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Family Law Section

News from the Section

Message from the Immediate Past Chair - Vanessa Kirker Wright

The State Bar staff calls us the "volunteers." We refer to ourselves, variously, as FLEXCOMers or Committee members.  We serve to enhance the level of practice in the state. And the best part is that we have a blast working together on the most cutting edge issues in Family Law. One of my favorite sayings is "all law is family law." When I utter those words amongst my non-family law colleagues, I get one of two reactions: 1) pregnant pause and sudden subject change, or 2) odd look, small chuckle and sudden subject change. READ MORE

Family Law Essentials 2017 - Bridging the Well: Ethics and Practice in Family Law Today

5th Anniversary Special Pricing in Pursuit of Access to Justice

Earn 6 Hours of MCLE credit, including 1.5 hours in Legal Ethics and 0.5 hours in Elimination of Bias in the Legal Profession and Society, and 6 hours of legal specialization credit in Family Law.

Substantive law is only one component of your family law case. This esteemed panel will share practical pointers on how to navigate your case, and bridge the well between the bench and bar in this changing landscape of family law today.


  • Honorable Mark Juhas
  • Honorable Sue Alexander
  • Honorable Maureen Hallahan
  • Honorable Dale Wells
  • Barbara Hammers CFLS
  • Garrett Dailey, CFLS, AAML

Dates and Locations

Whittier School of Law, Costa Mesa
Monday, March 27, 2017
Register Online Here

State Building, Oakland
Monday, April 3, 2017
Register Online Here

University of San Diego
Monday, April 10, 2017
Register Online Here

Lincoln School of Law, Sacramento
Monday, April 17, 2017
Register Online Here

Santa Barbara School of Law
Monday, June 26, 2017
Register Online Here

Program Schedule | Essential Info | Printable Brochure | Mail / Fax Reg. Form

Click here for all the details!

Webinar: Cultural Competency in Family Law Practice: Life After Divorce, California Issues, Global Experience

Thursday, February 16, 2017, 12 noon - 1:30 p.m.

This program offers 1.5 hours participatory MCLE credit in Legal Ethics and 1.5 hours legal specialization credit in Family Law. You must register in advance to participate.

In majority of the families around the world, men are still the heads of the family with sole right to select domicile, have sex or seek divorce. These rights are fortified by power of husbands in limiting education, employment, driving, and travel of their wives.

Under these styles of living, equal division of family estate and enforcing reasonable marital standard of living are unattainable.

Even the divorce itself is meaningless since many husbands choose to remarry, while keeping and refusing the divorce their first wife.

Relying on the Family Codes Section 2550 to divide marital assets, on Section 2337 to terminate the status, or Section 4320 to decide spousal support is beyond the reach and scope of majority of cultural lifestyle.

Moderator: Abbas Hadjian


  • Donna Echiverri-Beckham
  • Maria Hamar
  • Jinna Kang
  • Jaya Kumar
  • Lynette Berg Robe

Webinar: Honorable Timothy Staffel: CAL. FAM. CODE §3042: Ascertaining the Wishes of a Child in Custody and Visitation Matters

Thursday, March 2, 2017, 12 noon - 1 p.m.

This program offers 1 hour participatory MCLE credit and 1 hour legal specialization credit in Family Law. You must register in advance to participate.

Cal. Fam. Code §3042 provides that a court can consider, and give due weight to, the preferences of a child with regards to custody and visitation orders. When a child is over the age of 14, and wishes to address the court regarding custody or visitation, the child is to be permitted to do so unless the court makes a finding that to do so would not be in the child’s best interests. This Webinar will address the specific findings a court must make under §3042, the different mechanisms for introducing a child’s preferences and California Rule of Court, Rule 5.250, which sets forth specific guidelines for addressing the participation and testimony of children in family court proceedings.

Moderator: Stephen Hamilton

Speaker: Hon. Timothy Staffel, Superior Court, Santa Barbara County

Webinar: Family Law Transmutations and Characterization

Thursday, March 23, 2017, 12 noon - 1 p.m.

This program offers 1 hour participatory MCLE credit in Legal Ethics. You must register in advance to participate.

Characterizing property is tricky and the stakes can be high. Fortunately, there are bright line rules which are explained in this program.

Moderator: Abbas Hadjian
Speaker: Christopher C. Melcher

On-line Billing and Payment for 2017 Fees

The State Bar will be launching  a new on-line billing and payment application for 2017 fees.  Paper billing statements will not be sent to members. Instead, statements will be available online through My State Bar Profile. Individual members will continue to be able to make payments online through My State Bar Profile. Attorneys should make sure that the email they have provided for State Bar communications is up to date.

Law firms and agencies will be able to use the State Bar’s new Agency Billing system where they can calculate billing costs and make payments for a group of attorneys. 

Please be sure your Section Membership Fees are included in your payment.

Once an attorney’s fees are paid, a paper bar card will be conveniently available for download through My State Bar Profile. Plastic bar cards will still be made available, but only upon request and can also be ordered through My State Bar Profile.

The online billing system makes it easier than ever for individual attorneys and agencies to help make the justice system available to everyone.  When paying your bill, please consider making a contribution in support of legal services for low income Californians.  Your support is a lifeline that can help prevent homelessness, keep kids in school, protect elders from fraud and abuse, and connect veterans to services, among other critical legal assistance. 

It is anticipated that the on-line agency and billing application will be available through the State Bar’s website by mid-December.  

Go to calbar.ca.gov for more information, or contact Member Records and Compliance at 1-888-800-3400.

Member Benefits

Are you a Section member who wants to be reminded of all the benefits? Do you have a colleague on the fence about joining the Section? Being a Family Law Section member offers a number of great benefits.READ MORE

Other News

FLEXCOM Congratulates Rita Aguilasocho

FLEXCOM Congratulates Rita Aguilasocho

FLEXCOM was honored to confer the “Court Staff Award” on Rita Aguilasocho who works as the judicial assistant, courtroom clerk and all-around person-in-charge for Judge Wells in Indio.  The award ceremony was attended by each and every staff member of the courthouse, along with the Court Administrator, most of the family law bar and the judges!  Ms. Aguilasocho has been working in family law for many years and is a perfect example of the kind of court staffer every judge and litigant loves – friendly, knowledgeable and always willing to go the extra yard to help the process go smoother.  We thank her and are so pleased to be able to recognize her work!

Jocelyn, thank you for your hard work, hallmark grace under pressure and positive attitude that has made working in this sometimes difficult area of law more pleasant for everyone.

Thank You for Being a Section Member in 2016 - Here's 6 Hours MCLE in Legal Ethics!

We're very grateful for your membership in the Section. As a token of that, we're offering six hours of self-study MCLE credit in the area of Legal Ethics. The programs are posted in our Member's Only Area.

Simply watch the programs and read the accompanying materials, and keep track of having done so. You can report this to the State Bar when it's time to demonstrate your compliance with the MCLE requirements.

Know Your Legal Rights – Podcasts Now Available

The Family Law Section is a sponsor of the radio program “Know Your Legal Rights” hosted in the Bay Area by San Mateo Deputy District Attorney Chuck Finney. Mr. Finney welcomes attorneys and other professionals to talk about hot legal topics on a weekly basis. He routinely hosts members of FlexCom and other family law attorneys to educate the public on burgeoning issues important to our practice. FlexCom thanks Mr. Finney for providing our Section with this forum over the years.

If you are interested in listening to prior broadcasts focused on family law issues, the State Bar website now has a list that dates all the way back to when the Section first started sponsoring the program. Visit the Family Law Section page for additional details. For an entire list of podcasts hosted by Mr. Finney, please see HERE.

Save Money with CEB

CEB Discount Program for Section MembersContinuing Education of the Bar, California (CEB) is extending some special discount offers to our section. As a member of the Family Law Section, you're eligible for:

  • 10% off selected CEB print or online books
  • A rebate on your section dues that can be applied to the cost of a CEB Gold CLE Passport or a CLE program ticket

A complete list of the products eligible for a discount is available on a CEB web page accessible through our Members Only Area. Information about the section dues rebate program can be found on the CEB Web site.

Consumer Education PamphletsConsumer Education Pamphlets Available for Purchase

The State Bar of California's "Get the Legal Facts of Life" Pamphlets are available for purchase from the State Bar. These pamphlets are both educational and informative for your clients.

For more information, see Consumer Education Pamphlets or call the Education Pamphlet Hotline: 888-875-LAWS (888-875-5297).

Online and Self-Study CLE from the Family Law Section

Online AudioView Family Law Section programs over the internet for participatory MCLE credit . Choose from hundreds of hours of official State Bar of California MCLE programs. For more information, see streaming audio and video, and select Family Law Be sure to check out CLEtoGo , downloadable podcasts you can listen to on the BART, or on the drive in or from the office.

Making the Connection: The Family Law Section is on Social Media

https://www.facebook.com/calbarfamily http://www.twitter.com/calbarfamily

Who said family law lawyers weren’t social? A reminder, our Family Law Section is on Facebook and Twitter - join us! The Section sees social media as another way to connect our members with information as it develops. Stay in touch with us to learn about the great work being done by Section members across the state. You can Like us on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter at the links below.

Contact Us

Family Law Section
The State Bar of California
180 Howard Street
San Francisco, CA 94105-1639
FAX 415-538-2368