Cordell & Cordell Leads Bi-State Attorney Seminar

Last month, attorneys from Illinois and Missouri gathered in St. Louis to review and learn updated information about how to most effectively practice family law. The 8th Annual Domestic Litigation Forum was hosted by St. Louis-based family law firm Cordell & Cordell, PC. “You can be sure that the work our attorneys put into these presentations reflects their dedication to achieving expertise in their field,” Cordell & Cordell PC Co-founder, Joseph Cordell, explained. “Our attorneys inhabit this realm of intricate family law every day. Assembling these presentations and leading these discussions among their peers both reflects and increases their expertise in this area. We know that by offering these free forums we are both expanding the knowledge base in the industry and increasing the knowledge base within our firm as we add to the understanding in the law community of the best ways to practice family law.”

Ten Cordell & Cordell, PC attorneys presented at the 8th Annual event which was attended by 134 attorneys from both Missouri and Illinois. The attorneys who attended received Continuing Legal Education credits required to remain in good standing with both states’ bar associations.

Cordell & Cordell, PC attorneys, who make up the largest family law firm in America, presented the newest information on ten family law-related topics.
Joseph Cordell Welcomes Members Of The Law Community
Mr. Cordell welcomed 134 members of the Missouri and Illinois legal community to his firm’s home town, St Louis, Missouri, for a day of specialized instruction and explanation of new trends and tactics arising in today’s family law environment.
Mr. Cordell introduced ten of his firm’s attorneys who throughout the day gave presentations on subjects related to various aspects of the practice of family law.
Using Outside Experts To Accurately Tell Their Clients’ Story
Cordell and Cordell, PC Managing Partner, Scott Trout, and Senior Attorney, Kelly Burris, led off the daylong event with their examination into the Effective Use of Experts in Family Law especially as related to financial and custody matters.
As Mr. Trout explained, “We find that men who come to us to represent them in this difficult time in their lives benefit from our understanding of the best ways to utilize outside experts as resources to strengthen their case by better telling their story and giving their account of the true dynamics of their family life and financial life. By using the resources available to us we as attorneys can better represent our clients with credible and methodic testimony that holds up well in court.”
The Fine Points Of Dividing Retirement Assets
Cordell and Cordell, PC Managing Attorney, Jill Rauk Daugherty, discussed the division of retirement assets in the context of divorce. As Ms. Daugherty explained, “Retirement accounts are often one of the largest assets our clients have on the table during a divorce. A client deserves an attorney who understands the various ways retirement assets can be divided to ensure and equitable resolution to his case.”
Is Her Alcohol Problem Misconduct Or A Disability?
Cordell & Cordell, PC Managing Attorney, Frank Murphy, discussed the fine points of defining marital misconduct. “It is crucial to be able to determine who is at fault and what compensation, if any, is fair,” explained Mr. Murphy. “We owe it to our clients to be able to understand how to express the actual dynamic of their marriage in order to show what lines may have been crossed.”
The Tale Of The Tape
Cordell & Cordell, PC Senior Attorney, Dan Cuneo, informed attorneys of the intricacies of taped conversations in the family law courtroom. “This evidence can be a powerful tool but only if it is acquired under very special circumstances,” explained Mr. Cuneo. “We regularly represent cases in which most of the evidence of the nature of the relationship occurs in private and so we always want to be cognizant of what is fair to disclose and what means of obtaining that disclosure are best suited for the courtroom.”
Attorney Ethics With Managing Attorney Allison Cunningham
For those whose job it is to argue for the correct dispensation of justice for their clients, professional ethics must be at the forefront of their minds at all times. Cordell & Cordell, PC Partner, Allison Cunningham focused her discussion on the chief complaints against lawyers practicing family law. “Complaints concerning communication, diligence, dishonesty and excessive fees are the most prevalent complaints in our industry,” explained Ms. Cunningham. “And so we as attorneys must find better ways to focus on improving in all of these areas to meet the needs and expectations of our clients.”
Dealing With Forms Of Impairment In Litigation
Cordell & Cordell, PC Managing Attorney, Dorothy Ripka, focused her presentation on ways to deal with various forms of mental impairment as an attorney comes into contact with them in family law cases. Because law exists and is built upon the consistencies of logic, symptoms of mental impairment often threaten to disturb this balance of logic. The ethics of dealing with others (clients, opposing parties and even attorneys and judges) who are afflicted by mental illness requires understanding and a delicate approach.
Family Law Refresher Course
Senior Attorney, Michele Hammond, brought a room full of Missouri and Illinois lawyers up to the minute with a refresher course in recent Missouri Informal Advisory Opinions that Impact Family Law. “The law evolves,” explained Ms. Hammond. “As new circumstances are brought before the court the system adjusts to match the guidance and points of reference that we need it to provide.” She engaged the participation of attorney audience in a question/answer session regarding recent Missouri Informal Advisory Opinions.
Current Legal Trends and Issues Involving Children of Divorce
Senior Attorney at Cordell & Cordell PC’s new Belleville, Illinois office, Richard Coffee, presented on perhaps the most crucial topic touching upon the practice of family law as the day’s closing discussion: child custody and visitation. “From the perspective of those who retain us, the single most important concern is in ensuring an ongoing and active role in the lives of their children,” says Coffee. “It is important to review and be up to the minute in our understanding of the factors that go into these life-affecting decisions.”
Mr. Coffee’s presentation concluded with consideration of some of the new frontiers affecting child/parent contact including “virtual visitation” via computer. What will they think of next? Whatever it is, it will surely be covered at next year’s 9th Annual Cordell & Cordell, PC Domestic Litigation Forum.
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