Practicing Family Law – The Judges’ Perspective
On March 1, 2016, WLALA’s Family Law Section had a very well attended seminar with a great panel that included Hon. Shellee Kaufman, Hon. Virginia Keeny, Hon. Laura Seigle and Comm. Michelle Short. Maria Rivas Hamar, Chair of the Family Law Section, was the moderator. Veritext Court Reporting sponsored this event both by providing the venue downtown as well as a delicious dinner.
Even those attorneys that have extensive experience in the family law practice don’t always have the benefit of the judge’s point of view on the practical aspects of presenting a case in the busy family law courtrooms. This seminar was an amazing opportunity for lawyers with varying levels of experience to understand the judges’ perspectives of how attorneys can present their facts and legal arguments before the court in a way that judges appreciate, as well as considering their time constraints brought on by long calendars. The panel discussed issues such as: efficiently presenting expert witnesses such as vocational experts and forensic accountants; judges’ likes and dislikes regarding presentation of evidence and pleadings; frequent procedural mistakes attorneys make; how judges handle hearings after Elkins; how the court views ex parte requests; how to present effective declarations, points and authorities and trial briefs; how to handle matters in child support court; how the courts are promoting mediation or settlement; how courts might handle child custody evaluation requests or orders; what information might be most helpful to the court in making a permanent spousal support order; and other issues.
WLALA thanks these wonderful panelists as well as our generous sponsor, Veritext, for making this a successful and very informative event.