Step 1 of 6: Event Information

Ninth Annual Family Law Training Series: The Basics

Volunteer Legal Services
Bay Area Legal Aid
Family Law Section
5:30 PM - 8:00 PM
Registration Closes:
For new attorneys, transitioning attorneys, or attorneys wishing to learn family law - this training takes a family law case from initial client intake through judgment. Each evening, a member of the local family law bench along with a seasoned family law practitioner will teach substantive law and provide practical tips so that participants will be able to take on a pro bono case at the end of the training series. Participants must attend all six sessions (October 8, 9, 15, 16, 22, and 23), and commit to take two pro bono family law cases within a year of the training. The training is offered for free in exchange for your commitment to take two pro bono cases, but there is a $100 materials fee.

Wednesday, October 8, 2013
Getting Started/Initial Dissolution Pleadings
Presenter: Judge Stephen Pulido (Presiding Judge, Family Law, Superior Court of California, County of Alameda)

  • General overview and timeline
  • Cause of Actions
  • Identification of immediate issues
  • Initial dissolution pleading—petition, summons, Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA)

Working with Low-Income Clients and Domestic Violence 101
Presenter: Genevieve Richardson (Bay Area Legal Aid)
(1 hour of legal ethics MCLE credit)

  • Pro bono programs and goals
  • Bay Area poverty and legal needs
  • Strategies for working with low-income clients
  • Client interview/education
  • Defining domestic violence
  • Cycle of violence
  • Safety planning
  • Intersection of domestic violence with family law

Thursday, October 9, 2014
Nuts and Bolts of Motions and Hearings Practice; and
Domestic Violence Restraining Orders
Presenters: Judge Tara Flanagan (Superior Court of California, County of Alameda), and Brenda Adams, Staff Attorney, (Bay Area Legal Aid)

  • Pleadings and procedure: Request for Order/Domestic Violence Prevention Act
  • Ex parte emergency orders
  • Declarations and presentation of evidence
  • Working with court personnel
  • Short cause versus long cause (evidentiary)/trials

Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Children’s Issues: Custody and Visitation
Presenters: Commissioner Tom Nixon (Superior Court of California, County of Alameda), Andrea Goldman (Law Office of Andrea Goldman) and Felicitas Bejarano (Family Court Services Program Supervisor)

  • Substantive law: definitions, best interest standard, §3044, etc.
  • Domestic violence and children
  • Court process step-by-step: COA and motion; Family Court Services orientation/counseling session; hearing; orders
  • Family Court Services: Preparing clients for mediation, do's and don'ts, recommending county
  • Creating safe, effective custody/visitation orders
  • Advising/educating clients

Thursday, October 16, 2014
Support: Child, Spousal and Family; and Attorneys Fees
Presenters: Commissioner Boydine Hall (Superior Court of California, County of Alameda), and Sandra Roberts-Stokes (Department of Child Support Services)

  • DissoMaster - hypothetical
  • Income and expense declaration
  • Evidence
  • Department of Child Support Services
  • Support hearings

Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Property Issues: Characterization, Discovery and Distribution
Presenters: Judge Alice Vilardi (Superior Court of California, County of Alameda), and Katharine Hooker (Family Law Group, LLP)

  • Substantive Law: community and separate property/debts, Watts/Epstein, etc.
  • Review of hypothetical
  • Mandated informal discovery: Declaration of Disclosure, Schedule of assets and debts, Income and expense declaration
  • Formal discovery
  • Division

Thursday, October 23, 2014
Finishing a Dissolution
Presenters: Judge Brad Seligman (Superior Court of California, County of Alameda), Janice Cho (Law Offices of Janice Cho), Stephanie Sato (Law Office of Stephanie Sato)

  • Paths to judgment: default, uncontested/stipulated, contested
  • Case Management/Settlement Conferences
  • Trials
  • Marital Settlement Agreements/Stipulated Judgments
  • Judgments and related pleadings

MCLE Credits:
13.5 credits (2.25 each evening); includes 1 hour of legal ethics (on first day) credit

To Register:
Submit a completed MCLE Registration Form to Managing Attorney Elizabeth Hom at or fax to 510-452-2224. Your registration must be confirmed to be considered valid. If you have any questions, please contact Elizabeth at, or call 510-302-2216.

Refreshments will be provided for this program. However, due to limited resources specific dietary requirements cannot be accommodated. Registration begins at 5:00 pm.

Event Cost:
Materials Fee
12.5 hr(s)
Legal Ethics
1 hr(s)