If you are on pins and needles waiting for the relocation and personal goodwill decisions from the Kentucky Supreme Court, dates for the further release of opinions this year are 9/18, 10/23, 11/16 and 12/18.
One does not have to be a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers to attend its outstanding CLEs. Here is the lineup from our President, James A. Hennenhoefer: We begin with Thursday’s CLE entitled “Saving the Monkey From the Middle: When fabricated allegations of child abuse become psychological abuse.” This program presented by Allison F. DeFelice, Ph.D. of Columbia, South Carolina, will deal with the disturbing subset of cases in which a child makes an allegation of sexual abuse but fabrication is believed to be an alternative explanation of merit. Pediatric Condition Falsification (PCF) is described as a form of psychological abuse. Valuation options, case examples and legal interventions will be discussed. In the second program, you will be a part of a dynamic program on cross examination of experts and other witnesses with panel moderator, Nicholas Leto, Jr. and panelists, Sandra Morris and Steve Wagner, all of whom are AAML Fellows. The panel will focus on various cross examination techniques, making use of movies and TV as part of the analysis. Discussion will also make use of Roger Dodd’s book on cross examination and Steve Wagner’s article on “Boxing in the Witness.”
Friday’s CLE program will be “Complex Estate Planning and Asset Protection Plans and their Impact on Divorce.” In an interactive, real live fact pattern, the panel, two AAML Fellows and two ACTEC (American College of Trust and Estate Counsel) Fellows, will discuss tax implications, of complex estate planning and asset protection, and the impact on divorce, support and property division. Various strategies to use in negotiating and litigating settlements will be presented. The fact pattern will include installment sales, qualified personal residual trusts, family limited partnerships, asset protection trusts, irrevocable life insurance trusts, charitable remainder trusts and other wealth transfer strategies commonly used by wealthy couples. AAML Fellows Brian Webb from Dallas, Texas and Philip Schwartz from Fairfax, Virginia will be presenters. Phil has spoken extensively on off-shore trusts and other asset protection plans and Brian has also litigated many of these issues. From ACTEC, the presenters are James “Jim” D. Spratt, Jr. of King & Spalding, LLP in Atlanta, Georgia and John “Jack” A. Terrill II of Heckscher, Teillin, Terrill & Sager, PC in West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania. Both Jim and Jack are frequent lecturers on these topics and have been expert witnesses or co-counsel in divorce litigation to assist counsel in addressing issues of this nature.
Friday’s second session is “Top Ten Mistakes Experienced Lawyers Make With QDROs.” A witty and pointed 30 minute presentation on the common mistakes that are made, even by the experts, when negotiating and drafting language in settlement agreements and orders for the division of retirement benefits. Emily McBurney, one of the foremost QDRO experts in the Southeast, will explain how to avoid these potential errors and protect yourself and your clients. Emily is a partner in the law firm of Davis, Matthews and Quigley, PC in Atlanta, Georgia and frequently lectures on retirement benefits and QDROs across the country.
Ending the day’s session is “Executive Compensation” which will focus on executive compensation packages, including benefits under non-qualified plans (stock options and restricted stock, “top hat” plans, and other deferred compensation), change of control provisions, severance packages, (as golden handcuffs) and other benefits for the highly compensated. You will learn what to look for, and what to do when you find. You will receive suggestions and tips on how to handle such issues in divorce, including what can be done considering securities law. AAML Fellow Brenda Keen and Geoff Poll, CPA from Houston, Texas will be leading the panel discussion. Geoff is a tax partner and shareholder with Ferguson Camp Poll P.C. and a frequent lecturer and expert witness on these issues. Brenda Keen has litigated and spoken on these issues extensively.
Rounding out our three days of CLEs will be a morning filled with custody trial issues. In the first session AAML Fellow Caroline K. Black of Tampa, Florida joined by Deborah O. Day, Psy.D. of Psychological Affiliates of Winter Park, Florida will address “How to Overcome a Bad Custody Evaluation.” The second program finds Deborah O. Day joined by AAML Fellow Richard West of Orlando, Florida enlightening us on “What You Must Know About the Tests Used by Psychologists.” And last, but not least, you won’t want to miss “How to conduct an Effective Cross Examination of a Psychologist in a Custody Case” presented by our former President Gaetano Ferro. Come join us in Chicago!
For registration info email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Mitchells, maternal aunt and uncle of B.E.M., petitioned the court to be appointed guardians and conservators of the estate of their niece. B.E.M.’s mother was murdered by the child’s father, and the child was currently living with her paternal aunt and uncle, the McCarys. The district court ordered that the Mitchells be appointed the co-guardians and co-conservators of the estate of the child, and that the Mitchells take physical possession of the child after the completion of the 2005-06 school year. The Circuit Court affirmed. The Court of Appeals granted discretionary review.
The Court first found that the KRS 403.270 de facto custodian provision does not apply to guardianship proceedings under KRS 387.032. Therefore, the McCarys did not have a superior right to the child. Both parties were to be given equal consideration. The Court then found that the district court did not abuse its discretion in finding that the child’s best interest was served by appointing the Mitchells as guardians. There was sufficient evidence to support the court’s finding.
Digested by Sarah Jost Nielsen, Diana L. Skaggs + Associates
McCary, et al v. Mitchell,et al is a to be published decision holding the defacto custodian provisions of KRS 403 are not applicable to guardianship contest under KRS 387 between non-parents.
While we don't usually report on decisions designated not to be published unless discretionary review is granted, Williamson v. Ballard is an important domestic violence case regarding dismissal, right to cross-examination and the perils of pro se representation. Even lawyers should find useful the reminder that the civil rules of procedure apply in domestic violence hearings.