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Your Guide to Navigating the Court System in a Divorce Case

Much has been said about the issues discussed in divorce. But what about the procedures? Are you intimately familiar with all the dos and don'ts of family court? Let our seasoned attorney faculty walk you through a detailed step-by-step instruction on the mechanics of a divorce case. Streamline your motions practice and explore new and time-tried discovery techniques. Get sample forms and tactical tips that will help your next case go smoothly. Register today!

  • Get a refresher on how the divorce case moves through the court system to ensure no key steps are missed.
  • Get a head-start on the case with sound advice for your client on what to do before announcing the decision to the spouse.
  • Enhance your early investigation skills and learn when and how to decline representation.
  • Make certain your initial court filings are impeccable to make the right impression on the judge.
  • E-discovery is a powerful and accessible new tool in discovery litigation - learn to wield it effectively.
  • Gain strategic tips for the timing and content of your pre-trial motions to give them maximum force.
  • Delve into the complex issues of jurisdiction, venue, residency and domicile to ensure your client's interests are properly represented.
  • Review the process of obtaining protective orders in cases involving domestic violence.
  • Gain a strategic edge by augmenting substantive knowledge with a clear understanding and mastery of the court mechanics and classic litigation strategy.
  • Find out how the courts have responded to the increasing number of requests for support modification.

    9:00 - 9:50, Victor D. Wright III
    1. Client Interview Questions and Documents to Obtain
    2. Advice to Client Who Hasn't Yet Told the Spouse About the Decision to Divorce
    3. Initial Analysis and Investigation
    4. Declining Representation
    5. Case File Organization Tips
    6. Divorce From Bed and Board/Legal Separation
    7. Annulment: Grounds, Procedure, Consequences of an Annulment Decree
    8. Is an Expedited Procedure Available?
    9:50 - 10:35, Lori D. Howard
    1. Determining Residency and Declaring Domicile
    2. Venue and Jurisdiction Considerations and Conflicts
      1. Personal
      2. Subject Matter
    3. Automatic Orders
    4. Summons/Petition and Response
    5. Service of Process (Defendant in the State, in Another State, in Another Country, or Cannot be Located)
    6. Scheduling Orders and Meeting the Deadlines
    7. Responsive Pleadings - What to Use, When and How
    10:50 - 11:40, Bonnie Robertson
    1. Timing of Discovery
    2. Requesting and Gathering Evidence (Interrogatories, Requests for Admissions, Depositions, Medical Examinations, Requests for Production, etc.)
    3. Evidence Production
    4. Spoliation Considerations
    5. Impact of Current Technology on Divorce Discovery (Including: E-Mail; Text Messaging; Social Networking Sites and Blogs; Privacy Issues in Wiretapping and Other Surveillance; etc.)
    6. Locating, Valuing and Dividing Assets
    7. Pros and Cons of Using Private Investigators
    8. Supporting the Claim for the Primary Caregiver
    9. Guardian Ad Litem/Custody Evaluators Communications, Reports, Fees
    10. Case Law Update
    12:40 - 1:40, Megan Wooster
    1. Fee Agreements - Review a Sample Agreement
    2. Dealing With a Pro Se Litigant
    3. Conflict Checks
    4. Ethics Case Law Update
    1:40 - 2:30, Victor R. Richardson and Jocelyn A. Stotts
    1. Effective Use of Preliminary Orders
    2. Validity of Pre- and Post-Nuptial Agreements
    3. Restraining/Protective Orders - Special Rules and Strategies
    4. Request for Hearing, Witness List and More
    5. Requirements for Pendente Lite/Temporary Relief Stipulation and Order
    6. When and How to Use Collaboration or ADR Procedures
    7. Settlement Options and Tips for Negotiating Child Custody and Visitation
    8. Rights, Priorities, Conduct of the Settlement Conference/Evidentiary Hearing
    2:45 - 3:40, Victor R. Richardson and Jocelyn A. Stotts
    1. Family Court Trial Procedure
    2. Introducing Evidence
    3. Maximizing Client/Witness Testimony
    4. Final Disposition
    5. Effective Use of Trial and Post-Trial Motions
    6. Preserving Issues for Appeal
    3:40 - 4:30, Victor R. Richardson
    1. Preparation and Implementation of (Qualified) Domestic Relations Orders
    2. Support Order Enforcement Options (Civil Contempt, Execution, Garnishment, Attachment, etc.)
    3. Support Modification Requests: Grounds, Proof, Procedure
    4. Child Custody Modifications
    5. Relocation Issues
    6. Current Case Law

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