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American Bar Association
ABA Section of Family Law

Bass Hall

2010 Fall CLE Conference
October 20-23, 2010
Omni Fort Worth Hotel—Fort Worth, TX

Join us as we enjoy various aspects of Texas culture, while having access to some of the best continuing legal education opportunities in the country! Bookmark this page to keep up-to-date with all the latest information. And be sure to reserve your hotel room before September 28, 2010!

CLE | Registration | Hotel | Schedule | Brochure | Special Events
Local Attractions | Local Transportation | Sponsors | Sponsorship Opportunities

Conference attendees may download the CLE materials.


Advance registration is now closed. Please register on-site.

The early-bird conference registration fee (postmarked by 9/17/10) for ABA FL members is $450. This fee covers all CLE Programs, access to downloadable materials prior to the conference, breakfast each day, the networking reception on Wednesday evening as well as the Chair's Suite receptions on Wednesday and Thursday evenings.

The non-lawyer spouse or guest registration fee is $135. This fee allows your registered guest to attend the morning breakfasts and all non-ticketed evening receptions.

All attendees, including guests, are required to wear a name badge to all events. Registration fees for children 12 and under are complimentary; however, tickets must be purchased for all children attending ticketed social events.

Registration Fees:

    $450—Early Bird Registration Fee for Section members (postmarked by 9/17/10)
    $525—Standard Registration Fee for Section members (postmarked after 9/17/10)
    $575—Non-Section Fee for ABA Members
    $625—Non-ABA Member Registration Fee

    $450—Speaker Registration Fee (Does not include moderators)
    $250—Judges, Full-time Law School Faculty, International Bar Members, Full-time Legal Services, or Social Service Practitioners
    $250—New Practitioners (up to 3 years)

    $125—Law Students
    $135—Guest Fee (Spouses and guests attending any of the Conference events; children 13 & over must register as guests)
    $0—Children (Ages 12 and under)

Program Materials
Program materials will be disseminated to registrants electronically prior to the conference. (As the conference date approaches, you will receive a link to a webpage where you can download materials as .pdfs.) If you would like to purchase a cd-rom of materials, please indicate that when you register. The cost of a cd-rom is $25.

Cancellation Policy
To receive a full refund, minus a $50 administrative fee, a written request must be received on or before September 28, 2010. No refunds will be issued after that date. Questions about cancellation can be directed to Section staff at 312-988-5145.

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CLE programs are listed below. Please note that we have applied for seven (7) hours of ethics credit.

Download the schedule for specific times and faculty of each program.


  • "Simon Cowelling" Your Witness: How Far Is Too Far?
      Family law attorneys face serious challenges in preparing parties and witnesses to testify in cases involving both property and children. This program will use common fact patterns to explore the ethical limits of witness preparation, along with specific suggestions about how to prepare witnesses to communicate the actual facts effectively, without "suggesting" what the facts should be to fit the applicable law. Opportunities to discuss the fuzzy line between "zealous" representation and suborning perjury will be available.

  • Using Stock Options and Other Forms of Executive Compensation to Pay Alimony
      Learn about opportunities to save tax dollars and make more money available to both parties for support. IRS rules on stock options, restricted stock non-qualified pension plans, and other employment benefits allow the use of lower tax rates, take away necessity for truing up taxes, and reduce conflict between parties. Increase support amounts by including the value of perks such as health insurance, pension, 401k, life insurance, vacation, Blackberry, etc., to increase the amount that is available to pay alimony and child support.

  • How Do You Know What You Say You Know? A Lawyer's Guide to Confronting Mental Health Experts
      Mental health testimony is a significant aspect of many family law cases. A case's outcome may hinge on how the lawyer manages this testimony. This program will provide participants with skills to address the key reliability question testifying experts must answer: "How do you know what you say you know?" Participants will learn to challenge mental health opinions with critical thinking principles and confront those opinions with a practical, four-step, case law-based model.

  • Plenary: The Perils of Pauline: Navigating Ethics in the Wild and Woolly West
      A very different approach to ethics in family law—a musical production, written and presented by fellow ABA members, to both educate and entertain attendees. Obtain ethics CLE while laughing and learning about this critical aspect of the law!


  • Practicing Law for Fun and Money
      This program will cover a number of topics including: physical fitness to law practice management, balancing your life and practice, avoiding grievances and malpractice claims, and strategies for dealing with difficult clients, courts, and opposing attorneys. The program is interactive and audience participation is encouraged. Come and learn from others how to practice family law for fun and profit.

  • Zero to Three: Parenting Issues and Parenting Plans for Young Children
      Infants and very young children pose challenges in the best of circumstances. Structuring parenting plans that meet children's needs for security and consistency in order to foster healthy long-term relationships with both parents provides a critical foundation for young children, and parents who often struggle with what is 'good' for their babies. The presenters will address what we know from the psychological literature about infants and toddlers when their parents live apart, and options for lawyers in presenting such cases to the court.

  • Breaking Up Is Hard to Do: The Art & Science of Ethically Firing a Client
      All family law practitioners deal with problem clients. Sometimes for the sake of sanity, the only option is to terminate the relationship. This presentation explores when it's appropriate to fire a client and further provides strategies for ethically and responsibly ending the relationship.

  • Plenary: Ex, Lies and Videotape: Defeating Machiavellian Tactics and Lies in Negotiation
      Navigating the sea of unscrupulous tactics and lies when negotiating matrimonial matters can be treacherous. This multimedia program uses video and audience participation to teach effective methods for disarming the Machiavellian negotiator, and spotting the key non-verbal indicators of a prevaricator. Fans of the popular television show "Lie To Me" will not want to miss this program.


  • Identifying and Solving Tax Issues in Family Law Cases
      Family lawyers are frequently confronted with tax issues and are expected to know the answers, even when there's no time to consult an expert. This program will help you recognize the issues, and review the tax laws dealt with regularly concerning property division, alimony and support. This is a great opportunity to hone your tax skills.

  • Making a List and Checking It Twice—It's Not Just for Santa Claus
      We all use "boilerplate" language in marital settlement agreements, but how often do you review it carefully? This program will provide practical strategies, checklists and tips for spotting issues and potential traps in drafting and improving work product.

  • ART: It's Not Just for Museums*
      Experienced family practitioners know how to litigate disputes over property and disputes over child custody. But what happens when the litigation in a divorce action centers around stored genetic material such as embryos? Are the embryos property or children-in-being? What are the ethical issues and legal theories when your client wants to gain custody of embryos for the purpose of procreating against the other party's will? Practitioners will receive an overview of past cases, current trends, and ethical issues in such litigation.
      *This is an Assisted Reproductive Technologies session.

  • Plenary: Spy Torts, Damages and Jail Time—Criminal Exposure for the Client and Ethical Pitfalls for the Lawyer
      Many people these days use all kinds of spying methods such as hidden cameras, listening devices or GPS systems to spy on their cheating and abusing spouses. But most of them are not aware that using spying equipment or surveillance services could be illegal and/or subject them to civil liability. Our panelists will discuss the complex array of civil and criminal penalties and how to prosecute and defend litigation stemming from their use. The panelists will also address the lawyers' obligations when a client wants to use these spying methods and testify to information gathered by these methods, and when an attorney should withdraw from the case.

Fort Worth Stockyards

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Hotel & Map

Omni Fort Worth Hotel
1300 Houston Street
Fort Worth, TX 76102
Tel: 817-535-6664
Web: www.omnihotels.com/FindAHotel/FortWorth.aspx

Reserve your room now!
Our special discounted rate is $199. Make your reservations before Tuesday, September 28, 2010, 5:00 p.m. CT in order to get this rate; don't forget to mention you'll be attending the ABA Section of Family Law Fall Conference.

Internet access: Complimentary wireless Internet is provided in all guest rooms for the duration of your stay.

Directions & Map: Maps and directions can be pulled from the hotel site. (You can also see below for directions and travel information.)

Driving Directions

From Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport:
Exit South ramp to Texas-183 West; Merge onto Texas-183 West toward Fort Worth;
Proceed 10.5 miles until Texas-183 West becomes I-820/Texas-121 South;
Keep left to take Texas-121 South via Exit 24B toward downtown Fort Worth; Merge onto I-35W South;
Take the Texas 280-Spur exit Exit 52 toward downtown; Merge onto Texas-280 Spur West;
Take the East 6th Street exit on the left; Turn left onto Houston Street/ US-287 BR S;
Hotel entrance is on the right across from the Fort Worth Convention Center.

Taxi Service: Approximately $43 one-way

Shuttle Service: Approximately $17 per person; Super Shuttle Available 24 hours 972-615-2410

Trinity Railway Express: $1.50 one-way

Cowboys and Culture

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Special Events


Luncheon at the City Club of Fort Worth
12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
301 Commerce St.

Join us for lunch, a keynote address by Dr. Karyn Purvis, the presentation of the "Friend of the Family" award to retired Texas Supreme Court Justice Harriet O'Neill, and special recognition of Texas Supreme Court Justices.

Tickets: $29

Note: Appropriate attire is required for this event. Shorts, t-shirts, tank tops, jeans, flip-flops and sneakers are not acceptable. (Please choose business or business casual attire.)

Remember to select this event when you register.

(Transportation to the City Club will be provided.)

Visit the City Club website.

Mexican Fiesta at Joe T. Garcia's
Co-sponsored with the Tarrant County Family Law Bar Association
6:30 to 9:00 p.m.
2201 N. Commerce Street

Please join us at this local favorite for an evening of delicious Mexican fare, margaritas, mariachis, and, of course, good company! The Tarrant County Family Law Judiciary will present its first biannual "Outstanding Amicus Attorney Award."

Tickets: $15

Remember to select this event when you register.

(Meet in the Omni Hotel lobby; bus will depart at 6:15 p.m.)


Gala Event at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth
Co-sponsored with the Tarrant County Bar Association
7:00 to 10:00 p.m.
3200 Darnell Street

Celebrate with your colleagues and Texas Supreme Court Justices while enjoying a great evening of art, dinner, music, and dancing! Ticket price includes transportation to and from the museum, along with dinner, music from "Me & My Monkey," an award-winning Beatles tribute band, and gallery access to some of the museum exhibits. (The Modern is pictured above right.)


  • Adults: $110 (prior to 9/17/10)
  • Adults: $130 (after 9/17/10)
  • Kids ages 4-12: $50
Be sure to select this event when you register.

(Meet in the Omni Hotel lobby; bus will depart at 6:30 p.m.)

Visit The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth website for more information about this fantastic venue!

The Modern at Night

Local Attractions

Here are just a few other things you might like to see while you're in Fort Worth.

Fort Worth Herd: Witness the world's only twice-daily cattle drive! Clad in authentic Western clothing from saddles to chaps, teams of cowhands drive longhorns through the Stockyards on Exchange Avenue. Cattle drives take place at 11:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. daily. More information.

The Red Steagall Cowboy Gathering Western Swing Festival: October 22-24, 2010, Stockyards National Historic District. This authentic western event, which draws thousands each year, features a ranch rodeo, chuck wagon cookoff, children's poetry contest, western swing dances, cowboy music and poetry, a trappings show, and horsemanship clinics. (See website for exact times and location.)

Fall Festival in the Japanese Garden: October 23-24, 2010, Botanic Garden & Conservatory. Feast your eyes on the fall color of the Japanese Garden while you and your family enjoy traditional Japanese dance, music, martial arts demonstrations, papermaking, and tea ceremonies. (See website for exact times/location.)

Visit the Fort Worth Convention & Visitors Bureau for much more information about Fort Worth.

Fort Worth Herd

Local Transportation

The "T" Ground Transportation Services
Tel: 817-215-8600

Downtown Free Zone Shuttle Service
6:15 a.m. to 9:15 p.m. daily
    The Fort Worth T offers free step-on transportation throughout the downtown area. The Free Zone is bounded by Henderson, Jones, Belknap, and Lancaster Streets. Buses run approximately every 15-30 minutes.

Route 1: Historic Stockyards—Northbound (city bus)
$1.50 fare each way
    Transportation from ITC and downtown to the Stockyards Historical District. Runs every 15 minutes Monday-Saturday and every hour on Sunday.

Route 2: Camp Bowie/Museums (city bus)
$1.50 fare each way
    Transportation from ITC and Sundance Square to the museums on Camp Bowie and Ridgmar Mall. Runs every 15 minutes Monday-Friday, every 30 minutes on Saturday, and every hour on Sunday.

Route 7: Cultural Districts/Zoo (city bus)
$1.50 fare each way
    Transporation from ITC and downtown to the Cultural District, museums, and zoo. Runs every 30 minutes Monday-Saturday an every hour on Sunday.

Route 15: Historic Stockyards (green trolley)
*Saturday Service Only*
$1.50 fare each way
    Transportation from ITC, Sundance Square, and downtown to the Historic Stockyards Visitor Center. Runs every 30 minutes.

For more transportation information, visit Molly the Trolley and the Fort Worth CVB.

Fort Worth Skyline

Photos and some event descriptions courtesy of the Fort Worth Convention and Visitors Bureau. Photo of The Modern by David Woo.

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