Past Events

Lunch & Learn Virtual Event – The Continuing Journey Towards Cultural Awareness: An African-American Lens to Family Court and ADR

2021 AFCC MN Annual Conference: The Intersection of Culture with Custody and Parenting Time Decisions in Family Court

Film Viewing of Tommy: Interview With Filmmaker Darren Mort

Lunch & Learn Virtual Event – Cultural Considerations and Strategies for Working with Hispanic/Latinx Individuals in Family Court

Lunch & Learn Virtual Event – What Am I Missing? How Hmong American Cultural Dynamics May Impact Family Court

Lunch & Learn Virtual Event – Straight to the Point: Interpreting Psychological Evaluations for Custody Considerations

Lunch & Learn – Impact of Opioids and Methamphetamine Epidemic on Family Law in Greater Minnesota

The opioid and methamphetamine epidemic effects all Minnesotans. Family courts and professionals are faced with the challenge of supporting families when addiction and use of these substances is an issue. Options and approaches to addressing these issues vary widely from outstate to Twin Cities metro communities. In this one-hour course, presenters will discuss how courts and professionals in their outstate counties work with families facing these challenging issues. Topics covered include impact of methamphetamine and opioid use on parenting, creating care plans for families at various stages of addiction or use in greater Minnesota, testing resources, supervision considerations, and how family professionals and courts can assist families in planning ahead for safety.

Community Chat -Reflections on the Pandemic and Family Law with Mindy Mitnick

Families, children, and professionals have all dealt with stress and uncertainty during COVID-19. Join us as Mindy Mitnick discusses the challenges we have faced and lessons we have learned over the past few months. There will be an opportunity to ask questions throughout the presentation.

Half Day Conference 2020

Join us virtually this coming September 11th to look at how each of us––from judicial officer on down––can better support families during the legal process. Improving outcomes for all families, particularly those in crisis, requires a better understanding, and, importantly, empathy for that experience. Our objective is to raise the awareness of professionals in these important, front- line roles about effective and humane intervention for clients/families in crisis, and how to avoid inadvertently making matters worse.

Community Chat -Unique Challenges Communities of Color Experience in DV/IPV Cases

Please join us for a facilitated conversation to discuss with local experts the specific issues and challenges faced by community members of color when experiencing Domestic Violence and Intimate Partner Violence.

Community Chat – Winds of Change: Parenting Consultant Issues During a Pandemic

Covid-19 continues to wreak havoc on what we’ve thought of as our Standard Operating Procedures. Join seasoned PC’s Andrea Niemi, Michael Goldfarb and Jen Joseph for a discussion of how the pandemic has affected the work of the Parenting Consultant, moderated by Jordan Hart.

Community Chat – How Covid-19 impacted the legislature-Aug 7

As part of our on-going Community Chat series on August 7th we will be joined by Leslie Rosedahl, government relations specialist and owner of Rosedahl Public Affairs, and our own Michael Dittberner. They will provide valuable insight into the fallout experienced by the Minnesota State Legislature as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, what business as usual may mean for the legislature in the upcoming legislative session, and how this may impact the AFCC’s legislative agenda.

Community Chat SPECIAL – AFCC-MN’s Role to Implement its Statement on System Change Following the Murder of George Floyd

On July 31, 2020 at 12:00 p.m. we will hold an additional community chat to discuss how we as a Chapter will implement the statement made June 4, 2020. We hope you can join us. To encourage as much participation as possible, this chat will be free to all who want to participate

Community Chat 7/24/20 – How to Participate in a Remote Trial

Since COVID-19 the courts have responded to the Governor’s Stay at Home order and Chief Justice Gildea’s implementing orders.   The response has varied with and even within judicial districts which have tried to balance the needs for litigants, attorneys and the courts to stay safe, yet have access to justice. 

Community Chat -We are NOT All in this Together: How the pandemic lands on marginalized kids and families – July 10

COVID-19 and resulting community mitigation efforts have created challenging times for everyone but especially for children with disabilities, families living in poverty, individuals challenged by mental health disorders, and communities of color as well as other populations. School closures, specifically, have created difficult environments and experiences for vulnerable children and multi-stressed families. Nelson will share approaches to children/youth and family supports being provided by Change Inc. to 500+ families in the Twin Cities, with an emphasis on building resilience of both providers and clients.

Community Chat – Supervised Family Visitation in the Age of Covid-19: Our Past and Current Practices -June 26

Glorina Fruetel of Family Wise and Emily Haugen of Someplace Safe will share with us what works and what doesn’t and their agency’s adaptation to the challenges presented to providing supervised parenting time services during the pandemic and identify their practices in providing supervised visitation services during COVID-19. Both speakers will share what services are available from their respective agencies with social distancing and other health safety concerns during this time. Anna VonRueden is the Director of FamilyWise and will also speak to the changes for safety during Covid-19

Community Chat – Language Interpreting in Remote Hearings – June 19

This community chat will discuss how remote interpreting can be done by hearing from Hal Sillers who has been the go-to Spanish interpreter in the 8th Judicial District which has been using remote interpreting for years because of its expansive geography. It is said that necessity is the mother of invention, and Polly Ryan has been helping implement remote interpreting around the state as judicial districts have moved to remote hearings. This community chat will discuss best practices for using interpreters in general and when they are working remotely in particular. There will also be discussion about how private interpreters may be accessed for professionals who want to use interpreters for their private meetings with clients or patients.

Community Chat – Bridging Corona Conflict: Applying the Bridging Class Techniques to Pandemics

Joe and Lori will describe the impact of COVID-19 on reunification therapy and the Bridging Parental Conflict Class. The discussion will focus on surprises and challenges brought about by the pandemic.

Film Viewing of Angst: What a child perceives when the child is experiencing anxiety (RESCHEDULED)

Angst – This IndieFlix Original documentary is designed to raise awareness around anxiety and includes interview with kids, teens, educators, experts and a special appearance with Michael Phelps. The film’s goal is to help people identify and understand the symptoms of anxiety and encourage them to reach out for help. Angst has had over 2000 screenings in 23 countries. Click here for the trailer: http://angstmovie.com/trailer/

Community Chat – We Got This: How Hennepin County Family Court Services Is Meeting the Challenge in the Time of COVID

Within the span of a few days in March, Hennepin County Family Court Services went from providing families in-person ADR and evaluative services to not knowing how or when we would return to the Family Justice Center. With innovation and creativity, Family Court Services has adapted to the rapidly changing times, and we are providing our full range of services, albeit remotely. Kate, Jason and Zak will give an overview of how FCS has continued to offer assistance to families, what has worked well, and what ongoing challenges the department faces. Our goal is both to provide some ideas on what to expect when our services are required and to give some guidance to professionals who might be having difficulty navigating this unprecedented time. This will be an opportunity to ask questions you may have. will be an opportunity to ask questions throughout the presentation on May 29.

Community Chat – That’s Not What I Meant To Say: Understanding Your Role and Responsibility in Effective Communication

We know all too well how parents’ communications go poorly when the parties are in conflict and litigation, especially when kids must stay home from school while parents are either working from home or not working at all. But what about when professionals’ communications go poorly as well? We are going to look at how attorneys/professionals communicate with each other in front of parents and each other in order to identify how the content of a message gets bogged down by the process by which it’s communicated. We are also going to share strategies to help professionals model the good communication we encourage parents to have with each other.

CLE Opportunity – Best Practices for Quickly Taking Your Family Law Neutral Work Online

The need for neutral support in families seems to be increasing during these challenging times. Providers must rapidly shift to delivering this work in a remote setting. Join us for this remote session to learn how to ethically and effectively conduct your neutral work virtually. Presenters will discuss best practices on a broad range of essential topics for delivering the best online experience, including remotely establishing trust and authority, managing participants and process, addressing confidentiality, collecting fees, and memorializing agreements.

Community Chat – Beyond Conflict: Meeting Children’s Needs in the Time of COVID-19

Children are currently dealing with increased levels of uncertainty, anxiety, and isolation. MindyMitnick will talk about how children may be experiencing the world right now as well as things professionals working with families need to consider, such as the impact of having disruptions in routines, increased parental stress, and how not knowing when the world will be safe again impacts the well being of children. There will be an opportunity to ask questions throughout the presentation on April 17.

Community Chat – Mediation/arbitration option for temporary hearings not heard by courts right now

Last week a group of ADR providers began discussions and ultimately began designing a pilot program to assist the District Courts, parties, and lawyers gain access to temporary relief in light of the case restrictions imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Remote Expedited Temporary Relief (“RETR”) program is intended to assist represented parties who are in need temporary relief to allow the parties an opportunity to navigate this health crisis with a temporary Order in place. This program seeks to provide families expedited temporary relief in a truncated, binding form of ADR. The Program Description and Order of appointment for RETR will be discussed during our Community Conversation on

Community Chat – Emerging Use of Remote ADR During COVID-19: An interactive online discussion facilitated by Carl Arnold.

Many mediators and other ADR providers are going exclusively online in order to avoid spreading COVID-19.  Join us as we discuss emerging tips, tricks, tools and methods as mediators and other ADR providers go online.  Bring your questions and ideas.  What do you think is better about remote facilitation?  What concerns do you have?  This will be an online facilitated discussion.

March 13 Lunch & Learn Appointment of a Special Master in custody and parenting time cases:

What is the requisite process under Rule 53 and when is appointment
appropriate?

Location:
The CLE will take place from noon to 1pm at the Ramsey County Courthouse, room 40 (lower level).
The building address is 15 West Kellogg Boulevard.
Registration is from 11:30 a.m. to noon, meeting is from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
BRING YOUR OWN LUNCH

February 14 Lunch & Learn – Working Session: Identifying Best Practices for PC

February’s Lunch & Learn is a working session! Victoria Elsmore, Esq. will moderate as we identify best practices for the Parenting Consultant role. Up for discussion are: appointment order modifications, training for pitfalls, judicial enforcement options, predictive factors for positive outcomes, and getting paid! Forget the war stories and bring your solutions as we take this first step.

January 10 Lunch & Learn

Location:
The CLE will take place from noon to 1 pm at the Ramsey County Courthouse, room 40 (lower level).
The building address is 15 West Kellogg Boulevard.
Registration is from 11:30 a.m. to noon, meeting is from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
BRING YOUR OWN LUNCH

2020 Lunch & Learn AND COMMUNITY CHAT Dates

May 29 – We Got This: How Hennepin County Family Court Services Is Meeting the Challenge in the Time of COVID
June 5 – Bridging Corona Conflict: Applying the Bridging Class Techniques to Pandemics
June 19 – Language Interpreting in Remote Hearings
June 26, 2020 – Supervised visitation Emilyn Haugen
July 10, 2020 -We are NOT all in this together: How the pandemic lands on marginalized kids & families
July 24, 2020 -How to do a remote evidentiary hearing – Referees Rossow and Knight
August, 2020 – How Covid-19 impacted the legislature

LUNCH & LEARNS:
October 9, 2020 Ramsey County Court House
November 13, 2020 Hennepin County Justice Center

Half-Day Conference-November

Join us November 15, 2019 to discuss the Legislature and policy issues important to the AFCC. This half-day conference will be highlighted by remarks from Associate Justice Paul C. Thissen, who will reflect on his previous tenure in the Minnesota Legislature and provide valuable insight into the mind of a policymaker. We will also be learning tips and strategies on how to speak with legislators from some of the most experienced and cutting-edge professionals in this realm.

Half-Day Conference – October 2019

Join us on October 11, 2019 for our AFCC-MN chapter’s annual half-day conference to hear what is happening in our chapter, as well as:
The Personality-Disordered Litigant: Strategies for the family law professional in and out of the courtroom.

Lunch & Learn: Social Media and its Impact on Family Law

Join us for our 1 hour Lunch & Learn presentation to hear how social media has made an impact on family law. In an era where social media has become more prevalent than anyone could have imagined, join attorneys Tifanne Wolter and Carlo Faccini for a look at how social media can influence your practice.

Chemical Health and Parenting Capacity – Proper use of chemical health evaluations and other investigative tools

Join us for our 1 hour Lunch & Learn presentation to hear what elements constitute comprehensive chemical health evaluations and which investigative services are available when substance use in parents is known or alleged and parenting capacity is questioned.

Film Viewing/Discussion of Broken Places

Join us for a special screening of the documentary film, Broken Places.  Reception, Networking and Facilitated Discussion of film included.

March 25 Lunch & Learn – Child-Focused Parenting Time Guide

Learn more about the revised Child Focused Parenting Time Guide at AFCC MN’s Lunch and Learn March 25 – (This is a repeat of our December 13 event) the content, process, guiding principles, and “what’s next” for the Guide.

January 25th Lunch & Learn

Join the MN Chapter of AFCC for a practical guide to supervised
parenting time in family court matters.

OCTOBER 23 HALF DAY CONFERENCE

EVALUATING AND ADDRESSING SUBSTANCE ABUSE DURING PARENTING TIME AND CUSTODY DISPUTES
Save the Date – October 23, 2018!

SEPTEMBER 14 LUNCH & LEARN

Coercive control is a strategy some people use to dominate their intimate partners. It limits the abilities of victims to break free, assert their autonomy, and cooperate with authorities. Coercive control can occur with or without physical violence.

MAY 16 LUNCH & LEARN

Join us for an hour-long panel discussion on the topic of Minnesota’s New Parenting Expense Adjustment.

ANNUAL HOLIDAY PARTY WITH FAMILY LAW LEAGUE FRIDAY DECEMBER 8, 2017

A drink ticket and light snacks will be provided.
If you have a team, please determine a team name and use it when you RSVP so we can track the teams.
AFCC-MN & FLL will donate $500, in the winning team’s name, to the charity of their choice.

2017 AFCC-MN ANNUAL CONFERENCE

Our featured speaker for this year’s annual conference is Shawn C. Marsh, Ph.D. Dr. Marsh is the Director of Judicial Studies and Associate Professor of Communication Studies and Social Psychology at the University of Nevada, Reno.

APRIL 27 LUNCH & LEARN

Please join us April 27, 2017 at the Ramsey County Courthouse for a Lunch & Learn with Nancy Ver Steegh of the Mitchell Hamline School of Law and a panel of experts including Karen Irvin, PhD, LMFT, Referee Jim Street (Second Judicial District), and Victoria Brenner(Attorney at Collins Buckley and President-elect of AFCC-MN)

APRIL 18 HALF DAY CONFERENCE

In this half-day workshop designed for all ADR professionals, Dr. Kodalen will explore this working relationship through a combination of didactic presentation, lively audience participation/discussion, and a Q&A session with a diverse panel of experts from the mental health field.

RESILIENCE: THE BIOLOGY OF STRESS & THE SCIENCE OF HOPE

Join us for a special screening of the documentary film, Resilience:  The Biology of Stress and The Science of Hope.
Resilience chronicles the birth of a new movement among pediatricians, therapists, educators and communities, who are using cutting-edge brain science to disrupt cycles of violence, addiction and disease.

FEBRUARY 15 HALF DAY CONFERENCE

AFCC-MN is hosting a half-day continuing education seminar on overnights for young children. Featuring Dr. Marsha Kline Pruett, this presentation combines practical clinical experience and the latest empirical information to illuminate what we know and to distinguish it from what we wish we knew about young children and overnights.

2015 ANNUAL CONFERENCE

Have you ever been frustrated working with clients who do not trust or do not understand “the system?”  Working with families can be difficult, as we all know.  Regardless of what role we serve (attorneys, therapists, ADR providers, judicial officers, financial neutrals), these challenges are more pronounced when our clients are reluctant to engage our services, and can be downright overwhelming when one or more party is self-represented.

2016 ANNUAL CONFERENCE

Our featured speaker for this exciting and informative day is Dr. Benjamin Garber. Dr. Garber is a clinical child psychologist, freelance writer and director of HealthyParent.com in Nashua, New Hampshire. Dr. Garber holds advanced degrees in child and family development, clinical psychology, and psycholinguistics from Pennsylvania State University and the University of Michigan. 

APRIL 8, 2016 LUNCH & LEARN

A panel consisting of organizational representatives and private parenting time supervisors will discuss protocols, pitfalls, and best practices for supervised parenting time.  Attendees will learn more about options for supervision as well as tips for finding the right fit for particular types of cases.

FEBRUARY 2016 HALF DAY CONFERENCE

AFCC-MN  is sponsoring a half-day continuing education seminar on therapeutic intervention for young children caught up in parenting time disputes. Attendees will receive information about the nuts and bolts of doing therapy with young children in these situation, the pitfalls for therapists doing court involved therapy, relevant issues for court proceedings; and a proposed model order and the AFCC guidelines regarding best practices.

JANUARY 8, 2016 LUNCH & LEARN

Resmaa Menakem, of Unbound Therapy Services, will present a theory challenging the idea that conflict between partners is unhealthy or something to avoid. Instead, he encourages both people to stand by what they need and who they are—but to do so with compassion rather than competitiveness or vengefulness.

NOVEMBER 2015 HALF DAY CONFERENCE

Are the kids alright?  How do you know when the children are at high risk during a divorce or juvenile court case? How are some children so resilient? How can we help build resilience for the children involved with the cases we touch? Our panelists will discuss risk and resilience in children whose parents are in the process of divorce and in children who are involved in the child protection system.

ST CLOUD EVENT: DIVORCING THE FAMILY FARM

Farming is unique from most businesses.  If you have ever worked on a case involving a farm divorce or hope to in the future, you know that coming up with an accurate accounting of income and assets can at times be burdensome.  The need to go beyond just looking at the tax return and dig deeper into each clients’ “documents” is vital for a true equitable division.

OCTOBER 9, 2015 LUNCH & LEARN

Now is your chance to engage in a facilitated discussion with mental health and legal colleagues to better understand the new best interest factors.  This Town Hall Forum will be facilitated by attorney Michael Boulette and family law neutral Jennifer Joseph.

JUNE 12, 2015 LUNCH & LEARN

Attendees will expand their general knowledge about interpreter training, qualifications, and scheduling.  Tips will be provided for using interpreters in family court cases, including considerations of cultural competency and domestic violence.

DAKOTA COUNTY LUNCH & LEARN: CYBERSTALKING 101 REPLAY

Stalking, harassment and similar issues are no longer limited to a neighborhood. Harassment and electronic abuse can now occur from anywhere. This CLE will discuss the issues and the effect on individuals, as well how these offenses are committed.  Brook Schaub, manager of the computer Forensics Department at Eide Bailly is our featured speaker.

NOVEMBER 14, 2014 HALF DAY

Some of the most difficult custody cases are often those involving allegations of sexual abuse.  Abuse allegations, whether made by the child directly or by a parent or family member on his or her behalf, can result in increased involvement from a variety of professionals including law enforcement, child protective services, mental health professionals, and forensic psychologists and interviewers.

OCTOBER 30, 2014 ST. CLOUD LUNCH & LEARN

This presentation will introduce participants to a four-part framework for addressing custody cases involving domestic violence and will include an overview of new tools to apply in this context.

OCTOBER 7, 2014 LUNCH & LEARN

Recent research has shown that there are predictable behaviors evident in high conflict families. Understanding these dynamics will assist the family law attorneys, mental health professionals, guardians and other neutrals to assist families through conflict

JUNE 17, 2014: ST. CLOUD LUNCH & LEARN

Please join us from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 17, 2014, for a panel discussion of the roles in family court moderated by Ellen Abbott, co-author of the recently updated Minnesota CLE Summary Guide Comparing Roles in Family Cases.

2014 ANNUAL CONFERENCE

Still relying on that guide in your arguments to the court or when issuing parenting time decisions? Then this conference is for you! Learn how social science research conducted both nationally and internationally over the past 15 years can improve your approach to resolving, arguing and deciding parenting time issues.

JUNE 27, 2014 LUNCH & LEARN

Ever wondered about the interplay of child protection and family court? Here’s your chance to hear more about both courts and how they interact. Our panelists provide information about these two systems, including screening, the evolution of these courts over time, and current trends.

APRIL 11, 2014 LUNCH & LEARN

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.

FEBRUARY 20, 2014 HALF DAY CONFERENCE

Even though Minnesota’s winter of 2014 was again breathing down our backs with yet another snow storm, AFCC MN’s half day seminar “Emerging Ethical Issues for Mental Health Professionals and Family Law Attorneys,” was an event well worth leaving home and office to attend!

JANUARY 23, 2014 LUNCH & LEARN

Michael Boulette, J.D., and Nancy Darcy, M.A., L.P., moderated a panel consisting of Nancy Zalusky-Berg, J.D., Beth Harrington, Ph.D., L.P., Judy Sherwood, LMFT, and Richard Stebbins, J.D. on the topic of Parent Consulting, the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

AFCC & FAMILY LAW LEAGUE JOINT CLE AND RECEPTION

In a standing room only event held November 14, 2013, AFCC-MN and the Family Law League joined together to host a joint social event and CLE/CEU presentation at Kieran’s Irish Pub in Minneapolis.

APRIL 2013: AUTISM, THE COMING TSUNAMI OF FAMILY COURT; WHAT EVERY LAWYER NEEDS TO KNOW

Learn how to best help your clients and their families deal with this multidimensional and complex disorder as they try to successfully navigate the legal, emotional and financial process of divorce. Learn the differences between Autism, Asperger’s Disorder & Pervasive Developmental Disorder…often referred to as
the Autism Spectrum Disorders.

FEBRUARY 2013: HEARING THE CHILD:FORENSIC INTERVIEWING OF CHILDREN AND CHILD INCLUSIVE MEDIATION

Join us for a half-day conference presentation and discussion about these emerging topics in family law. We will discuss how children can appropriately be included in the court process and the difference between forensic interviewing and mediation. Speakers will discuss the tips for recognizing reliable forensic interviews, tips for conducting child-inclusive mediation and the traps to avoid.

April 24 (postponed from March 13) Lunch Time Learn: Appointment of a Special Master in custody and parenting time cases – ON LINE ONLY

What is the requisite process under Rule 53 and when is appointment
appropriate?

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