40th MIDYEAR LEGAL SEMINAR
November 5–12, 2013
COMPARATIVE LAW SYMPOSIUM
FAMILY LAW SECTION
3 MCLE Credits
Adam and Steve, Anna and Eve: Domestic Partnerships in Virginia
It is anticipated that the U. S Supreme Court’s decisions in Windsor v. United States and Hollingsworth, et al. v. Perry et al. will dramatically alter the legal institution of marriage, perhaps shaking family law even more than the Supreme Court’s decision in Loving v. Virginia.
This CLE will analyze the results of these decisions on California’s Proposition 8, defining marriage as between one man and one woman; and the Federal Defense of Marriage Act, limiting federal “marriage” benefits to heterosexual couples on various areas Virginia Family Law, not only “marriage.” The program will include a review of Virginia’s historical decisions and statutes, as well as the Virginia Constitutional Amendment related to marriage, and an analysis of the impact these decisions will have on both substantive and procedural law. Covered aspects of family law will include marriage, divorce, adoption, custody, visitation and child support.
3 MCLE Credits; including 1.0 Ethics (pending)
Aberrant Jury Outcomes
The program will focus on the runaway or aberrant jury verdict litigators occasionally encounter, including not only jury verdicts that are unusually high, but also those verdicts where little or no damages were awarded despite clear liability and significant evidence of damages. Over the last several years, jury verdicts have been handed down in a number of different jurisdictions which verdicts seem to bear no reasonable relation to the facts and circumstances of the case. The seminar will focus on identifying those cases that might result in a runaway or aberrant verdict, and the steps necessary to avoid such a verdict.
The Future of Law
1 MCLE credit
Suddenly, this topic is hot, hot, hot. Why? Because lawyers have begun to realize that the golden age of lawyers is gone – forever. When the economy tanked, law firms engaged in a lot of wishful thinking that, once we had a full recovery, things could be as they were before. Clearly, that is not the case. Why? Largely because technology has become such a disruptive force in the practice of law. So much of what lawyers do is now commoditized, something which companies like LegalZoom have capitalized on. We also live in a new climate in which clients, particularly General Counsels, want “more for less.” Coming from abroad is a trend toward liberalization of the profession, with non-lawyers owning law firms. Even here, much of what was traditional legal work is being done by non-lawyers in the financial and real estate sectors. What does the future hold in a world where only 50% of our law school graduates find work as a lawyer? Our speakers will share their view of the future of law – and offer suggestions for how to survive – and thrive – in this new era.
The Ethical Use of Social Media for Lawyers
1 MCLE Credit; including 1.0 Ethics (pending)
Social media can be a boon or quicksand for the unwary. Lawyers and their clients have often failed to recognize that they have a duty under compliance laws to preserve data. They fail to recognize both preservation and production duties in e-discovery – and to plan for them ahead of time. They subject themselves to liability for everything from trade disparagement to discrimination to defamation to bar disciplinary actions. The social media waters are still murky from an ethical standpoint and lawyers have found themselves fined, reprimanded and suspended for ethical lapses, with disbarments surely to follow. But there is much to be gained from social media use – networking, marketing, branding and most of all, wonderful evidence on social media sites to help you win your case, once you understand how to get it. Our experts will help you safely navigate the largely uncharted legal waters of social media.
TOTAL CREDITS: 9 Hours, including 2 Ethics (pending)
Updated: April 18, 2013