Beyond the Bench XXII - Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Concurrent Workshops 3
9:00–10:30 A.M.

Fresno, Sacramento, and Orange Counties are participating in the Education Equals Partnership, an intensive collaboration between child welfare, foster youth services, the courts, and early childhood and higher education to implement a newly developed thriving scale screening tool to identify foster youth educational strengths and assets. Session participants will engage in dialogue about the collaborative process to develop a thriving education screening tool that leverages a foster student’s strengths and needs and the teaming strategies that will accompany the development of education plans and monitoring systems to help a foster student realize his or her full potential.

Ms. Michelle Francois, Associate Director of Child Welfare, Stuart Foundation
Ms. Tricia Gonzalez, Program Manager, Department of Social Services, Fresno County
Ms. Trish Kennedy, Director, Sacramento County Office of Education

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Reentry Courts are proven programs that assist local government and the local community in avoiding overcrowded jails and the early release of incarcerated offenders. These programs provide the necessary structure and treatment and services to keep offenders engaged in pro social treatment and activities rather than repeated incarceration. The importance of addressing family issues, including reunifying and strengthening family relationships, addressing child support issues, and participating in child welfare and family law proceedings will be considered within the reentry court model. These Collaborative Courts address critical needs for offenders and their families and are a promising program for new funding.

Hon. Stephen Manley, Judge, Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara
Hon. Richard Vlavianos, Judge, Superior Court of California, County of San Joaquin


It is not uncommon for judicial officers and others to suspect that a parent being seen in court may have a previously undiagnosed/untreated mental health condition. This session is designed to help identify clues that a parent may have an undiagnosed/untreated mental illness and to identify strategies for responding to situations where evaluation and treatment is appropriate and needed.

Hon. Shawna Schwarz, Judge, Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara
Dr. Ian Russ, Visiting Faculty, California State University-Northridge, Marriage and Family Therapy

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Listen to a candid discussion by youth panelists who are involved in peer court on how to interact effectively with law enforcement, neighborhood watch, and other adults in the community from the perspective of being respectful and responsive, and how those groups can, in turn, effectively and respectfully interact with youth.  Youth panelists will discuss how peer courts can take an active role in strengthening their relationship between youth and law enforcement, and other adults in the community with the goal of supporting a healthy and fair dynamic between youth and adults. The panel will also include an attorney from the Children’s Rights Project who will discuss your rights as a juvenile, and a Riverside police officer who is also the coordinator of the Riverside youth court. The session will be facilitated by a judge who was formerly a police officer and detective and has extensive experience working with youth.

Hon. Scott Gordon, Supervising Family Law Judge, Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles
Hon. Mark Juhas, Judge, Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles
Ms. Keisha Como, Student-Member, Antelope Valley Community Youth Court
Ms. Ruth Cusick, Staff Attorney, Children’s Rights Project, Public Counsel Law Center
Mr. Hart Fogel, Student-Member, Marin County Youth Court
Mr. Mark Reddick, Riverside Youth Court Coordinator; Police Officer, Riverside


A 2012 study, garnering national attention as the first comprehensive study of its kind, offered the first statewide look at California’s 59 Victim/Witness Assistance Centers tasked with providing services to crime victims. Notwithstanding California’s robust set of constitutional protections for victims, among other findings, the report identifies significant disparities in service provision and a lack of adequate financial support to consistently deliver minimal rights and services mandated by law. This session will discuss these findings as well as an additional revelatory report from Californians for Safety and Justice sharing statewide polling on who crime survivors really are, their unmet needs, and what they actually want to see change about the California criminal justice system.

Ms. Heather Warnken, Esq., Legal Policy Associate, Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute on Law & Social Policy, Univeristy of California Berkeley School of Law

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This presentation will use a series of interactive scenarios to explore what judicial officers can do for and with CASA programs within the boundaries of judicial ethics and what CASA programs should and should not ask of juvenile court judicial officers.

Hon. Leonard P. Edwards (Ret.), Judge, Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara; Volunteer Mentor Judge, AOC, Center for Families, Children & the Courts
Ms. Cory Pohley, Chief Executive Officer, California CASA Association

This course will provide an overview of the history of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM), recent changes to diagnostic categories from DSM-4TR, and implications for mental health clinicians and human services professionals. Through discussion of the criteria for various disorders, this course will also provide some understanding of what to expect from people diagnosed with mental health disorders.

Dr. M.K. Gustinella, Mediator/Investigator, Superior Court of California, County of Orange
Dr. Melyssa MacQuarrie, Supervising Court Mediator, Superior Court of California, County of Orange
Dr. Cindy Van Schooten, Director of Family Court Services, Superior Court of California, County of Tehama


The anniversary of Gideon v. Wainright provides an opportunity for our system to step back to see where we have been and where we still need to go. This session will celebrate the successes of the past 50 years in assuring that youth in California juvenile delinquency cases are represented by counsel, as well as the areas in which we still face challenges in assuring competent, effective counsel.  We will talk about current efforts to improve representation through legislation, advocacy, and professional development. The session will also address the importance of holistic representation and expanding the competencies of juvenile defenders to meet the many needs of youth as they move through the delinquency system.

Ms. Sue Burrell, Staff Attorney, Youth Law Center
Ms. Patti Lee, Managing Attorney, Juvenile Unit, Office of the San Francisco Public Defender
Mr. Robert Schwartz, Executive Director, Juvenile Law Center Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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This presentation will address the current efforts being made in California to address the unique needs of Latino children and families involved in the child welfare system. The session will provide information on emerging and promising practices that have been identified across California to ensure culturally competent service provision to Latino children and families. We will also review the most current data on Latino children and examine indicators that can be used by child welfare and legal professionals to better understand and address the needs of these children.

Ms. Sylvia Deporto, Deputy Director, Family & Children’s Services, Human Services Agency of San Francisco
Dr. Alan Dettlaff, Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago, Jane Addams College of Social Work
Dr. Barbara Needell, Research Specialist, Center for Social Services Research, University of California at Berkeley


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

Hon. Jacqueline L. Lewis, Commissioner, Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles
Hon. Anthony Trendacosta, Commissioner, Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles


This session will cover best practices in effective training, supervising and mentoring of self help center volunteers to maximize productivity and retention while creating a valuable service experience for volunteers. Presenters will explain what makes effective volunteers, share training tools, provide insights on maximizing retention, and offer advice for effective supervision. The session will provide information helpful to staff currently overseeing volunteers as well as those considering expanding their volunteer base.

Dr. Jennifer Kalish, Los Angeles JusticeCorps Program Director, Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles
Ms. Martha Wright, Senior Court Services Analyst, AOC, Court Operations Special Services Office

10:45 A.M. – 12:15 P.M.

This presentation will focus on the reunification of legal orphans with their biological parents pursuant to Welfare and Institutions Code section 366.26(i)(3). The presenters will engage in an in depth discussion of law, process, and success stories, including the pros and cons of reinstatement. Perspectives of parents, minors, the social worker, and court appointed counsel will also be shared.

Hon. Brian McCabe, Presiding Judge, Superior Court of California, County of Merced
Ms. Sheri Damon, Deputy County Counsel, County of Merced
Ms. Baljit Gill, Program Administrator, Merced County Human Services Agency
Ms. Theresa Klein, Court Appointed Counsel, County of San Luis Obispo

Handout 1For nearly 30 years, advocates and authorities across the state have called for better integration and collaboration by and between child serving agencies and their partners. The latest call is driven by both the recently settled “Katie A.” litigation and pending Child Welfare Core Practice Model implementation. This presentation will highlight how these latest opportunities will help state and county partners to finally act on Little Hoover and Blue Ribbon Commission recommendations, and create the long sought for family centered, strength based, and integrated service system. Recommendations to the state about how to implement basic integrated practices and policy will be presented.

Mr. David Coughran, Program Manager, Placer County Probation Department
Mr. Sean Ferguson, Probation Manager, Placer County Probation Department
Mr. Richard Knecht, Director, Children’s System of Care, Placer County Health and Human Services


This workshop provides a review of new cases and legislation affecting delinquency law and policy.

Hon. Kurt Kumli, Judge, Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara
Ms. LaRon Hogg Haught, Deputy District Attorney, Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office

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Children and youth in foster care consistently fall behind their peers in school. Recent efforts to support educational progress for foster youth have emphasized collaboration among the courts, local agencies and service providers, and foster youth themselves. Come learn about the importance of supporting educational progress, discuss recent initiatives to provide tools for overcoming obstacles to collaboration and educational progress, and hear success stories from a former foster youth who beat the odds to achieve his dreams.

Hon. Jerilyn L. Borack, Judge, Superior Court of California, County of Sacramento
Mr. Dee Hankins, Foster Care Alumnus
Ms. Ann Quirk, Attorney, Children’s Law Center of California, Sacramento
Mr. Corby Sturges, Attorney, AOC, Center for Families, Children & the Courts
Ms. Maya Cooper, Attorney and Policy Manager, National Center for Youth Law, FosterEd Initiative (Moderator)


Using interactive exercises and brief panel presentations, this session will challenge and empower participants to improve supports for kinship caregivers seeking legal guardianship as an alternative pathway to stability and child-wellbeing outside the dependency system. The session will cover barriers faced by pro se guardianship petitioners; explore innovative models (self-help clinics, workshops, assisted use of online forms, etc.) used in various counties to address these barriers; demonstrate how to use a court self-assessment tool and how to access self-help center resources on the AOC’s website; and discuss issues concerning “kinship diversion” (referral of kinship caregivers to probate guardianship as an alternative to dependency).

Ms. Martha Matthews, Directing Attorney, Children’s Rights Project, Public Counsel
Ms. Leslie Mackay, Staff Attorney, San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program, Inc.
Ms. Leslie Parrish, Senior Supervising Attorney, Pro se Guardianship Clinic, Public Counsel
Ms. Abigail Trillin, Executive Director, Legal Services for Children


Children are targeted and sold for sex by exploiters and pimps each night in California. Often these children go unnoticed by lawyers, judges, social workers, and probation officers. This panel will explore the dynamics of exploitation, outline risk factors and warning signs, provide strategies to engage exploited youth, and introduce promising prevention and intervention models to better serve and support our most vulnerable children.

Hon. Catherine Pratt, Commissioner, Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles
Ms. Leslie Starr Heimov, Executive Director, Children’s Law Center of California
Ms. Venus Rodriguez, Client Services Manager, Motivating Inspiring Supporting & Serving Sexually Exploited Youth (MISSSEY)
Ms. Kate E. Walker, Attorney, National Center For Youth Law

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Reflect upon your personal beliefs that impact how you might interact with youth that have a parent in prison—or their caregivers. You will take away an increased awareness of the challenges faced by the millions of children across the nation who have parents in prison/jail, and a better understanding of the factors that impact children in this situation.

Ms. Jessica Calderon, Project WHAT! Youth Advocate
Mr. Lorenzo Cortez, Project WHAT! Youth Advocate
Ms. Alisha Murdock, Project WHAT! Youth Peer Mentor
Ms. Zoe Willmott, Project WHAT! Coordinator, Community Works West

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Popular science often portrays teens as biologically wired for risk-taking and impulsive behaviors, but a closer look at the neuroscience suggests that teens are neurologically wired for both risk and resiliency. This workshop will provide an overview of the rapid changes that are occurring in adolescent brains, explore how teens’ neurobiology may be impacted by exposure to domestic violence in their families, and identify parental behaviors and family environments that may increase or decrease risk for the intergenerational transmission of violence.

Ms. Ava Rose, L.C.S.W., Director, Women Helping Women, National Council of Jewish Women/ Los Angeles


The public and media attention leading up to the recent high-profile trials and verdicts in Florida and California raised persistent and intractable questions about race and public trust in the criminal justice system. This interactive session is intended as a dialogue between experts (and you) about race and the justice system, the role that courts and society may and do play in reducing racial bias, disparity and disproportionality in the criminal justice system.

Hon. Michael Nash, Presiding Judge of the Juvenile Court, Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles
Hon. Trina Thompson, Judge, Superior Court of California, County of Alameda
Mr. James Bell, Executive Director, The Burns Institute
Ms. Donna Clay-Conti, Senior Attorney, AOC, Center for Families, Children & the Courts
Ms. Eva Paterson, Director, Equal Justice Society

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This session will present what a Veterans Treatment Court is, the key components that contribute to successful outcomes and what is being learned from the field with the rapid growth of these courts across the Nation with the return of soldiers from combat in Afghanistan and Iraq. Meeting the needs of Veterans requires an understanding of military culture and the distinct needs that arise from service in the U.S. Armed Forces. Also required is knowledge of the many specific services, resources and benefits that are available.

Hon. Wendy Lindley, Judge, Superior Court of California, County of Orange
Hon. Lon. F. Hurwitz, Judge, Superior Court of California, County of Orange
Mr. Jack Brito, LMFT/Team Leader, North Orange County Vet Center
Mr. Joe Ford, Veterans Claims Officer III, Orange County Veterans Service Office

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This workshop will highlight new and creative ways that courts and service providers are using technology to better serve families coming before the courts. Models will include interactive programs to allow people to prepare guardianships, restraining orders and other court documents in a “TurboTax” like program as well as programs designed for courts to allow preparation of orders after hearing which can be automatically uploaded into the California Protective Order Registry. Find out how courts are providing extensive self-help and enabling litigants to schedule appointments on-line.  This workshop will discuss how text, email, social media, and other forms of technology can be utilized in order to improve access to the courts. Apps, for example, hold tremendous potential to increase access to the court while email and video chat programs can help increase communication between child and parent.

Ms. Diane Nunn, Director, AOC Center for Families, Children & the Court
Ms. Bonnie Rose Hough, Managing Attorney, AOC, Center for Families, Children & the Courts
Ms. Susan Ryan, Self-Help Managing Attorney, Superior Court of California, County of Riverside


Concurrent Workshops 5
2:15 - 3:45 P.M.

This panel discussion is led by two seasoned dependency court judges and two judges more recently assigned to dependency court. The panelists will engage in a thoughtful, interactive discussion of best practices in dependency court. By incorporating the recommendations of the California Blue Ribbon Commission on Children in Foster Care (meaningful participation), the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) (length of hearings) and the Pew Commission as a backdrop, panelists will provide examples of effective practices and those which have been less helpful. The impact of newer legislation (AB 12 and AB 938), staff shortages, increased case loads, and lack of collaborative efforts among stakeholders will also be addressed, and panelists will offer examples of how the impact of these challenges and others have been addressed in practice.

Hon. Steven Basha, Presiding Judge, Superior Court of California, County of Yolo
Hon. Susan Dauphine, Presiding Judge of the Juvenile Court, Superior Court of California, County of Monterey
Hon. Denise de Bellefeuille, Judge, Superior Court of California, County of Santa Barbara
Hon. Suzanne Gazzaniga, Judge, Superior Court of California, County of Placer
Ms. Laura Pedicini, Attorney, AOC, Center for Families, Children & the Courts

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This workshop addresses reunification challenges and problems that small and rural counties face from four different perspectives, minor’s counsel, a government agency, parent’s counsel and CASA. Participants will learn how to strategize solutions to local problems such as limited services, confronting complex/multi-dimensional cases, litigating the reasonableness of services and their structure, and collaborating with other county agencies and non-profit organizations.

Hon. Juan Ulloa, Judge, Superior Court of California, County of Imperial (Moderator)
Mr. Alex Cardenas, Executive Director, CASA of Imperial County
Mrs. Ann Hadridge, Parents’ Attorney, Law Offices of Ann Hadridge
Mr. Haislip Hayes, Imperial County Child Support Attorney, Certified Child Welfare Law Specialist
Mr. Kelly Ranasinghe, Deputy Public Defender III (Minor’s Counsel), Office of the Public Defender, County of Imperial


The panel will identify recent research findings on adolescent development, including brain science and other studies confirming key developmental differences between adolescents and adults.  Panelists will discuss prospective California law and practice changes stemming from the evolving research.  Beyond the doctrine of developmental differences adopted by the U.S. Supreme Court to limit sentences in serious juvenile crime cases, the panel will explore the wider implications of the new science for the entire juvenile justice system.  Topics to be addressed include the potential impact of developmental science on juvenile justice system goals, interventions, jurisdiction and sentencing for youth at multiple levels of need and risk.

Mr. James Bell, Executive Director, The Burns Institute
Ms. Sue Burrell, Staff Attorney, Youth Law Center
Mr. David Steinhart, Director, Commonweal Juvenile Justice Program

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California is among the few states that place decisions concerning psychotropic medication of foster children in the hands of the Juvenile Court. The Legislature intended the California statute, Welfare & Institutions Code section 369.5, to reduce the growing use of medication to control foster children and other wards of the court, but the escalation of medication has continued unabated. The speakers and the audience will discuss what, if anything, should be done: accept current trends as the best that can be done, make the current system work better, or substitute non-judicial controls on the medication of wards of the court?

Mr. William Grimm, Senior Attorney, National Center for Youth Law
Dr. Kevin Jervik, Psychologist, Children’s Law Center of California
Mr. Danny Morris, Deputy Director, Department of Social Services, Madera County

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Domestic violence cases present challenges not only for families, but also for the court and service providers attempting to provide appropriate responses. Domestic violence cases require a sound understanding of the law so that appropriate orders can be made in an effort to maintain the well-being and safety of the family. Challenges can arise when there are additional or conflicting orders from another court, or when services outside the court’s purview are required to fully address the needs of the family. Presenters will provide an overview of the various branches of law and jurisdictional issues related to domestic violence cases to facilitate understanding of the various systems and avoid conflicting orders and will underscore the importance of networking with courts in other counties and with key service providers to identify and utilize available resources effectively.

Hon. Becky Lynn Dugan, Judge, Superior Court of California, County of Riverside
Ms. Julia Weber, Supervising Attorney, AOC, Center for Families, Children & the Courts

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The workshop will review the U.S. Supreme Court decisions on DOMA and Proposition 8; the grounds for the decisions; their significance for civil rights and civil liberties;  the long term legal implications; and likely next steps in the process to address legal status of LGBT families. The presentation will include discussion of legal implications for LGBT children and families in California. Presenters will also discuss how the change in legal status might impact judicial officers, attorneys, court staff, and justice system partners.

Ms. Diane Goodman, Attorney at Law, Law & Mediation Office of Diane M. Goodman, APC
Mr. Douglas NeJaime, Professor, University of California at Irvine Law School
Ms. Theresa DeCrescenzo, L.C.S.W., School of Social Work, California State University Northridge


Gideon and the issues of court legal representation is all about providing for procedural and substantive due process in a western court system.  However, many of the most innovative and helpful models in dealing with children and families today are non-traditional court models such as peer courts, family drug courts, restorative justice, collaborative courts, etc., that focus on restoring the health and meeting the needs of a family and a community.  This workshop will explore how tribal courts and tribal programs are implementing similar innovative models in tribal communities.  This panel will discuss what their tribal courts and tribal communities are doing to meet the needs of their families and how tribal and non-tribal programs can effectively collaborate in these efforts.

Hon. Claudette White, Chief Judge, Quechan Tribal Court
Hon. Christine Williams, Chief Judge, Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians and the Northern California Intertribal Court System

In this interactive workshop, youth will learn how to develop original curriculum and training tools, starting from their own experience/expertise, integrating research and best practices, and making it fun, engaging and useful.  The Y.O.U.T.H. Training Project has been supporting current and former foster youth to write original training materials for child welfare professionals, attorneys, judges, etc.  Learn from Y.O.U.T.H. Trainers themselves about what makes for dynamic curriculum and bring home skills and tools to continue making your own.

Ms. Jamie Lee Evans, Director of Training, Y.O.U.T.H. Training Project/California Youth Connection
Ms. Sophia Herman, Field Coordinator, Y.O.U.T.H. Training Project/California Youth Connection
Ms. Talitha James, Youth Advocate
Ms. LaToya Mae Brown, Student, University of California, Santa Cruz

Panel presentations will focus on improving client outcomes through creating more flexible information sharing approaches rather than discussing the barriers.  We will explore innovative practices and projects from California that are enabling information sharing, while respecting confidentiality and privacy rights, and securing the information once it is shared. Panelists will share recent initiatives, successes, and ongoing projects in the areas of health, public assistance, child welfare and courts that are pursuing increased information sharing.  Promising approaches and technologies will be shared that can help manage access, ensure security and protect privacy within interoperable environments.  Presenters will also explore the impact of expanding data sharing and its impact on interoperability initiatives across the health and human services ecosystem.

Mr. Larry Bolton, Counsel, California Department of Social Services
Mr. Vernon Brown, Cofounder, Stewards of Change and CEO, Aspiranet
Ms. Shell Culp, Chief Deputy Director, California Health and Human Services Agency, Office of Systems Integration
Ms. Sarah d’Eon, Deputy Director, California Health and Human Services Agency, Office of Systems Integration


The session will briefly summarize the nature of trauma and its emotional, cognitive, and behavioral impact, and then examine the implications for court staff and other professionals and helpers (e.g., mediators, investigators, CPS workers, Bench Officers, attorneys, court clerks and support staff) working with traumatized clients, both adults and children. The session will present things we can do, and avoid doing, that will help clients (victims, offenders, the emotionally overwhelmed) calm down, exercise self control, and be better able to listen, understand, think and communicate more clearly which will assist their planning and decision making abilities.  Finally, we will discuss how trauma impacts the helper, and what the helper can do to emotionally self regulate and alleviate stress.

Mr. Steve Baron (Ret.), Adjunct Faculty, Santa Clara University; Director, Family Court Services, Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara

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This workshop will introduce the Family Law Resource Guidelines project, and present the first of 7 upcoming topical guides. The first guide is on differentiated case management. These guides set out findings of research on the resource and workload implications for specified effective family law court practices and procedures in the following areas: Differentiated Case Management, Business Operations, Hearings and Trials, Domestic Violence, Self-Help, Custody Mediation, and Title IV-D. Over 60 court subject experts, including judges, operations staff, administration, family law facilitators, and family court services mediators from 26 courts worked together to identify and select the effective practices researched for this project.

Hon. Mark Juhas, Judge, Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles
Dr. Deborah Chase, Senior Attorney, AOC, Center for Families, Children & the Courts
Ms. Deana Farole, Supervising Research Analyst, AOC, Center for Families, Children & the Courts
Mr. John Greacen, Principal, Greacen Associates, LLC

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