8:45 AM – 3:15 PM
Widener Law Commonwealth
Administration Building, Room A180
3737 Vartan Way
Harrisburg, PA 17110
Children in the Courts: A Developed or Developing System
Please join us for the Widener Commonwealth Law Review symposium. This day-long program engages in the question of whether children and parents are properly protected in court proceedings including child custody and dependency hearings. Pennsylvania has made a large push toward creating a better environment and overall system for children in the courts.
Some people, however, may have other ideas, opinions, and suggestions on how to make it better. Throughout the day, you will hear the different perspectives on this issue from a wide variety of academics, practitioners, and judges. In addition, you will hear from a panel comprised of a local Guardian ad Litem, solicitor, and parent attorney who will discuss potential ethical issues practitioners face when representing a party involved in a child proceeding.
Schedule of Events
8:15–8:45 am Registration
8:45 am Welcome and Opening Remarks
Christian Johnson, Dean and Professor of Law, Widener Law Commonwealth
Jo-Anne Thompson, Editor-in-Chief, Widener Commonwealth Law Review
Alexandra Sholley, Pennsylvania Law & Symposium Editor, Widener Commonwealth Law Review
9:00 - 9:30 am — Introduction to Pennsylvania Children in the Courts
Sandra Moore, Director, Office of Children & Families in the Courts
9:30 – 10:30 am Panel 1 — Challenges in the System
Dale Margolin Cecka, Professor of Law, Richmond School of Law and Director, Jeanette Lipman Family Law Clinic; Jaya Connors, Assistant Professor, Albany Law School and Director, Family Violence Litigation Clinic
Moderator: Dean Christian Johnson
10:30 – 11:45 am Panel 2 — Moving Forward
Merril Sobie, Professor of Law, Pace Law School; Sarah Katz, Associate Clinical Professor of Law, Temple University School of Law; Kara Finck, Professor of Law, University of Pennsylvania Law School and Director, Interdisciplinary Child Advocacy Clinic
Moderator: Professor Mary Kate Kearney
11:45 am –12:15 pm Lunch (A buffet lunch is set up in the hallway. Eating is permitted inside A180.)
12:15 – 1:30 pm Panel 3 — Why Fix What Isn’t Broken?
The Honorable Michael H. Sholley, Judge, Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas, 17th Judicial District; The Honorable Jennifer L. Rogers, Judge, Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas, 11th Judicial District
1:30 – 3:00 pm Panel 4 — Legal Advocacy and Ethics: A Case Study
Marisa McClellan, Esq., Solicitor, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania; Heath Brosius, Esq., Law Office of Heath W. Brosius, LLC; Erin Komada, Esq., Scaringi Law
Moderator: Robert Davis, Jr., Esq.
3:00 pm Closing Remarks
5.5 CLE (4 substantive, 1.5 ethics) credits available
Online Registration and Payment Information:
Early: $90 (ends March 1)
Discounted: $85 (alumni, government lawyers, and academics)