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In-Person Program

Family Law Trial Advocacy Workshop

Practice and refine your trial skills under the scrutiny of Probate and Family Court judges

8am-6pm, Monday-Friday, June 6-10, and 8am-1pm, Saturday, June 11, 2011
MCLE Conference Center, Ten Winter Place, Boston
48 substantive credits, 0 ethics credits
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Product Description

MCLE's Family Law Trial Advocacy Workshop is an intensely challenging course designed to enhance your domestic relations trial skills. It is a unique opportunity to spend six days "on your feet," practicing your skills under the rigorous scrutiny of Probate and Family Court judges and dozens of leading practitioners. The primary emphasis is on trial advocacy from motion practice to examination of expert witnesses to final argument.

In class sessions, you perform as a trial counsel in various phases of a domestic relations trial. Class exercises include a variety of problems that arise in the context of divorce litigation. The week begins with exhibits and demonstrative evidence and progresses to direct and cross-examination on M.G.L. Chapter 208, § 34 factors. By the end of the week, you are examining actual real estate and psychological experts who are specially selected to participate because of their experience testifying in divorce proceedings. Student performances are fully critiqued, both in group settings and one-on-one with faculty members. Throughout the week, you have the opportunity to observe expert domesticrelations practitioners demonstrate effective trial techniques. You also hear lectures on selected family law trial topics. On the last day of the workshop, you participate in the full trial of a domestic relations case. Those trials are a culmination of the week's efforts and give each student the chance to pull together skills learned during the preceding week. Each trial is presided over by a Probate and Family Court judge, who concludes the session with a critique and discussion of the student's performance.

Workshop benefits

  • Receive feedback on your performance from over twenty-five top domestic relations trial lawyers and judges
  • Review your videotaped performances in private with an experienced divorce trial lawyer
  • Observe expert family law practitioners demonstrate advocacy techniques that they have found effective at trial
  • Examine real experts-GALs, family service officers, and appraisers
  • Network with dozens of expert family law practitioners
  • Practice trial technique in a supportive environment where stakes are low but learning potential is high

Special workshop materials and preparation

You receive a notebook of workshop materials, including case files and motions, as well as a handout of exercises and directions approximately one week prior to the workshop so you have time to prepare. Preworkshop preparation ensures that you maximize your learning experience for the program.

In addition, attendees receive excellent resources to use in their practice. Each registrant receives Massachusetts Courtroom Advocacy, a portable reference to use in preparing for each stage of trial. The second resource, the Evidence Primer for Family Lawyers by Phyllis Federico includes a series of vignettes which highlight the right ways to introduce evidence in your practice. Registrants also receive the Civility Guidelines for Family Law Attorneys published by the Massachusetts Bar Association.


Monday, June 6, 2011

Uncontested and Contested Motions
Opening Statements Direct and Cross-examination

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Direct and Cross-examination of Experts

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Financial Statements Common Evidentiary Problems

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Closing Arguments
Lawyer Relations

Friday, June 10, 2011

Trial Preparation Conferences with an Expert

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Mock Trials

Table of Contents



Kevin M. Corr, Esq., Malden
Alfred P. Farese, III, Esq., Law Offices of Alfred P. Farese Jr., Everett
Hon. Katherine A. Field, Bristol Probate and Family Court, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Fall River
Kathleen A. Foley, Esq., Foley & MacAdie PC, Acton
Pamela S. Freeman, Esq., Freeman & Freeman, Brookline
Stephen D. Fried, Esq., Nigro, Pettepit & Lucas LLP, Wakefield
James S. Goldberg, Esq., Volterra & Goldberg, Law Counsellors, Inc., Attleboro
Stephanie E. Goldenhersh, Esq., Harvard Legal Aid Bureau, Cambridge
Rosemarie Haigazian, Esq., Haigazian Law Offices, Edgartown
Paul M. Kane, Esq., McGrath & Kane, Boston
Mary Lou Kaufman, Roslindale
William M. Levine, Esq., Levine Dispute Resolution Center LLC, Westwood
Lisa M. Locher, Esq., Greater Boston Legal Services, Boston
John J. Norton, Esq., Connelly & Norton, Dorchester
Victoria C. Rothbaum, Esq., Harsip & Stuart, PC, Acton
Moira E. Tierney, Esq., Law Office of Moira E Tierney, New Bedford



  • $1,295
  • $1,095 MCLE Sponsor Members
  • $895 New lawyers admitted to law practice after 2006, pending admittees and law students
In-Person Program
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