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Presenter: Laura L. Ammarell and 4 more

Seminar Date:

Seminar Location: Denver, CO

Renaissance Denver Stapleton Hotel
3801 Quebec Street
Denver, CO 80207
Phone: 303-399-7500

This seminar is closed or full.


Registration:                        8:00 - 8:30 am

Morning Session:                8:30 am - 12:00 pm

Lunch (On your own):         12:00 - 1:00 pm

Afternoon Session:             1:00 - 4:30 pm

Assisting with Family Law Case Intake 
T. Zavaras

   Assisting with initial client interview
   Preparing engagement letter, opening file
   Collecting information

 Assisting with Alternative Dispute Resolution
J. McWilliams

   Assisting in family law mediation 
   Understanding and assisting in divorce arbitration
   Assisting in the collaborative divorce process

Obtaining and Evaluating Financial Information 
L. Ammarell

   Identifying relevant information on assets, debts, income and expenses
   Obtaining financial information 
      • Using financial information questionnaires
      • Using interrogatories, requests for production, deposition testimony, 
        private investigators
      • Valuing assets Evaluating the information you have obtained
   Working with accountants and financial experts
   Preparing financial statements

Assisting with Child Custody and Visitation Issues
K. Utesch

   Current status of custody law in Colorado
  Obtaining relevant information 
      • Client interview, custody questionnaires, authorizations for 
        disclosure, using formal discovery
   Working with CFIs/PREs Working with Child Legal Representatives

Enforcing and Modifying Family Law Orders and Decrees 
J. Cage

   Implementing divorce decrees and orders
      • Preparing and filing the decree 
      • Preparing other necessary documents
      • Enforcing judgments and orders 
      • Enforcing temporary orders
      • Enforcing custody orders 
      • Enforcing support orders
   Modifying decrees and orders
      • Determining which parts of a decree or order are subject to modification, 
        deciding when to seek modification
   Assisting in modification actions

Handling Ethical Issues in Family Law Practice 
K. Utesch

   Complying with rules of professional responsibility and ethics guidelines 
      for attorneys and paralegals
   Avoiding conflicts of interest
   Maintaining client confidentiality
   Avoiding the unauthorized practice of law
   Working with the secretive or dishonest client
   Handling allegations of abuse or neglect
   Zealous (vs. over-zealous) representation
   Fee agreements, retainers, and collection of unpaid fees

Credit Information:

Who Should Attend

  • Paralegals/Legal Assistants

This seminar offers paralegals
6.5 CLE hours, including 1.0 ethics hour.
     NFPA Approved
     NALA Pending

Continuing Education Credit Information

This seminar is open to all paralegals and offers 6.5 CLE hours, including 1.0 ethics hour.

The National Federation of Paralegal Associations has approved this course for 6.5 CLE hours, including 1.0 ethics hour. HalfMoon Education has applied to the National Association of Legal Assistants for course approval, which is pending.

Please visit www.halfmoonseminars.org for current NALA course approval information under this course listing.

Attendance will be monitored, and attendance certificates will be available after the seminar for most individuals who complete the entire event. Attendance certificates not available at the seminar will be mailed to participants within fifteen business days.


Laura L. Ammarell

Attorney at Ammarell Deasy, LLP

Ms. Ammarell is a founding partner at the firm Ammarell Deasy, LLP, located in Greenwood Village. Ms. Ammarell has been a domestic litigator for more than 17 years. She is a graduate of Colorado State University and a cum laude graduate of Gonzaga University School of Law. Ms. Ammarell practices family law exclusively, handling cases statewide involving complex financial matters, the allocation of parental responsibilities, adoption, paternity, and grandparent rights. She has lectured throughout her career on a wide variety of topics, including adoptions, the use of experts in domestic courts, marital torts, and advocacy in the family law courtroom. Ms. Ammarell has been asked to speak at Colorado’s Annual Family Law Institute and has guest lectured at the University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law. She is a past-president of the Douglas-Elbert Bar Association and current member of the Arapahoe, Denver and Colorado Bar Associations, as well as the Metropolitan Denver Interdisciplinary Counsel. Ms. Ammarell is a fellow of the Colorado Bar Association and currently serves on the Executive Council of the Family Law Section of the Colorado Bar Association — a position to which she was elected in 2012. She was named one of Colorado’s Rising Stars by SuperLawyer Magazine in 2009, and was also presented with the 2009 Douglas-Elbert Bar Association Professionalism Award. Ms. Ammarell has trained as a child and family investigator, as well as a mediator, through the Colorado Bar Association’s Continuing Legal Education program.

Jamie L. Cage

Attorney at Cage Bucar Lewis, LLC

Ms. Cage is a founding shareholder of Cage Bucar Lewis, LLC. She has focused her entire career on the practice of family law, including divorce and legal separation, allocation of parental responsibility (custody) actions, child support and spousal support modifications, adoptions, paternity and juvenile actions, and appeals. Ms. Cage specializes in complex litigation issues, including high asset divorces, child custody or parenting time disputes, and jurisdictional matters, and she has a particular affinity for family law appeals. Ms. Cage has an extensive background in legal research and writing. After serving as an editor for her Law Review, she used her skills in advance legal research to successfully brief and win appeals of complex family law matters ranging from procedural issues to substantive custody matters. Ms. Cage is not afraid to challenge the court system for the sake of justice.

Joan H. McWilliams, JD, MSJA

Attorney at McWilliams Mediation Group

Ms. McWilliams has conducted a full-time dispute resolution practice through her firm, The McWilliams Mediation Group LTD, for more than 30 years. In 2019, Ms. McWilliams chose to refocus her practice and concentrate on her writing and speaking. She has served as chair of the Colorado and Denver Bar Association’s Dispute Resolution Sections and was on the Colorado Bar Association Board of Governors. She is a member of the Executive Council of the CBA Family Law Section and a past president of the Metropolitan Denver Interdisciplinary Committee. Ms. McWilliams is the author of Parenting Plans For Families After Divorce; Parenting Plans That Work; the dispute resolution chapters in Colorado Family Law; The Peace Finder: Riley McFee’s Quest for World Peace; and her most recent book, A Parent’s Guide to Understanding the Effects of Conflict and Divorce: Protecting Your Children from Adverse Childhood Experiences. Ms. McWilliams initiated the amendment to the CO R.P.C. Rule 2.1, Comment 2, regarding parental conflict and children and was a co-initiator of the Colorado Parental Responsibilities Act.

Kimberly A.S. Utesch

Attorney at Utesch Law, LLC

Ms. Utesch, Esq. worked as a paralegal for many years prior to attending law school. She received her BS degree with honors from Metropolitan State University in 2002 and her JD degree from the University of Denver in 2011. Utesch Law, LLC, was founded in September 2012. Her practice focuses primarily on family law, the majority of which is currently as a child and family investigator. She is a trained and practicing mediator and has received collaborative practice training. Ms. Utesch has been selected as a SuperLawyers Rising Star for 2017, 2018, and 2019 and has received the Colorado Supreme Court Pro Bono Achievement award for four years in a row. Ms. Utesch has always valued volunteer work and currently volunteers with the Arapahoe County Bar Association Pro Se Clinic, the Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center, and the Florence Crittenton Services Legal Clinic. She is a board member for the Metro Denver Interdisciplinary Counsel, a member of the CBA Family Law Section Executive Council, and a board member for the Arapahoe County Bar Foundation and the Colorado Women’s Bar Association Circle of Minerva, as well as co-chair of the Lawyers at the Library committee for the Arapahoe County Bar Association. Ms. Utesch is also a professional member of the Mediation Association of Colorado. In her spare time, Ms. Utesch escapes with photography, her pets, and traveling, and she sometimes sees her husband.

Tia M. Zavaras

Attorney at Griffiths Law PC

Ms. Zavaras’ practice focuses on family law and civil litigation matters. As a family law attorney, Ms. Zavaras counsels her clients through the enormously difficult process of divorce and its related issues such as child custody, decision making, maintenance, and the appropriate division of assets. As a civil litigator, she has recovered over $30 million on behalf of her clients, including individuals and organizations throughout Colorado and Texas faced with dire and complicated circumstances. During her civil career, Ms. Zavaras has represented clients in claims for defective construction, insurance recovery, breach of contract, and other various commercial disputes. Ms. Zavaras is consistently ranked among the best in her field. She was selected by Super Lawyers as a Rising Star or Super Lawyer since 2013. She has published articles and delivered presentations all over Colorado on a variety of topics.

Tuition Costs:

Standard Tuition: $289.00
Online Tuition (pre-registration): $289.00
Group Prices
3 or more people each: $269.00

Each registration includes one copy of a manual prepared by the seminar speakers.