“The solutions all are simple . . . after you have arrived at them. But they’re simple only when you know already what they are.”
–Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (1974)

If you’ve missed 15 years of ABA Family Law Section Annual Meetings, it’s okay. We now have a 702 page “Greatest Hits” book–with CD-ROM–thanks to Milwaukee’s Gregg Herman, a recent past Chairperson of the Section. And thankfully, there is truth in advertising:

  • Practical: capable of being put to use; disposed to action as opposed to speculation or abstraction; designed to supplement theoretical training by experience.
  • Solutions: actions or processes of solving problems; answers to problems.

Since the mid-1990s, the ABA Family Law Section’s Annual Meetings have featured “Hot Tips from the Experts” presentations, which have shown to be incredibly practical to the divorce and family law field of practice. In 1997, Herman culled the best hot tips from the previous five years and compiled them into the first edition of 101+ Practical Solutions for the Family Lawyer. After another five years, he did it again, providing us with the second edition in 2003 of the best hot tips for divorce and family attorneys. Now we have the third edition. The outdated tips are gone, the best of the old remain, and the best of the most recent tips for divorce and family law attorneys have been added. Hundreds of professionals–lawyers, judges, and financial and mental health experts–have shared their advice, forms and checklists over the years, specially divorce and family lawyers. You can put the best of their tips into action today without investing the time and expense of attending 15 years of hot tips seminars. All you need to do is trade less than one billable hour for Herman’s hard work. A real good deal for divorce and family law attorneys.

While the third edition continues to focus on practical tips from leading lawyers and professionals, 101+ Practical Solutions now adds a CD-ROM to the mix of advice, forms, checklists, charts, and the like, which offers added value to your divorce and family law practice. The chapters are concise and organized into 15 categories: from client relations, fees and office practice to custody, support, premarital agreements, retirement plans, tax issues, and valuation; from discovery, evidence, trial techniques and settlement to avoiding malpractice and handling the period “After the Divorce.”

With family law, there is always more to learn. 101+ Practical Solutions offers you 131 opportunities (chapters of about 5 pages each) to learn from national experts and to have a reference manual when problems arise in the future with your divorce and family law practice.

For your consideration:

  • Helping Your Client (and Yourself!) with Publications
  • What Happens Emotionally in a Divorce and Why You Should Care and How Do You Know How Your Client Is Faring during the Divorce Litigation?
  • Put Your Client to Work
  • Trial Retainer Clause in Fee Agreements
  • Parenting Assessment Discovery Form for Lawyers
  • How to Confront an Adverse Custody Evaluation
  • Use of Demonstrative Evidence in Custody Cases
  • Expert Testimony in Relocation Cases
  • The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abductions
  • Imputing Earning Capacity for a Defaulted Obligor
  • Five Malpractice Traps to Avoid in Military Cases
  • Organizing the Deluge of Paper
  • How to Make Your Premarital Agreements Litigation-Proof
  • What Can You Learn from a W-2?
  • Tax Attributes—Who Gets Them after a Divorce?
  • Alimony Recapture: Its Origins and Operation
  • Joint Returns and Section 1034: A Sometimes Dangerous Journey through Tax Land
  • Taxation of Nonstatutory Stock Options and Deferred Compensation
  • Pension Arithmetic Made Easier: Calculating the Spousal Share
  • An Update on the Employee Retirement Income Securities Act and the Insolvent and Underfunded Pension Plan
  • Avoiding the 10 Percent Penalty for Early Distributions from Retirement Plans
  • Using QDRO to Enforce Spousal and Child Support
  • Valuing Closely Held Corporations: Some Tips for the Preliminaries
  • Dividing Stock Options: Sample Language for Marital Settlement Agreements
  • How to Effectively Present Your Client’s Budget at Trial
  • Theme of the Case—A Winning Technique
  • How to Draft a Persuasive Closing Argument in Five Easy Steps
  • Some Suggestions for Cross-Examining Mental Health Experts
  • Electronic Evidence: The Text Message
  • How to Properly Close a File

As impressive as that list may seem, there actually are 101 more practical solutions in Herman’s book for divorce and family law attorneys. There are another 113 pages of forms on the CD-Rom that are useful for things such as managing your depositions to providing prompts for discovery in clients. And there is the comfort of knowing that you can turn to a national expert for a sensible answer when you are confounded by a problem in your divorce and family law practice.

Simple: free of secondary complications; constituting a basic element; fundamental; readily understood or performed. Yes, the solutions for your divorce and family law firm are simple. They are clear and crisp. They focus on fundamental issues and common problems your encounter frequently as you engage in mediation, litigation, divorce, or other family law issues, such as child support. These tips are readily understood and capable of instant application in your existing divorce and family law caseload.

After you read this book, you will arrive at the solutions best applicable to your divorce and family law practice. Add Gregg Herman’s team of professionals as consultants to your divorce and family law office. All it takes is this book on your desk.

Gregg Herman, editor, 101+ PRACTICAL SOLUTIONS FOR THE FAMILY LAWYER: SENSIBLE ANSWERS TO COMMON PROBLEMS (3d ed., 2009, American Bar Association). $139.95.