Spring 2017, Issue 2

President’s message

Among family law attorneys, the Association of Certified Family Law Specialist is known by the acronym of ACFLS. It should also be known by its synonym: excellence.

ACFLS provides excellence in Continuing Legal Education (CLE) and networking through our chapters (Bay Area, Sacramento, and Orange County) and excellence on our Listserv with a free flow of ideas among the brightest minds in the family law field.

And the signature of excellence is the Spring Seminar. This year will mark the 25th anniversary of the Spring Seminar. The title of the seminar is “Yours, Mine, and Ours: Complexities in Characterizing Assets and Debts.” It is scheduled for March 24th through March 26th at the Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort and Spa in Rancho Mirage, California.

The quality and caliber of this event is truly first rate—as I have said before, it is the filet of family law CLE programs. It is hard not to brag about the Spring Seminar; but I will brag anyway.

The ACFLS Spring Seminar is an intensive, in depth seminar on one single topic in family law that is discussed and analyzed from different aspects by various panels. In the past the topics have been transmutation, fiduciary duties, and spousal support. This year, as the title indicates, the entire program (11 CLE credits spread out over three half days) deals with complex characterization issues regarding assets and debts.

Unlike other CLEs, this program is not designed for the novice or the attorney who occasionally practices family law. Although the program is open to anyone (not just ACFLS members), the ideal attendee is an attorney who has some significant knowledge of family law and wants to do a “deep dive” into a specific area. In addition, another of the unique features of the Spring Seminar is the responder panel. The responder panel consists of four leading family law judicial officers from throughout the State of California. And unique to the format of the Spring Seminar, this panel acts as a “Greek Chorus” to all panels—asking probing and timely questions throughout each panel’s presentation. The panelists are often involved in a give and take with the responder panel that is both enlightening and fascinating. It is a combination of both high school debate and appellate practice. And it is my favorite part of the Spring Seminar.

The Spring Seminar also allows an excellent opportunity to network with other family law attorneys throughout the state. There are also many vendors who provide goods and services necessary and appropriate to the efficient practice of family law.

And this year, as in past years, the moderator for the program is Garrett Dailey. As most readers surely know, Garrett is one of two leading providers of cutting edge family law CLE programs. And the perennial anchor of our responder panel is the other leading provider of cutting edge family law CLE programs, the Honorable Thomas Trent Lewis. At the ACFLS Spring Seminar, you get to see them both on stage discussing family law. This alone marks a truly remarkable weekend.

As in years past, the presenters are outstanding—the leading lights of the family law bar from Sonoma to San Diego, and places in-between.

And on a personal note, the ACFLS Spring Seminar is often scheduled during one of the weekends of “March Madness”—NCAA men’s basketball championship. And in 2017, the Spring Seminar is scheduled right in the middle of March Madness. So the 25th Annual ACFLS Spring Seminar is an ideal weekend for me: the excellence of the ACFLS Spring Seminar and March Madness.

Could you ask for more?