Family Law Section

News from the Section

4 Hours of Self-Study CLE in Legal Ethics -- Complimentary for Members of the Family Law Section!

As a 2014 benefit of Section membership, we are pleased to offer four hours of MCLE credit in the field of Legal Ethics. That's enough to fulfill the Ethics requirement.

The Section thanks you for your membership!If you were purchasing these courses individually in our Online Catalog, they would cost $140 -- so that's your Section membership more than paid for, and then some!

Just watch these programs, and keep a record of having done so in the event you're audited for MCLE compliance.

You can access these programs and the accompanying written materials any time this year in the Members Only Area.

The programs are:

  • Avoiding the State Bar Disciplinary System
  • Client Trust Accounting Fundamentals
  • Ethical Implications for Lawyers in Cyberspace and Social Media
  • Ethics and Civility: Want an Extension? Forget about It!

Essentials of a Family Law Trial

Essentials of a Family Law Trial - Four Locations!You have just had your matter set for trial. Now what do you do?

A panel of experienced bench officers and practitioners will guide you through the landmines of trial.

Topics will include preparing for trial, opening statements, evidence, testimony (direct, cross, and expert), motions, and closing arguments.

Registration includes:

  • 6 hours of participatory MCLE credit and 6 hours of legal specialization credit in the area of Family Law
  • Continental Breakfast, Full Lunch, and Snacks provided.

Space is Limited -- Register early! For the full program description, see Essentials of a Family Law Trial.

Locations & Dates:

March 28, 2014
McGeorge School of Law
San Francisco
April 7, 2014
The State Bar of California
San Diego
April 4, 2014
University of San Diego
Los Angeles
May 23, 2014
Southwestern Law School

Webinar: What to Say in the MSA When You Outsource the QDRO

Thursday, April 3, 2014, 12 noon - 1 p.m.

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

How can a busy Attorney who outsources “QDROS” protect the client’s retirement interests in the Judgment when – there is too little known about the retirement plans – the money for the case is exhausted – and the client is impatient to end the process? Meet judicial council Form FL-348 (the “Provisional QDRO”), a resource that gives you ready-made generic QDRO language designed by experts for use with the Judgment when outsourcing the QDRO. Learn how attaching or paraphrasing the provisional QDRO in the Judgment or MSA and getting a copy to the Employer protects your client’s interest against the death or remarriage of the employee spouse during the outsourcing period. With speaker R. Ann Fallon.

Webinar: Inputing Income for Setting Support

Thursday, May 1, 2014, 12 noon - 1 p.m.

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

Imputing income is important in cases when a party is not employed or underemployed. Understanding what evidence the court needs to impute income and how to present that evidence is critical in having the court impute income or to successfully oppose an imputation of income.

Included topics are the statutory basis for imputing income, burden of proof and evidence, imputing income from assets, child care offset, retirement, limits to imputation, self-employment and how to assess income, presumed and gift income and other evidence of income. With speakers Josanna Berkow and Joseph H. Wolch.

Webinar: Untangling Reimbursement Claims: Analyzing Them, Making Them and Defending Against them

Thursday, May 15, 2014, 12 noon 1 p..m.

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

This course will cover all forms of potential reimbursement claims in family law matters and the legal basis for each, including Family Code §2640 reimbursement, Epstein credits and Watts charges.  It will provide a systematic method for recognizing and evaluating your client's entitlement to each. With speaker Dawn Gray.

Webinar: Avenues to Success at Mediation and Trial Using a Financial Expert

Thursday, June 12, 2014, 12 noon - 1:30 p.m.

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

What makes a financial forensic compelling? This program focuses on what lawyers and their experts need to know, from font size to sophisticated strategies, to achieve the best possible results.With speakers James Schaefer, Schaefer & Company and the Honorable Sheila Sonenshine (Ret.).

2014 Family Law Awards

The Executive Committee for the Family Law Section of the State Bar of California (FLEXCOM) is seeking nominations for outstanding contributions to the practice of family law for 2014.  The award categories are Family Law Judicial Officer of the Year, Family Law Lifetime Achievement Award, Excellence in Family Law, Court Staff Award, and Barrister of the Year and are described below.

Family Law Judicial Officer of the Year – The award is intended to recognize excellence on the Family Law bench. Particular focus is paid to outstanding service to the practice of Family Law, career achievements, or a distinguishing singular act or performance of the nominee.

Family Law Lifetime Achievement Award – Designed to honor and recognize the most distinguished long-term achievements and sustained substantial contributions to the substance or practice of Family Law in the State of California over the recipient’s career or lifetime. 

Excellence in Family Law – The award is to honor and recognize recent notable acts or outstanding service that contributes substantially to the improvement of California Family Law substance or practice. Recipient need not be a lawyer.

Court Staff Award – The award is to honor and recognize sustained superior performance or extraordinary efforts in the recipient’s performance of his or her work with the Family Law courts.  Nominations shall be solicited from Family Law bench officers.  Nominees shall be deserving court personnel, which may include (but not limited to) clerks, judicial assistants, Family Law Facilitators, DV counselors, court reporters, bailiffs, administrative personnel and Family Court Services employees.

Barrister of the Year Award – The award is to recognize outstanding contributions to the practice of Family Law or outstanding performance in the practice of Family Law for barrister lawyers. The recipient of this award must be a lawyer who practices primarily in the area of Family Law and who has been a member of the State Bar of California for five (5) years or less.  The recipient need not be a member of the Family Law Section. Nomination forms can be obtained by sending an email to Jill Barr at or Mitch Wood at The deadline for submissions of nominations is March 1, 2014.

Past Webinars from the Family Law Section Available

The Family Law Section has over 100 archived webinars available for participatory and legal specialization credit.  Watch these webinars from the convenience of your office or home and on your own schedule.  We recommend members take a few minutes to review the entire library of webinars available from the Family Law Section.  Among the highlights of this archive are videos of the full-day seminars described below.

Essentials of a Family Law Case

Available at $35.00 per session for a full hour of MCLE credit including 1-hour of credit in Legal Specialization for Family Law
Total Price: $210

A Family Law Case 1: Basics for New Attorney; Initial Filings; and Jurisdiction
A Family Law Case 2: Custody; and Parenting Planning
A Family Law Case 3: Child Support and Temporary Spousal Support
A Family Law Case 4: Community Property and Fiduciary Duties
A Family Law Case 5: Post Judgment Spousal Support
A Family Law Case 6: Judgment and Post Judgment Modifications

Thinking about taking on a family law case? This one day class will cover the basics of what you will need to know from initial filings through judgment documents and modifications. An esteemed panel of bench officers and attorneys will walk you through the highlights of the substantive law, as well as outline numerous practice pointers to help you navigate your way through each matter. Topics will include basics for new attorneys, initial filings, jurisdiction, temporary orders, parentage, custody, parenting plans, child support, temporary and post judgment spousal support, property, attorney fees, judgment issues, and post judgment modifications.

Minor’s Counsel Training

Anyone looking for assistance completing the educational requirements for minor’s counsel appointments can now do so from the comfort of their office. In collaboration with the Sacramento County Bar Association, video was taken from workshops conducted in 2011.  The package is broken down into segments based on subject matter. Please note that the Section is offering a discount to those that buy the entire package.  Purchasing each of the seven webinars in the series separately would cost $280.  If bought in a bundle, the entire package will cost only $200.

Several Articles from Family Law News Are Now Posted in the Members Only Area

Section members, we have posted several recent articles from Family Law New and Section members can request other recent articles s in our Members Only Area.

Other News

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.

Free Access to Attorney's BriefCase OnCall™

As a membership benefit, State Bar Family Law Section members have free access to BriefCase OnCall™, an online updating service from Attorney’s BriefCase® Legal Research Software. OnCall™ provides the following features:

  • Indexed summaries of all cases going back approximately six months relating to California Family Law, Juvenile Law, Evidence and PreTrial Adjudication.
  • Full text of all summarized opinions.
  • Week in Brief: An at-a-glance summary of all new cases by case name and holding in the four practice areas. (Week in Brief is also available by email as described below.)

For the details of the offer, see Attorney's BriefCase in the Family Law Section's Members Only Area.

Member Benefits for the State Bar Family Law Section

In addition to the discounts from CEB and access to Briefcase OnCall, the Family Law Section encourages you to take advantage of the benefits listed below.If you have any questions concerning the Family Law Section or the benefits available to you with your membership, please feel free to contact the Chair of our Member Services Subcommittee, S. Roger Rombro at or 310-545-1900.. These benefits include:

  • NEW! -- $75 OFF every California Family Law Report (CFLR) seminar.
  • NEW! -- 30% OFF every CFLR product and publication for 30 days following a CFLR seminar. For example, members can get CFLR DissoMaster™ Suite for only $378 (regularly $540, a $162 savings).
  • NEW! -- $75 OFF every Rutter Group (TRG) seminar.
  • NEW! -- 30% OFF every TRG Practice Guide and publication for 30 days following a TRG seminar. For instance, get the Family Law Practice Guide for only $406 (regularly $580, a $174 savings).
  • NEW! -- 20% OFF the initial purchase price of Attorney’s Briefcase software (regularly $1,200, a $240 savings)
  • FREE Family Law Toolkit. The Toolkit allows members to obtain 6 MCLE credits in the hard to obtain areas such as ethics, bias and substance abuse. (A $210 value)
  • FREE or LOW-COST programs on cutting-edge issues of Family Law, presented as webinars so you don't have to travel to participate.
  • FREE subscription to the Family Law News, a quarterly publication containing a variety of articles of practical interest to attorneys at all levels of experience.
  • FREE access to Family Law Case Studies, a monthly analysis of published and unpublished Appellate Court Opinions, by Judge Jeffrey Burke of San Luis Obispo.
  • FREE access to Family Law ENews bulletins, keeping you abreast of developments statewide.
  • FREE Trial Objections Handout for use in court.
  • UNLIMITED ACCESS to the members-only portion of the section website, which contains valuable information for family lawyers and provides electronic access to current and past issues of Family Law News, Family Law Case Studies and many other Section publications.
  • NETWORKING OPPORTUNITY with family lawyers throughout California through standing committee membership, and section-sponsored events and activities.
  • LEADERSHIP OPPORTUNITIES, including eligibility to apply for service on FLEXCOM, and to nominate family law attorneys and judicial officers for statewide family law awards and recognition.

Your Legal Rights"Your Legal Rights"

The Family Law Section is a sponsor of the radio program 'Your Legal Rights' which is hosted by Chuck Finney in the San Francisco Bay Area.

FLEXCOM assists in funding this public service radio program. FLEXCOM members are regular contributors. To listen to some past programs, see Your Legal Rights.Family Law Section members can access back issues of the Family Law News, special discounts for Section members and legislative tracking through My State Bar Profile. You can access this information at any time by signing into your State Bar Profile and clocking on Family Law Section - Members Only Area. Or go directly to the Members Only Home Page.

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.

Contact Us

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