2013 Family Law Conference for Alabama Practitioners
Coming to Birmingham: Friday, December 13, 2013
This conference features Judge Howard Hawk, Judge Julie Palmer, and a faculty of leading Alabama family law attorneys discussing the latest changes and decisions of critical interest to your successful practice.
- Division of retirement plans — learn where we are today in Alabama on dividing retirement plans in general and military benefits in particular
- Tax considerations in divorce — tax ramifications of marital asset valuation and asset/liability transfers between spouses
- Recent developments in adoptions — private adoptions, consent, home studies, interstate adoptions, same-sex parents, and surrogacy
- Family law update — reversal of a large alimony award to a physician’s wife, clarification of awards of post-minority child support and extraordinary expenses, termination of parental rights, contempt findings, and more
- Think outside the box — learn from Judge Julie Palmer what issues surrounding parenting plans and technology are trending in domestic relations courts
- Traits of effective family law attorneys — Judge Howard Hawk shares do’s and don’ts on such topics as pleadings, in-court conduct, and out-of-court conduct
- Ethical considerations — insight on avoiding conflicts of interest, maintaining confidentiality, and dealing with dishonest clients
BONUS: Summaries of recent family law cases from the Alabama appellate courts.
- Amy Strain Creech, Rhodes & Creech, LLC
- Joan-Marie Dean, Law Offices of Joan-Marie Dean
- Judge Howard Hawk, Marshall County Circuit Court
- Amber Yerkey James, James Family Law Firm PC
- Frances Ross Nolan, Nolan Byers, PC
- Judge Julie Ann Palmer, Jefferson County Circuit Court, Domestic Relations Division
- Maxwell H. Pulliam, Jr., Maxwell H. Pulliam, LLC
CLE: You'll earn up to 7 hours of CLE (6 hours of general and 1 hour of ethics)
Registration: $327 (full program after November 1), $247 (full program for additional attendees)
Registration begins at 8:00 a.m. The conference begins at 8:30 a.m. and concludes at 5:00 p.m. There will be morning and afternoon breaks each day, and attendees will have 1 hour for lunch on their own.
Amy Creech is a member in the firm Rhodes & Creech, LLC in Huntsville. She resides in Huntsville with her husband, Steve, and their two daughters, Bankston and Mary Maddox. She specializes in the area of family law and is a certified family law mediator. She is trained in the area of Collaborative Law and lectures on continuing legal education issues. In the past, Ms. Creech served as membership chair, member-at-large, and secretary and treasurer of the Family Law Section of the Alabama State Bar. She currently serves as the section’s Past Chair. She also serves on the Pro-Bono Task Force for the Alabama State Bar’s Volunteer Lawyers Program, on the Board of Directors of the Madison County Volunteer Lawyers Program, on the Board of Directors of the National Children’s Advocacy Center, and on the Family Law Standing Committee for the Alabama Law Institute. She received her B.A. degree from the University of Alabama in December of 1989. She received her J.D. degree from the University of Alabama School Of Law in 1993 and was admitted to the Bar in September of that year.
Joan-Marie Dean is a 1985 Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Alabama and earned her law degree from the University of Alabama School of Law in 1988. She previously practiced law in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. She worked at Lanier, Ford, Shaver and Payne and Wolfe, Jones & Boswell in Huntsville. Ms. Dean has been in private practice since 1996 and concentrates mainly on family law and appellate matters. Ms. Dean has also served as the editor for the Alabama Law Weekly for the past 18 years. She is certified as both an appellate and family law mediator.
Judge Howard Hawk currently serves as a circuit judge in Marshall County and is also the county’s presiding family court judge. His previous judicial experience includes six years as a district judge and six years as a municipal judge. He received a J.D. from the University of Alabama School of Law in 1983. Following law school, he practiced law in Arab, becoming a partner in the firm of Burke, Mullis & Hawk, and served as the City Attorney and City Prosecutor for Arab. Judge Hawk entered on duty with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) as an agent in 1986. His first assignment was Norfolk, Virginia. There he worked on a broad range of criminal cases. After a rotational transfer to Washington, D.C., he primarily worked drug and drug gang matters in the District of Columbia. His last assignment in the Bureau was a supervisory position at FBI headquarters in Washington D.C. He was elected to the Alabama House of Representatives in 1994 and re-elected in 1998. After re-election he was appointed Chair of the House Ways and Means—Education Fund Committee. During these years, he also served as municipal judge for Arab and practiced law in Guntersville and Arab.
Amber Yerkey James, of the James Family Law Firm, P.C., practices family law, estate planning and small business matters in Madison County, particularly in the Huntsville and Decatur areas of North Alabama. With a majority of her practice focusing in family law, Ms. James assists clients with divorce, paternity, child custody, child support, dependency, surrogacy, adoption, terminations of parental rights, grandparent visitation, fathers’ rights, appeals, alimony, prenuptial agreements, post-nuptial agreements, wills and estates, and real estate and property division matters. Ms. James distinguishes herself by attending nearly 24 hours of continuing legal education seminars annually, concentrating primarily on upcoming or emerging family law issues. The James Family Law Firm, P.C. is proud to serve as one of the few law firms in Alabama servicing the needs of families enduring Alternative Reproductive Technology (ART). She participates in the Alabama Volunteer Lawyer Program as a pro bono attorney, agreeing to take at least two cases per year. She also serves on the American Bar Association’s Congressional Relations Committee, Child Custody Committee, and Assisted Reproductive Technology Committees. She participates in the General and Small Practice Division. She is a featured adjunct professor at the Birmingham School of Law.
Judge Julie Ann Palmer has served as a domestic relations judge since 2011. She was named Presiding Judge for Jefferson County/Birmingham Division/Domestic Relations court in July 2013. She is a past chair the State Bar Family Law Section. She was awarded Lawyer of the Year for Family Law Section in 2005.She had sat on the Child Support Committee for the State Bar from 2005 to present. She practiced in domestic relations/family law from 1994 to 2010.
Maxwell H. Pulliam, Jr., of Maxwell H. Pulliam, LLC in Birmingham, practices family law, criminal defense, and civil litigation, with a concentration in tax matters. Prior to practicing law, he was a tax manager with Deloitte and Touche. He has been included in Best Lawyers® since 2013 for White Collar and DUI Defense, and is a member of the Alabama State Bar. Mr. Pulliam received his J.D. and LL.M in taxation from The University of Alabama School of Law.
Frances Ross Nolan, of Nolan Byers, PC, represents clients in Birmingham in the area of family law, including divorce, child custody and support, spousal support, antenuptial (prenuptial) agreements, gay and lesbian family law, juvenile dependency, paternity and other family-related legal issues. As a certified collaborative lawyer and family law mediator, she assists clients in voluntarily resolving their disputes without the need for litigation. In addition to her work as president of the Birmingham Collaborative Alliance, Ms. Nolan is the past chair of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee of the American Bar Association Section of Family Law. She also serves on the council for the Alabama State Bar Alternative Dispute Resolution Section, the Alabama Custodial Laws Revision Task Force, and the Alabama Law Institute Collaborative Law Act Committee. She is an official observer to the Uniform Law Commission's Collaborative Law Act Committee. Ms. Nolan is a member of the International Academy of Collaborative Practitioners, the Alternative Dispute Resolutions sections of the Alabama and Birmingham bar associations, the Rotary Club of Shades Valley, and the Birmingham Inns of Court. As a part of her community involvement, she is currently president of the Indian Springs School Alumni Counsel and also an ex officio member of the school's board of directors.
2013 Family Law Conference for Alabama Practitioners
Family Law Update
8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.
Law Offices of Joan-Marie Dean
Ms. Dean, the editor of Alabama Law Weekly, will review family law cases from Alabama’s appellate courts, dealing with such issues as:
- Reversal of large alimony award to wife of physician
- Clarification of certain aspects of award of post-minority child support and extraordinary expenses
- When juvenile court has jurisdiction to terminate parental rights
- Termination of parental rights where child suffers from various and severe medical condition and requires constant care parent cannot provide
- Finding of contempt for alleged interference with visitation
- Finding of contempt for failing to pay alimony while appeal is pending
- Setting aside of adoption even though mother had consented more than one year before action
A Trial Judge’s Perspective on Effective Family Law Practice
9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
Judge Howard Hawk
Marshall County Circuit Court
Judge Hawk will discuss traits of effective family law attorneys. His comments will include dos and don’ts on such topics as pleadings (in light of paperless court files), in-court conduct, and out-of-court activities. Judge Hawk will leave time for any questions a participant may have concerning a family court judge’s perspective on effective family law practice and procedure.
10:30 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.: Morning Break
Adoption and Surrogacy in Alabama: What You Need to Know
10:45 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.
Amber Yerkey James
James Family Law Firm PC
- Types of adoption in Alabama and stepparent/close relative adoption
- Private adoption/agency adoption
- Consent of biological/presumed/putative parents
- Home studies—pre-placement and post-placement
- Interstate adoptions
- Adoption and same-sex parents in Alabama
- Surrogacy in Alabama
Tax Considerations in Divorce
11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.
Maxwell H. Pulliam, Jr.
Maxwell H. Pulliam, LLC
- Tax-efficient handling of spousal maintenance, child support, dependent exemptions, and other allocated expenses
- Tax ramifications of marital asset valuation and asset/liability transfers between spouses—marital residences and other real estate, investment securities, pensions and retirement plans, closely-held business interests, and marital debt
- Tax-efficient allocation of dissolution-related legal fees
12:45 p.m. to 1:45 p.m.: Lunch (on your own)
Think Outside the Box — Parenting Plans and New Technology
1:45 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.
Judge Julie Ann Palmer
Jefferson County Circuit Court, Domestic Relations Division
How have parenting plans changed in the wake of new technology? What are the challenges today’s Alabama family law attorney face? Learn from Judge Palmer what issues are trending before the domestic relations court in 2013.
2:45 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.: Afternoon Break
Retirement Division in Alabama & the U.S. Military: Where We Have Been, Where We Are, And Where We Are Headed
3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Amy Strain Creech
Rhodes & Creech
- Where we have been — the history of retirement division in Alabama and the impact of federal law
- Where we are today — statutory requirements for retirement division, burdens of proof, and drafting enforceable agreements
- Where we are headed — constitutionality of Alabama’s current retirement statute
Ethical Considerations in Family Law
4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Frances Ross Nolan
Nolan Byers, PC
- Avoiding conflicts of interest
- Charging and collecting attorney fees
- Maintaining confidentiality
- What must be disclosed
- Dealing with the dishonest client
3590 Grandview Parkway (Hwy 280)
Birmingham, AL 35243
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