On Sept. 8, the DeKalb Bar Association Family Law Section presented its Second Annual CLE on Advanced Custody Litigation. Held at the State Bar headquarters in downtown Atlanta, the program was well attended and well received. Many attendees praised the selection of topics and the quality of the presentations. Several even said the program was one of the best CLEs they had ever attended. Others noted that the interdisciplinary mix of speakers and attendees made the discussion very rich.
Alice W. Limehouse chaired the program. Presentations included:
A panel discussion facilitated by M. Debra Gold on “The Evolution of Child Custody Law and Litigation in Georgia,” that included reflections by M.T. Simmons, Megan Miller, Martin Huddleston, and Nancy McGarrah, Ph.D.
A presentation by Charles E. Bailey and Michael Fishman, M.D., on “Challenges and Solutions in Custody Cases Involving Substance Abuse.”
Presentations by Marsha Schechtman, L.C.S.W., and Rebecca Crumrine Rieder on “The Child’s Point of View,” in which they examined the negative impact high conflict custody litigation often has on children and how to minimize such impact.
Lunchtime group discussions facilitated by Charles E. Bailey and Kim Oppenheimer, Ph.D.
Information regarding DFCS Issues in Custody Cases, presented by Lila N. Bradley and Lynn H. Goldman.
A cluster of presentations involving Guardian Ad Litem issues facilitated by Kyla S. Lines. The subjects addressed included “Special Evidentiary Issues,” such as childhood hearsay, by Gerald W. Bruce; “Procedural Quirks in Cases Involving Guardians ad Litem,” by Eileen J. Shuman; “Financing the GAL Investigation Through Trial,” by Georgia K. Lord; “Understanding Bias,” by M. Debra Gold; and, “Challenging the GAL Report and Recommendation,” by Dawn R. Smith.
Information regarding “Special Custody Considerations for Military Families,” presented by Patricia D. Shewmaker and Steven P. Shewmaker.
Advice on “Parenting Plan Pitfalls,” by Alice W. Limehouse, including suggestions about how to avoid a revolving door of modification and contempt actions.
A Judges Panel Discussion, with Hon. Gregory A. Adams, Superior Court of DeKalb County; Hon. Jane C. Barwick, Superior Court of Fulton County; and the Hon. Arch W. McGarity, Superior Court of Henry County. Georgia K. Lord facilitated the judges’ discussion.
The program wrapped up with a happy hour at the adjacent Glenn Hotel. After spending the day sitting inside the State Bar headquarters, the Glenn Hotel’s rooftop bar was the perfect place to enjoy the beautiful evening while chatting with friends. The happy hour was jointly hosted by the DeKalb Bar, Family Law Section and the Atlanta Bar Family Section.
The Family Law Section looks forward to presenting the third annual CLE program on Advanced Custody Litigation next September.