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Best Interest Attorney Training (6.5 CLE)


Join the MSBA Continuing Legal Education Department and The Legal Studies Institute at Anne Arundel Community College for the newest presentation of Best Interest Attorney Training on Friday, May 31, 2019 at the Arundel Mills Campus in Hanover, MD!

Experienced practitioners will cover crucial topics such as child development and access schedules, parenting coordination, custody evaluations, interviewing children, representing your child client effectively, impact of family dysfunction, 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 with the surrounding MCLE states will be offered. If you cannot join us in Hanover, the program will be webcast (simulcast) live concurrently and available on-demand a week after the program.

Course Level
CLE Field of Study
Anne Arundel Community College – Arundel Mills Campus
7009 Arundel Mills Cir
Hanover, MD 21076 US
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May 31, 2019
8:30 am - 4:30 pm EDT
Anne Arundel Community College – Arundel Mills Campus
7009 Arundel Mills Cir
Hanover, MD 21076 US


Day 1

8:00 am
Check in & Registration
8:30 am
Welcome & Introductions

Craig Bouchers, Esq.

 Deena Hausner, Esq.

8:40 am
Maryland Guidelines for Practice for Court-Appointed Lawyers representing Children in Cases Involving Child Custody or Child Access

Justin Sasser, Esq. & Walter Herbert, 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

Justin Sasser, Esq. & Walter Herbert, Esq.

  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
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
11:00 am
15-minute Break
11:15 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
LUNCH (on own)
12:45 pm
Case Preparation – Interviewing the Child, Investigation, Discovery Material

Rebecca Fleming, Esq. & Chris Van Roden, 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


2:00 pm
15-minute Break
Settlement, Trial and Post Trial

Lindsay Parvis, Esq. & Rob Erdman, 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
3:15 pm
Tapping Local Resources
3:40 pm
A View from the Bench
4:30 pm


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Best Interest Attorney Training (6.5 CLE)