FRIDAY, APRIL 11, 2014
12:00 Noon until 1:30 p.m.
Ramsey County Courthouse, Room 40

The turnout for the AFCC-MN Lunch & Learn “Informing the Court About Mental Illness” was high––evidence of its importance and relevance to custody proceedings.

Samuel Albert, Ph.D., L.P. reviewed for the audience five broad areas which are problematic for parents caught up in custody proceedings: emotional regulation, behavior control, cognitive difficulties, substance abuse, and disordered personality traits. The Honorable Margaret Daly (Hennepin County District Court Judge) and the Honorable James Street (Ramsey County District Court Referee) discussed the mental health considerations most relevant in making a custody decision and how attorneys can best advocate for their clients.

Our panelists answered questions from the audience about how best to clarify for the Court the significance of a parent’s mental health diagnosis in contested custody cases and how mental health issues can be framed so that they are useful to the court.

More Info on Speakers:

SAMUEL ALBERT is a Licensed Psychologist who maintains a forensic and therapy practice in Roseville, Minnesota. He received his doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from the University of Arizona. His forensic practice specializes in psychological evaluations of parents involved in family law cases, psychosexual evaluations, and consultation on psychological reports done by other professionals. He began his career in 1978 as the Anoka County Court Psychologist, where he evaluated numerous individuals involved in sex crimes and other criminal activities. For 14 years he was affiliated with Alpha Human Services, a residential and outpatient sex offender treatment program in Minneapolis, including several years as its Director of Adult Outpatient Services. He also served two terms on the Minnesota Board of Psychology, including two years as the Board Chair. He has published 15 articles in the Minnesota Psychologist.

MARGARET DALY was appointed to the bench as a 4th District Judge in 2000 and is currently assigned to the Juvenile Court. Prior to this she was a Hennepin District Court Referee and served in Family Court and Felony Drug Court. Before becoming a judicial officer she was an Assistant Hennepin County Attorney assigned to Civil Mental Health Court where she handled petitions for civil commitment involving mental illness, chemical dependency and sexual dangerousness. Early in her career, she was in private practice with the local firm of Robins, Kaplan in their California office. She received her law degree from the William Mitchell College of Law. She also has an undergraduate degree in social work and worked briefly in that field prior to law school.

JAMES STREET has served as a family court referee in Ramsey County since January 2011 where he handles primarily family law cases and orders for protection as well as CHIPS cases under Ramsey County’s one judicial officer for a family policy. He serves on the Statewide Advisory Committee for Early Case Management, the Court’s Statewide Committee to develop standards for supervised parenting time, and is a member of the State Family Law Training Committee. He co-chairs Ramsey County’s Early Case Management Advisory Committee. Prior to being on the Bench, he led the St. Paul family law unit for SMRLS from 1995-2010. In 2010 served on the statewide “Study Group” appointed by the Minnesota Supreme Court and authorized by the State Legislature to study and report back to the legislature about the merits of a presumption for joint physical custody. He is an adjunct professor at the University of St. Thomas Law School, co-teaching a class on domestic violence.