Family Law

Message from the Chair

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Live Education

One area in which the Family Law Executive Committee has excelled is providing live education. Each year FLEXCOM offers 7 or 8 live education opportunities throughout the State of California. These programs are developed and overseen by our live education committee. This message highlights upcoming live education events in 2019 and 2020:  One Fell Swoop, the 2019 CLA Annual Meeting, and the 2020 San Luis Obispo County Minor’s Counsel Training.

One Fell Swoop

This program offers all 6 hours of specialty credits required as part of the mandatory continuing legal education requirements. The program includes 4 hours of legal ethics, 1 hour of competency issues, and 1 hour addressing bias. The program starts on September 6, 2019, in Oakland, California. Additional sessions will be held on October 18, 2019 in Los Angeles, October 25, 2019 in Rancho Cucamonga, and November 8, 2019 in Sacramento.

Program speakers include: Honorable Mark Juhas, Honorable Sue Alexander, David Lederman, CFLS, and Sherry Peterson, CFLS. At each location, a local judicial officer will also be participating: Honorable Monica F. Wiley (Oakland), Honorable Julie Ann Palafox (Los Angeles), Honorable Michael Gassner (Rancho Cucamonga), and Honorable Bunmi Awoniyi (Sacramento).

One Fell Swoop will offer you an excellent opportunity to address the mandatory MCLE but with a family law focus. Topics include the ethics of money, self-represented litigants and unbundling, ethical duties of experts, ethics and technology, attorney competence and bias in family law. More information regarding the program can be found at

2019 California Lawyers Association Annual Meeting

Each year, sections are offered the opportunity to present live education at the CLA Annual Meeting. This year’s meeting is being held in Monterey, California, October 10-12, 2019.  FLEXCOM will once again have multiple programs available to attend, including a cross-over educational event with the Criminal Law Section.

Programs include “A Toolbox for Litigating an Extraordinarily High-Income Child Support Case,” “Obtaining and Defending Domestic Violence Prevention Act Restraining Order Requests” and “Recent Developments in Family Law.”  The latter program will once again be led by the Honorable Mark Juhas, a good friend and supporter of FLEXCOM. All three programs will also provide 1 hour of Family Law Legal Specialization credit. 

FLEXCOM will be also co-sponsoring “The Intersectionality of Criminal Law and Family Law in Domestic Violence Cases” with the Criminal Law Section. This should be a topic of keen interest to anyone handling DVRO matters, particularly in light of a recent unpublished opinion which held a family court need not wait for a criminal prosecution to conclude before holding a DVRO hearing. You can register for the 2019 CLA Annual Meeting at

Fourth Annual San Luis Obispo County Minor’s Counsel Training:  February 8-9, 2020

I am pleased to announce that FLEXCOM will again be hosting the Fourth Annual Minor’s Counsel Training on February 8 and 9, 2020, in Pismo Beach, California. This program was started to address the lack of minor’s counsel available in San Luis Obispo County.  In three short years, it has grown from 37 to 101 attendees, who in 2019 came from 30 different counties. It has also received noteworthy praise, including the following comment from a 2019 participant:

Thank you so much for putting together such an excellent program filled with important fundamentals, tools for addressing complex ethical issues, and resources to improve the practice. All of the presenters were engaging, extremely knowledgeable about their subjects, and entertaining.  I will definitely be back!  I was on the Elkins Taskforce and the way you are training minor’s counsel to be lawyers who use evidence to advance their client’s best interest is exactly what we had in mind with the changes.  So, thank you! 

I also consider it my personal legacy project and an educational event I am very proud to direct.

This year’s program will again include the local speaking team from San Luis Obispo County (Honorable Erin M. Childs, Stephen D. Hamilton, CFLS, and Gregory F. Gillett).  Renowned psychologist and custody evaluator Robert A. Simon, Ph.D. will also be presenting, as will the Honorable Mark Juhas (Los Angeles). An additional speaker will be added and announced as well.

Once again, this program will begin with a four-hour unit Saturday morning for those who have not previously satisfied the requirements of California Rules of Court Rule 5.242(c). All new material will be presented Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning to satisfy the eight hours of annual training and education required under Rule 5.242(d). Topics will include addressing psychological issues as minor’s counsel, representing minor’s in termination of parental rights actions and attorney fees issues for minor’s counsel.

Omne Trium Perfectum

Stephen D. Hamilton
Chair, Family Law Executive Committee of the California Lawyers Association

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