Beyond the Bench 23: Pre- and Post-Conference

Preconference: Tuesday–Wednesday, December 1–2, 2015

The FDR Institute for New Court Professionals is a two-and-a-half-day program that provides 19.5 hours of mandatory initial education for California trial courts’ newly hired Family Court Services (FCS) child custody mediators, recommending counselors, and evaluators as required in applicable California Rules of Court—supplementing what local trial courts provide as immediate orientation and training when new staff are hired. Participants receive training on a range of topics, including statutes and rules of court, ethics, mediation skill-building, and child custody and domestic violence protocols and procedures that are relevant to their positions with the court. (For additional program and continuing education [CE] information, please refer to the detailed 2015 NCP program agenda.)

Jacquetta Adewole, LMFT, Family Court Services Supervisor, Superior Court of California, County of San Bernardino
Julia Weber, JD, MSW, Supervising Attorney, Judicial Council, Center for Families, Children & the Courts 
Chuck Amital, LMFT, Mediator & Attorney; Supervising Child Custody Recommending Counselor (Ret.),
   Superior Court of California, County of San Mateo

Stephanie Shadowens, LMFT, Supervising Child Custody Mediator, Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles

Special boot camp for new executive directors of CASA programs. Curriculum covers child welfare system issues, court process, nonprofit administration and program management, and best practices in recruiting, training, and supervising volunteers.

Don Will, Manager, Judicial Council, Center for Families, Children & the Courts

In 2014, SB 855 established a new Commercially Sexually Exploited Children (CSEC) Program within the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) to provide prevention, intervention, services, and training in California to more effectively serve CSEC using a multidisciplinary approach. Counties that elected to participate in the CSEC Program by submitting county plans to CDSS in June, and that have been selected as Tier 2 counties, are invited to participate in this convening. This special convening will bring together multidisciplinary county teams from across California to share their approaches to CSEC as well as to discuss the challenges and promising practices they have identified throughout the development and implementation of their interagency protocols.

Courthouses can be more than sterile environments where people come and go throughout the day. They can be community service centers as well as places where the art reflects the goals and aspirations of the court and the community. This two-part courthouse tour begins with a visit to downtown Santa Ana where the Community Court not only houses a courtroom but also is a place where defendants and their families as well as neighborhood residents find social services, employment, legal aid, and mental health providers on site and “open for business.” The tour then moves on to the Court of Appeal, where the court, in collaboration with students, teachers, administrators, and the probation department, sponsored a program resulting in a wonderful collection of poignant artistic portrayals of court opinions on canvas. Children from various schools, including the high school in Juvenile Hall, were the artists creating the paintings, and these paintings now hang in a place of honor in the courthouse. Your hosts for the afternoon will be Associate Justice Eileen Moore of the Fourth District Court of Appeal, Orange County Superior Court Judge Joe Perez, and the members of the collaborative court team.

This course provides an overview of the dependency legal system. The course focuses on stakeholder roles, dependency law and process, and legally mandated timelines. This course meets the 8-hour requirement for attorneys seeking to accept court-appointed cases per California Rules of Court, rule 5.660(d).

Hon. Patricia Bresee (Ret.), Consultant/Trainer/Retired Juvenile Court Commissioner
Nancy Aspaturian, Attorney Supervisor & Director of Training, Children’s Law Center of California, Los Angeles
David Meyers, Attorney and Chief Operating Officer, Dependency Legal Services
Shannon Sullivan, Assistant County Counsel, Santa Cruz

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While police-involved shootings of unarmed African American men are receiving considerable media attention, the question that must be asked is how do such incidents impact the public’s trust in our court system and how can such incidents be responded to constructively? One way, which research bears out, is that there is a need for an ongoing and honest conversation about race and racism. This half-day workshop, divided into two parts, will, first, be a conversation about race/racism and ask participants to think about how external events, seemingly unrelated to day-to-day work, impact us personally and professionally. The second part will provide participants with practical facilitation skills and tools to help them lead discussions on race and racism.

Hon. Shawna M. Schwarz, Judge of the Superior Court, County of Santa Clara
Fania Davis, PhD, Executive Director and Founder, Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth
Sujata Warrier, PhD, Training & Technical Assistance Director, Battered Women’s Justice Project, Minnesota

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The Poverty Simulation is a unique training for judicial officers and court staff, attorneys, service providers, probation officers, CASAs, and others who are interested in learning about the challenges and situations that low-income people deal with day to day. It offers the chance to understand how to work more effectively with members of this community and to consider critically the ways in which we deliver services. The role-play simulates a one-month time frame with each week consuming a 15- to 20-minute period. Participants are divided up into “families” ranging in size from 1 to 5 persons. Each group is assigned a different life scenario, and volunteers live the life of that family for one month, trying to work and access benefits, buy food, and maintain housing. Other participants play the vital role of community resources, such as the bank, the employer, the doctor, and other resources the family members will interact with during the “month.” After the “month” is over, there is an extensive debriefing exercise on the issues that arose during the simulation and how we might design programs differently or work differently with clients in light of the simulation experience.

Tiela Chalmers, Chief Executive Officer, Alameda County Bar Association

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How can we offer more usable and user-friendly legal services? How can we better meet the needs of the families that come into our system? In this workshop, we will employ a user-centered design process developed at the Stanford Design School to reimagine how we engage laypeople with our services, and begin to prototype and test promising new concepts. This will be a hands-on session, aiming to equip participants with new tools from the world of design thinking and agile development, as well as to jump-start new initiatives for improving current services or creating new projects.

Margaret Hagan, Fellow, Center on the Legal Profession, Stanford Law School; Lecturer, Stanford Institute of Design

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This convening will bring KKIS county teams from Central and Southern California counties to share their work on KKIS issues; have an opportunity to see presentations on promising and effective new tools and approaches to improving school culture and climate; continue building effective collaboration and partnerships among educators, courts, and other system partners; and learn about the particular educational needs of children and youth in the foster care and juvenile justice systems. Participants will have ample time to begin to build inter-county connections, and will be introduced to the KKIS listserve, social media options, and other options meant to strengthen those inter-county connections.

Postconference: Friday, December 4, 2015

The training will cover preliminary steps to filing a petition (how do you know whether to file?); timelines for initiating the process; how to draft a proper writ petition; how to craft arguments; how to handle oral arguments; and procedures and other related issues involved in the process.

Janet Sherwood, Attorney, NACC Certified Child Welfare Law Specialist, and Appellate Specialist

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What do litigants in family and juvenile court think about the system? What can judicial officers do to improve litigants’ experience within the bounds of judicial ethics? Are there steps we can take that don’t take a lot of time or money? The course will use the results of interviews with litigants in family and juvenile courts to consider new perspectives on judging. It will provide practical solutions to handling cases where one side is represented and the other is not. It will consider how technology can affect communication, including ways that Skype and other remote appearances may impact understanding. It will discuss strategies to most effectively handle cases involving litigants with limited English proficiency to ensure that litigants, attorneys, and judges understand each other as fully as possible.

Hon. Maureen F. Hallahan, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of San Diego
Hon. Mark A. Juhas, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles
Hon. Erica R. Yew, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara
Kelly Tait, President, National Association of State Judicial Educators; Adjunct Professor, University of Nevada, Reno

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Studies have shown that in a large proportion—ranging from 30 to 60 percent—of families in which one parent is abused by the other parent, the children are also abused or at risk of abuse. With such a high correlation between domestic violence and actual abuse or risk of abuse of children, judges in dependency court must frequently address issues of domestic violence. This course will focus on recent dependency cases addressing domestic violence as a basis for jurisdiction, reasonable efforts to prevent removal, and related issues.

Hon. Jerilyn L. Borack, Judge, Superior Court of California, County of Sacramento
Hon. L. Michael Clark, Judge, Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara

This program will focus on the most vulnerable adults in the child welfare system: parents and nonminor dependents with disabilities. The topics covered include the continuum of alternatives to support adults with mental capacity issues in decision making, specific issues to consider for nonminor dependents with disabilities that may affect decision making, and the ethical obligations of the legal community when helping these adults. This program is intended for judges, social workers, probation officers, and attorneys working in the child welfare system.

Brian Capra, Senior Attorney, Public Counsel, Los Angeles
Abby Eskin, Attorney Supervisor, Children’s Law Center of California, Los Angeles
Eliza Patten, Dependency Project Director and Senior Attorney, Legal Services for Children, San Francisco

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The Center for Court Innovation, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance and the Judicial Council of California will host Courts, Community Engagement, and Innovative Practices in a Changing Landscape. The one-day conference will provide an opportunity for practitioners from both inside and outside the justice system, including judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, probation officials, court administrators, police, clinical staff, and nonprofit organizations, to learn about a range of topics affecting community-based alternatives, including best practices in procedural justice, risk-needs-responsivity assessment, mental health care, pretrial diversion, and community engagement. Sessions are tailored to address the unique criminal justice reforms affecting California today, with panelists who can speak to the important changes taking place after Proposition 47 and criminal justice realignment.

Hon. Shelly J. Averill, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Sonoma
Hon. J. Richard Couzens (Ret.), Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Placer
Hon. Susan M. Gill, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Kern
Hon. Stephen V. Manley, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara
Hon. Joe T. Perez, Judge of the Superior Court, County of Orange
Hon. Richard A. Vlavianos, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of San Joaquin
Aaron Arnold, Director of Treatment Court Programs, Center for Court Innovation
John Butler, Problem-Solving Justice Fellow, Center for Court Innovation
Kathleen Connolly Lacey, Clinical Director, San Francisco Behavioral Health Court
Camilo Cruz, Director, Community Justice Initiatives, Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office
Hallie Fader-Towe, Program Director for Courts, Council of State Governments Justice Center
Mike Feuer, City Attorney, Los Angeles
Meredith Gamson Smiedt, Executive Director, Center for Policing Equity, University of California, Los Angeles
Alan-Michael Graves, Director, Project Fatherhood, Los Angeles
Garry Herceg, Director, Office of Pretrial Services, Santa Clara County
Mack Jenkins, Chief Probation Officer, San Diego County
Eric Jones, Chief of Police, Stockton, California
Magnus Loftstrom, PhD, Senior Research Fellow, Public Policy Institute of California
Ben McBride, Pastor; Founder, Empower Initiative; Regional Director of Clergy Development, PICO California
Danielle McCurry, Court Services Analyst, Judicial Council, Center for Families, Children & the Courts
Ellen McDonnell, Deputy Public Defender, Contra Costa County
Tomiquia Moss, Chief of Staff to the Mayor of Oakland
Jonathan Raven, Chief Deputy District Attorney, Yolo County
Michael Roosevelt, Senior Court Services Analyst, Judicial Council, Criminal Justice Services
Brett Taylor, Senior Advisor, Problem-Solving Justice, Center for Court Innovation
Millicent Tidwell, Chief Operating Officer, Judicial Council of California
Paula Tokar, Captain, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department
Susan F. Turner, PhD, Professor, Department of Criminology, Law & Society, University of California, Irvine
Brendon D. Woods, Public Defender, Alameda County
Martha Wright, Senior Court Services Analyst, Judicial Council, Criminal Justice Services

Achieving permanency for children in foster care has always been the goal of the child welfare system. However, legislative reforms to the continuum of care for both delinquent and dependent youth are forcing counties to engage in permanency planning for older youth earlier, better, and more creatively. In this workshop we will discuss the continuum-of-care reforms and identify strategies for locating and engaging relatives and/or other adults for permanent connections.

Jorge Cabrera, Senior Director, Casey Family Programs
Lisa Campbell-Motton, Director of Placement Permanency and Quality Assurance, Probation Child Welfare
   Division, Los Angeles County Probation Department

Bob Friend, LCSW, Director, National Institute for Permanent Family Connectedness, Seneca Family of Agencies
Karen Gunderson, MSW, Chief, Child and Youth Permanency Branch, California Department of Social Services
Theresa Peleska, LCSW, Protective Program Manager, County of San Diego Child Welfare Services

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