8:25 Registration and Continental Breakfast
8:55 Welcome and Introductions
9:00 Ethics Developments and Best Practices for Family Law Paralegals*
Fred M. Morelock, Tharrington Smith LLP, Raleigh
Learn tips for detecting and handling conflicts of interest, as well as for maintaining professionalism with clients and the importance of continuing education for paralegals.
10:10 Intimate Partner Violence, Mental Health and the Prioritization of Self-Care
Katrina Kuzyszyn-Jones, Psy.D., KKJ Psychology, Durham
Mental health professionals play an important role in family law cases. This session discusses how a client's mental health issues, including factors related to intimate partner violence, can impact your legal case. Paralegals are provided with some tools to recognize, understand and manage mental health issues when dealing with a client or opposing party with mental health issues.
11:20 Impact of Social Media
Ketan P. Soni, Soni Brendle PLLC, Charlotte
This session briefly touches on the past, addresses the present, and predicts the future of using social media in any legal industry. Additionally, the pitfalls of blindly believing any digital evidence provided are weighed against the ease of which this evidence can be manipulated. From this perspective, the materials shed light on protecting the integrity of evidence and being aware of bad actors fabricating information. Overall, this session covers the 1s and 0s of anti-social media in the modern world.
12:20 Lunch Break
1:20 What Does the Modern Family Look Like? Custody in Blended Families and How to Make It Work
Katie H. King, Wake Family Law Group, Raleigh
Justin L. Mauney, Wake Family Law Group, Raleigh
Helen M. O'Shaughnessy, Wake Family Law Group, Raleigh
Blended families are now common in the U.S., and at least half of all children live with a stepparent. Blended families create additional challenges for families in the midst of child custody disputes, and lawyers/paralegals must consider those unique dynamics carefully. Discuss how the legal community addresses those challenges to reduce stress and help create successful parenting plans for blended families in child custody disputes.
2:30 Land Mines on the Military Pension Minefields: Filing a Claim for Equitable Distribution for a Service Member and Meeting Military Deadlines
Vanessa N. Puhak, Law Offices of Mark E. Sullivan PA, Raleigh
Dividing a military pension can be daunting task. What documents are needed to help assist an equitable distribution claim and how can an expert help? What is the Survivor Benefit Plan? How will this affect the client as a service member or a service member's spouse? Paralegals can play a critical role in gathering the necessary information to help an attorney address these questions. With the mobility of today's military family and the high rate of divorce, equitable distribution in the context of a service member or a military spouse can be complex, fast-paced and confusing. This presentation brings together the top issues regarding military pension division and what a paralegal should consider if they are assisting with a case involving a service member or military spouse.
Chief Judge Ned W. Mangum, NC District Court – 10th Judicial District, Raleigh
Melissa R. Bawden, Wake County Family Court Office, Raleigh
Let's talk about e-filing. This session examines the impact of electronic filing on the court system as it relates to family law. We also discuss information about legislative changes and the impact it has on the service of documents.
* Indicates portion providing Ethics/Professional Responsibility credit