Recorded Webinar: 3 CPD Compulsory Topics for Family Lawyers


19th February 2019

Duration:  3 hours

This webinar comprises 3 one-hour sessions covering each of the compulsory CPD subjects for family lawyers for the CPD year ending 31 March 2019.

Session 1: Legal Ethics:  Complying with Instructions – Managing Client Expectation abd Ethics in Family Law Matters

Clients don’t always understand solicitors’ duties to courts and other practitioners. They are interested in their matter only. This session looks at ethical dilemmas arising in family law litigation when the client’s instructions reveal inflated expectation or makes compliance difficult, including:

  • The nature of ‘lawful, proper and competent instructions’ in family law matters
  • Obtaining competent instructions and problems of confidentiality
  • Client capacity and the reasonableness of instructions
  • When the client becomes unreasonable in an ongoing litigation
  • When the duty to comply with client instructions intersect with duty to court?
  • Clients making impossible demands – how should you respond?
  • Complying with instructions and disclosure obligations in sensitive family law matters
  • Disclosure obligations and managing the client who instructs non-disclosure
  • How to say ‘no’ when clients instructs to use improperly obtained information
  • Case study - Using information obtained from social media on client instruction

Session 2: Professional Skills: Impact of Substance Abuse in Parenting Matters

Once allegations of drug or alcohol abuse have been raised in family law proceedings, the court will take the allegations very seriously. As a family lawyer, what can you do to assist your client who has an ex-partner that is either still using drugs, or was a previous drug user?  This session arms you with the skills you need to tackle the challenges of substance abuse in parenting matters. It covers:

  • The importance of proper client communication – sensitivity, care and knowing what’s at stake
  • Evidence gathering – what evidence is needed to show substance abuse is an issue?
    • urine screen analysis
    • hair analysis
    • subpoenaing third parties
  • Seeking orders for drug testing
  • How should this evidence be presented before the court?
  • Engaging the right of expert in these matters
  • Will positive drug tests result in the children being placed with the other parent?
  • What is in the best interest of the child?
    • protecting a child from physical or psychological harm
    • providing for the emotional and intellectual needs of the child
    • avoiding family violence

Session 3:  Practice Management & Business Skills:  Strategy and Procedure When Staring Down the Barrell of a Disciplinary Complaint

Family law comes with high emotions, and high stakes. As a result, even the most scrupulous lawyer may at some point face a complaint by a disgruntled client. With family lawyers some of the most complained-about practitioners in the legal profession, forewarned is forearmed. This risk management session explains what to do when a complaint is made about you to the regulator:

  • Responding to the initial complaint – the right way and wrong way when dealing with the regulator
  • Resolving matters quickly – best practice
  • The penalties hearing – approaches to take
  • When should you choose to give evidence?
  • Findings of fact and credibility issues
  • When will the commissioner accept an undertaking?
  • Understanding the implications of providing undertakings
  • When should you engage counsel?
Our presenter

Jeff Marhinin, Partner & Accredited Family Law Specialist, Barkus Doolan Family Lawyers, Sydney

Jeff is an Accredited Family Law Specialist who has practiced exclusively in family law for over 14 years. Jeff has assisted and represented clients across the spectrum of family law issues with a special focus on more substantial and complex property settlement cases and parenting disputes.

Jeff is a skilled advocate with an eye for detail. He is a practitioner who understands the importance of clearly communicating with clients, and adopts a pragmatic and cost effective approach to the resolution of family law disputes. Jeff’s training in law, science/psychology and alternative dispute resolution assists him to successfully serve clients in ways best suited to their matter and with patience and empathy.

“Doyle’s Guide to the Australian Legal Market” has ranked Jeff as one of the “Leading” Family Lawyers in Sydney in 2018

Peter Magee, Managing Partner & Accredited Family Law Specialist, Armstrong Legal, Sydney

Peter is a partner of Armstrong Legal and head of the Family Law Division. He has over 15 years’ experience.

In the past, Peter acted in a broad range of high profile cases, including cases involving some of Australia’s most wealthy people in matters involving close to $1 billion. He also acted in cases involving athletes in and out of the International Court of Arbitration for Sport, as well as some of Australia’s largest companies, both publicly listed and privately owned. These companies included major insurers and some household brands.

Even though he has been involved in high profile cases, over the last decade Peter has chosen to specialise in the area of family law. He says: “The reason for this is simple. I want to make a difference in people’s lives.”

His past experience dealing with large cases benefits his family law clients by providing insight into complex and tactical issues. As a result, Peter can often achieve settlements outside Court that may otherwise have not been achievable.

Monica Blizzard, Equity Director & Accredited Family Law Specialist, KHQ Lawyers, Melbourne

With almost 20 years of experience in family law, Monica Blizzard is an Accredited Family Law Specialist with the Law Institute of Victoria, a trained mediator and collaborative lawyer.

Monica has developed a passion for complex financial and property cases, and complicated parenting matters, including international relocation matters and child abduction. She has experience in drafting complex financial settlements including Binding Financial Agreements and Child Support Agreements. As a practitioner, Monica has great empathy for her clients and is determined to achieve the best outcome, tailored to their specific needs.

Monica also has expertise in surrogacy matters, having presented at three national conferences for Surrogacy Australia and Families Thru Surrogacy in 2014, 2015 and 2017.

Monica has presented numerous seminars for her peers, on topics such as Binding Financial Agreements, complex property cases, Family Violence, child support, surrogacy and parenting matters. Monica also co-authored the Property Law section of the Lawyers Practice Manual.


This webinar is suitable for family lawyers - Australia wide and it has been designed to deliver the 3 compulsory subject CPD units for the CPD year ending 31st March 2019.

If you need assistance or have an enquiry, please do not hesitate to contact our Webinar Coordinator, Lisa Tran on (03) 8601 7709 or email:
Product Code: WBRFEB19
 Price:  $385.00 (Inclusive of GST)
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