitioning to Hampson Family Law when it opened in 2017. Prior to becoming a paralegal, Peggy was with the North Carolina State Board of CPA Examiners, where she worked for seven years in their disciplinary section. Subsequently, she was an Executive Assistant with a local propane company.

    Peggy was born in Haddonfield, New Jersey, but has been in the Raleigh area since 1969. When she is not working, Peggy enjoys spending time with family, doing home improvement projects, fishing, boating, and traveling.

  • Kathleen M. Putiri

    Kathleen M. Putiri is owner of KP Law Center in Raleigh. It doesn't take more than a phone call to learn that this Asheville native is a tenacious, straight-talking lawyer who won't back down from your fight.

    Kathleen has an uncanny ability to meld unembellished honesty with compassion. You will always know what to expect on the road ahead–and no matter the challenge–you'll feel confident knowing Kathleen is on your team.

    After graduating from Campbell University Law School, Kathleen worked alongside some of the most respected family law attorneys in the Triangle. Absorbing her colleagues' tenured wisdom and meshing it with her own style, Kathleen has helped clients find hope–even when they had given up on themselves–and led them through their divorce to a stronger future.

    Bringing her knowledge from hundreds of successful cases and a desire to improve the family law field. Now, leading her own firm, Kathleen represents clients just like you with unhindered spirit.

  • Kristin H. Ruth

    Kristin H. Ruth is a partner with Smith Debnam in Raleigh where she practices family law and serves as a certified family law mediator.

    Kristin currently serves on the board for Carolina Dispute Settlement Services. She is actively involved in the community and spends her free time riding and caring for the horses on her farm in New Hill. She is married to Lt. Col. John Preston Ruth, USMCR-retired and they have one son, Kenan, age 27.

    In 2000, Kristin was awarded the North Carolina Child Support Council's Distinguish Service of Excellence Award, in 2003 she received the national American Business Woman of the Year Award, in 2004, Judge Ruth was awarded the Commissioner's Judge of the Year Award presented by the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement in Washington, DC and in 2011 Judge Ruth was a recipient of the Woman Extraordinaire award from Business Leader Magazine.

    Click here for more information about Kristin.

  • Dana W. Satterfield

    Dana W. Satterfield is a North Carolina native. Dana was raised in Johnston County. She currently resides in Angier with her husband Preston, and 5-year-old twins, Ellie & Garrison. She began as a receptionist at Wake Family Law Group in 2005. In 2006, Dana began working as a family law paralegal at Wake Family Law Group. She supports attorneys Michael F. Schilawski and Julianne Rothert.

    When not at work, Dana enjoys traveling, spending time with her little family, and volunteering/participating in events with the Junior Women's League of Smithfield.

  • Jennifer S. "Jen" Tharrington

    Jennifer S. "Jen" Tharrington received her J.D. from the University of North Carolina School of Law. She is a member of the American Bar Association, the Wake County Bar Association, the National LGBT Bar Association, and the LGBT Family Law Institute. Jennifer is the chairperson of the Modern Family Committee of the Family Section of the North Carolina Bar Association and is a voting member of the Family Law Council of the North Carolina Bar Association. Jennifer is also a member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM).

    Jennifer currently works exclusively with clients growing their families through assisted reproduction, adoption, and surrogacy. Jennifer is an Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) fellow of the prestigious Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys (AAAA), one of only four attorneys in North Carolina with such a distinction.

    In her Reproductive Law practice, Jennifer has been a pioneer in the state of North Carolina in protecting the rights of intended parents, donors, and surrogates. Jennifer works closely with many local and national IVF clinics and surrogacy agencies to assist couples who are growing their families with the assistance of an egg donor, sperm donor, embryo donor, and/or surrogate. She as given numerous presentations and lectures on Reproductive Law throughout the state and has taught on assisted reproductive technology law at law schools and medical schools throughout the region.

    Jennifer is also a firm believer in equal rights and respect for all families. Jennifer has served the LGBT community since she was a law student, and she believes that every family deserves acknowledgment, protection, and respect regardless of how that family is formed or defined.

    Click here for more information about Jennifer.

March 19, 2021
Fri 8:30 AM EDT

Duration 7H 55M

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