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48th Annual Family Law Symposium

Family Law in the 21st Century

Proudly Presented by: Los Angeles County Bar Association, Family Law Section

Program Information:

For 47 years, LACBA's Family Law Symposium has been a 'must-attend' CLE event for local practitioners.  Presented live by some of California's leading and Los Angeles' very own family law experts and judicial officers, this year's Symposium promises a wide spectrum of relevant family law issues. From the California legislature to the United States Supreme Court, today's practice is vastly different than yesteryear's, from the way we present cases to the way we resolve them

Register now to guarantee your seat at this exceptional program and networking opportunity. Your ticket also includes entry to the hosted reception, access to the exhibitor hall, and your copy of the newly revised and highly-acclaimed Symposium Reference Book, which contains over 1,000 pages of articles and reference material.

Program Schedule:

8:00 - 8:30 a.m.
Registration and Breakfast

8:30 - 8:45 a.m.
Greeting and Introductions/
Status of Department 2

Hon. Maren E. Nelson

Supervising Judge, Family Law Department
Los Angeles Superior Court

Ronald F. Brot, Esq.
Brott & Gross LLP
Chair, LACBA Family Law Section

Raymond R. Goldstein, Esq.
Center for Enforcement of Family Support
Vice Chair, LACBA Family Law Section

Chair, LACBA Family Law Symposium  

8:45 - 10:15 a.m.
Panel 1:  Post-Obergefell Issues - Marriage Equality

Hon. Harvey Silberman

Judge, Los Angeles Superior Court

Marc Bertet, Esq.
Hersh, Mannis & Bogen, LLP

Kelvin Duckett
Vice President, Morgan Stanley Wealth Management
Diane Goodman, Esq.
Goodman & Metz

Joseph Mannis, Esq.
Hersh, Mannis & Bogen, LLP

Obergefell may be the most significant Supreme Court case of our time, changing the landscape of families and family law forever. With this changing landscape comes a host of complex legal, contractual, and financial issues which directly impact our past and present family law practice. This esteemed panel of experts will discuss the effects of this landmark decision on spousal support; tax returns and related tax issues; estate issues; prior and future investment planning and strategies; registered domestic partnership law; and cohabitation, prenuptial, and other agreements, including the area of surrogacy and reproductive law.

10:15 - 10:30 a.m. - Break

10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Panel 2: Standards, Strategies and Unintended Consequences: Separation Under Davis & Pending Legislation; Transmutations Since Valli 

Hon. Keith Clemens

Commissioner, Los Angeles Superior Court, Ret.

Bruce Clemens, Esq., CFLS
Jaffe & Clemens

Chris Melcher, Esq., CFLS
Walzer & Melcher LLP

To borrow from Shakespeare, in 2016 “To move out or not move out, that is the question.”  The controversial 2015 Marriage of Davis decision holds that you aren’t separated until someone really moves out of the family residence.  The Davis rule increases the consequences, for better or for worse, of a decision to physically separate.   Unless and until the Legislature abrogates Davis, practitioners need to take clients through the implications of moving out on a great variety of real-life and legal issues.  The consequences of the decision to move from the family residence in order to separate, both obvious and unintended, permeate family law results including property characterization, support and custody.

To depend on title or not to depend on title?  The California Supreme Court in Marriage of Valli made it clear that parties need to satisfy the FC § 852 statutory requirements to effect a transmutation of separate property to community property, and vice versa.  Real people during their marriages don’t always do that correctly, and that can produce major unexpected results if they divorce.  Valli affected legal presumptions, the importance of title, and the enforceability of estate planning agreements and other postnuptial agreements.  Valli makes the decision whether or not to mediate the creation of a postnuptial agreement an even more important strategic decision than before.

Two panel members come from the firms on each side of the Valli case.  The third panel member is a veteran retired judicial officer who has decided matters based on these principles.

12:00 - 1:15 p.m. - Luncheon

1:15 - 2:15 p.m.
Panel 3: Consensual Dispute Resolution : Resolving Disputes Outside the Courtroom Doors

Hon. Aviva K. Bobb

Judge, Los Angeles County Superior Court, Ret.
Alternative Resolution Centers, LLC

Frederick J. Glassman, Esq.
Frederick J. Glassman Law Corporation

Forrest "Woody" Mosten, Esq., CFLS
Mediator and Collaborative Family Lawyer

Joseph P. Spirito, Esq.

McGaughey & Spirito

Ask yourself two questions:

      1. Are there process choices for disputants beyond the doors of the courtroom?
      2. Do family lawyers have an ethical obligation to inform their clients of such options?

This panel is dedicated to enlightening our membership on cutting edge consensual dispute resolution processes.  The program will concentrate on early intervention mediation, followed by later mediation intervention, and conclude with the collaborative law process.

2:15 - 2:30 p.m. –Break

2:30 - 3:30 p.m.
Panel 4:  It's All a Show

A trial that relies on technology inherently emphasizes the visual display of information to the fact finder.  This panel will address using technology to effectively present information to the court by demonstrating an opening and closing argument as well as presentation of evidence using technology.  This panel will also address benefits of using electronically assisted technology in the courtroom, discuss when and how to use technology in the courtroom, and strategies to avoid potential pitfalls. 

Hon. Christine W. Byrd
Judge, Los Angeles County Superior Court

Eve Lopez, Esq., CFLS
Lopez & Grager, LLP

Jeff Sturman, Esq., CFLS
Kolodny Law Group

3:30 - 3:35 p.m. –Break

3:35- 4:35 p.m.
Panel 5: Disturbing the Peace in an Electronic Age - Redefining “Abuse” Under the DVPA

This panel will explore the expanding definition of “abuse” under the DVPA by examining cases and statutes and the impact of electronic communication and social media in such matters.

Hon. Thomas Trent Lewis
Judge, Los Angeles Superior Court

Kevin James Mooney, Esq., CFLS

Minyard Morris

Cari M. Pines, Esq., CFLS
Pines Law Group

4:35 - 5:15 p.m.  Hosted Cocktail Reception/Mixer 


The Family Law Section directly supports the important work of LACBA's Domestic Violence Project. The Section will donate $5 from every paid CLE registration to support the operations of the DVP. Thank you for joining us in supporting this important project. Learn more at: www.lacba.org/dvp.

CLE Credit:  6.25 hrs CLE credit (includes 6.25 hrs Family Law Legal Specialization credit)


CLE+PLUS Cardholders with Meals


Family Law Section Members

$ 265

LACBA Members

$ 290

All Others

$ 340

Judicial Officers

$ 175


$ 265

Non-Profit Attorneys

$ 175

Law Students

$ 175


$ 175

Exhibitors (includes two staff admission)

$ 800

Exhibitors (includes one staff admission)

$ 700

Sponsors (includes two staff admissions)

$ 1,700

WiFi Sponsorships (includes 2 staff admissions)

$ 2,500

Exhibitor Meals (for Additional Staff)

$ 100


Hilton Universal City
555 Universal Hollywood Drive
Universal City, CA  91608

Hotel Valet:  $20.00
Self-Parking:  $12.00

5/14/2016 8:30 AM - 5:15 PM
Hilton Hotel Universal City 555 Universal Hollywood Dr. Universal City, CA 91608
Online registration not available.

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Advance registration (both online and via phone) closes for most programs approximately 12-24 hours before event time (in order to allow for operational considerations), we would still like to have you join us, and you are more than welcome to register on-site and attend, unless the program is specifically noted as SOLD OUT. Full refunds issued only for registrations which are cancelled 48 hours in advance.

The LACBA online event registration system supports registration for individual event participants 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For assistance with group/multiple registrations, or if you’d simply prefer to register by phone (with Visa, MasterCard or American Express), please call LACBA’s Member Services Department at (213) 896-6560 any time from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. If you have questions about programs or program registration, you’re also welcome to contact Member Services by e-mail at: msd@lacba.org

The Los Angeles County Bar Association is a State Bar of California MCLE approved provider. If this is a CLE event, the Los Angeles County Bar Association certifies that this activity has been approved for MCLE credit. CLE events will state the amount and type of credit offered in the calendar listing.