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 "Opportunities for Enhanced Practice: Family Court Response to
Domestic Violence"

March 3, 2017
Quinnipiac School of Law
North Haven, CT
8:30am - 3:30pm

Fee: $50
includes boxed lunch

CLEs Available!

Click here to register!

This event is open ONLY to:
Private Attorneys · Legal Services Attorneys · Guardians ad Litem
CSSD Family Services Counselors · Family Court Judges
Domestic Violence Advocates

Please join us for a day of strategic discussion and capacity building in regard to Connecticut's family court response to domestic violence. Oftentimes allegations of domestic violence in custody and visitation disputes have proven difficult to deal with in family court.  These cases are often highly emotional in nature and at times there is a lack of understanding  of risk factors that may compromise safety of the children and all parties involved. 

In recent years a body of credible research has arisen providing important means to assist judges, attorneys, evaluators and other professionals in evaluating and litigating claims of domestic violence in custody matters.  Hear from nationally recognized experts as they discuss various perspectives and share strategies to enhance Connecticut's current family court system's response to claims of domestic violence.

Participants will walk away with useful tools that can be applied to child custody, visitation and parenting arrangements. Such strategies will include a four point system to help identify abuse, understand the nature and context of the abuse, determine the implications of the abuse, and account for the abuse family court decision making.  Additional information will include:

  • A judge's perspective on domestic violence and family court
  • The batterer as a parent
  • Victim-parent perspectives and decision-making

See below for scheduled presenters and the day's agenda. This event qualifies for 6 hours towards your annual CLE requirement in Connecticut. CLE Certificates of Accreditation will be issued upon request.

Scheduled Presenters:

The Honorable Shaun Floerke, Minnesota Judicial Branch, Sixth Judicial District
Shaun Floerke is the District Court judge of the 6th Judicial District of Minnesota, chambered in Duluth (former chief judge).  He was appointed to the bench in July 2004 and elected in 2006 and again in 2010.  Before taking the bench he served as a lead prosecutor, litigation attorney in a private law firm, and as a senior attorney in government civil litigation. Judge Floerke founded and presides over a DWI problem-solving court, serves as Co-Chair of the Minnesota Drug Court Initiative, and is a member of the Minnesota Judicial Council, the governing body for the judiciary in Minnesota. He served on the Minnesota Board on Judicial Standards and regularly presents at Minnesota’s judges conferences. He trains judges and other professionals on domestic violence issues nationally with the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, Futures Without Violence, and with the Domestic Abuse Intervention Project (DAIP). He consults nationally on domestic violence issues and judicial problem-solving interventions. He has presented at the annual conference of the National Association of Drug Court Professionals and was the keynote speaker at the Toward Zero Death Conference in Minnesota in 2013. He was awarded a judicial leadership award by Minnesota Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) in 2011 for his work addressing drunk driving.

Lundy Bancroft, Author/Consultant, domestic abuse and child maltreatment
Lundy Bancroft has twenty-five years of experience specializing in interventions for abusive men and their families. He has authored five books in the field, including the U.S.'s best-selling book on domestic violence, Why Does He Do That?, and the national prizewinner The Batterer as Parent. Lundy is a former Co-Director of Emerge, the nation’s first counseling program for men who batter, and was involved in over 2000 cases as counselor and clinical supervisor. He has also served extensively as a custody evaluator, child abuse investigator, and expert witness. Lundy appears across the continent as a presenter for court personnel, child protective workers, mental health providers, law enforcement officials, and other audiences. He is currently working on a play about battered women's experiences with the child custody system, called "Forbidden to Protect".

Jill Davies, Esq., Deputy Director, Greater Hartford Legal Aid; Author, Domestic Violence Advocacy
Attorney Jill Davies is the deputy director of Greater Hartford Legal Aid, Inc. (GHLA) and directs Building Comprehensive Solutions to Domestic Violence, a key initiative of the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence, in collaboration with GHLA.  Her advocacy on behalf of family violence victims spans three decades.  One aspect of her work is the conception and continued development of the victim-defined approach to advocacy.  She has written and consulted extensively on issues of importance to family violence victims, including advocacy and safety planning, poverty, and legal issues. The author of numerous articles and materials regarding violence against women and family violence, her writing encourages critical thinking and supports improved practice. She is the co-author of the book, Domestic Violence Advocacy 2d: Complex Lives/Difficult Choices, Sage Publications (2014).  Other publications include: Advocacy Beyond Leaving: Helping Battered Women in Contact with Current or Former Partners: A Guide for Advocates, (Futures Without Violence, 2009);  Supervised Visitation Programs: Information for Mothers Who Have Experienced Abuse, (Futures Without Violence, 2007); and  Confidentiality and Information Sharing Issues for Domestic Violence Advocates Working with Child Protection and Juvenile Court Systems, (Greenbook National Technical Assistance Team -NCJFCJ, FWV, APHSA, 2003).

Loretta Frederick, Senior Legal Policy Advisor, Battered Women's Justice Project
Loretta has served as Senior Legal and Policy Advisor of the Battered Women’s Justice Project since 1996. The focus of her current work is improving the capacity of family courts to identify and account for domestic violence in child custody cases. Loretta began her career practicing family law with Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services and founded the statewide Battered Women's Legal Advocacy Project (now Standpoint). Since then she has done training and consultation on domestic violence law and policy with and for judges, advocates, attorneys, prosecutors and law enforcement officers in the U.S and around the world. Her work with the Minnesota State Bar Association has included serving as Chair of the of the Family Law Section and of the Domestic Abuse Committee. She is a 2016 recipient of Minnesota Lawyer newspaper's Awards for Outstanding Service to the Profession.


8:30 - 9:00 Registration
9:00 - 9:10 Opening Remarks
9:10 - 9:15 Overview of the day
9:15 - 10:00 "Victim-Parent Perspectives and Decision Making", Jill Davies, Esq.
10:00 - 10:45 "The Batterer as a Parent", Lundy Bancroft
10:45 - 11:00 Break
11:00 - 11:30 "Domestic Violence, Custody and Visitation: Minimizing Trauma", panel discussion with Lundy Bancroft and Jill Davies, Esq, moderated by the Honorable Shaun Floerke
11:30 - 12:00 Lunch
12:00 - 2:00 "Family Court Decision Making in Domestic Violence Related Custody Matters", Loretta Frederick, JD
2:00 - 2:15 Break
2:15 - 3:15 "Domestic Violence and Family Court: A Judge's Perspective", the Honorable Shaun R. Floerke
3:15 - 3:30 Closing Remarks

Event Co-sponsors: