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December 07, 2022

National Conference Materials Archives - 2015




The Current Rates of Substance Use, Depression and Anxiety within the Legal Profession: A Review of the Results of the ABA/ Hazelden-Betty Ford Foundation Collaborative Research Project 


• Linda Albert, LCSW, CSAC, Manager, Wisconsin Lawyers Assistance Program
• Patrick R. Krill, J.D., LL.M, M.A., L.A.D.C., Director, Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, Legal Professionals Program

The American Bar Association Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs and the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation will present Conference Program the results from their collaboration on a groundbreaking new research project that collected data on the current rates of substance use, depression and anxiety among licensed attorneys throughout the United States. The ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs has the mandate to educate the legal profession concerning alcohol and substance use disorders, anxiety, depression and other mental health issues and to assist and support bar associations and lawyer assistance programs in developing and maintaining methods of providing effective solutions for recovery. Their ability to effectively perform this critical work will be greatly enhanced and supported by this current, reliable data that will more accurately define the scope of the problems they are tasked with addressing and offer insight into the roadblocks that legal professionals face when seeking help. 

Patrick Krill, sponsored by Hazelden Betty Ford Foundati



Neuropsychological Assessment of the Senior Attorney: Conceptual and Clinical Aspects
• Daniel Marson, JD, PhD, University of Alabama at Birmingham

This presentation addresses conceptual and clinical issues surrounding neuropsychological assessment of the senior attorney. Assessment and appropriate management of the senior attorney with cognitive impairment and declining capacity to practice law represents a growing national problem encountered by both lawyer assistance programs and state disciplinary commissions. Neuropsychologists with knowledge of capacity assessment can play an important role in helping these programs obtain accurate assessment and disposition in these often challenging cases. In this talk, Dr. Marson will discuss the role of the neuropsychologist, conceptual aspects of assessing the senior attorney, a clinical method of assessment, and an instructive case study. 
     The information provided in this session will not only assist lap staff in working with senior attorneys but also attorneys who represent senior attorneys in disciplinary actions.

Daniel Marson, sponsored by University of Alabama at Birmingham


Marijuana: From Medicinal to Recreational: What Has Happened Along the Way? 
• Doris C. Gundersen, MD, Medical Director, Colorado Phyth Program 
• James C. Coyle, Attorney Regulation Counsel, Colorado Supreme Court

Dr. Gundersen will talk about the roll out of marijuana from medicinal to recreational use and how it has impacted not only the state of Colorado but our professionals. She will discuss the regulations that have had to be put in place to ensure public safety when professionals are using marijuana, either for medicinal purposes or recreationally. She will discuss the science behind the regulations and how the testing has evolved. 
     Mr. Coyle will discuss the impact legalization of marijuana has had on the regulation of attorneys in Colorado to include the admission process, the disciplinary process and the practice of law. He will discuss the concerns his office is faced with due to medical marijuana and now with the legalization of marijuana. 
     Currently, 23 states and DC have medicinal marijuana. It is anticipated that in the future, many states will follow Colorado in the legalization of recreational marijuana. This session will provide insight not only for LAPs working with judges, lawyers and law students, but also the attorneys representing them in grievance matters and character and fitness matters.


Doris Gundersen, sponsored by CeDAR, Center for Dependency, Addiction and Rehabilitation


Bringing It Together to Help the Distressed Attorney: Discipline, Clinical and Practice Management 
• Barbara Bowe, LICSW, Massachusetts Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers 
• Rodney Dowell, Esq., Executive Director, Massachusetts Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers 
• Lisa Villarreal-Rios, JD, LMSW, LCDC-I, Office of the Chief Disciplinary Counsel, State Bar of Texas


This panel will address how a holistic approach between disciplinary authorities, LAPs and Practice Management Advisor programs can greatly improve attorney outcomes and decrease recidivism rates. Attorney impairment—whether caused by addiction, mental health issues, unanticipated and incapacitating life circumstances, physical illness, stress not yet rising to the level of a mental health issue, or some combination thereof—is ubiquitous and more often than not likely to be experienced by a majority of the profession during a career. The panel will speak from the perspectives of attorney diversion, monitoring, mental health group work, and law practice management, which all play a vital part in improving attorney response to treatment, and helping attorneys practice ethically and implement best practices in business. Especially as comorbidity is common, and identifying the true root of the misconduct is sometimes difficult, multi-faceted recovery programs or plans are most effective. Discussion will include ways these three entities can work synergistically, cases where a holistic method has worked successfully, methods for improving attorney response, and how the existing process could be improved.


How LAP Volunteers Can Save the World 
• Stuart Teicher, Esq., Teicher Professional Growth, LLC


The ethics rules tell us that “lawyers play a vital role in the preservation of society.” But that role is increasingly challenged by issues of technology, globalization, and generational conflicts, which can conspire to create a pressure-packed-practice that is increasingly dangerous to the mental health of lawyers. So who holds together the lawyers? LAPs have a unique role to play in the midst of an historic paradigm shift in attorney ethics and the practice of law is ripe for our message.
     Mr. Teicher, a well-known educator, delivers an inspiring and educational program in which he explains key changes in the ethics rules that are a relevant to our work (Competence, Rule 1.1, Diligence 1.3). He will discuss some key difficult situations that LAPs face, such as dealing with misconduct and our unique relationship to Rule 8.3., and he will describe the evolution of the ethics rules and why the practice is more receptive to the message of LAPs than ever before. He will explain why he believes LAPs are saving the profession…one lawyer at a time.


Stuart Teicher, sponsored by Affinity eHealth




Positive Psychology for Lawyers – An Effective Intervention for Superior Professionalism and Substance Abuse and Relapse Prevention 
• Hallie N. Love, Esq.


The new science of Positive Psychology provides a proactive approach to decrease stress and prevent depression, substance abuse and burnout. Its use is significant to high-quality sobriety, and it is compatible with methods used in substance abuse treatment. Further, many lawyers who would not be inclined to participate in a 12-step program may be attracted to the science and broad range of interventions and positive brain changing exercises afforded by Positive Psychology. 
     Participants will discover how to increase positive emotions using empirically supported Positive Psychology exercises. They will also learn how to do easy-to-teach mindfulness techniques that enhance Positive Psychology exercises. The exercises and techniques help lawyer-clients feel greater life satisfaction, overall well-being, and greater resilience. Additionally they provide awareness for better emotional intelligence necessary for attorney professionalism. 
     By incorporating these exercises participants will also have healthier careers resulting in decreased stress, increased resilience and thus better able to represent their clients.


Co-Occurring Disorders 
• Gregory K. Gable, Psy.D Executive Director, Professionals Programs, Caron Treatment Centers 
• Joseph Garbely, D.O. Medical Director, Addiction Psychiatrist, Caron Treatment Centers 
• C. Stuart Mauney, Esq., Gallivan, White & Boyd, P.A.


Lawyers and other professionals admitted for treatment of substance use disorders present with increasingly complex co-occurring disorders. Depression, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, PTSD, as well as personality features present barriers to recovery. Treatment of these issues in lawyers who seek treatment, along with the presenting substance use disorder is essential.    
     Integration of treatment of co-occurring issues in ways that are compatible and consistent with 12-step recovery is increasingly important. We will discuss the importance of identifying ways of accomplishing such integration, including several examples of integrated approaches.  
     In addition, Mr. Mauney, will share his personal experience in recovery from depression and as chair of the South Carolina Bar task force formed to shine a bright light on the mental health problems that lawyers face.


Gregory Gable and Joseph Garbely, sponsored by Caron Treatment Centers


Past Your “Best By” Date? Helping Lawyers Face Up To Their Mortality 
• Moderator: William D. Slease, Chief Disciplinary Counsel, New Mexico Supreme Court Disciplinary Board 
• Panelists: James C. Coyle, Attorney Regulation Counsel, Colorado Supreme Court
Mark W. Gifford, Bar Counsel, Wyoming State Bar
John Ordiway, MS, LPC, LAT, CBIS, Clinical Director, Wyoming Professional Assistance Program, and 
     Psychology Instructor, Casper College 
Jill Anne Yeagley, MSW, Manager, Lawyers & Judges Assistance Program, State Bar of New Mexico


This panel will discuss the continuing challenge to the profession of dealing with lawyers facing incapacity including: How to recognize a lawyer who may be incapacitated and how to respond to and intervene when the concerns appear serious; the use of “soft” interventions (with a mock intervention for the attendees to witness) and crisis response teams; the role of discipline and LAP programs in managing and assisting incapacitated lawyers and their clients; the importance of lawyers engaging in meaningful succession and transition planning to proactively manage their practice through an incapacity crisis; and the critical need to educating lawyers and those who surround them concerning these issues.


Lunch/Presentation: Myths and Misconceptions about Alcoholics Anonymous 

• Michele Grinberg, J.D., Board Member, General Service Board of Alcoholics Anonymous


How can Alcoholics Anonymous cooperate with legal professionals and courts in ways that do not violate A.A. principles? This question will be addressed along with demystifying A.A. myths and misconceptions, while providing an accurate and current view of A.A. today. Ms. Grinberg, will talk about the role of the General Service Board, and its Cooperation with Professionals Committee. She will share some of her experiences as a Class A (non-alcoholic) Board member.


Michele Grinberg, sponsored by A.A. World Services, Inc.


Reinstatement – Rising to the Challenge 
• Peter J. DeTroy, Esq., Norman Hanson & DeTroy 
• Aria Eee, Esq., Deputy Bar Counsel, Maine Board of Overseers of the Bar 
• William Nugent, Esq., Director, Maine Assistance Program for Lawyers & Judges


Lawyers who have served a suspension/disbarment face unique challenges in their return to the practice of law. As well, courts and disciplinary regulators must assess the impact of petitions for reinstatement from a public protection and integrity of the bar perspective. This panel will review 1) how petitioners’ counsel approach the pursuit of Reinstatement; 2) how to seek and develop support for those Petitions; 3) disciplinary counsel and the bar’s response to Petitions; 4) how to integrate other professionals; 5) “the balancing act” Lawyer Assistance Programs are often required to achieve and 6) how to ensure the public’s and courts’ confidence in rehabilitated lawyers.


Addiction Recognition, Understanding and Intervention Connecting the Continuum: Prevention, Early Intervention and Recovery 
• Michael E. Larson, Esq., Director, Montana Lawyer Assistance Program 
• Maryann Rosenthal, Ph.D., Executive Director, Recovery Ways


This presentation will focus on the legal professional and attorney centered individualized treatment to disrupt the vicious cycle of problematic behaviors that affect the attorney-client relationship as well as those behaviors negatively affecting firms, court systems and government agencies. Dr. Rosenthal and Mr. Larson will explore the stages of addiction and resistance, how to work with the resistance, and apply innovative techniques for relapse prevention that will provide the framework for long lasting change for the individual, the family and his or her work environment. This includes exploring the unique settings found in firms, court systems and government agencies. In addition to providing an overview of the disease process of addiction, topics covered include the development of the warning signs of substance abuse and the impact in the personal and professional life of the substance abuser. Included in this discussion is an overview of why the client does not see and accept the adverse consequences of chemical use. From missing deadlines to missing court dates and from inappropriate comments to verbal abuse, Dr. Rosenthal will guide the discussion from problem to solution, while incorporating resources to end the vicious cycle of continued problem behaviors from using inappropriate solutions.


Maryann Rosenthal, sponsored by Recovery Ways


From “At-Risk” to “Intervened” Upon: Effective Ways to Help Identify and Educate At-Risk Law Students 

• Moderator: David Jaffe, Co-chair, ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs, Law School Assistance Committee and Associate Dean for Student Affairs, American University Washington College of Law 
• Panelists: Rob Durr, Ph.D., Psychologist, Northwestern University School of Law 
Allison Martin, Co-chair, ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs Law School Assistance Committee and 
     Clinical Professor of Law, Indiana University 
Clifford Zimmerman, Clinical Associate Professor of Law, Associate Dean and Dean of Students, Northwestern 
     University School of Law


This presentation will first address how law schools can use attendance policies to help identify students at-risk for mental health or other concerns, examine the results of a national survey of law school attendance policies, and discuss best practices. Next, the panel will focus on how law schools can then intervene to help educate these at-risk students based on principles of resiliency, using the science of emotional intelligence, positive psychology, and mindfulness


Suicide Prevention Now 
• Henry (Chip) Glaze, Director, Lawyers & Judges Assistance Program, The Mississippi Bar 
• Shari R. Gregory, LCSW, JD, Assistant Director and Attorney Counselor, Oregon Attorney Assistance Program 
• Yvette Hourigan, Director, Kentucky Lawyer Assistance Program


This presentation will teach participants about lawyers who are at risk for suicide, how to talk to lawyers who are feeling suicidal and how to present hope using the QPR suicide prevention techniques. Presenters will also discuss resources to assist lawyers who are suicidal. Presenters will include information on how to become QPR certified, and how to teach the legal community about suicide prevention. Presenters will give examples of some success stories. Presenters may take a look at bar rules and or statutes if they exist that urge members of the legal community to be civil/assist and whether or not there is a duty to report to the bar and to whom they would report and exemptions to the reporting statutes. Information gained during this session will not only assist those working with judges, lawyers and law students, but also those lawyers in the community whose clients may be exhibiting suicidal tendencies and for judges who may have defendants in their courtroom that have expressed suicidal thoughts.


Conditional Admission: Past, Present and Future 
• Moderator: Tracy L. Kepler, Office of the Solicitor, USPTO 
• Panelists: Mistie Bauscher, Esq., Briggs & Volyn, LLC 
Briggs Cheney, Esq., Sheehan & Sheehan, PA 
Terry Harrell, Esq., Executive Director, Indiana Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program and Chair, ABA 
     Commission on Lawyers Assistance Programs 
Carol Skiba, Executive Director, New Mexico Board of Bar Examiners Howard Thomas, U.S. Attorney’s Office, 
     District of New Mexico


In August of 2009, the ABA House of Delegates adopted the Model Rule on Conditional Admission to Practice law. The rule was intended to address: (1) the interests of bar examiners by encouraging applicants to candidly disclose past conduct or conditions that might impair the future lawyer’s ability to practice; (2)  the interests of applicants by encouraging them to get the assistance they need to recover from or manage conditions that risk impairment of the ability to practice; and (3)  the interests of admitted lawyers and the public by providing a safety net to ensure diligent and competent practice. The panelists will discuss whether and how the rule has addressed these issues in jurisdictions where adopted; the current impact and the rule from the perspective of Respondent’s counsel, Bar Admissions authorities, Lawyer Assistance Programs and a conditional admittee; and new ideas on ways in which conditional admission can be used in the future to assist these stakeholders.


It’s a Brain Disease … and It Matters! 
• Navjyot Singh Bedi, MD, Medical Director, Talbott Recovery 
• Anne McDonald, Esq., Executive Director, Kansas Lawyers Assistance Program


This program will begin with a discussion by Ms. McDonald of how active alcoholism can lead to ethical violations, as well as damage to the individual and to the legal profession. She will also present case studies of two alcoholic lawyers who faced disciplinary proceedings. Dr. Bedi will then describe the core concept of addiction and discuss some of the factors that led to development of addiction in an individual with specific emphasis on Neurobiology. We will explore the concepts of loss of control and the Brain reward pathway and use it to explain the process of addiction. We will discuss the individual predisposition to addiction and explain why some people develop the disease and others do not. We shall use examples from other chronic diseases to explain how to approach treatment for addictive disorders. This program will provide attendees with insight not only for lap staff but also attorneys representing those judges, lawyers and law students with an addiction that may have led to a grievance matter or bar application character and fitness issue.


Navjyot Singh Bedi, sponsored by Talbott Recovery