Your Guide to Navigating the Court System in a Divorce Case
Much has been said about the issues discussed in divorce. But what about the procedure? Are you intimately familiar with all the “musts” and “must-not's” of family court? Let our seasoned attorney faculty walk you through a detailed step-by-step instruction on the mechanics of a divorce case. Streamline your motions practice and explore new and time-tried discovery techniques. Get sample forms and tactical tips to make your next case go more smoothly for you and the client. Register today!
- Get a refresher on how the divorce case moves through the court system to ensure no key steps are missed.
- Get a head-start on the case with sound advice for your client on what to do before announcing the decision to the spouse.
- Enhance your early investigation skills and learn when and how to decline representation.
- Make certain your initial court filings are impeccable to make the right impression on the judge.
- E-discovery is a powerful and accessible new tool in discovery litigation – learn to wield it effectively.
- Gain strategic tips for the timing and content of your pre-trial motions to give them maximum force.
- Delve into the complex issues of jurisdiction, venue, residency and domicile to ensure your client's interests are properly represented.
- Review the process of obtaining protective orders in cases involving domestic violence.
- Gain a strategic edge by augmenting substantive knowledge with a clear understanding and mastery of the court mechanics and classic litigation strategy.
- DIVORCE CASE INTAKE AND PRE-LITIGATION TACTICS
9:00 - 10:00, Susan S. Donofrio
- Client Interview Questions and Documents to Obtain
- Advice to Client Who Hasn't Yet Told the Spouse About the Decision to Divorce
- Initial Analysis and Investigation
- Declining Representation
- Case File Organization Tips
- Divorce From Bed and Board/Legal Separation
- Annulment: Grounds, Procedure, Consequences of an Annulment Decree
- Is an Expedited Procedure Available?
- COMMENCING DIVORCE ACTION
10:00 - 11:00, Susan S. Donofrio
- Determining Residency and Declaring Domicile
- Venue and Jurisdiction Considerations and Conflicts
- Subject Matter
- Automatic Orders
- Summons/Petition and Response
- Service of Process (Defendant in the State, in Another State, in Another Country, or Cannot be Located)
- Motions for Temporary Relief
- Scheduling Orders and Meeting the Deadlines
- Responsive Pleadings – What to Use, When and How
- DISCOVERY PROCEDURE
11:15 - 12:15, Amy M. McKinlay
- Timing of Discovery
- Requesting and Gathering Evidence (Interrogatories, Requests for Admissions, Depositions, Medical Examinations, Vocational Examinations, Requests for Production, etc.)
- Evidence Production
- Spoliation Considerations
- Impact of Current Technology on Divorce Discovery (Including: E-Mail; Text Messaging; Social Networking Sites and Blogs; Privacy Issues in Wiretapping and Other Surveillance; etc.)
- Locating, Valuing and Dividing Assets
- Supporting the Claim for the Primary Caregiver
- Guardian Ad Litem/Custody Evaluators Communications, Reports, Fees
- Working With Your Experts re: Discovery
1:15 - 2:15, Dennis E. Horvath
- Fee Agreements – Review a Sample Agreement
- Dealing With a Pro Se Litigant
- Conflict Checks
- Ethics Case Law Update
- PRE-TRIAL MOTIONS PRACTICE AND SETTLEMENT STRATEGIES
2:30 - 3:15, Amy M. McKinlay
- Temporary Orders
- Addressing the Validity of Pre-Nuptial Agreements
- Obtaining Retraining/Protective Orders in Cases Involving Domestic Violence
- Tips for Negotiating Child Custody and Parenting Times
- When and How to Use ADR Procedures
- Judicial Settlement Conference
- TRIAL OF A DIVORCE CASE
3:15 - 4:30, Dennis E. Horvath
- Family Court Trial Procedure
- Introducing Evidence
- Maximizing Client/Witness Testimony
- Final Disposition
- Effective Use of Trial and Post-Trial Motions
- Preserving Issues for Appeal