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Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Virtual Visitation

The ABA Journal has an article this month about "virtual visitation." It turns out that virtual visitation is old news in Tennessee.

Virtual visitation is really just another name for video conferencing. The child and the "visiting" parent sit in from of web-camera connected through the Internet and have a live conversation. Advocates are quick to point out that virtual visitation is not a substitute for personal interaction. But it can be a great supplement, especially when the parents live far apart.

In 2001 the Tennessee Court of Appeals approved a virtual visitation plan in Burke v. Burke [Opinion; Order to Amend]. The court described virtual visitation as a unique, forward-thinking, and viable communication option, and it approved court-ordered installation of the necessary equipment.

For more information on virtual visitation, take a look at the following:
Virtual Families
Virtual Visitation: Is This a New Option for Divorcing Parents?

Monday, November 21, 2005

Jim Calloway's Cutting-Edge Technology for the Domestic Lawyer

Law practice management guru Jim Calloway has posted the PowerPoint presentation from a recent talk entitled "Cutting-Edge Technology for the Domestic Lawyer." As Jim points out, the presentation was designed to complement his commentary, not replace it. Still, the PowerPoint presentation may get you started exploring some new ways to integrate technological tools and resources into your practice.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Don't Fly the Judge to the Sugar Bowl

The Commercial Appeal had a story this weekend related to criminal and civil charges against Memphis businessman William B. Tanner. Tanner is accused of bribery in relation to a civil trial before the late Chancellor Floyd Peete.

In a recent deposition in the case, former county commissioner Joe Cooper testified that he flew Chancellor Peete to New Orleans for the Sugar Bowl in developer Rusty Hyneman's private plane. The trip took place some time before Peete issued a divorce decree for Hyneman over the objection of his wife. The Court of Appeals reversed the ruling because Peete did not conduct an evidentiary hearing.

Is anyone following this? The bottom line is: don't fly your divorce judge to the Sugar Bowl. It doesn't look good.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Domestic Violence Screening Resource

The ABA Commission on Domestic Violence has released an electronic pamphlet (it calls it a "tool") to help lawyers identify clients who are victims of domestic violence. The pamphlet suggests questions to ask, provides guidance on how to provide support, and identifies helpful resources. The pamphlet can be downloaded here.