January 17, 2025 – January 20, 2025 AAML Southern California Chapter's 33rd Annual Institute of Trial Advocacy: Through the Looking Glass – Demystifying Complex Issues in Family Law Carlsbad, CA | Park Hyatt Aviara Resort, Golf Club & Spa

Dear Fellows and Guests:

On behalf of the Southern California Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, we welcome you to our Annual Trial Advocacy Institute. As always, this will be a weekend of top-drawer CLE, social events, and fellowship in a grand setting. We look forward to seeing and serving you, and invite you to contact us with any questions or comments: socaldeans@gmail.com.

Event Pricing

MCLE Program Pricing

  • Early Bird | $890 | Available until July 31, 2024
  • Regular Admission | $990 | Available August 1 – December 15, 2024

  • Late Registration | $1090 | Available December 16, 2024 – January 5, 2025

*Pricing does not include hotel reservations.

Social Events

  • Welcome Reception: $75 each | Friday 5:30 - 7pm | Business Casual

  • Saturday Gala: $200 each | Cocktail Hour 6—7pm | Awards, Dinner and Dancing 7 - 10:15 pm | Black Tie Optional

  • FELLOWS Only Event $175 each | Sunday 6 - 9 pm | Business Attire

Event Schedule

*Subject to change

Friday, January 17, 2025

  • 2:30pm | Open Registration

  • 5pm – 5:30pm | Platinum Sponsor Reception

  • 5:30pm – 7pm | Welcome Reception ($75 per person)

Saturday, January 18, 2025

  • 7:15am – 8:30am | Breakfast

  • 8:30am – 8:40am | Welcome from the Deans and AAML Southern California Chapter President Robert Benavente

  • 8:40am – 9am | 20 min presentation – Matthew K. Skarin, AAML - Beyond the Borders of Wonderland: Exploring International Discovery

  • 9am – 9:30am | Chief Justice Patricia Guerrero - Brief remarks

  • 9:30am – 10:30am | Supervising Judges Panel - Judge Shelley L. Kauffman (LA), Judge Laura Miller (SD), and Judge Julie A. Palafox (OC) – The Cheshire Cat’s Court: A Trial Readiness Discussion

  • 10:30 am – 10:45am | Break

  • 10:45am – 12:45pm | Stephen Wagner, AAML and Marie Ebersbacher, CPA – Navigating the Chessboard: Strategies for How To Effectively Present your Tracing, Equitable Apportionment, and Financial Fables

  • 6pm – 10:15pm | Cocktail Hour and Dinner Gala ($200 per person)

Sunday, January 19, 2025

  • 7:15am – 8:30am | Breakfast

  • 8:30am – 8:40am | Welcome and Opening Remarks

  • 8:40am – 9am | 20 min presentation – Alex Payne, AAML - Unveiling the Invisible: Rates of Return for Support Purposes

  • 9am – 10:30am | Judge Jackson Lucky (ret.) – Secret Garden of Evidence

  • 10:45am – 11am | Break

  • 11am – 12pm | Judge Anne C. Kiley and Christopher Melcher, AAML – Queen of Hearts and Fair Agreements: Proving and Disproving Unconscionability

  • 12pm – 1pm | Brandon Blevans, AAML and Vanessa Wills, AAML – Through the Twisted Thicket: Unraveling the Knots of Jointly Owned Property

  • 6pm – 9pm | Fellows Event | Location TBA ($175 per person)

Monday, January 20, 2025

  • 7:15am – 8:30am | Breakfast

  • 8:30am – 8:40am | Welcome and Opening Remarks

  • 8:40am – 9am | 20 min presentation – Jeffrey Travis, AAML – Down the Rabbit Hole: Effective Use of Prior Findings as Evidence

  • 9am – 10:15am | Michèle Bissada, AAML, Mark Minyard, AAML, and Sally White, CPA – The Mad Investors’ Tea Party: Exploring Private Equities and Alternatives

  • 10:15 am – 10:30am | Break

  • 10:30am – 11:30am | Judge Patti C. Ratekin (ret.) and Judge Sara E. Kirby – Off with their Heads: Tips and Tricks to Navigate the 3044 Presumptions

  • 11:30am – 12:30pm | Gordon Cruse, AAML and Leigh Galyon, AAML – The Looking Glass of E-Discovery and AI

*Speakers and topics subject to change

Our Presenters:

  • Chief Justice Patricia Guerrero
  • Honorable Shelley L. Kaufman
  • Honorable Anne C. Kiley
  • Honorable Sara E. Kirby
  • Honorable Jackson Lucky (ret.)
  • Honorable Laura Miller
  • Honorable Julie A. Palafox
  • Honorable Patti C. Ratekin (ret.)
  • Matthew K. Skarin, AAML
  • Michèle Bissada, AAML
  • Brandon Blevans, AAML
  • Gordon Cruse, AAML
  • Leigh Galyon, AAML
  • Christopher Melcher, AAML
  • Mark Minyard, AAML
  • Alexander Payne, AAML
  • Jeffrey Travis, AAML
  • Stephen Wagner, AAML
  • Vanessa Wills, AAML
  • Marie Ebersbacher, CPA
  • Sally White CPA

*Speakers and topics subject to change