THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 2022
8:25 Registration and Continental Breakfast
8:55 Welcome and Introductions
9:00 Client Selection, Intake and Preparation
Syrena N. Williams, The CW Law Group, Durham
Your work begins before you even meet a potential client. One of the best ways to avoid ethical problems in these emotional cases is to start with solid client selection and client intake skills. After you have selected your client, the first days/weeks of preparation can be key in how your work will proceed and how successful you will be in meeting your client's goals. Your first meeting sets the stage for your relationship with your client. Learn how to put your best foot forward when it comes to client selection, intake and preparation.
10:10 How to Play Well With Others: Ponton's Top 10 *
Amy L. Britt, Parker Bryan Family Law, Raleigh
Legal leader, Robert Ponton, established a Top 10 list more than a decade ago. Review these guiding principles for maintaining an ethical and successful family law practice.
11:20 Child Support
Anna Warburton Munroe, Allman Spry Davis Leggett & Crumpler, Winston-Salem
Explore the application of NC Child Support Guidelines to child support cases, including when and how to deviate from those guidelines. Then discuss best practices for drafting child support orders and strategies for enforcing the orders; the imputation of income and showing of bad faith; and the establishment, modification and termination of child support.
12:20 Lunch Break
1:05 Postseparation Support and Alimony
Elise Morgan Whitley, Kurtz Evans Whitley Guy & Simos PLLC, Winston-Salem
Learn about the ins and outs of postseparation support and alimony, including entitlement and marital misconduct, proving dependency on the supporting spouse, showing reasonable needs and ability to pay, method of payment and enforcement, and modification or termination.
2:15 Child Custody
Rebecca K. Watts, Collins Family Law Group, Charlotte
The best interest of the child is only part of what you need to understand in navigating child custody cases. Delve into the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, burdens of proof for parent-parent custody and parent-third party custody, drafting custody orders, and the use of parenting coordinators. Then review the tools in your toolkit to help resolve child custody cases without litigation.
3:25 Equitable Distribution
Lauren Taylor Quinn, Ward Smith PA, New Bern
Walk through equitable distribution orders and judgments, including distributional factors, presumptions, burdens of proof, classification, expert valuations, and discovery and valuation issues. Examine in-kind distributions versus distributive awards and the use of N.C.G.S. § 50-20(i) and 50-20(i1).
4:25 Adjourn for the day
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2022
8:25 Continental Breakfast
8:55 Welcome and Introductions
9:00 Civil Procedure and Discovery
Katherine H. "Katie" King, Wake Family Law Group, Raleigh
Discuss key components of civil procedure and discovery — including service of process, jurisdictional requirements, standing and intervention, pleadings, Rule 8, and depositions (in-person and virtual) — and various ways to use them to protect your case. Then analyze North Carolina subpoenas, out-of-state subpoenas, discovery requests and objections.
10:10 Trial Prep: Evidentiary Foundations and Objections
Judge Kristin K. Broyles, 21st Judicial District Court, Winston-Salem
Review exhibit selection and preparation and its uses in trials versus depositions. Learn how and when to make objections and how to defend them; how to use and present illustrative or summary exhibits; and how to introduce financial and electronic exhibits, photographs and more. With the new forum of virtual hearings, gain insight into how you can handle these issues in an effective manner through Webex.
11:20 How to Reach a Settlement? Mediation and ADR
Bill Rogers, Carolina Family Arbitration and Mediation Services, Concord
The case is prepared for a trial, but how can a case be settled? Explore strategies on how to situate your case for a settlement, including an analysis of various alternative dispute resolution options and the court-ordered custody mediation program.
12:20 Lunch Break
1:05 Drafting Orders, Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDROs) and Appellate Issues
Jill S. Jackson, Jackson Family Law, Raleigh
Orders are some of the most significant documents we will draft for our clients. Orders regarding the division of pensions and other retirement accounts often involve some of the highest-value assets for a client and represent one of the largest malpractice areas for family lawyers. Review these types of orders, then delve into the practice and procedure for appeals, including the time for appeal, interlocutory appeals, making and preserving the record, and ways to protect your client even if you will not be handling the appeal.
2:15 Enforcement Tips: Contempt and Breach of Contract
Manisha P. Patel, Law Office of Manisha P. Patel, Greensboro
Some of the most challenging work for family lawyers is advising clients on how to enforce the orders and agreements we draft. Walk through the case law on this topic and the differences between civil and criminal contempt. Learn about purposes, procedures, burdens of proof, purge conditions, and sentences regarding civil and criminal contempt, as well as best practices for handling issues that may arise in between settlement at mediation and execution of the final documents.
3:25 Post-pandemic Changes to Our Practice: Virtual Hearings, E-courts, Email Certificates of Service, Video Notarization, Etc. ‡
J. Wade Harrison, Harrison Whitaker, Burlington Theresa E. Viera, Modern Legal, Charlotte
COVID pushed the practice of family law to learn how to present evidence and represent clients in a virtual world. Hear tips from the trenches about how to tackle Webex hearings and receive an update on e-courts.
4:25 Adjourn * Indicates portion providing Ethics/Professional Responsibility credit ‡ Indicates portion providing Technology Training credit
This two-day program, designed for both new and experienced family lawyers, covers a wide variety of family law topics.
Amy L. Britt
Amy L. Britt is a partner with Parker Bryan Family Law in Raleigh. She focuses her practice exclusively on family law matters in Wake County, including separation, divorce, child custody, child support, alimony, property distribution, domestic violence, premarital agreements, separation and property settlement agreements, and retirement division orders (QDROs). As a result, she is well-versed in the Wake County Family Court system, including cases involving complex equitable distribution and grandparent custody or visitation.
Amy is a Board Certified Specialist in Family Law, a Certified Family Financial Mediator and a Certified Parenting Coordinator. She is currently a member of the NCBA Family Law Section Council, Chair of the NCBA CLE Committee and past Chair of the History of Family Law Committee. Amy has authored and presented on a variety of family law topics. She has been named by North Carolina Super Lawyers magazine, Business North Carolina's Legal Elite and Best Lawyers in America.
Amy is a native of Fayetteville and has lived in Raleigh since the Fall of 2005. Amy earned a B.A. in English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her J.D. from the University of North Carolina School of Law.
Click here for more information about Amy.
Judge Kristin K. Broyles
Judge Kristin K. Broyles was appointed in February 2022 by Governor Roy Cooper to serve as a district-court judge in Judicial District 21 in Forsyth County. Prior to she served as a partner with the Halvorsen Family Law Group in Winston-Salem. Previous to that she was a partner at Kelly & Payne PLLC in Winston-Salem, and she worked as an adjunct professor at Forsyth Technical Community College.
Kristin is a North Carolina Board Certified Specialist in Family Law and a Certified Parenting Coordinator. She is the recipient of the 2020 40 under 40 award from the Triad Business Journal and the 2018 40 under 40 Alumni Award from North Carolina Central University. Kristin has been recognized as a Best Lawyers in America since 2019, a Rising Star by SuperLawyers since 2016 and has been recognized as a Legal Elite in Family Law from Business North Carolina. She was a member of the 2017 Leadership Academy class sponsored by the North Carolina Bar Association and was one of sixteen attorneys chosen from across the state to be involved in the program.
Kristin is an experienced litigator and a strong advocate for her clients in and out of the courtroom. She is admitted to practice in all state courts in North Carolina as well as the Federal Courts in the Middle District of North Carolina. Kristin was recently elected as Vice President for the Executive Committee of the 21st Judicial District Bar/Forsyth County Bar Association. She has served on the Ethics and Grievance Committee for the 21st Judicial District Bar/Forsyth County Bar Association, was a Past-President for the Forsyth County Criminal Defense Trial Lawyers Association and Past-President of the Forsyth County Young Lawyers Division. She is also a member of the Forsyth County Women’s Attorneys Association and a member of the North Carolina Bar Association.
Kristin earned her B.A. in Political Science from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her J.D. from North Carolina Central University School of Law.
Click here for more information about Kristin.
Katherine A. Frye
Katherine A. Frye is the owner of Frye Law Offices PA in Raleigh. Her practice specializes in all aspects of family law, including separation, divorce, child custody and visitation, child support, post separation support and alimony, and property distribution. She is a North Carolina Board Certified Specialist in Family Law.
In addition, Katherine is a North Carolina Dispute Resolution Certified Family Financial Mediator. Her practice has been limited to family law for almost ten years. During her career, Katherine has served as the State Chair of the Silent Partners Program which is a division of the Young Lawyers Division of the North Carolina Bar Association.
More recently, Katherine served as the Wake County representative for the Silent Partners Program for over three years. Katherine has also participated in other projects such as "Lunch with a Lawyer," where she was paired with a teenage child to mentor, and Katherine and her former partner conducted seminars at Campbell Law School to advise other lawyers on starting their own law firm.
Katherine earned her B.A. in English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After graduation, Katherine went directly to law school and graduated from The Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law. While in law school, Katherine participated in the National and Regional Advocacy Competitions and received the honor of the Order of Old Kivett for her superior performance. After graduating from law school, Katherine immediately started a law firm with a fellow classmate. Two years later, Katherine started her own law firm.
Click here for more information about Katherine.
J. Wade Harrison
J. Wade Harrison is an attorney, mediator and arbitrator at Harrison Whitaker in Burlington. After working four years in Washington in the House of Representatives, he began practicing in Burlington.
Wade is a North Carolina Board Certified Specialist in Family Law and has been included in The Best Lawyers in America©. He is a Fellow in the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and has been named to the North Carolina Super Lawyers® list in the area of Family Law. Wade has been a planner and speaker for continuing legal education programs for family lawyers and have served in leadership positions in the family law bar and have donated time to assisting domestic violence victims.
Wade has been trained in and has experience using the collaborative divorce model. He is certified by the North Carolina Dispute Resolution Commission as a Family Financial Mediator. He is also certified by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers as a family law arbitrator. He actively engages in the mediation and arbitration of family law disputes. He has completed the Harvard Negotiation Project training for family law attorneys.
Wade has served as Treasurer of the Litigation Section, President of the Family Law Section, President of the North Carolina Chapter of the AAML, Delegate to the National Board of Governors for the AAML and President of the Alamance County Bar Association.
Most recently, Wade was one of the attorneys appointed to represent the interests of the North Carolina Bar Association on the Chief Justice's COVID-19 Task Force. He has been recognized for his community service as a North Carolina Citizen Lawyer by the North Carolina Bar Association and for his service to the Bar was presented with the James E. Cross Leadership Award by the North Carolina State Bar.
Wade earned both his B.A. and J.D. from the University of North Carolina.
Click here for more information about Wade.
Jill S. Jackson
Jill S. Jackson practices at Jackson Family Law in Raleigh. Her practice is devoted to family law and appeals. She also has extensive experience dividing various types of retirement benefits, including IRAs, pensions, defined contribution plans, and governmental retirement plans.
Jill is a Fellow in the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and a North Carolina Board Certified Specialist in Family Law. She recently was the Secretary of the North Carolina chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. Jill has served on the Family Law Specialization Committee of the North Carolina State Bar Board of Legal Specialization and on the Grievance Committee of the 10th Judicial District Bar. Jill has been recognized by Business North Carolina magazine as one of the "Legal Elite" in North Carolina and as a "Rising Star," a "Top 50 Women Lawyer," and a "Top 100 Lawyer" by North Carolina Super Lawyers magazine. She formerly was a member of the Family Law Council of the North Carolina Bar Association and is a past co-chair of the Equitable Distribution Committee of the Family Law Section of the North Carolina Bar Association. Jill also served on the Board of Directors for the 10th Judicial District Bar and the Wake County Bar Association. Jill currently serves on the CLE Curriculum Committee of the North Carolina Bar Association Family Law Section.
Jill earned a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Minnesota, her J.D., with honors, from the University of North Carolina School of Law, then completed a clerkship with Justice Sarah Parker of the North Carolina Supreme Court. While in law school, Jill was a staff member for the North Carolina Journal of International Law and Commercial Regulation and a member of the Holderness Moot Court National Team. She also received the Gressman-Pollitt Award for outstanding oral advocacy during her first year of law school.
Click here for more information about Jill.
Katherine H. "Katie" King
Katherine H. "Katie" King is a partner at Wake Family Law Group (Schilawski O'Shaughnessy Grace King & Mauney, PLLC) in Raleigh. She works with clients in matters involving North Carolina family law litigation, mediation, negotiations, and appeals. She is a Board-Certified Family Law Specialist, Certified Parenting Coordinator, and Certified Family Financial Mediator.
Katie is the Immediate Past Chair of the Family Law Section of the North Carolina Bar Association. She recently completed a 3-year term as a Council Member for the Family Law Section and was Secretary of the Section from 2011-2020. She serves on the Section's Adoption and Modern Family Committees. Katie is also a member of the Wake County Bar Association and served a 3-year term on the Board of Directors ending in 2021. She is currently the Chair of the Tenth Judicial District's Grievance Committee, which investigates complaints involving lawyers' ethical conduct. She has previously served on the Tenth Judicial District's Fee Dispute Resolution Committee. Katie is also an ally attorney member of the LGBT Family Law Institute, a group of family law practitioners from across the country who are experienced in representing members of the LGBTQ+ community.
Katie received her B.A. in English and Political Studies,
cum laude, from Meredith College and her J.D. from Campbell University School of Law.
Outside of lawyering, mediating, and parenting coordinating, Katie enjoys rescue kittens, fast cars, craft beer, and cheering for the Wolfpack. She usually enjoys her husband and kids too.
Click here for more information about Katie.
Anna Warburton Munroe
Anna Warburton Munroe is a shareholder with Allman Spry Davis Leggett & Crumpler PA in Winston-Salem. She is a Board Certified Family Law Specialist and focuses her practice on all aspects of family law. She is a member of the Family Law Section of the North Carolina Bar Association, the Family Law Council, and the Forsyth County Bar Association. She has been named a Super Lawyers Rising Star each year since 2015 and a Best Lawyer in America in 2018 and 2019.
She received her B.A. from Wake Forest University and J.D. from Wake Forest University School of Law. Since being admitted to the North Carolina State Bar in 2009, she has practiced solely in the area of family law.
Click here for more information about Anna.
Manisha P. Patel
Manisha P. Patel is the managing attorney at the Law Office of Manisha P. Patel PLLC in Greensboro. She is a family law attorney representing clients in various stages of their domestic law matters. She began her legal career practicing with a private law firm before opening the doors to her solo practice in November 2018.
A Virginia native, Manisha graduated from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) with Bachelor's degrees in both economics and history. While enrolled in Virginia Tech, she received recognition at both the state and national levels for distinguished service in student affairs and on-campus student government. She next attended Elon University School of Law, where she was the Vice President of the Women's Law Association and a member of Phi Alpha Delta International Law Fraternity. She identified family law as an area of interest early in her first year of law school and has since dedicated her practice to offering compassion, dedication, and fervent legal support to individuals in emotionally trying seasons of life.
Born and raised in Danville, VA, Manisha has always been close to her family and is the first attorney in her family. Manisha decided to pursue a legal career at the young age of fourteen while working on an 8th grade research project on the constitutionality of the death penalty in the United States.
In her free time, Manisha enjoys running and has completed nine half marathons and a number of smaller races throughout the country and Canada. She is also enthusiastic about her Virginia Tech Hokies and loves spending time with her adopted rescue dog, a pug chihuahua mix, Rusty M. Patel.
Click here for more information about Manisha.
Tonya Graser Smith
Tonya Graser Smith is a family law attornery and the founder of GraserSmith PLLC in Charlotte. She focuses her practice on divorce, child custody, child support, alimony, equitable distribution, prenuptial agreements, contract enforcement and other family law matters.
Tonya practices family and domestic law exclusively in Mecklenburg and surrounding counties, including Cabarrus, Union, Gaston and Lincoln. Tonya has been recognized for her accomplishments in family law by Legal Elite of NC and Super Lawyers of NC. She frequently presents at legal education events on legal developments and family law litigation tactics.
Tonya completed an eight-day trial school program through the American Bar Association Family Law Section and the National Institute for Trial Advocacy. She is a North Carolina Board Certified Specialist in Family Law. She has completed a two-day training for Collaborative Law Practice and is a member of the Charlotte Collaborative Divorce Professionals. She also completed instruction titled "Advance Collaborative Divorce Training."
Tonya earned her B.A. in Political Science from West Virginia University and her J.D. from Texas Tech University School of Law.
Click here for more information about Tonya.
Lauren Taylor Quinn
Lauren Taylor Quinn leads the Family Law practice at Ward and Smith PA in New Bern. She is a North Carolina State Bar Board Certified Specialist in Family Law. Her experience encompasses various areas of civil litigation with a primary focus on complex familial issues. Her practice includes premarital and post-marital agreements, complex equitable distribution, custody and child support litigation, and adoption. Lauren routinely represents and counsels clients on financial family-related issues involving business valuations, pension valuations, military retirement division, Qualified Domestic Relations Orders, real property appraisals, and division of executive benefits. She also has extensive experience with interstate custody and jurisdictional issues, high conflict custody cases, custody evaluations, and adoptions.
Lauren handles litigation and non-litigation matters involving mediation, arbitration, premarital and post-marital agreements, separation agreements, and surrogacy agreements. She also represents clients before the NC Court of Appeals and NC Supreme Court on family-related cases after final judgment at the trial court level. Lauren practices throughout Eastern North Carolina.
Prior to joining the firm, Lauren was a law clerk to Judge J. Douglas McCullough of the North Carolina Court of Appeals.
Lauren earned her B.A. in Journalism from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, her J.D.,
cum laude, Campbell University Norman Adrian Wiggins School and her M.B.A. from Campbell University.
Click here for more information about Lauren.
Bill Rogers is a family law attorney and mediator with Carolina Family Arbitration and Mediation Services in Concord. He is certified by the North Carolina Dispute Resolution Commission as a Family Financial Mediator and Superior Court Mediation. He is experienced in most aspects of family law but is particularly interested in custody and equitable distribution matters. He believes most disputes could be more efficiently and fairly resolved through alternative dispute resolution processes rather than "taking it to court."
Bill has completed the 40 hour Family and Divorce Mediation training course offered by Mediation Inc.
Click here for more information about Bill.
Theresa E. Viera
Theresa E. Viera is a family law attorney and founder of Modern Legal in Charlotte. Over many years of practicing law with a focus on Family Law, she has expanded her skills in oration, writing, and legal thinking. She has been able to help hundreds of clients and their families find healthy solutions by utilizing the law.
Many cases may be resolved outside of the courthouse with the use of negotiations, mediation, or collaborative law; however, a number of cases will need the assistance of a Judge via the litigation process. She helps her clients utilize each legal tool available to ensure a fitting solution for their specific family's situation.
Theresa earned her B.A. in International Affairs and Political Science from The George Washington University and her J.D. from University of North Carolina School of Law. She is a Certified Family Financial Mediator with the NC Dispute Resolution Commission.
At one time, Theresa was a young witness to violence within her home and a naive child attempting to help her mother endure her own divorce. Her past inspired her to beome a lawyer and help change how we as a community address family legal matters. She believes our judicial system can do more than further victimize and provide minimal protections to those seeking legal help or protections (regardless if such a case involves domestic violence or not)
Click here for more information about Theresa.
Rebecca K. "Becky" Watts
Rebecca K. "Becky" Watts is a partner and Chief Legal Officer at Collins Family Law Group in Charlotte, where she is also the head of the appellate practice group. Becky represents clients at the trial court level for a select number of cases and also serves as a mediator or arbitrator in family law cases.
Becky's practice consists almost entirely of family law appeals and she has handled approximately 50 cases in the North Carolina Court of Appeals and North Carolina Supreme Court, dealing with issues such as custody, child support, equitable distribution, enforcement of separation agreements, annulments, domestic violence and contempt.
Becky is active with the North Carolina Bar Association's Family Law Section, the North Carolina Bar Association's Appellate Practice Section, the North Carolina Bar Association's Appellate Rules Committee, the Mecklenburg County Bar Association, and the Mecklenburg County Domestic Court Bar Committee. She is also a certified Family Law Specialist.
Becky received her B.S. degree from Florida State University and her J.D. degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law.
Click here for more information about Becky.
Elise Morgan Whitley
Elise Morgan Whitley is a partner with the firm of Kurtz Evans Whitley Guy & Simos PLLC in Winston-Salem. She is certified by the North Carolina State Bar as a Board Certified Specialist in the area of Family Law and devotes her practice solely to assisting people in domestic matters.
Since January 2013, she has been an Adjunct Professor at Wake Forest University School of Law teaching in the area of advance family law.
Elise earned her B.A. in English Literature from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her J.D. from Wake Forest University School of Law.
Elise lives in Winston-Salem with her husband, their two children and Russet (the world's greatest Golden Retriever).
Click here for more information about Elise.
Syrena N. Williams
Syrena N. Williams is an attorney, mediator and the CEO of The CW Law Group in Durham. She has successfully handled many cases for her clients, while gaining their confidence, and maintaining their confidentiality. She practices in the areas of family law, estates, personal injury, and criminal law (including all traffic matters).
Syrena is licensed to practice law in North Carolina, and in the U. S. District Court, Eastern District of North Carolina. She is also a North Carolina certified mediator. She teaches part-time in the School of Business at North Carolina Central University, and is a board member of the Durham County Bar Association Public Service Committee.
Syrena earned her B.B.A. in Business, M.B.A and J.D. from North Carolina Central University.
Click here for more information about Syrena.
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