Latest & Greatest – How to Build and Manage a Family Law Practice

By Mark A. Chinn  Published by the American Bar Association, Section of Family Law, Law Practice Division  KF 300 .C455 2018

By Mark A. Chinn

Published by the American Bar Association, Section of Family Law, Law Practice Division

KF 300 .C455 2018

Author Mark Chinn, an attorney specializing in family law since 1988, notes in his book, How to Build and Manage a Family Law Practice, that family law is “one of the most unique and challenging specialties in law” because practitioners are required to know more than just the law; they must be litigators, accountants, and psychologists. He doesn’t say this to dissuade lawyers from taking on this specialty but rather to remind them how special and how personal this area of law is. Drawing on his own experience in starting a family law practice, Chinn encourages lawyers who are seeking to specialize in family law to set aside any fears and make the jump. To help those who are willing to take that leap, Chinn offers some practical advice about establishing a family law practice. He guides the reader through the initial tasks of starting out: dealing with the tangible items, i.e. location choice, furniture, equipment; establishing procedures for day-to-day and regular operations and customer service; marketing; and making decisions regarding staffing. He then moves onto the practicalities of maintaining and managing a law practice: fees and billing and managing cases, time, and finances.

When it comes to client relations, Chinn, however, takes a different tack. He discusses how to deal with clients from initial intake through trial preparation and addresses how to interact with them, stressing throughout that in many family law cases, the level of emotion involved increases, thereby making client interactions a bit more challenging and perhaps requiring a bit more counseling on the part of the lawyer. He also devotes a chapter to service and suggests ways for lawyers to become more service-oriented rather than results-oriented. Lastly, Chinn reminds lawyers that to be able to do one’s best, one must be healthy in mind, body, and spirit.

If you are considering a family law practice or even your own legal practice, consult How to Build and Manage a Family Law Practice first for some solid advice.

Latest and Greatest – Predicates Manual 2.0

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   Predicates Manual 2.0  Texas Family Law Foundation (2012)  KFT 1294 .T49 2012

Predicates Manual 2.0

Texas Family Law Foundation (2012)

KFT 1294 .T49 2012

Assume that you are involved in a family law case and want to admit alcohol and drug treatment records into evidence. Where do you begin? What do you need to show or prove when offering these specific pieces of evidence? One of the first places to look (other than the Texas Rules of Evidence, of course) is Predicates Manual 2.0 published by the Texas Family Law Foundation in conjunction with the Family Law Section of the State Bar of Texas. With this valuable resource, you have, at your fingertips, all of the information needed, including statutory and case authority, to properly present your evidence to the court. In this guide, you can find predicates for accounting records, artist’s sketches, audio recordings, blood samples, criminal records, domestic public documents, marital agreements, payroll records, telephone call logs, and video tapes, just to name a few.

As a supplement to Predicates Manual 2.0, the Texas Family Law Foundation has also published Electronic Evidence Predicates presented in a “direct and cross in question format.” In this supplement, you will find predicates for emails, texts, Facebook and other social media posts, chat rooms, instant messaging, and websites.

Interested in finding out the answer to the question that I posed at the beginning of my post? I’m afraid I can’t reveal it to you, so you’ll just have to visit the Harris County Law Library and have a look at Predicates Manual 2.0 to find it. (Hint: The answer can be found on page 15).

Latest and Greatest - The Family Lawyer’s Essential Tool Kit

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   The Family Lawyer’s Essential Tool Kit, 2015 Edition  Family Law Section of the State Bar of Texas  KFT 1294 .Z9 F36

The Family Lawyer’s Essential Tool Kit, 2015 Edition

Family Law Section of the State Bar of Texas

KFT 1294 .Z9 F36

Looking for a handy family law reference guide? Look no further than The Family Lawyer’s Essential Tool Kit published by the Family Law Section of the State Bar of Texas. An indispensable resource, the Tool Kit has all of the tools you need to handle every aspect of a family law matter. From the Texas standard possession schedule and tax tables and minimum wage charts for computing child support to trial preparation materials, this resource has it all.

Not sure how to make objections at trial? Don’t worry. The Tool Kit has a handy list. Inside, you can also find an oral deposition reference sheet, evidentiary predicates, presumptions, generic examination outlines of expert witnesses, an outline for attorney’s fees, and information about the enforcement of orders. So, what are you waiting for? Come on down to the Law Library and have a look at one of our newest acquisitions.