VOL. 130 | NO. 48 | Wednesday, March 11, 2015
By Bill Dries
After several years in Tunica, divorce attorney Larry Rice is bringing his three-day conference for family law attorneys back to Memphis and to Beale Street.
Rice, Amundsen & Caperton PLLC draws more than 100 attorneys from across the country to the biennial conference. Rice, who has been speaking on divorce law for 27 years in venues across the country, refers to the March 18-20 conference as “stand-up CLE” – a reference to the continuing legal education credit attorneys get for attending the event.
“My feeling is once the audience gets bored, they can’t learn,” Rice said. “You’ve got to give them something to laugh about, think about.”
The topics include “Digital Dos and Don’ts,” which involves Facebook posts and other “digital evidence.”
Another panel is titled “DSI – Divorce Scene Investigation.” That session deals with drug and DNA testing.
Rice, his firm partners and other experts are scheduled to speak at the event.
“Divorce law is tough,” Rice said. “I go out to lecture in North Dakota, New York, California. Wherever I go, I always hear about lawyers that used to do criminal and divorce work and quit doing divorce work and just did criminal because divorce is so difficult and so draining.
“Divorce work is both one of the most analytically complex areas of the law and the most emotionally draining. And not many human beings can do that day in-day out.”
For a discussion on “the neurobiology of divorce,” John Leite, a psychologist specializing in behavioral analysis, will explain “why your divorce clients behave the way they do and what to do about it.”
Rice, who is the author of the 900-page book “The Complete Guide to Divorce Practice,” has his own theory.
“The human need to be loved is static. It varies in degree from person to person,” Rice said. “But everybody needs to be loved. And a significant portion of these relationships don’t work out. But things change. The law changes.”
Rice is the son of an attorney, George Lawrence Rice Jr., who handled divorces, but as part of a general law practice.
“The arguments he would make were this sweet lady here should be left without or this good old boy shouldn’t be hit too hard,” he said. “Today, we start talking about assets and analyzing assets – a stock with a high basis is worth significantly more than a stock with a low basis. Funds in a 401(k) are worth a whole lot less than money out of a marital home. A dollar is not necessarily a dollar and the top level divorce lawyers understand that.”
Society also regards divorce differently than his father’s generation did.
“You go back to the 50s. Getting divorced was ‘Oh, No.’ Getting divorced in the 20-teens is “So what?’” Rice said.
Rice’s firm recently sponsored a scholarship and internship in family law at the Cecil C. Humphreys University of Memphis School of Law. Rice was the founding chairman of the Divorce and Family Law Section of the Memphis Bar Association. He also cofounded the Family Law Section of the Tennessee Bar Association.
While the practice may not be the easiest for attorneys, Rice said many attorneys these days are taking jobs where they can find them.
“There are a lot of lawyers not getting a job out of law school right now. And family law, as tough as it is, may be better than some of the alternatives.”
Source: Divorce - Google News