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2014 Family Law Conference for Alabama Practitioners

2014 Family Law Conference for Alabama Practitioners

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2014 Family Law Conference for Alabama Practitioners

Coming to Birmingham: Friday, May 9, 2014

The 2014 Family Law Conference for Alabama Practitioners returns for another year! Featuring Madison County Circuit Judge Dennis O’Dell and a faculty of leading Alabama family law attorneys, this is one event you can't afford to miss. Two hot topics that will be discussed include:

  • Grandparent visitation
  • Changes to the state’s marital retirement statute, in particular determining present value and the 10-year rule.

 

In addition, we will discuss the Alabama Supreme Court’s holding in the Christopher case on post-minority support for college. Many attorneys are confused about post-minority support reserved in cases prior to the new holding, and our expert faculty will help you get your questions answered.

Learn about these and other legislative changes in the family law area.


Additional 2014 Conference Highlights Include:

  • Pointers from a leading attorney on how to win a custody case
  • Burden of proof required to successfully modify periodic and rehabilitative alimony obligations
  • Various custodial arrangements that are often employed by the courts
  • Constitutional law considerations that may affect custody modifications
  • Visitation issues—handling visitation issues for non-custodial parents, dealing with third-party visitation rights, and modifying visitation agreements
  • What you need to know when establishing and challenging paternity
  • Case law update from Alabama’s appellate courts on child custody, alimony, and other family law topics
  • What a judge likes and dislikes in pretrial, trial and post-trial tactics and approaches
  • Professionalism in dealing with opposing attorneys and a few clichés lawyers should discard
  • Ethical considerations in settlement
  • A panel discussion on “hot topics” in Alabama family law
  • BONUS: Summaries of recent family law cases from the Alabama appellate courts.

 

Your Expert Faculty:

  • Austin Burdick, Burdick Law Firm
  • Joan-Marie Sullivan, Law Office of Joan-Marie Sullivan
  • Charles Dunn, Boyd, Fernambucq & Dunn, P.C.
  • Frances Ross Nolan, Nolan Byers P.C.
  • Judge Dennis O’Dell, Madison County circuit court
  • Lisa L. Woods, Law Office of Lisa L. Woods

 

What makes this seminar unique?

  • Outstanding faculty. The faculty includes seasoned speakers who are recognized as the best in their areas.
  • Judge’s perspective. Attendees will hear from Madison County Circuit Court Judge Dennis O’Dell.
  • Valuable updates. A top authority will update attendees on recent case law developments in family law.
  • Practical topics. Attendees will get practical tips on how to win a custody case, how to deal with third-party visitation rights, and how to present your client’s case to the court.
  • Substance. Attendees will get in-depth treatment of the requisite burden of proof required to successfully modify periodic and rehabilitative alimony obligations, and how to establish and challenge paternity, and what constitutional law considerations may affect custody modifications.
  • Useful resource. Attendees will receive a binder of the materials covered during the seminar, plus access to summaries of recent family law cases from the Alabama appellate courts.
  • CLE. Attendees can satisfy over half of their annual CLE requirement, earning 6 hours of GENERAL credit and 1 hour of ETHICS credit.

 

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CLE: You'll earn up to 7 hours of  CLE (6 hours of general and 1 hour of ethics)

Registration: $327 (full program after March 28), $247 (full program for additional attendees)

Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. The conference begins at 8:00 a.m. and concludes at 4:45 p.m. There will be morning and afternoon breaks, and attendees will have 1 hour and 15 minutes for lunch on their own.

 

Your Faculty

Austin BurdickAustin Burdick, of the Burdick Law Firm in Bessemer, graduated summa cum laude from the University of Montevallo, where he studied History. He then attended the Birmingham School of Law at night and worked full time during the day to support his young family. He graduated in the top third of his class in law school. While attending law school he worked for Merrill Legal Solutions were he gained valuable courtroom and deposition experience as a trial consultant. After gaining valuable law firm experience, Mr. Burdick formed the Burdick Law Firm. In addition to being licensed by the Alabama State Bar he is licensed to practice in all three Federal District Courts in Alabama and the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. Mr. Burdick is recognized by his peers as an outstanding Alabama family law attorney, having represented family law clients at the trial court, the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals and the Alabama Supreme Court. He is also an experienced criminal defense lawyer having represented clients facing everything from a life sentence to traffic fines. He has experience in issues involving issues of constitutional law in both Federal and State Courts. Mr. Burdick is also a Domestic Relations/Family Law Mediator.



Dean

Joan-Marie Sullivan, with the Law Office of Joan-Marie Sullivan in Huntsville, has been in private practice in Huntsville since 1996 and concentrates mainly on family law and appellate matters. She is a 1985 Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Alabama and earned her law degree from the University of Alabama in 1988.  She previously practiced law in the Commonwealth of Kentucky and worked at Lanier, Ford, Shaver & Payne and Wolfe, Jones & Boswell in Huntsville. She has also served as editor for the Alabama Law Weekly, a weekly newsletter published by M. Lee Smith Publishers, a division of BLR®, since 1996. She is certified by the Alabama Center for Dispute Resolution in Montgomery as a mediator in civil and domestic matters.



Charles Dunn

Charles Dunn, with Boyd, Fernambucq & Dunn, P.C. in Birmingham, concentrates his practice in the areas of divorce, matrimonial law, family law and child custody. He grew up in North Carolina and earned his BS in 1993 from a small, liberal arts college named Guilford College, located in Greensboro. He attended Cumberland School of Law at Samford University and obtained his law degree in 1998. Since his graduation from law school and admittance to the State Bar, Mr. Dunn has been a practicing attorney at the firm and became a shareholder in January 2006. He is a member of the Birmingham Bar Association and serves on the Entertainment Committee. He is a frequent lecturer on family law issues, and often teaches and speaks to other lawyers at continuing education seminars. He teaches Family Law as an adjunct faculty member in Samford University’s Paralegal Studies Certificate Program. He has written and published numerous articles on a vast array of subjects pertaining to his field of practice. His trial practice takes him to Jefferson, Shelby, St. Clair, Tuscaloosa and Walker counties, and he has a statewide appellate practice.



Nolan

Frances Ross Nolan was with The Crittenden Firm, PC, for eight years prior to founding Nolan Byers, PC, in 2013. A certified collaborative lawyer and family law mediator, she co-founded and served as inaugural President of Alabama’s first Collaborative Practice Group, Birmingham Collaborative Alliance. She currently serves on the Alabama State Bar Council for Alternative Dispute Resolution. She served as the 2012-2013 Family Law Section Representative on the American Bar’s Advisory Council for Alternative Dispute Resolution and as the 2011-2012 Chair of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee of the American Bar Association Section of Family Law. She was appointed in August 2013 by the Alabama Supreme Court to a special committee on Collaborative Law Rules of Procedure. She also served on the Alabama Custodial Laws Revision Task Force, the Alabama Law Institute Collaborative Law Act Committee and as an official Observer to the Uniform Law Commission’s Collaborative Law Act Committee. She is a graduate of San Francisco State University and a cum laude graduate of Cumberland School of Law at Samford University. She is a member of the International Academy of Collaborative Practitioners, the Family Law Sections of the American and Alabama Bar Associations, the Alternative Dispute Resolutions Sections of the Alabama and Birmingham Bar Associations, Horton Inn of Court and the Birmingham Inn of Court. She was designated a Rising Star in Family Law for 2011 by SuperLawyers and was named a top lawyer in family law in Birmingham Magazine’s March 2012 edition.

 

Judge Dennis O'DellJudge Dennis E. O'Dell serves as Circuit Judge of the 23rd Judicial Circuit of Alabama, Madison County in Huntsville. He was appointed by Governor Bob Riley to a District Court position in March 2005. He was elected District Judge, Place 2, in November 2006. He served on the District Court until his appointment to the Circuit Court in February 2010. He was serving as Presiding District Judge for Madison County when he received his new appointment to Circuit Judge, Place 4. He ran without an opponent for this position in 2010. He received his undergraduate degree from Jacksonville State University in 1973 and his law degree from the University of Alabama in 1976. Prior to taking the bench, Judge O'Dell was engaged in the private practice of law in Huntsville for over 28 years. He is a member of the Alabama State Bar Association and the Huntsville-Madison County Bar Association. While practicing, he was admitted to all Alabama State Courts, the U.S. District Court for Northern Alabama, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court. Judge O'Dell has held many positions of leadership in his community including PTA President of Chapman Elementary School, President of the American Heart Association of Huntsville-Madison County, President of the Huntsville High School's "Big Red" Football Booster Club, District Two Commissioner for the Babe Ruth Baseball and President of the Huntsville International Recreational League. Judge O'Dell regularly participates in the Sanctuary Choir at First Baptist Church in Huntsville where he has served as a deacon, Sunday school teacher, personnel committee member, Living Christmas Tree singer and as a member of the Hospital Visitation Ministry.

 

Lisa L. Woods is the principal of the Law Office of Lisa L. Woods in Birmingham. Since 1989, she has focused her practice on domestic relations law, matrimonial law and family law. Ms. Woods is a member of the Birmingham and American (member, Family Law Section) bar associations, the Alabama State Bar, the Alabama Trial Lawyers Association, and The Association of Trial Lawyers of America. She earned her BA, cum laude, from Birmingham-Southern College and her law degree from the University of Alabama.




Full Agenda

8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.: Family Law Update

Joan-Marie Sullivan
Law Offices of Joan-Marie Sullivan

Ms. Sullivan, editor of Alabama Law Weekly, will review family law cases from Alabama’s appellate courts, dealing with such issues as:

  • Whether an action to modify a divorce decree based on a material change in circumstances can be filed even though the original divorce remains on appeal
  • Whether an award of alimony was excessive
  • Whether another state had jurisdiction in a child custody matter even though the children had been temporarily absent from that state during the six-month period prior to the filing of the action
  • Whether the Americans with Disabilities Act applies to proceedings for termination of parental rights
  • Whether the fact that the husband’s signature was submitted electronically affected the validity of an agreement

 

9:00 a.m. to 9:45 a.m.: Tips from the Bench for the Family Law Practitioner

Judge Dennis O’Dell
Madison County Circuit Court

Judge O'Dell will share some of his (and his colleagues’) likes and dislikes in pretrial, trial and post-trial tactics and approaches. Topics will include:

  • Standing orders in family courts
  • Requests for emergency hearings
  • Professionalism in dealing with opposing attorneys and a few clichés lawyers should discard



9:45 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.: Morning Break

 

10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.: Child Custody and Alimony Modifications

Charles Dunn
Boyd, Fernambucq & Dunn, P.C.

  • Understanding the public policy and the standards for awarding custody and the various custodial arrangements that are often employed by the courts
  • Pointers on how to present a winning custodial case
  • The requisite burden of proof required to successfully modify periodic and rehabilitative alimony obligations
  • Recent cases that have been decided by the appellate courts
  • Tips on how to present your client’s case to the court


11:30 p.m. to 12:45 p.m.: Lunch (on your own)



12:45 p.m. to 1:45 p.m.: Ethical Considerations in Settlement

Francis Ross Nolan
Nolen Byers P.C.

  • Differences in litigation and negotiation
  • Advocation in settlement negotiations
  • Alternative forms of representation



1:45 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.: Panel Discussion of “Hot Topics” in Domestic Relations

Panelists will discuss some of the problems and issues they have encountered. Attendees will be invited to ask questions and present their own scenarios for discussion.

Panelists:

Judge Dennis O’Dell
Madison County Circuit Court

Joan-Marie Sullivan
Law Offices of Joan-Marie Sullivan

Austin Burdick
The Burdick Law Firm

 

2:30 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.: Afternoon Break


2:45 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.: Legislative Update in Family Law
Austin Burdick
The Burdick Law Firm

  • Constitutional law considerations that may affect custody modifications
  • Changes to the Code of Alabama that manifest a common trend in the area of parental rights
  • Applying these trends in your custody arguments and getting ahead of the curve

 

3:45 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.: Visitation, Paternity and Parental Rights
Lisa L. Woods   
Law Office of Lisa L. Woods

  • Handling visitation issues for non-custodial parents
  • Dealing with third-party visitation rights
  • Establishing and challenging paternity
  • Termination of parental rights
  • Modification of visitation agreements

 


 

Location

Birmingham Hilton
8 Perimeter Park S.
Birmingham, AL 35243

* Free parking and complimentary Internet access

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