Our Southern California Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers is presenting its 31st Annual Trial Advocacy Institute during the upcoming Martin Luther King weekend (January 13-16, 2023). I am serving for a second tour as the Institute’s Dean (my first experience involved the 2010 Institute). Stephen Hamilton, of Arroyo Grande, is our Co-Dean. Our venue will be the beautiful Balboa Bay Resort in Newport Beach, California.
The weekend will include three days of cutting-edge continuing legal education programs designed to assist the advanced family law practitioner in preparing for and presenting a case at trial. Our premier presentation will be a three-day triptych, “How to Present a Case,” led by Saul Gelbart, Christopher Melcher, and Anne Kiley and supported by Michael Morris, Philip Seastrom, Judge Melinda Johnson (ret.), and Judge Thomas Trent Lewis (ret.). Twelve others will surround that, with other presenters including Sandra Mayberry, Judge Laura Miller, Ira Friedman, Judge Susan Lopez-Giss (ret.), Dan Jaffe, Robert Simon, Ph.D., Judge Dianna Gould-Saltman, Glen Schwartz, Judge Amy Pellman, Robert Benavente, and Commissioner David S. Weinberg (ret.). These are all-star leaders in California’s family law community, and we are proud to have them.
The social highlight will be our Saturday night formal gala. There, we will present our Distinguished Jurist and Family Law Person of the Year awards. The Distinguished Jurist award recognizes a judicial officer (judge or commissioner) who has, by their conduct or activities, made a meaningful contribution to the practice of family law during 2022. This year’s honoree will be Judge Linda Miller (ret.).
The Family Law Person of the Year award is our Chapter’s highest honor. In 2001 it was named after Norman Dolin, a Fellow from 2000 until his passing in 2001. Since then, the award has been presented with the “Normie” trophy. During my 2010 experience as the Dean, we had the spectacular experience of awarding it to California Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald M. George (now retired). This year it will be presented to incoming California Supreme Court Chief Justice Patricia Guerrero.
Completing the evening will be Big Bad Voodoo Daddy getting everyone on the dance floor!
The Institute is already at near-capacity, but registrations for the CLE simulcast remain open through aamlsocaltrialinstitute.com. Sponsorship opportunities are also available – just contact me if interested.
Someone once described the event as equivalent to planning and executing a big destination wedding –it’s true! Over the three years it takes to ramp up, we will have spent hundreds and hundreds of professional hours. We could not do it without the tremendous help of two of our Herring Law Group Administrators, Kristiné Kirschke and Lynn Goodman, Fellows Steve Mindel and Shannon Miles and their respective staffs, and of course Stephen Hamilton. If any of us seem a bit distracted in the next two months, you will know why – but it will be worth it toward supporting our Chapter and greater family law community!