Live on USTREAM: The 8th Annual Battered Mothers Custody Conference


The 8th Annual Battered Mothers Custody Conference




 Click here to watch the conference LIVE on USTREAM!


Friday, January 7th, 2011


4:00 – 5:30 p.m. Special pre-conference workshop: Karen Winner, Esq. How to Think Like a Lawyer on Legal Billing Issues

 • Registration begins at 4:00 p.m.
• Exhibitors, book sales, and Silent (Chinese) Auction beginning at 5 p.m.

6:00 Opening greetings by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and other BMCC co-sponsors

song by Tynia Canada

6:30 – 8:00 Lundy Bancroft

8:00 – 9:00 p.m. Meet and Greet with Coffee, Tea, and Cookies

9:00 – Special Friday Night Workshop: Meditation with Rev. Anne Curtin


Saturday, January 8th, Morning Session

8:30 Plenary I: Attorney and Author Wendy Murphy, J.D. : Landmark Massachusetts ruling: Ensuring the Rights of Disabled Victims in Judicial Proceedings.

9:15 – 10:15 Introductions by Barry Nolan Plenary II: Protective Mother Holly Collins and her son Zachary Collins with Attorney Alan Rosenfeld, J.D.

10:15 – 10:30 Break

10:30 – 11:30 Barry Goldstein, J.D., Joan Zorza, J.D. and Nancy Erickson, J.D. Panel on the book: Domestic Violence, Child Custody, and Abuse: Legal Practices and Policy Issues

11:30 – 12:15 Psychologist and Expert Joy Silberg, Ph.D.: Perspective of a Psychologist on the Front Lines

12:15 – 12:30 Break


Saturday, January 8th, Afternoon Session

12: 30 – 1:30 Saturday Working Luncheon: Professor and Producer Garland Waller: Screening and Discussion of No Way Out But One (working title): An Independent Documentary on Holly Collins – The First Woman to Be Granted Political Asylum on Grounds of Domestic Violence

1:45 – 3:30 Panel: Karin Huffer, Ph.D., Renee Beeker, Wendy Murphy, J.D., & Robin Yeamans, J.D.: Groundbreakers Present A New Trajectory: Managing Family Court Cases

3:45 – 4:45 Concurrent Workshop Session I

1. Renee Beeker & Paul Holdorf: The National Family Court Watch Project

The National Family Court Watch Project believes that large-scale data will reveal national trends and ignite a call for change in the family court system. The project is a conversation springboard and uses the technique of “quiet observer” to get a sense of what’s happening inside family courts. We report those findings publicly through a new conduit and work with judges and the public to find solutions. We will be sharing latest data update as well as information about the increasing involvement from professionals and educators as we expand this effort around the country.

2. Joy Silberg: Using Expert Witness Testimony in Family Court Child Abuse Cases

This presentation will review some of the effective ways to use expert witness testimony in family court child abuse cases. The roles for an expert in these cases can include criticizing existing custody evaluations, reviewing symptoms and disclosures of the child, or being court appointed to do a child protection evaluation. The presenter will emphasize how to avoid pitfalls and what points to emphasize when helping a judge look at the information from a new perspective.


Saturday, January 8th, Afternoon Session


Concurrent Workshop Session I (cont.)

3. Massachusetts Protective Mothers for Custodial Justice, Inc. RESPECT FOR ADVOCACY– PART II of “The Basics” RESPECT FOR ADVOCACY (PART II of “The Basics”)

I. Advocacy Basics

Working with Battered Mothers: Active Listening, Getting to the Matter, Getting to the HELP!
Supporting Battered Mothers: Resources, Abilities
Using Systems that Support Battered Women, Using Supports for Battered Mothers: What They Offer, What They Can’t & Why We All Need Each Other

II. Advocacy as Activism

– When to Resist, When To Comply & Whose Call That Is 
– Unity: Defining our “Same Page”
– Eliminating the Extraneous
– Defending What We Fought For In the New War for our Children

4. Karin Huffer, Crystal Morgan-Huffer, & Jason Huffer: Silenced No More – Self Protection in the High Tech Age: You are Not Paranoid–Just Hypervigilant and Smart

Thirty self-protective actions you must take to ensure your safety and self protection in this high tech age. Domestic Violence victims suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and if they are stalked, intruded upon, and left unprotected they suffer legal abuse syndrome. Learn to safeguard yourself in and out of court proceedings. Privacy protection, the Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act, and Violence Against Women Act provide more protection than you may think.

5. Barry Goldstein, J.D.: How to Use the Book “Domestic Violence, Child Abuse, and Custody.”

Earlier in the day, Joan Zorza, Nancy Erickson and Barry Goldstein will discuss how to use the research in the book to help your case. The workshop will be a more interactive session in which protective mothers can ask questions about how to use the book in their individual cases.

5:00 – 6:00 p.m. Concurrent Workshop Session 2

1. Erica Olsen: Violence Against Women in the Digital Age

Do you know how easy it is for some abusers to track their victim’s every move, to monitor everything they do on a computer, in their cars, or on certain phones? Like many criminals, perpetrators of stalking and domestic violence are often ahead of the curve on the use of technology. Through the Internet, high-tech global positioning systems (GPS), cell-phones and handheld computers, abusers use technology to further harm and control their victims. Understanding technology misuse is crucial to both supporting victims and holding offenders accountable. Drawing from survivor experiences and through videos and demonstrations, this training will illustrate the safety risks of phone, GPS, camera, Internet, and computer technologies.

2. Karen Borders: High Risk vs. High Conflict Family Law Matters, Identifying the Differences

This workshop will discuss Family Violence Risk Assessments which address high-conflict risk cases, which get labeled as high conflict cases and rarely get the proper assessment, leaving the risk to children and to abuse victims. While the goal remains to serve the best interest of the children, it is critical to prove or disprove any allegations before determining best interest of the children. This new risk based approach is well rooted in evidence-based practices and truly addresses the best interest of the children while keeping safety as the priority. Courts throughout the United States are recognizing this multi-disciplinary team approach and methods of assessment in handling these volatile matters.

3. Nancy S. Erickson, J.D., LL.M., M.A. (Forensic Psychology): On Custody Evaluations

We will address as many of the following questions as time permits: Why are Custody Evaluations (CEs) ordered by courts? Have custody courts always used evaluators? Are they helpful to courts? Which mental health professionals (MHPs) are authorized to conduct them? How can I tell which MHPs are good evaluators? What rules, if any, are they bound to follow? What are the financial and other costs of CEs? How can I avoid an order for a CE? How can I prepare for one if necessary? How can I fight a bad one — including one that uses against protective parents junk science like Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS)? What other psychological theories should I watch out for? What psychological “tests” are often used? Are they valid and reliable? How can I fight a bad CE in court? How can I report an incompetent or biased evaluator?

4. Dara Carlin & Dr. Joyce Braak: Advocacy with an Open Case

Professional advocacy is one thing but when you’re a mom with an open family court case, you’re dealing with an entirely different ball of wax; a mistake for you doesn’t mean a disciplinary reprimand – it could cost you your kids. This workshop will identify factors to bear in mind as you fight for your children (and your life!) with consideration for strategies that have worked (and failed). More than simply giving a presentation, I hope to encourage an exchange of experiences that will generate a list of ideas that we can disseminate to all conference participants. Mom Bloggers, especially – please come! 


Saturday, January 8th, Evening Session


6:00 – 7:30 p.m. Screening of the documentary Power and Control: Domestic Violence in America in the main conference ballroom (take-out dinner available on site at hotel restaurant)

7:30 pm Ben Atherton Zeman: Voices of Men Redux [Warning note: Includes graphic images of violence.]

9:00 Special Saturday Night After-Hours Session: Strength in Numbers: Sharing stories, sharing strategies, and organizing at the local level. Organized by Nancy Erickson, J.D., Janice Levenson (Protective Mothers Alliance), Renee Beeker (National Family Court Watch), and Paul Holdorf, J.D.

We are calling all protective mothers to meet and organize at their local levels. We will discuss general objectives and report on progress made in 2010 for protective moms (PMs). We will then break up into small groups based on residence (or location of the court involved, whichever is more important): county, part of the state, state, or other geographic area. In the small groups, facilitated by PMs, we will find out what are the worst problems for protective moms in that geographic area, what are the resources for PMs, and what we think can be done to help PMs. Each group will report back to the larger group, and we will plan our strategies for 2011.


Sunday, January 9th Morning Session


8:30 Plenary 2: Attorney Toby Kleinman: Our children are at risk, and their health is endangered: How can we hold the court accountable to protect them?

9:30 Plenary 3: Attorney Michael Lesher: Facing family court dangers: CPS, law guardians, experts — Oh, my!

10:30 – 10:45 Break

10:45 – 12:30 Panel: Join Up! Leaders of the protective mothers’ movement share what they’ve been doing—and ask you to join them…

– Janice Levinson/Lundy Bancroft, Protective Mothers Alliance
– Kathleen Russell, Center for Judicial Excellence
– Holly Collins
– Dara Carlin
– Ayanna Najuma, Inspirational Spirit of the Phoenix
– American Mothers Political Party
– Nancy Carroll:
– Claudine Dombrowski:
– Lorraine Tipton:
– Melanie Smith: Australian Shared Parenting Law Debate
– Randi James-
– Kathy Lee Scholp & Jay Sutter: H.eroes O.n L.ine DE.fense N.etwork

12:45 – 2:00 Sunday luncheon– Q & A and Community Dialogue

2:00 Close

For more information, please visit:

We will be live streaming some – if not all – of the weekend’s events, and we’ll also make the video available online after the conference.

For further information, you can also contact with the subject line “BMCC.”


To add a comment, use your name or a pen name. All email addresses are kept private.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s