Another Successful Trial Basics Seminar

Our AAML Southern California Chapter presented its third annual Trial Basics Seminar in Costa Mesa on Friday, April 7, 2017. As before, it was free to all 100 attendees. 2017 was better than ever.

Jim Schaefer, CPA and Justice Sheila Sonenshine (Ret.) put on an updated presentation regarding “Expert Witnesses 101,” with all new slides. The audience hung on to every one of Justice Sonenshine’s words – she is a legend in California family law. Rob Benavente, “the rookie,” did a great job in his first year. I added a new presentation regarding “Motions in Limine,” among other programs. Chris Melcher was spot on in his clear and direct manner with his various practical presentations concerning the introduction of evidence, examination of witnesses and etc. Sandy Mayberry was strong and authoritative regarding the law and practical pointers. Gordon Cruse appropriately alerted/scared everyone with his “3 hours condensed to 20 minutes” ESI (electronically stored information)/E-Discovery program.

California family law guru, Garrett Dailey, was his usual gracious and insightful self as our moderator.

Our audience, which was from all corners of Southern California, provided its full attention throughout, and for good reason. We provide a “bang-bang” program, with each speaker quickly following the prior one with packed 10-25 minute presentations, depending on the topic. No lulls.

Breakfast was great. Lunch sparkled, with everyone enjoying great food at the Westin Hotel’s outside patio area, enjoying the opportunity to rub shoulders with our Fellows and otherwise mingle.

A unique aspect of the TBS is that we provide follow-up hands-on sessions for all attendees, and all are expected to participate. The hands-on sessions allow our attendees to practice the trial skills that they learned at the April 7 main session. Sandy will lead the San Diego County breakout on April 22 at the downtown San Diego Courthouse and Chris Melcher will lead the Los Angeles County breakout at Loyola School of Law on April 29. Sandy and Chris do extraordinary work in relation to the breakouts – they are complete programs in and of themselves, and they take tons of time to prepare.

In the three years that our Chapter has presented the TBS, we have educated nearly 300 young (in their practices) family law attorneys throughout Southern California. Next year will make 400. This is a homerun event that HLG strongly supports, and of which I am proud to continue as the Dean.