Beyond the Bench 23 - Thursday, December 3, 2015


The presenters will take a broad, interdisciplinary look at different, complementary strategies for achieving system reform and helping entities and systems reach the long-term goal of healthy children and families. Methods discussed will include reorganization to direct an entity’s focus on specific priorities, program assessments, and working with community and private foundations. The presenters will also discuss methods to engage the community and court users throughout the process.

Hon. Patricia Bresee (Ret.), Consultant/Trainer/Retired Juvenile Court Commissioner
Kim Dvorchak, Executive Director, National Juvenile Defender Center
Michael L. Newman, Director, Bureau of Children’s Justice, California Department of Justice
Castle Redmond, Program Manager, The California Endowment

ICWA—A Young Adult’s Perspective
Samantha Lopez


 

Few issues challenge a society’s ideas about both the nature of human development and the nature of justice as much as serious juvenile crime. The unexpected intersection between childhood and criminality creates a dilemma that most people find difficult to resolve. Do we consider young offenders still to be children, despite egregious behavior, or do we declare that such behavior demands we redefine the offenders as adults? There has been a remarkable expansion of scientific knowledge relevant to adolescent development and juvenile justice over the past decade. The goal of this session is to provide a summary of what is known in developmental research and how it should influence juvenile justice practice and policy—specifically in the realms of brain development, cognitive development, and psychosocial/socio-emotional development.

Elizabeth Cauffman, PhD, Professor of Psychology and Social Behavior, University of California, Irvine

A Different Perspective
Jimmy Cha, Attorney at Law

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Hon. Vaughn R. Walker (Ret.), Judge, United States District Court, Northern District of California

The audience will learn how same-sex marriage came to California from the judge who ruled in the case.

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Concurrent Workshops 3
9:15 - 10:45 P.M.


This session will provide attendees with an update on the new traffic tickets/infractions amnesty program. The program provides relief to individuals with violations of eligible Vehicle and non–Vehicle Code infractions and specified misdemeanors by reducing outstanding court-ordered debt by up to 80 percent. The program also allows people with suspended driver’s licenses to have them reinstated under certain circumstances. The 18-month amnesty program started October 1, 2015, and continues through March 31, 2017. The presentation will include a legislative history, a look at the resources developed to implement and assist programs and advocacy groups with outreach and implementation, and an open forum..

Bob Fleshman, Chief Financial Officer, Superior Court of California, County of San Bernardino
Andi Liebenbaum, Senior Governmental Affairs Analyst, Judicial Council


 

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While domestic violence occurs in all populations across race, ethnicity, culture, class, immigration status, age, gender identity, education, and sexual orientation, access to resources and experiences with court systems and social services may be particularly challenging for those facing language, economic, and cultural barriers. California’s diverse Asian American community reflects approximately 15 percent of the statewide population and includes domestic violence survivors who often face a variety of complex issues. This workshop will provide information on the experiences of violence in the Asian American community and what judges and court-connected professionals need to know to be most effective in providing services and increasing safety.

Sujata Warrier, PhD, Training and Technical Assistance Director, Battered Women’s Justice Project, Minnesota


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Public benefit programs provide critical support for children and their families, particularly those who are under economic stress or undergoing transitions. Cash aid provided by CalWORKs, AFDC-FC (foster care benefits), Kin-GAP (Kinship Guardianship Assistance), AAP (adoption assistance), and SSI (Supplemental Security Income) is often essential to maintaining a stable placement, and child care assistance can help a family provide a high quality child-care environment that offers a safe, nurturing haven amid other upheavals. Advocates for children and their families should be aware that custody choices may affect the eligibility of the child or the family for these essential benefits. Panelists will provide a brief overview of the financial and legal effects of custody choices for children, including informal arrangements, guardianship, foster care, and adoption. Using hypothetical cases and participant discussion, the session will explore the practical implications of custody options on eligibility for cash assistance and child-care benefits.

Brian Blalock, Staff Attorney, Bay Area Legal Aid
Angie Schwartz, Attorney and Policy Director, Alliance for Children’s Rights

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Text messages, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook posts, smartphone videos, and other social media are a main method for communicating in today’s society and increasingly relevant in court proceedings. How can judges appropriately consider and feel confident that this evidence is reliable? This program will cover the steps to introduce social media evidence into the record and what to think about in determining reliability. Panelists will demonstrate how to prepare different media, such as video from phones, for introduction. Participants will learn how to authenticate and lay the foundation for social media evidence, as well as respond to objections.

Hon. Mark A. Juhas, Judge, Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles
William T. Tanner, Directing Attorney, Legal Aid Society of Orange County
 

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Nationally and in California, large numbers of people are held in custody before trial due to their inability to pay nominal bail amounts, not because of their risk to reoffend or failure to appear. This session highlights efforts by newly funded state courts to implement court-led pretrial programs and explores how they can simultaneously ensure public safety while keeping families together.

Hon. Brian J. Back, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Ventura
Shelley Curran, Director, Judicial Council, Criminal Justice Services
Theresa Hart, Division Manager and Trainer, Ventura County Probation Agency
Michelle Larson, Supervising Deputy Probation Officer, Ventura County Probation Agency
Patricia Olivares, Chief Deputy Probation Officer, Ventura County Probation Agency


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This is a time of rapid change in the Indian Child Welfare Act. In 2015, the Bureau of Indian Affairs issued new Guidelines for ICWA for the first time in 36 years. In addition the Bureau is proposing new federal ICWA regulations. The California Supreme Court has taken up several important ICWA cases addressing obligations of inquiry and application of ICWA. In this session an expert panel will discuss how these issues relate to the issues relate to the purpose and initial rationale for ICWA. Discuss why and how tribal communities and families urged the BIA to take action on ICWA Guidelines and Regulations at this time, and give you an overview of all of these developments and their implications for ICWA practice in California.
 

Amber Blaha, Assistant Section Chief, Law and Policy Section, Environment and Natural Resources Division,
   U.S. Department of Justice

Olin Jones, Director, Office of Native American Affairs, California Attorney General’s Office
Delia Parr, Directing Attorney, California Indian Legal Services, Eureka



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In the past few years the Legislature has enacted new laws to make it easier for juveniles to seal their records and avoid any negative consequences from having a juvenile delinquency record. This workshop will provide an update on the current state of the law, including the actions taken by the Judicial Council to implement the law via rules, forms, and informational materials. In addition, key implementation challenges faced by courts and other juvenile justice stakeholders will be discussed along with strategies to address them.
 

Hon. Carolyn M. Caietti, Presiding Judge of the Juvenile Court, Superior Court of California, County of San Diego
LaRon Hogg Haught, Deputy District Attorney, Santa Clara County
Patricia Lee, Managing Attorney, San Francisco Public Defender’s Office
Jim Salio, Chief Probation Officer, San Luis Obispo County Probation Department

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This workshop will focus on juvenile competency evaluations, including what makes a juvenile unable to take part in proceedings. Expert panelists will discuss what goes into an evaluation for competency, who should conduct the evaluation, and what judges should look for in evaluation reports. Panelists will also discuss the process to establish a protocol for juvenile competency evaluations and an MOU among the court, probation, behavioral health, the district attorney, and the public defender to create a process for restoration for juveniles who are not found competent.

Hon. Patrick E. Tondreau, Supervising Judge of the Juvenile Delinquency Court and Presiding Judge of the
   Juvenile Division, Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara

Hon. Robert Leventer, Commissioner of the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles
Amy Bacharach, PhD, Senior Research Analyst, Judicial Council, Center for Families, Children & the Courts
Eraka Bath, MD, Director, Child Forensic Services, UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine
Janet I. Warren, DSW, Professor of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences, University of Virginia (via Skype)

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While the full scope of human trafficking in this country and in this state is largely unknown, it is speculated that tens of thousands of people are being trafficked for sex and labor in the nation, and we know that there are key areas of heavy trafficking in California. The presenters will provide an overview of the kinds of trafficking we see in California, including the commercial sexual exploitation of children, adult sex trafficking, and labor trafficking. They will also briefly address some local and statewide responses to this growing problem of human trafficking.

Hon. Stacy Boulware Eurie, Moderator, Judge, Superior Court of California, County of Sacramento
Hon. Catherine J. Pratt, Commissioner, Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles
Anne Marie Schubert, District Attorney, Sacramento District Attorney’s Office
Julie A. Su, California Labor Commissioner, Department of Industrial Relations

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Built from a common vision and extraordinary cross-system collaborative effort, the Dependency Drug Court (DDC) movement has emerged as one of the most promising models for improving outcomes for children and families affected by substance use disorders in the child welfare system. DDCs are characterized by strong judicial leadership combined with significant partnership efforts from child welfare and substance abuse treatment professionals. This presentation will explore national and California state data and outcome findings from local and cross-site evaluations to demonstrate how DDCs are supporting positive child welfare, substance use treatment, and family outcomes. The presentation will highlight best practice recommendations from the Family Drug Court Guidelines, and discuss the six key DDC components necessary for improved outcomes.

Alexis Balkey, Program Manager, National Family Drug Court Training and Technical Assistance Program, Children and Family Futures, Inc.
Russ Bermejo, MSW, Senior Program Associate, National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare, Children and Family Futures, Inc.

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This workshop will compare and contrast the differing procedural frameworks in U.S. Department of Justice immigration court proceedings, USCIS adjudications of applications for relief, and California family and juvenile court child custody proceedings. The discussion will emphasize the challenges presented by differing levels of formality, rules of evidence, conceptions of due process, the number and identity of the parties, and the nature of the relief sought in each forum.

Hon. Maureen F. Hallahan, Judge, Superior Court of California, County of San Diego
Hon. Dana Leigh Marks, President, National Association of Immigration Judges
Hon. Zeke Zeidler, Judge, Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles
Eileen N. Matuszak, MSW, Adjudications Officer (Policy), Family Immigration & Victim Protection Division, US
Citizenship & Immigration Services

 

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This workshop will provide an overview of special education rights under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and discuss the points of intersection between this law and the state juvenile law system. Presenters will speak about special education law and policy from a variety of perspectives, making the workshop of interest to advocates, bench officers, and others working with disabled children in the juvenile dependency or delinquency system.

Lauren Brady, Directing Attorney, Statewide Education Rights, Public Counsel
Molly Dunn, Attorney, Policy Division, Alliance for Children’s Rights
Linda Johnson, Staff Attorney, San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program, Inc.

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This workshop will discuss why establishing parentage is important in dependency and delinquency proceedings; provide an overview of parentage law; explain how the Department of Child Support Services can help in establishing parentage, and demonstrate options for establishing parentage. After a discussion of parentage, this workshop will focus on explaining the financial responsibility of parents and legal guardians in juvenile proceedings as it relates to fines, fees, and child support.

Hon. Margaret Johnson, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara
Hon. Shawna M. Schwarz, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara
Alisha Griffin, Director, California Department of Child Support Services

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The goal of the reasonable efforts training is to educate judges, attorneys, social workers, and other participants in the child protection system about how the reasonable efforts tool can be used to monitor the activities of social workers as they provide services to children and parents. This will be an interactive presentation with participants expected to solve hypothetical situations that occur in child protection proceedings.

Hon. Leonard P. Edwards (Ret.), Judge, Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara

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The Commission on Judicial Performance investigates complaints of judicial misconduct and disciplines judges. Learn more about what constitutes judicial misconduct, particularly in family and civil matters where people are self-represented, have language access barriers, or believe the bench officer is biased. What can you, as an attorney, social worker, or other service provider working with clients do to help clients who are experiencing these issues? What can judges do to avoid these situations?

Hon. Erica R. Yew, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara
Victoria B. Henley, Director and Chief Counsel, California Commission on Judicial Performance

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California is home to more than 200 languages and nearly 7 million people who are limited-English proficient (LEP) individuals. To address this challenge, the Judicial Council has recently adopted a comprehensive language access plan that addresses language access services, such as interpretation, bilingual staffing and translation, throughout the court system. The workshop will cover highlights from the plan and provide hands-on instruction to attorneys, court staff, and others who work with interpreters. From word choice to where to position the interpreter to understanding the dangers of using non-qualified interpreters, this course will identify potential issues and solutions to make your communications with LEP individuals as accurate as possible. The course will explore challenges associated with attorney-client communications as well as ethical constraints of interpreters, in order to help attorneys properly assist and represent their LEP clients.

Ana Maria Garcia, Managing Attorney, Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County
Cristina Llop, Attorney & Certified Court Interpreter

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Concurrent Workshops 4
11:00 A.M. - 12:30 P.M.


As awareness and information about mental illness and its impact on children and families increases, courts are finding that there must be new ways to better respond to cases wherein mental health issues need to be addressed with the goal of improving outcomes for all concerned. This is true in criminal court, small claims court, juvenile court—and in our family courts. Family court practitioners may very well find that new information, new skills, and new partnerships are needed to effectively address a growing challenge in our courts.

Hon. Richard J. Loftus, Jr., Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara
Anita A. Fisher, Director of Education, National Alliance on Mental Illness, San Diego
Michelle MacDonald, In Our Own Voice Coordinator, National Alliance on Mental Illness, San Diego
Laura Tielman, LCSW, Family Court Services and Counselor Mental Health Manager, Superior Court of    California, County of San Diego


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Three pilot projects in California are providing representation in child custody matters where one side of the case is represented and one of the parties is asking for sole custody. Each program has a different structure and different hypotheses about the best way to handle these cases and provide services. Each is working closely with its local court to identify appropriate cases and provide a variety of services to ensure best outcomes for the families. This workshop will discuss the implementation of these pilots and early lessons learned, including settlement strategies, providing social services resources, and limited scope services. It will discuss the evaluation strategy and discuss ways that services can be replicated in other jurisdictions.

Hon. Maureen F. Hallahan, Judge of the Superior Court of California, San Diego County
Javier Bastidas, Supervising Attorney, Volunteer Legal Services Program
Kris Jacobs, Managing Attorney, San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program, Inc.
Diane Trunk, Director of Evaluation, Los Angeles Center for Law and Justice
Bonnie Hough, Moderator, Managing Attorney, Judicial Council, Center for Families, Children & the Courts

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Eighty-five percent of foster youth express their interest in going to college but less than 25 percent enroll and an even smaller percentage complete college. The Burton Foundation and Child Advocacy Institute are working to change those statistics and close the educational equity gap for foster youth in higher education. Learn from these tireless education crusaders about how to help foster youth get on the college track and stay out of the for-profit college trap.
 

Melanie Delgado, Staff Attorney, Children’s Advocacy Institute, University of San Diego School of Law\
Alex Ojeda, Guardian Scholars Coordinator, Los Angeles Valley College



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This session summarizes new case law relevant to delinquency and provides an overview of significant appellate and Supreme Court cases affecting delinquency law and policy.

Hon. Brian J. Back, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Ventura
LaRon Hogg Haught, Deputy District Attorney, District Attorney’s Office, Santa Clara County



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This session summarizes new case law relevant to dependency and provides an overview of significant appellate and Supreme Court cases.

 

Hon. Amy M. Pellman, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles
Hon. Anthony A. Trendacosta, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles


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Child-serving systems, including Juvenile Probation and Child Welfare, are increasingly being called upon to coordinate and integrate their services. These endeavors are as important as they are challenging. Drawing from the experience of developing interagency commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) protocols to opt into the state-funded CSEC Program, this workshop will offer honest reflections on what works and what doesn’t when systems come together with a shared vision of improving outcomes for a specific population. Workshop participants will hear the perspective both of advocates who helped shape the CSEC systems integration framework, as well as of system leaders who are ultimately tasked with developing and implementing the interagency protocols. The panel will also discuss the work of the California Child Welfare Council’s CSEC Action Team. The panel will discuss the documents and guidance the Action Team provided to counties and some information on how to opt into the CSEC Program.
 

Kate Walker Brown, Staff Attorney, National Center for Youth Law
Neha Desai, Staff Attorney, National Center for Youth Law
Patty Hernández, Program Analyst, Monterey County Family and Children’s Services
Robert Taniguchi, Director, Monterey County Family and Children’s Services

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This workshop will demonstrate how to effectively communicate with persons with disabilities and share practical solutions for accommodating different disabilities. Learn to identify the use of proper terminology when speaking to or describing someone with a disability. In addition, this session will discuss the laws, including the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the requirement of providing reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities.

Linda McCulloh, Senior Attorney, Judicial Council, Center for Judicial Education and Research (CJER)
 

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Recent, large-scale legal, policy, and fiscal changes—including the implementation of the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) (and, potentially, Assembly Bill 854)—are intended to promote educational success for youth in foster care. The law now gives all California school districts dedicated funding—and new responsibilities—to serve foster youth. Whether foster youth are receiving the services that meet their educational needs is unclear. This workshop will discuss steps that advocates can take to ensure that foster/probation youth actually benefit from the new funding scheme, now in year 2 of a 7-year implementation process.

Patricia Armani, Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services
Martha Matthews, Directing Attorney, Children’s Rights, Public Counsel
Casey Schutte, Director, FosterEd: California

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This workshop will use the latest medical and social science research to discuss the impact of psychotropic medications on youth. The discussion will focus on how medications work on the brain and how they work in conjunction with other nonmedical treatments, including various types of therapy and trauma-informed services. Expert panelists will also discuss what information judges should look for when reviewing an application to authorize medication for youth in our juvenile justice system.
 

Hon. Jerilyn L. Borack, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Sacramento
Nathan Lavid, MD, DFAPA, Diplomate, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology
Laura Vleugels, MD, Supervising Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, Children, Youth & Families, County of San Diego

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Traumatic childhood experiences, particularly those that happen in the context of a caregiver relationship, experienced directly or as a witness, can have a profound and pervasive impact on the life a child, adolescent, or young adult. Anger, substance use, self-harm behaviors, poor relationships, education deficits, and even poor health can all be symptoms of trauma that are missed or misunderstood. This workshop will provide a framework for understanding trauma associated primarily with domestic, interpersonal, and family violence, including origins, reactions, and effects. Additionally, it will address trauma-informed practices for effectively engaging with system-involved children, youth, and young adults.

Gena Castro Rodriguez, PsyD, Chief of Victim Services, Office of the San Francisco District Attorney


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Many parents of dependent children are incarcerated for some period during the pendency of the case and may need to obtain their reunification services and/or visit with their children while in a correctional facility. This workshop will highlight the services available to parents in state facilities, as well as an innovative program at the San Francisco jail that works directly with parents in dependency to deliver services and arrange for visitation and contact between parents and children with a dependency case, and issues that arise for prisoners with children around California who are trying protect their parental rights in dependency and family law cases.

Sarah West Carson, Program Manager, One Family
Rodger Meier, Deputy Director, Division of Rehabilitative Programs, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
Carol Strickman, Staff Attorney, Legal Services for Prisoners with Children

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This workshop will begin with a brief overview of juvenile probation in California and how it has evolved over the last few decades. Significant time will be dedicated to four main areas:

  • Demographics of the modern juvenile probation population;
  • Methodologies, approaches, and initiatives being used by probation departments in creating reform practices;
  • Positive outcomes being achieved in probation throughout California; and
  • Emerging trends in juvenile probation and how probation is adapting its practices accordingly.

Allen A. Nance, Chief Probation Officer, San Francisco County Juvenile Probation Department
Mack Jenkins, Chief Probation Officer, San Diego County Probation Department
Steve Sentman, Moderator, Chief Probation Officer, Orange County Probation Department

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Military families can sometimes present unique challenges in child custody disputes and mediation because one or both of the separated parents may be stationed in or live in different countries or states or be deployed with very short notice. Child support issues, visitation, and parental access may look very different for some of these families, including National Guard and Reservist families who may often be in similar circumstances as active duty, but may not self-identify as “military families.” This workshop will focus on issues of specific concern to military families, statutes and legal opinions of particular interest, and ways in which courts can work with individuals and families when there is an entire family system to consider and one or more parents are involved in active or reserve military service. Special resources that may be available for military-connected families, including veterans, will also be discussed.

Kathleen West, DrPH, Lecturer, USC Department of Preventive Medicine, UCLA Department of Social Welfare

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A primary goal of our child welfare system is to keep children with family where they are more likely to thrive. Another is to meet children’s individualized needs with appropriate services and supports. Yet when children are placed with relatives, they often receive the least support even though kinship families often need the most support. This workshop will offer an overview of how the system works for relative caregivers, provide information about the benefits and services these families do and do not qualify for, and arm attorneys, judges, and social workers with strategies to leverage additional funding and support for these families. We will focus on reforms underway in California, including the Continuum of Care Reform, Resource Family Approval, and the newly implemented Approved Relative Caregiver Program, and how these reforms will allow for greater engagement, recruitment, and retention of these critically important placements.

Brian Blalock, Staff Attorney, Bay Area Legal Aid
Angie Schwartz, Attorney and Policy Director, Alliance for Children’s Rights

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California family courts are sometimes faced with cases involving the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction in matters that involve allegations of domestic violence. This workshop will focus on addressing those cases in which a petition is filed in the United States for the return of a child taken to or retained in the United States (referred to as “incoming cases”), in which the respondent (the “taking” or “abducting” parent) alleges abuse by the petitioner (the left-behind parent). Faculty will focus on the intersection of domestic violence and the Convention, discussing the dynamics of domestic violence and the applicability of domestic violence to the court’s analysis in a petition for the return of a child pursuant to the Hague Convention.

Hon. Scott M. Gordon, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles
Sudha Shetty, Assistant Dean for International Partnerships and Alliances, Goldman School of Public Policy, UC Berkeley

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Unconscious Bias (also known as “implicit bias” or “implicit social cognition”) refers to the unconscious attitudes and stereotypes that each of us harbor. Operating on the subconscious level, these unintentional biases cause us to form positive and negative associations about other people based on a variety of characteristics including race, gender, and age. These unconscious biases affect the way that we perceive others who are different from us, how we interact with others, and assumptions we unintentionally make when interpreting everyday situations. As California courts serve an increasingly diverse population, it is essential that all attorneys, judicial officers, and other court professionals understand how unconscious biases operate within us and affect our decision-making processes. Attendees of this session may also be interested in attending “Strategies for Counteracting Unconscious Bias in Our Courts.

William Kennedy, Director, Race Equity Project
Gillian Sonnad, Supervising Attorney, Central California Legal Services
Kyanna Williams, Attorney, Judicial Council, Center for Families, Children & the Courts

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Concurrent Workshops 5
2:30 - 4:00 P.M.


Los Angeles County is one of the country’s High Intensity Child Exploitation areas identified by the FBI. On average, nearly 200 children are arrested for prostitution and related offenses annually. In the past, commercially sexually exploited children (CSEC) were primarily identified and served through the juvenile delinquency system. However, a recent legislative change in California allows the child welfare, rather than delinquency, system to serve CSEC. This panel will provide an overview of the multidisciplinary efforts to support and serve CSEC in Los Angeles County. The panel will discuss the specialized, collaborative court in Los Angeles—the STAR Court, which was developed and is presided over by panelist Commissioner Catherine Pratt. Panelists will share key outcome data that has been tracked since the court’s inception that shows an overall decrease in recidivism and in average time spent in locked facilities, and an increase in youth engagement with STAR Court team members. The goal of this presentation is to provide judges, attorneys, advocates, providers, and court personnel with an understanding of key components to alternative, multi-system approaches to addressing CSEC in their communities.

 

Hon. Catherine J. Pratt, Commissioner, Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles
Kate Walker Brown, Staff Attorney, National Center for Youth Law
Allison Newcombe, Attorney and Skadden Fellow, Alliance for Children’s Rights


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With a grant from the Judicial Council’s Recidivism Reduction Fund (RRF) allocation, the Los Angeles Superior Court is partnering with Cerritos Community College and the California Department of Justice, Division of Recidivism Reduction and Reentry (DR3), to formalize and enhance a program designed to divert young offenders from engaging in future criminal behavior through access to education. With cognitive behavioral intervention training, Cerritos Community College counselors will support court-identified participants in obtaining their GED and enrolling in community college. While DOJ’s DR3 is partnering in multiple initiatives to connect offenders with educational opportunities, the Court to College program is unique in its additional component of ongoing judicial supervision.


Hon. Peter Paul Espinoza, Superior County of California, County of Los Angeles
Renee De Long Chomiak, Dean of Counseling Services, Cerritos College, Norwalk
Linda Denly, Director, Division of Recidivism Reduction and Re-entry, California Department of Justice
Sharon Owsley, Deputy Director for Programs, Division of Recidivism Reduction and Re-entry, California Department of Justice
Martha Wright, Moderator, Senior Court Services Analyst, Judicial Council, Criminal Justice Services

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In response to concerns about overuse of psychotropic medications for foster youth, juvenile courts were given statutory authority in 1999 to determine whether a physician can prescribe such medication. Despite that reform, foster youth and their advocates have testified to unusually high rates of medication and the harmful side effects that have resulted. After the publication of an investigative series and documentary on this issue in the San Jose Mercury News in 2014, the Legislature revisited the issue with informational hearings and a package of reform legislation. In addition, the Department of Health Care Services and the Department of Social Services have been working collaboratively on their Quality Improvement Project to design, pilot, and evaluate effective practices to improve psychotropic medication use among children and youth in foster care. This workshop will present the problems with the current system identified by foster youth and the Mercury News series and provide an update on the current status of the law and policy reforms taking place across California. It will suggest best practice approaches for all stakeholders to employ when considering whether psychotropic medication should be provided to a foster youth and how to track its effective use.

Hon. Zeke Zeidler, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles
Karen Baylor, PhD, LMFT, Deputy Director, Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Services, California
   Department of Health Care Services

Anna Johnson, Policy Analyst, National Center for Youth Law
Gregory E. Rose, MSW, Deputy Director, Children and Family Services Division, California Department of Social
   Services

Rochelle Trochtenberg, Lead Youth Organizer, Humboldt County Transition Age Youth Collaboration


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The world of document preparation, filing, and service is changing rapidly. A growing number of form sets can be completed using “TurboTax-like” document-assembly programs available for free. Courts are rapidly moving to e-filing and e-delivery so that those forms and other pleadings can be filed with the court via computer. A new law allows parties in juvenile cases to agree to electronic notice of hearings. How does this all work? What’s next? What are the implications for attorneys, for self-represented litigants, and for persons with limited English proficiency? Panelists will demonstrate new programs that are becoming available and discuss ways to incorporate this technology to save time and resources.

Karen Cannata, Supervising Research Analyst, Judicial Council, Center for Families, Children & the Courts
Mark Dusman, Chief Information Officer, Judicial Council, and Director, Information Technology Services
Tara Lundstrom, Attorney, Judicial Council, Legal Services
Snorri Ogata, Chief Information Officer, Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles

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This presentation will focus on the ethical obligations of counsel for parents and children in dependency cases. In particular, there will be a specific focus on Professional Rules of Conduct, rules 2-100 (Communication with a Represented Party), 2-400 (Prohibited Discriminatory Conduct in the Law Practice), 3-100 (Confidential Information of a Client), 3-110 (Failing to Act Competently), and 3-500 (Communication) and how those rules apply in a dependency practice. The workshop will use a number of real life examples of simple to complex problems that attorneys face in the day-to-day dependency practice along with the interplay of the Professional Rules of Conduct. What is expected of dependency attorneys in times of fiscal crises? How does one balance the ethical obligations in times of reduced and restricted budgets? The workshop will assume a general understanding of dependency practice and procedure.

John Lawrence, Attorney


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More often associated with family law cases, the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) is the exclusive method for determining subject matter jurisdiction for custody proceedings, and the Hague Service Convention establishes the method for service of process on other nations. However, both also apply to dependency actions. The provisions of the UCCJEA, which apply to both national and international custody disputes, and the Hague Convention are important and misunderstood. This workshop seeks to demystify these two laws and help attendees understand their applicability to both family law and dependency cases.

Hon. Laura J. Birkmeyer, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of San Diego
Hon. Shawna M. Schwarz, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara

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Effective legal representation is essential for a just delinquency system. This session will discuss national efforts to improve the quality of representation, trends derived from more than 20 assessments nationwide, and efforts in California to improve representation of youth through legislation, advocacy, and professional development.

Roger Chan, Co-founder and Executive Director of East Bay Children’s Law Offices
Kim Dvorchak, Executive Director, National Juvenile Defender Center
Leah Wilson, Chief Operating Officer, State Bar of California


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Recent appellate decisions and changes in statutory law in the area of domestic violence will be covered.

Hon. Mark A. Juhas, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles

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California courts are confronted with parents who have been prescribed marijuana for medical purposes and who may use marijuana recreationally. Does their use of marijuana, both medically and recreationally, affect their ability to parent? If so, how? What are doctors attesting to when prescribing a medical marijuana card? Legalizing marijuana will be on the ballot in 2016. What impact could legalization have on family and juvenile cases? This workshop will discuss how the use and abuse of marijuana in the State of California can be used in the course of conducting child custody considerations, as well as the impact that medical marijuana use can have when considering custody. Perspectives of law enforcement, family law judges, and the health-care community will be explored.

Hon. Robert O. Amador, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of San Diego
Tom Allman, Sheriff, Mendocino County
Itai Danovitch, MD, MBA, Chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Director of Addiction Psychiatry, Cedars Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles
Jeffrey Zinsmeister, JD, Executive Vice President and Director of Government Affairs, Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM)

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While the rate of teen pregnancy continues to fall to historic lows, both in California and nationally, teen pregnancy among youth in foster care remains alarmingly high. By age 21, over one in three young women who were in foster care at age 17 in California will have given birth. Among girls in foster care who had a first birth before age 18, over a third had a repeat teen birth. These findings have serious long-term implications both for youth in foster care and their children, who disproportionately experience maltreatment. Over the last year, six counties in California have been working together to reduce the rate of unplanned pregnancy among youth in foster care and, in doing so, improve outcomes for foster youth and their children.

Rebecca Gudeman, Senior Attorney, National Center for Youth Law
Jaime Muñoz, Manager, Orange County Social Services Agency
Emily Putnam-Hornstein, PhD, Assistant Professor, USC School of Social Work
Cecilia Tran, Associate Director, John Burton Foundation

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We live in an era of mass incarceration that is profoundly impacting families. Parents released from prisons and jails often face many barriers in reestablishing themselves in the lives of their children and ensuring that their child support orders are appropriate. California has not fully considered the reentry needs of released parents and how our legal systems can enhance, rather than harm, their opportunities for successful family reunification. This panel addresses the challenges of practitioners working to assist formerly incarcerated parents and provides strategies for working with courts and parents to foster positive relationships between parents and children.

Alexis Kelly, Staff Attorney, Harriett Buhai Center for Family Law
Elie Miller, Senior Advisor, Root & Rebound
Carol Strickman, Staff Attorney, Legal Services for Prisoners With Children

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This workshop will provide a general overview of Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS), a form of federal immigration relief that depends on state judicial determinations about child welfare and custody. The discussion will introduce the various doors through which immigrant children may enter state court, the judicial findings needed to enable them to apply for SIJS, and the evolving federal and state law related to SIJS. Using hypothetical scenarios, the presenters will guide participants in analyzing whether children would qualify under state law for the findings needed to apply for SIJS.

Kristen M. Jackson, Senior Attorney, Public Counsel Immigrant’s Rights Project, Los Angeles
Rachel K. Prandini, Attorney and Unaccompanied Minor Law Fellow, Immigrant Legal Resource Center
Hayley Upshaw, Senior Staff Attorney, Legal Services for Children, San Francisco

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Operating on the subconscious level, unconscious biases cause us to form positive and negative associations about other people based on a variety of characteristics, including race, gender, and age. Attorneys, judicial officers, and other court professionals have become increasingly aware of the concept of unconscious bias and the impact that it may have on California’s diverse court users. This interactive session explores what science says about the best strategies for counteracting our own biases once we become aware of them (also known as “debiasing”). The session will also explore strategies for identifying bias that may be built into decision-making processes and how courts and other institutions can use tools like Racial Impact Statements to counteract the effects of unconscious bias. Parts of this session will involve small group discussions about application of various tools and techniques. This session is recommended for individuals who attended the related course, “Understanding Unconscious Bias in Our Decision Making” or who otherwise have a basic understanding of implicit bias in decision making.

Vevila Hussey, MSW, Senior Consultant, California Partners for Permanency
William Kennedy, Director, Race Equity Project
Gillian Sonnad, Supervising Attorney, Central California Legal Services
Kyanna Williams, Attorney, Judicial Council, Center for Families, Children & the Courts

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In the 37 years since ICWA’s enactment, there have been differing interpretations of the statute and its requirements. Reaffirming the commitment to the best interest of Indian children and families through full compliance with ICWA, the federal government and the California Department of Justice are working with tribes, state agencies, and other stakeholders to identify ICWA compliance issues nationally and in California. Hear about the work of the federal agencies and the Bureau of Children’s Justice in the California Department of Justice related to ICWA.

Amber Blaha, Assistant Section Chief, Law and Policy Section, Environment and Natural Resources Division, U.S. Department of Justice
Maureen H. Geary, Attorney, Maier Pfeffer Kim Geary & Cohen, LLP
Michael L. Newman, Director, Bureau of Children’s Justice, California Department of Justice

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Over the past several years, awareness of the importance of education to every aspect of a child’s life has grown exponentially. This workshop will introduce judicial officers and counsel for parents and children to simple and effective tools they can use to promote the educational success of youth in foster care or on probation.

Hon. Jerilyn L. Borack, Judge, Superior Court of California, County of Sacramento
Martha Matthews, Directing Attorney, Children’s Rights Project at Public Counsel
Ann Quirk, Education and Dependency Attorney, Children’s Law Center of California, Sacramento

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California Rules of Court, rule 5.663 sets forth the responsibilities of attorneys who defend delinquent youth. What, if any, are the responsibilities of juvenile court prosecutors? Should they be expected to possess a knowledge base similar to that required of the juvenile defense attorney? Join us as we discuss the role and responsibilities of juvenile court prosecutors.

Hon. Michael Nash (Ret.), Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles
Daniel J. Cabral, Assistant District Attorney, Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office
LaRon Hogg Haught, Deputy District Attorney, District Attorney’s Office, County of Santa Clara

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© 2017 Judicial Council of California