Originally published in the November/December 2019 edition of Res Ipsa Loquitur
The 2019 Certification Review in Orlando was a success. It was a great time to brush up on your knowledge of family law, reconnect with colleagues and have a little fun, all in the beautiful setting of Gaylord Palms Hotel. As I heard more than one person exclaim, “It’s impossible to attend and not get one perfect, ‘on point’ case that will benefit at least one of your clients.. If you didn’t go, consider going next year.
The Supreme Court of Florida has “tweaked” the Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure a bit regarding testimony and attendance of minor children at hearing or deposition. Rule 12.407(a) previously provided that “no minor child shall be brought to court to appear as a witness or to attend a hearing or subpoenaed to appear at hearing without prior order of the court or good cause shown unless in an emergency situation..
The new Rule 12.407(a) now specifically includes and forbids the deposition of a minor, or even attendance at a deposition, if the minor is a “witness, potential witness, or related to a family law case.. Also, the previous exception “unless in an emergency situation” has been removed. Going forward, it appears an attorney will not have any discretion whatsoever in deposing or bringing a minor to court.
It appears alimony reform is dead in Florida for 2019. An alimony reform bill was submitted in March, 2019, however the bill has failed to appear on the sub-committee’s calendar, and with the end of the legislative session approaching, it looks like we won’t see any substantive changes until at least 2020.
Florida Family Lawyer word of the month: Bavardage, noun – Foolish or empty chatter. “Your Honor, I’m sure you’ll see through opposing counsel’s closing argument bavardage and rule for my client.”
The author is a past president of Clearwater Bar Association and practices family law in Dunedin.
The first step can be daunting. We understand, but rest assured, when you're ready, we'll be here to help guide you along the way.Contact Us
We accept credit and debit card payments from Visa, Mastercard, and Discover.