Lawyers e-Journal

Thursday, Dec. 13, 2007

CLE introduces new series for divorce lawyers

Register for all three courses and receive a discount

CLE Heading

To register for the following programs, call MBA Member Services at (617) 338-0530, [e-mail membership] or visit the CLE Web site.


Evidence for the Civil Litigator

Course #: CLE08
Introductory level
Thursday, Jan. 10, 4–7 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

This seminar is designed to provide practitioners with a survey of how to deal effectively with the myriad of commonly recurring evidentiary problems. The course will focus on how to introduce and block the admission of proffered evidentiary material. Topics will include:

  • Business record exception to the hearsay rule;
  • Medical record/bills pursuant to M.G.L. c.231, §79G;
  • Common law and statutory privileges, including husband/wife disqualification;
  • Chalks, diagrams, photographs and related issues with real and demonstrative evidence;
  • Offers of proof;
  • Opinion and expert evidence; and
  • Criminal evidentiary issues relating to the new Crawford decision.

Adequate time will be allowed for interaction between faculty and attendees.

For more information, or for a complete list of faculty, visit the MBA Calendar.

New Series

Business Basics for Divorce Lawyers: A Series of Three Basic Programs for the Beginning Divorce Lawyer

Practically every divorce is a financial transaction. The parties’ assets must be valued in order to be fairly divided. If the assets include a small business or real estate, experts must provide opinion of value. If a party is self-employed, the tax returns may be a window into the person’s actual income. Tax returns also reveal identity of assets and history of lifestyle.

Beginning divorce lawyers often assume that valuation and taxes only matter in complex cases. This series of programs will simplify the mysteries of tax and valuation at the most basic level. It will help you communicate with your expert and work confidently with your business owner client.

NOTE: Attendance at the three sessions is encouraged, but not required. Discounted rates for attending two or more sessions.

Part I: Understanding Real Estate Appraisals
Course #: FLJ08
Introductory level
Thursday, Jan. 31, 4–7 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

Attendees will learn basics of real estate appraisal, including:

  • The comparable sales approach to value;
  • The cost of construction approach to value;
  • Value deviations, net versus gross;
  • Special and historic properties;
  • Discounts for divorce valuation purposes (capital gains and commissions);
  • How to read an appraisal;
  • Direct and cross-examination of the real estate expert (using appraisal reports and expert credentials); and
  • Ethical duties of the expert appraiser and special concerns about the jointly engaged expert.

Part II: Understanding Business Valuation
Course #: FLK08
Introductory level
Thursday, Feb. 7, 4–7 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

Attendees will learn basics of valuation, including:

  • The capitalization of income approach to valuation;
  • The present value of future income approach to valuation;
  • Standards of value – fair market value, strategic value, value to holder or “divorce value;”
  • Marketability, minority, key man and other discounts;
  • Income and capital gains tax discounts;
  • Discovery; working with your expert; and
  • Ethical concerns – ethical duties of the expert appraiser, concerns about the jointly engaged expert and malpractice concerns when one party owns an interest in a small business.

Part III: Reading and Using Tax Returns in Divorce Cases
Course #: FLL08
Introductory level
Monday, Feb. 11, 4–7 p.m.
MBA, 20 West St., Boston

Attendees will learn:

  • What discovery do I need?
  • What can I find in a tax return and where do I find it?
  • What is the basic structure of the returns?
  • What do all those forms mean?
  • How can I use the return to locate assets?
  • How can I use the form to calculate income?
  • What can I learn from comparing returns over a period of years?
  • When should I hire a forensic accountant? 

The course will also include basic review of divorce tax principles including:

  • A comparison of alimony and child support tax treatment;
  • Consequences of mischaracterization of support;
  • Tax treatment for personal loans;
  • Capital gains and losses;
  • Transfers of a residence;
  • Earned income credit;
  • Head of household filing status; and
  • Dependency exemption.
©2017 Massachusetts Bar Association