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Debra S. Frank, Chair of the Los Angeles County Bar Association Family Law Section Executive Committee, Announces Upcoming Programs

Los Angeles, CA
Thursday, October 28, 2010

Debra S. Frank, Certified Family Law Specialist

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Debra S. Frank, a Certified Family Law Specialist in Century City, California, Chair of the Los Angeles County Bar Family Law Section, announced the section's continuing education programs for the upcoming year.

As Chair of the Family Law Section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association, Debra S. Frank, Esq. (https://www.DSFrankLawOffice.com), a Certified Family Law Specialist in Century City, California, announced the section's continuing education programs for the upcoming year. Ms. Frank indicated that with the passage and signing of AB 939, as written below, the practice of family law as we know it will be changed and that the LACBA Family Law Section intends to take a proactive role in the implementation of these changes and in the education of its members as to the changes.

With the passage and signing of AB 939, effective 1/1/2011, Section 217 will be added to the Family Code, to read:

"(a) At a hearing on any order to show cause or notice of motion brought pursuant to this code, absent a stipulation of the parties or a finding of good cause pursuant to subdivision (b), the court shall receive any live, competent testimony that is relevant and within the scope of the hearing and the court may ask questions of the parties.

(b) In appropriate cases, a court may make a finding of good cause to refuse to receive live testimony and shall state its reasons for the finding on the record or in writing. The Judicial Council shall, by January 1, 2012, adopt a statewide rule of court regarding the factors a court shall consider in making a finding of good cause.

(c) A party seeking to present live testimony from witnesses other than the parties shall, prior to the hearing, file and serve a witness list with a brief description of the anticipated testimony. If the witness list is not served prior to the hearing, the court may, on request, grant a brief continuance and may make appropriate temporary orders pending the continued hearing."

The LACBA Family Law section will be conducting a seminar discussing AB 939 and its implementation on December 16, 2010 at the Sheraton Delfina. The program will be 3.00 hours of credit. It will be moderated by Peter M. Walzer who served on the Elkins Task force and will include a panel of judicial officers who will weigh in on how they expect to implement the new law. The program will cover using live testimony at OSC's and Motions and answer questions such as, is Reifler dead, is notice of requesting live testimony required, can you limit the number of witnesses and the duration of their testimony, what is a good cause exception, etc.

The section will also present a six-hour general Evidence Program by Steve Kolodny, Judge Shaller and Judge Nelson on March 19, 2011, which will include hearsay and its exceptions, foundation for testimony and documents, a "how to" as to evidentiary issues.

The theme of the May 7, 2011 Annual Family Law Symposium will be AB 939 and how it changes the practice of family law. The Symposium will include a review of recent implementation, prospective implementation, and techniques with respect to moving forward.

More information regarding the program specifics will be sent out by the LACBA Family Law section.

Debra S. Frank is a member of the Los Angeles County Bar Association Family Law Section Executive Committee and its Chair, editor of its annual Family Law Symposium book, and a mediator for the Los Angeles County Bar Association Family Law section. She regularly serves as a moderator and presenter for family law programs. She recently completed three-year terms as a Commissioner for the Family Law Advisory Commission, Board of Legal Specialization and as the Chair of the Financial Issues South subcommittee of the State Bar Family Law Executive Committee and currently serves as its Vice Chair. She is a Board Member of the Association of Certified Family Law Specialists (ACFLS) and just completed her term as the Newsletter Editor. Attorney Debra S. Frank is a member of the Beverly Hills Bar Association Board of Governors and serves on the Executive Committee of the Beverly Hills Bar Association Family Law Section, the Board of Governors of the Century City Bar Association, and is Chair of the Century City Bar Association Family Law Section. Debra S. Frank was admitted to the California bar in 1977 and is a member of the District of Columbia bar. She graduated from Boston University in 1970 with honors, Carnegie Mellon University (M.A., 1972), and Southwestern Law School (J.D., 1977).

With over twenty years experience in family law, her practice includes divorce and dissolution of marriage; California community property; spousal support/alimony; child support; child custody and child visitation; breach of fiduciary duty; domestic partnerships; prenuptial & postnuptial agreements; litigation; modifications of custody and support agreements; domestic violence; interstate custody; international custody; paternity and paternity tests; and debt division. Southern California Super Lawyers magazine named her as one of the top attorneys in Southern California for 2009 and 2010.


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Debra S. Frank, Esq.
Attorney at Law
Debra S. Frank, APLC
Los Angeles, CA

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