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Advocacy Reimagined: Uncovering Evidence Without Experts in the Age of AI (2024 Family Law Section Spring Program)

8:55        Welcome and Introductions

9:00        Case Law Update: Part I

Lee Hawley, Roberson Haworth & Reese PLLC, High Point
Emily Jeske, Bosquez-Porter Family Law, Raleigh

In this session, our presenters provide an overview of new and important North Carolina appellate decisions from the past year affecting the areas of child custody, child support, domestic violence and more.

10:02      Ethics in AI*

Carolyn Elefant, Law Offices of Carolyn Elefant, Bethesda, MD

In this session, our special guest speaker reviews best practices for using AI ethically and effectively in your family law practice, as well as how to avoid potential pitfalls.

11:06      Break

11:16      Uncovering Financial Evidence Without Experts

Sherry Campbell, Hutchinson Family Offices, Greensboro
Stephanie Jenkins, Parker Bryan Family Law, Raleigh
Susan Simos, Craige Jenkins Liipfert & Walker LLP, Winston-Salem

Learn about the types of financial experts and get tips from an experienced panel on how to know when you need a financial expert, how to find hidden income and assets through discovery, how to deploy AI-assisted technology to compile data for use in settlement negotiations, and how to present and admit financial evidence at trial without experts.

12:17      Lunch Break

12:47      Case Law Update: Part II

Elizabeth James, Hamilton Stephens Steele & Martin PLLC, Charlotte
Carrie Tortora, Tortora Family Law, Raleigh

In this session, presenters provide an overview of new and important North Carolina appellate decisions from the past year affecting the areas of equitable distribution, alimony, marital contracts, alienation of affection/criminal conversation, etc.

1:49        Harnessing the Power of AI: A Practical Guide for Family Lawyers

Chase Hardy, Griffin Purnell, San Antonio, TX

Take an in-depth look at how the latest AI technology can augment the work of family lawyers. Our special guest speaker provides hands-on experience with ChatGPT, Claude and others to demonstrate how these large language models can streamline workflows. Attendees leave with sample prompts and practical tips to immediately apply in their practice to save time on research, drafting motions, discovery and more.

3:19        Break

3:29        Evidence Without Experts in Custody Cases

Carolyn Pender-Roche, Next Step Psychology PLLC, Durham

In this session, hear from a child and family psychologist about differences between mental health professionals serving in the roles of treating "fact witness" and "expert witness" in child custody cases. Other topics include emerging patterns, including the ethics associated with mental health professionals requiring payment of a retainer prior to trial to secure their court appearance, providers including "no court testimony clauses" in their business contracts, and similar restrictions on therapy services. Suggestions are offered to maximize use of mental health professionals in child custody cases.

4:32        Adjourn

* Indicates portion providing Ethics/Professional Responsibility credit
‡ Indicates portion providing Technology Training credit


Join us for a program designed to help you streamline your family law practice.

Learn how to know when you need an expert witness in a financial or custody case and how to seek, obtain and admit evidence at trial without experts.

We also explore how to ethically deploy artificial intelligence (AI) and maximize your efficiency by using AI to compile financial data, perform legal research, author legal correspondence, draft discovery and more.


  • 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 and a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers as well as a Certified Family Financial Mediator and a Certified Parenting Coordinator. She is a former member of the NCBA Family Law Section Council, past Chair of the CLE Committee, past Chair of the History of Family Law Committee and has authored and presented on a variety of family law topics.

    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.

  • Sherry W. Campbell

    Sherry W. Campbell is Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Hutchinson Family Offices in Greensboro. Hutchinson Family Offices is an a multi-client family office managing and overseeing high net-worth family's wealth with over 20 years of experience, including national high-profile divorce cases..

    With her divorce clients, Sherry focuses on analyzing the challenging financial issues of high net-worth clients by providing customized recommendations for divorce settlement and sophisticated planning solutions. She collaborates with top attorneys, accountants, counselors, mediators, and other professionals throughout the country.

    Services led by Sherry include evaluation of assets and financial documentation, examination of income tax issues applicable to the divorce settlement, providing analysis and recommendations for divorce mediation, assistance in preparing trial exhibits and expert analysis, as well as providing the client with financial recommendations for overall wealth structure and management that meets set goals for preservation, growth and income.

    Sherry earned her B.S. in Finance, Risk Management from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She is also a CFP® (Certified Financial Planner) and CDFA® (Certified Divorce Financial Analyst).

    Click here for more information about Sherry.

  • Carolyn Elefant

    Carolyn Elefant is Founder and Owner of the Law Offices of Carolyn Elefant in Bethesda, MD. She is is a recognized changemaking lawyer in the energy industry who has pioneered novel policy approaches and precedent that helped lay the foundation for today's transition to a carbon-free energy economy.

    As a legal entrepreneur, Carolyn is at the forefront of technological innovation. She believes in harnessing technology to elevate the delivery of legal services and has been an advocate for the adoption of cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and other modern technologies in legal practice.

    Carolyn is a pioneering voice in law firm ownership and AI's role in legal practice. In 2002, she founded, a trailblazing blog that has catalyzed the launch of thousands law firms. Through this platform, she champions digital-era law firm modernization, tech-driven competitiveness for small firms, and gender equality via woman-owned practices. She authored "Solo by Choice" and "Social Media for Lawyers: The Next Frontier."

    Carolyn's accolades include the American Legal Technology Lifetime Achievement Award, Energy and Environmental Super Lawyer since 2012, ABA Legal Rebel, Fastcase 50 Innovator, and ABA Woman of Legal Tech. In 2020, she spearheaded the 350-person Lawyer-Mom-Owner Summit and joined the ABA Tech Show Board in 2023.

    Levering her experience and industry contacts, Carolyn also serves as an advisor to legal tech companies and professional services companies targeting solo and mid-sized firms.

    Carolyn earned her B.A., magna cum laude, in Politics from Brandeis University and her J.D. from Cornell Law School.

    Click here for more information about Carolyn.

  • Jacob C. Ehrmann

    Jacob C. Ehrmann is the founding attorney at Montford Family Law in Asheville. With caring and experience, he assists clients in the Asheville area with all aspects of the divorce process including separation agreements, child custody and child support, alimony, and property division.

    Jacob has been in private practice since 2004 and is a NC Board Certified Specialist in Family Law. He is also a Certified Mediator for Family Financial Cases. He began his legal career at Pisgah Legal Services, where he primarily represented victims of domestic violence. Jacob is active in the North Carolina Bar Association.

    Jacob earned B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he graduated with honors in Public Policy Analysis with an emphasis on race and gender issues. He earned his J.D. from the UNC School of Law.

    Click here for more information about Jacob.

  • Chase Hardy

    Chase Hardy is an attorney with Griffin Purnell in San Antonio, TX.

    Chase understands that a journey through our judicial system can be intimidating. The fear of the unknown can creep into every crevice of a person's life. This is why Chase has dedicated his life to understanding the intricate and nuanced workings of our judicial system. A continual thirst for knowledge and years of traditional schooling has crafted Chase into a truly zealous advocate for everyone he represents. He believes deeply in the wisdom of the jury and is proud to take a case to verdict.

    Chase earned his B.B.A. in Finance from Baylor University and his J.D. from Baylor University School of Law. He clerked for two prominent San Antonio Plaintiff's and Defense firms and had the honor of working with Justice Patricia O. Alvarez of the Fourth Court of Appeals.

    Click here for more information about Chase.

  • Lee C. Hawley

    Lee C. Hawley is a Member/Manager with Roberson Haworth & Reese PLLC in High Point. He practices exclusively in the area of family law.

    In 2013 Lee was recognized as a family law specialist by the North Carolina State Bar Board of Legal Specialization. He is a former member of the North Carolina Bar Association's Family Law Council. He has presented at numerous continuing education seminars throughout North Carolina on a variety of family law issues.

    Lee earned his B.A. from Elon University and his J.D. from Florida State University.

    Click here for more information about Lee.

  • Elizabeth J. "Libby" James

    Elizabeth J. "Libby" James is a Partner at Hamilton Stephens Steele & Martin PLLC in Charlotte. She practices family law with an emphasis on alimony, post-separation support, equitable distribution, separation agreements, premarital agreements, child support, child custody, contempt motions, qualified domestic relations orders, name changes and domestic violence protective orders and appeals.

    Libby is a certified Family Law Specialist and is certified by the Cooperative Parenting Institute as a Parent Coordinator. She is a member of the North Carolina Bar Association, Mecklenburg County Bar Board of Directors and the American Bar Association. She is the co-author of the Lexis Nexis Practice Guide: North Carolina Family Law. She is also a Fellow of the AAML (American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers) and a Fellow of the IAFL (Internation Academy of Family Lawyers).

    Libby earned her B.A., magna cum laude, in Politics from the University of Tennessee and her J.D. from the University of South Carolina.

    Click here for more information about Libby.

  • Stephanie T. Jenkins

    Stephanie T. Jenkins is a Partner at Parker Bryan Family Law in Raleigh, having joined the firm in 2020. Practicing family and divorce law is a sensitive topic and matters such as custody, child support, spousal support, complex equitable distribution, and domestic violence issues require competent, focused, and dedicated representation, both for the parties and any children involved. Stephanie is an example of a legal professional that possesses all of those qualities and more.

    As one of the most skilled domestic relations, family, and divorce attorneys in North Carolina, Stephanie has been selected by her peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America in the specialty of Family Law repeatedly since 2010. She has been named a Super Lawyer; every year since 2012 and has been selected as one of the Top 50 Female Lawyers in North Carolina. She has been named in the Business North Carolina Legal Elite.

    Prior to joining Parker Bryan, Stephanie practiced family law for more than 20 years, mostly in Raleigh. She was also a prosecutor in Wake County for six years. During her time as prosecutor, she started the then-innovative and controversial Criminal Domestic Violence Court, earning her the U.S. Department of Justice Certificate of Appreciation. She was also a prosecutor on the Dangerous Offenders Task Force, prosecuting defendants with the worst records for violent felonies. Her time as a prosecutor gives Stephanie a unique perspective and experience base. Her criminal background bolsters the firm's ability to represent clients in family law criminal matters. She has tried dozens of jury trials, again setting her apart from most family lawyers. Stephanie prosecutes and defends alienation of affection and criminal conversation cases.

    Stephanie earned her B.A. from Davidson College and her J.D. from the University of North Carolina.

    Click here for more information about Stephanie.

  • Emily C. Jeske

    Emily C. Jeske is a Partner at Bosquez Porter Family Law in Raleigh. She focuses her practice exclusively in the areas of family and domestic issues, with particular interest in high-conflict child custody, 50B and 50C cases, and child support.

    Emily has been recognized for her work in family law in Best Lawyers in America: Ones to Watch; as a Rising Star by North Carolina Super Lawyers; and as a Legal Elite "Young Gun" by Business North Carolina. She is also the co-chair of the social committee for the family law section of the North Carolina Bar Association and a member of the Wake County Bar Association.

    Emily earned her B.S., magna cum laude, in Psychology and Sociology from Furman University and her J.D., cum laude, from Wake Forest University School of Law, receiving membership in the Order of the Coif..

    Click here for more information about Emily.

  • Jeffrey "Jeff" Marshall

    Jeffrey "Jeff" Marshall is a Partner at Marshall & Taylor PLLC in Raleigh. His law practice is focused entirely on family law and divorce matters.

    Jeff is a North Carolina Board Certified Specialist in Family Law. He is also certified by the North Carolina Dispute Resolution Committee as a Family Financial Mediator and has successfully resolved many family law cases for attorneys and their clients who are going through the difficult process of separation and divorce. Additionally, he is often chosen by his peers as an arbitrator to make legally binding decisions in highly contested family law matters.

    Jeff is a member of the North Carolina Bar Association, the Tenth Judicial District Bar and the Wake County Bar Association. He is a member of the Family Law Section of the North Carolina Bar Association, and a member of the Continuing Legal Education Committee. He has both spoken and planned Continuing Legal Education Courses.

    Jeff currently serves on the Advisory Board and is the past President on the Board of Directors for The Child's Advocate, a once local, non-profit organization and now a part of Legal Aid. This program is designed to ensure that courts hear and understand a minor child's opinions in highly contested custody cases.

    Jeff earned his B.S. in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance from SUNY Buffalo and his J.D. from Capital University Law School.

    Click here for more information about Jeff.

  • Carolyn Pender-Roche Ph.D

    Carolyn Pender-Roche Ph.D is a Licensed Psychologist at Next Step Psychology PLLC in Durham. She founded Next Step Psychology in 2013. Prior to opening her own practice, Carolyn practiced psychology at Silber Psychological Services from 2009 to 2013 in their Raleigh and Cary office locations. She has over 15 years experience working with children and their families.

    Carolyn specializes in the treatment and evaluation of children, adolescents, and families with a wide range of presenting issues. She is also a Parenting Coordinator and assists families in managing high conflict issues, facilitates co-parenting, and addresses general divorce issues. She also enjoys giving presentations on a range of topics to groups and other professionals across a variety of settings.

    Carolyn completed her undergraduate degree at McGill University, Montreal Canada, with a major in the Psychology Honours Program, and a double minor in Sociology and Hispanic Studies. She attended the University of South Carolina where she earned her M.A. and Doctorate of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree in School Psychology. While at USC, she was elected as the President of the Psychology Graduate Student Association (PGSA). She then completed her pre-doctoral internship and a postdoctoral fellowship at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the Kennedy Krieger Institute where she specialized in Child and Family Therapy and Neuropsychology.

    Click here for more information about Carolyn.

  • Susan S. Simos

    Susan S. Simos is a Of Counsel at Kurtz Whitley Guy & Simos PLLC in Winston-Salem. Her primary practice area is family law, including divorce, child custody, child support, equitable distribution, spousal support, termination of parental rights, domestic violence, and adoption.

    Susan is a Board Certified Specialist in Family Law by the North Carolina State Bar Board of Legal Specialization.

    Susan has been asked to speak at conferences on various family law topics. She is a member of the Family Law Section of the North Carolina Bar Association and has served as President of the Forsyth County Women Attorneys Association.

    Susan earned her B.B.A., with concentrations in Accounting and Finance and Minor in Economics, from Boston University School of Management and her J.D. from Wake Forest University.

    Click here for more information about Susan.

  • Carrie Tortora

    Carrie Tortora is Founder of Tortora Family Law in Raleigh. She has nearly 15 years of experience as a divorce and family law attorney.

    Carrie is a board-certified family law specialist. Her background in accounting provides her a unique skill set to handle the financial issues involved in divorce, including valuing and dividing business interests and calculating support. She also clerked at the North Carolina Court of Appeals following law school, which experience provided her insight into the inner workings of the court system.

    Carrie earned her B.S., summa cum laude, in Accounting from Louisiana State University and her J.D., with high honors, from University of North Carolina School of Law.

    Click here for more information about Carrie.

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Certificate of Completion and Archived Video: Your certificate of completion and archived video will be available approximately two weeks of the program date and can be found in your CLE account. MCLE credit is available to registrants only on the day(s) of the live event. This archived content is offered solely for review purposes and is not a substitute for live attendance.

August 8, 2024
Thu 8:55 AM EDT

Duration 7H 37M

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