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Best Interest Attorney Training Required Training to Serve as a Best Interest Attorney in MD Circuit Courts


The MSBA Family and Juvenile Law Section is excited to offer a virtual presentation of Maryland’s Best Interest Attorney Training on Wednesday, April 17th and Thursday, April 18th, 2024 from 8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Experienced practitioners will cover crucial topics such as:

  • Child development and access schedules
  • Parenting coordination
  • Custody evaluations
  • Interviewing children
  • Representing your child client effectively
  • The impact of family dysfunction
  • The use of expert witnesses
  • and more…

This training complies with Child Counsel and Custody Rules and Guidelines, Maryland Rule 9-205.1. 

6.5 hours of credit will be offered for the surrounding MCLE states. If you’re unable to attend the live virtual program in April, the entire event will be recorded and available to you to view later. You can pre-purchase the OnDemand HERE.


Course Level
Professional Area of Focus
Family Law
CLE Field of Study
Continuing Education Legal Credit
Rebecca Fleming Wendy Meadows Christopher van Roden Maureen Vernon Laurie Wasserman Krystle Howard
Event Information
Apr 17, 2024
8:30 am - 12:00 pm EST
Total CLE Credits


Day 1

8:30 am
Day 1

8:30 am           Maryland Guidelines for Practice for Court-Appointed Lawyers representing Children in Cases Involving Child Custody or Child Access
Wendy Meadows, Esq.
Laurie M. Wasserman Esq.

  1. The Guidelines
  2. Child’s Best Interest Attorney
    1. Qualifications
    2. Order of Appointment
    3. Duties
    4. Ex parte Communication with Court
    5. Reporting
  3. BIA litigates rather than reports
    1. Considered judgment
    2. Liability
      1. Intent of Rules/Guidelines
      2. Legacy of Fox v. Wills

9:05 am           Your Job

  1. Roles & Responsibilities:
    1. Best Interest Attorney (BIA)
    2. Child Advocate
    3. Child’s Privilege Attorney
  2. Collecting Information
  3. Attorney – Child Client Relationship
  4. Role in Litigation
    1. Factors
  5. Representing Multiple Children
  6. Getting paid

9:30 am – 9:40 am – 10-minute break

9:40 am           Child Development
Maureen Vernon, Ph.D.

  1. Development and Cognitive Needs and Abilities
    1. Developmental stages
  2. Mental & Emotional Development
    1. Attachment
  3. Context for Healthy Development
    1. Stability
  4. Communicating with The Child Client In a Developmentally Appropriate Manner
    1. Age Appropriate schedules
  5. Interview Techniques

10:40 am – 10:50 am   10-minute Break

10:50 am         Issues Impacting the Child and The Family
Maureen Vernon, Ph.D.

  1. Child Abuse & Neglect
  2. Substance Abuse
  3. Impact of Domestic Violence

12:00 pm         ADJOURN

Day 2

8:30 am
Day 2

8:30 am           Case Preparation – Interviewing the Child, Investigation, Discovery Material
Rebecca Fleming, Esq.
Chris vanRoden, Esq.

  1. Interviewing the Child Client
    1. Interviewing
    2. Testimony
  2. Other evaluations
    1. Forensic Custody & Mental Health Evaluators
    2. Substance Abuse Evaluations
  3. Understanding & Addressing Educational Needs
  4. Identifying & Addressing Special Needs

9:50 am- 10:00 am  10-minute Break

10:00 am           Settlement, Trial and Post Trial
Krystle Acevedo Howard, Esq.

  1. Preparing and Presenting a Child’s Viewpoint
  2. Child Testimony & Alternatives To Direct Testimony 
  3. Evidentiary Concerns
  4. Ethical Issues
  5. Your Role With Self-Represented Litigants
  6. Dealing With High Conflict Families

11:15 am           A View from the Bench

The Honorable Donna Schaeffer (pre-recorded)

12:00 pm ADJOURN


$ (% off)


$ (% off)
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Best Interest Attorney Training