Tonight's post on care and commitment in family law was written by
our Atlanta family law attorney,
On May 21-23, 2015 I attended the Annual Family Law Institute for the first
time. It was an unbelievably educational and informative CLE - hands down,
the best I have been to so far. For the Family Law Institute it was a
33d Family CLE, and some of my colleagues, like Steve Worrall, have been
to all 33 of them.
The best part, in my opinion, were judges' panels - I wish there were
more of them. The panels gave the attending lawyers a unique opportunity
to get to know judges' opinions and prospective on family law related
issues - straight from the judges.
For example, during the day 1, the Institute presented an excellent panel
discussion on "Temporary Hearings - What Evidence Really Works?"
We heard from different Superior Court judges - from Forsyth, Cobb, and
Macon to Stone Mountain circuits. It was mind blowing how different sometimes
judges' positions would be, all within the letter of the law, that
further confirmed rule # 1 for all litigators - "know your judge".
For instance, a majority of judges don't want to talk to children
in custody cases directly, in order to avoid putting pressure and stress
on them, but some judges prefer to do so in chambers, without counsel
On day 2, the morning panel was devoted to balancing competing interests
during child custody cases, which gave us a glimpse of a view from the
bench and helped the attending lawyers to understand how judges see and
assess different parties and people involved, including children. Grandparent's
rights were discussed at length, which I found very informative, but,
of course, different judges have opposite views on grandparents' rights.
Another feature of the Family Law Institute that I found incredibly helpful
was breakout sessions on child support. Members of the Georgia Commission
on Child Support, experienced Georgia lawyers, and Superior Court Judges
from different circuits shared information and helpful tips as well as
legislative and case law update and overview on child support. Attending
lawyers had an opportunity to ask panelist questions and the audience
actively participated. The atmosphere of the workshops on child support
was more relaxed and friendly due to the smaller size of the audience,
and on many occasions the moderators of the child support workshops put
attending judges from the audience on the spot and asked them questions,
in addition to the panelists. Such format, in my opinion, worked better
for younger lawyers: hearing the right questions from seasoned lawyers
gets you thinking about certain issues and it is as equally important
as hearing the right answers from judges andother lawyers. I enjoyed discussions
on Income Deduction Orders, child support deviations and enforcement of
I am already looking forward to the next year. Now I know what to expect
and would be able to manage my time at the Institute better. Considering
that the Annual Family Law Institute takes three whole days from 7.00
a.m. to at least 1.p.m. and many events well into the evening, it certainly
requires the right combination of Starbucks and protein snacks as well
as certain state of mind to digest the massive amount of information provided
at the CLE.
Considering that our whole Firm was there, start to finish, we showed unparalleled
care and commitment to our craft. I'd say
our Firm is up to the task.