THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 2022
8:55 Welcome and Introductions
9:00 Client Selection, Intake and Preparation
Syrena N. Williams, Syrena Williams Legal Services PLLC, 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
8:55 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 Kelly 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.
* Indicates portion providing Ethics/Professional Responsibility credit
‡ Indicates portion providing Technology Training credit
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