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Family Law Conference for Alabama Practitioners - Materials Only

Family Law Conference for Alabama Practitioners - Materials Only

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5th Annual
Family Law Conference for Alabama Practitioners - Materials Only

Held in Hoover on Friday, November 30, 2018

Order your materials from this information-packed event!

The Alabama Family Law Conference will discuss the latest changes and decisions of critical interest to your successful practice. This year’s conference features Jefferson County Circuit Judges Agnes Chappell and Reginald Jeter and a faculty of leading Alabama family law attorneys discussing the latest changes and decisions of critical interest to your successful practice.

Attorneys will learn:

  • The latest rulings from the Alabama appellate courts on child custody, child support, alimony, division of marital property, and more.
  • What issues Jefferson County Circuit Judges Agnes Chappell and Reginald Jeter see in divorce cases and what factors they consider in resolving child custody, child support, and division of property disputes.
  • How child support is calculated, when income will be imputed, and when deviations are appropriate.
  • How to distinguish marital and non-martial property and how to value assets and martial property.
  • What to consider in retirement plans and QDROs.
  • What to consider when drafting prenuptial and post-nuptial agreements.
  • How to handle social media and how to make electronic evidence usable in the courtroom.
  • How to follow ethical guidelines when communicating with your client, how to avoid conflicts of interest, how to handle funds from the divorce settlement, and how to address attorney fees to avoid disputes.

In-depth, expert-led sessions will also cover:

  • Joint physical custody
  • Special issues in military divorces
  • Child support calculation
  • E-discovery
  • Prenuptial and post-nuptial agreements
  • Valuation of assets and martial property
  • Handling funds from divorce settlement
  • QDRO considerations

What Makes This Seminar Unique?

  • Outstanding Faculty. The faculty includes seasoned speakers who are recognized as the best in their areas.
  • Judicial Perspective. Attendees will hear from Jefferson County Circuit Court Judges Agnes Chappell and Reginald Jeter on child custody, time-sharing issues, calculating child support, imputing income, and more.
  • Practice Tips. Attendees will get tips on drafting various agreements, how to draft custody modifications, and what to look for in military divorces.
  • Current Topics. Attendees will get in-depth treatment of issues such as awards of joint physical custody, considerations for special needs children, child support deviation, prenuptial agreements, and retirement plan division.
  • Ethics. The ethics session will cover client communication, conflicts of interest, mishandling funds from the divorce settlement, and avoiding disputes over attorney fees.
  • Useful Resource. Attendees will receive a binder of the materials covered during the seminar.

Distinguished Faculty:

Sam D. Bone, Dani V. Bone & Sam D. Bone, Attorneys at Law, Gadsden
Austin Burdick, Burdick Law Firm, Bessemer
Judge Agnes Chappell, Jefferson County circuit court, Domestic Relations Division, Birmingham
Charles H. Dunn, Boyd, Fernambucq & Dunn, P.C., Birmingham
Gwendolyn Kennedy Green, Gwendolyn Thomas Kenedy, Montgomery
Judge Reginald L. Jeter, Jefferson County circuit court, Bessemer
Laura Montgomery, The Crittenden Firm, Birmingham
Donna Wesson Smalley, Donna Wesson Smalley, P.C., Jasper

Your Distinguished Faculty

Sam D. Bone

Sam D. Bone is an attorney with Dani V. Bone & Sam D. Bone, Attorneys at Law, in Gadsden, He has been selected as a “Top 40 Lawyer under 40” by the National Trial Lawyer’s Association. His primary practice areas are car accidents, personal injury, divorce, custody, DUIs, domestic violence, drug charges, and other criminal cases. Mr. Bone earned his B.S. from the University of Alabama and his J.D., cum laude, from the University of Alabama School of Law. While in law school, he was selected for the trial competition class.

Austin Burdick

Austin Burdick, with the Burdick Law Firm in Bessemer, is an experienced attorney with an excellent academic and professional background. He is recognized by his peers as an outstanding constitutional law and Alabama family law attorney, having represented family law clients at the trial court, the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals, and the Alabama Supreme Court. Demand for Mr. Burdick’s constitutional arguments has allowed him to practice throughout Alabama as a trial and appellate advocate. He is also an experienced criminal defense lawyer having represented clients facing everything from a life sentence to traffic fines. He is also a trained civil and domestic relations mediator. He is experienced in issues involving uncontested divorces, contested divorces, prenuptial agreements, child custody, child support, business formation, collections, and criminal defense.

Judge Agnes Chappell

Judge Agnes Chappell, being the first black female to practice law in Jefferson County, has been in the legal profession for over 38 years. She presently serves as Circuit Judge, Domestic Relations Division, 10th Judicial Circuit (Jefferson County). She served as Municipal Court Judge for the City of Birmingham for 14 years. In Municipal Court she presided over the Misdemeanor and Domestic Violence Court. She established the Domestic Violence Court, the first therapeutic court, for the City of Birmingham. She has vast experience in the area of family and juvenile delinquency law, having served as a Senior Trial Referee at the Jefferson County Family Court for over 15 years and as a partner in the law firm of Brown, Chappell and Burrell. Judge Chappell is past chair of the Minor Sex Trafficking Committee for The Women’s Fund of Greater Birmingham, past chair of the Grants and Allocations Committee of The Women’s Fund of Greater Birmingham, past member of Voices against Domestic Violence Steering Committee, president and founder of The NRS Community Support Corporation, member of the board of directors for The Rising Stars and Bethel Learning Centers, member of the Alabama Domestic Violence Statutory Revision Committee, and member of the board of directors of the Community Policing and Revitalization of the City of Birmingham. She is a member of the Momentum Leadership Alumni Board of Directors and served as chair of volunteers for the 2014 Momentum Women in Leadership Conference. She is also a board member of Zonta of Birmingham. She is chair of the Magic City Bar Association Judicial Council. She mentors high school and college students and young lawyers.

Charles H. Dunn

Charles H. Dunn is a partner at Boyd, Fernambucq & Dunn, P.C., in Birmingham where his practice concentrates in the areas of divorce, matrimonial law, family law, and child custody. Mr. Dunn frequently lectures on family law issues. 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. He earned his B.S. from Guilford College and his J.D. from Cumberland School of Law at Samford University. Mr. Dunn is a member of the Birmingham Bar Association and a member of the Family Law Section of the Alabama State Bar.

Gwendolyn Thomas Kennedy

Gwendolyn Thomas Kennedy, with the Law Office of Gwendolyn Thomas Kennedy, is a native of Montgomery and a graduate of George Washington Carver High School. In 1980, she graduated from the American University with a B.A. in Music and in 1983 received a J.D. with Honors from Howard University School of Law in Washington D.C. In 1985, Ms. Kennedy relocated to Montgomery and began her employment with Dr. Joe L. Reed at the Alabama Education Association where she was the Special Assistant for Legal Affairs to more than 60,000 members statewide. In 1988, she began private practice in family law and personal injury. She was appointed Deputy Chief of Consumer Protection for the State of Alabama Office of the Attorney General in 1992, where she remained until 1995. She reentered private practice, continuing to assist families and to recover large settlements for personal injury victims. During her 20 years as an attorney, Ms. Kennedy has continued to mentor and motivate youth through her teaching at Alabama State University and her school based non-profit organization, Rise and Walk. She is a married mother of five and an ordained pastor.

Judge Reginald Jeter

Judge Reginald Jeter is Circuit Court Judge in the Bessemer Division of Jefferson County, where he presides over workers’ compensation, domestic relations and criminal matters. Prior to becoming a judge, he served as Trial Attorney for Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company where he specialized in commercial insurance defense litigation. He was previously a partner at Haskell Slaughter Young & Rediker, LLC, where he was a member of the Litigation Practice Group and spent over a decade representing clients in a wide variety of complex insurance, employment and tort matters. Judge Jeter received his B.S. degree in Business Management from Samford University and his law degree from the University of Alabama School of Law, where he was a member of the John A. Campbell Moot Court Board, editor of the Law & Psychology Review, and a Law Clerk in the Bessemer District Attorney’s Office. He also holds a Master in Business Administration from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Laura Montgomery

Laura Montgomery began working at The Crittenden Firm in Birmingham as a Family Law Attorney in September 2010 and joined Crittenden Partners in September 2014 where she acts as Managing Partner. She is a member of both the Alabama and Tennessee Bar Associations and is actively involved in the Birmingham Bar Association family law section and is currently the Vice President of Public Service for the Young Lawyers Section. She is also a member of the American Bar Association. Ms. Montgomery is a 2006 cum laude graduate of the University of Alabama where she also earned her J.D. While a law student, she was a member of multiple national trial advocacy teams and the recipient of the 2007-2008 and 2008-2009 George Peach Taylor Award for outstanding trial team performance. Ms. Montgomery is a member of the Rotaract Club of Birmingham, Birmingham's premier young professional and civic organization, where she served as the Vice President of Membership Development and Social Director on the Board of Directors.

Donna Wesson Smalley

Donna Wesson Smalley has been in solo practice most of the 40 years since she graduated from the University of Alabama Law School in December of 1978. Ms. Smalley has been a fellow in the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers for about 20 years. As a member of the Alabama State Bar, she was a speaker at the annual Family Law Section Retreat in June, 2018. Smalley has been active with both the State and Local Bar Associations over the years, and she currently serves as treasurer of the Walker County Bar as well as being an active member of the Women’s Section of the state bar. As one of the original authors of the Alabama Mediation Rules of Procedure, she is a sought after mediator. She has extensive experience in complex divorce litigation, and actually taught TRIAL ADVOCACY as an adjunct professor at the University of Alabama law school for four years in the early 90’s. In 1997, she received the Alabama State Bar Pro Bono Service Award. She also served as Special Circuit Judge (by appointment of the Supreme Court) in the Sixth Judicial District. She is named as counsel on seventeen published appellate decisions.

Ms. Smalley was named to the National Trial Lawyers Top 100 in 2013 and 2014, and was named to SUPER LAWYERS by the Birmingham Business Journal in 2009. In April, 2018, Ms. Smalley was chosen as an Albert Nelson Lifetime Achievement Recipient for “notable accomplishments in her profession.” She is currently the Democratic Candidate for Alabama Supreme Court, Place 4.

Ms. Smalley currently lives and practices in Jasper, Alabama. Her son, Trip Smalley as well as her daughter in law, Allison White Smalley, are both attorneys who practice in Mobile, Alabama. They are the parents of Donna’s one granddaughter, Lana Katherine.



Friday, November 30, 2018

8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.
Custody Modifications
Austin Burdick
Burdick Law Firm

  • Initial determination
  • Joint custody
  • Visitation
  • What is considered the “best interests of child”
  • Why relationships matter
  • Moral turpitude
  • Separating siblings (divided custody)
  • Parental custody agreements not binding on the court
  • Tools to assist the court in custody cases
  • Setting aside an agreement
  • Adopting an agreement as final

9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
Ethical Considerations in Divorce
Charles Dunn
Boyd, Fernambucq & Dunn, P.C. 

  • Client communication
  • Avoiding conflicts of interest
  • Mishandling funds from the divorce settlement
  • Addressing attorney fees to avoid disputes

10:30 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.
Morning Break

10:45 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.
Finding Income and Assets in Divorce Cases
Donna Wesson Smalley
Donna Wesson Smalley, P.C.

A fair result in the division of marital property depends on complete financial information. Take the guess work out of your negotiations by getting tips on how to discover all of the parties’ assets and income.

11:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Special Issues in Military Divorces
Gwendolyn Thomas Kennedy Green
Law Office of Gwendolyn Thomas Kennedy

  • Statutory changes and current case law
  • Rules of practice and procedure for family court
  • Parenting issues
  • Child support
  • Military pension, retirement and benefits
  • Survivor benefit plan for retired military personnel
  • Military reservists’ retirement benefits
  • Survivorship and military disability benefits
  • Continued health care
  • Contempt

2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
A Judicial Perspective: Custody, Support, Asset Division and More
Judge Agnes Chappell, Jefferson County Circuit Court, Domestic Relations Division, Birmingham
Judge Reginald Jeter, Jefferson County Circuit Court, Bessemer

The panel will discuss what issues come before the court in child custody cases and what factors courts consider in resolving those disputes.

  • What is in the child’s best interest?
  • What will be the childcare arrangements?
  • Are the parties willing to cooperate with the other parent?
  • What about holidays and vacations?
  • Calculating child support
  • Imputing income
  • Modifications
  • Marital vs. non-marital property
  • Valuation of assets and marital property

3:00 p.m. to 3:15 p.m.
Afternoon Break

3:15 p.m. to 4:15 p.m.
Division and Valuation of Assets and Debts
Sam D. Bone
Dani V. Bone & Sam D. Bone, Attorneys at Law

  • Marital division mechanics
  • Prenuptial and post-nuptial agreement considerations
  • Marital vs. non-marital property
  • Retirement plan division/QDRO considerations
  • Valuation of assets and marital property
  • Common mistakes

4:15 p.m. to 5:15 p.m.
Electronic Evidence
Laura Montgomery
The Crittenden Firm

  • The latest e-discovery precautions, risks and advice
  • Handling social media, e-mail, video, and other ESI
  • Making your electronic evidence usable in the courtroom



WHEN: Friday, November 30, 2018
WHERE: Holiday Inn – Hoover
2901 John Hawkins Pkwy
Hoover, AL 35244
(205) 682-2901

Free parking 
Free wi-fi


  • $337 Full Program, 
  • $257 Additional Attendees
  • $147 Materials Only
  • Early bird: $50 off until October 19

7 hours of CLE (6 hours of GENERAL and 1 hour of ETHICS)

To sponsor this event, please contact Olivia Al-Sadi at

Our guarantee

Your 100% satisfaction is guaranteed. If for any reason you are not completely satisfied, simply let us know within 90 days, and we will issue you a complete refund.

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