April 01, 2021

ABA symposium to focus on effects of COVID-19 on family law

CHICAGO, April 1, 2021 — The American Bar Association Family Law Section is holding its Family Law Quarterly Virtual Symposium on April 8 featuring two panels discussing the impact COVID-19 has had on family law. The symposium is co-sponsored by New York Law School.

The panels are:

“Virtual Hearings, Family Court Proceedings and the Future” This panel will consider the impact of court closures and the use of virtual court proceedings in the context of family law, for both domestic and international cases. ABA Family Law Section chair, Michael A. Mosberg of Aronson Mayefsky & Sloan in New York City, will give opening remarks. The panelists are Samuel Schoonmaker, The Schoonmaker Legal Group LLC, Stamford, Connecticut; Elizabeth G. Thornburg, Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professor and Richard R. Lee Endowed Professor of Law, SMU Dedman School of Law, Dallas; Lynda B. Munro, Connecticut Superior Court Judge (Ret.), Pullman & Comley, Bridgeport, Connecticut; Nathalie Gonzalez, legal director, Legal Information for Families Today, New York City; and Melissa Kucinski, MK Family Law, Washington, D.C. They will discuss legal and practical challenges presented by virtual proceedings in the family law context and consider the extent to which virtual proceedings may be incorporated into future practice.

1-2:35 p.m.

“Addressing System Gaps: Representing Clients and Accessing Services” — This panel of experts will consider how COVID-19 has impacted systems for providing interventions, supports or oversight in family law, as well as some best practices for client representation and advocacy. Specific areas for discussion include child welfare, individuals with special needs, surrogacy and domestic violence. Lisa Grumet, visiting associate professor of law; director, Diane Abbey Law Institute for Children and Families; faculty editor/editor-in-chief, Family Law Quarterly; New York Law School, New York City, will give opening remarks. The panelists are Solangel Maldonado, Eleanor Bontecou Professor of Law, Seton Hall University School of Law; Dawne Mitchell, attorney-in-charge, Juvenile Rights Practice, the Legal Aid Society, New York City; Margaret “Pegi” Price, National University, Porterville, California; Seema Mohapatra, associate professor of law and Dean’s Fellow, Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, Indianapolis, Indiana; Sarah White, senior attorney and director, Clayton Family Advocacy Office, Atlanta Legal Aid Society; Jamie Bormann, deputy director, Crisis Line & Safe House of Central Georgia, Macon, Georgia.

3-4:35 p.m.

This event is free for members of the press. For media credentialing and more information, please contact Priscilla Totten at 202-662-1094 or Priscilla Totten@americanbar.org.

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