Conference Materials

Annual Parental Defense and Office of Guardian Ad Litem Conference

April 11-12, 2019

The Doubletree Hotel, Park City, UT

Thursday, April 11, 2019

7:30- 7:45  Registration and Breakfast
7:45-8:00 Welcome and Business

Legislative Update Senator Todd Wieler

Senator Weiler has represented District 23 in the Utah Senate since 2012. He is an attorney by profession and is the Vice President and General Counsel for Logistics Specialties, Inc.

Senator Weiler will be presenting on the bills passed during the 2019 legislative session that most directly impact child welfare practice. 

9:30- 10:30

Understanding the Families First Act Diane Moore, Division of Child and Family Services Director

10:00-10:15  Networking Break 

Families First Services Panel


11:15-12:15  Ethics: Ammon Nelson
12:15-1:30 LUNCH

Explanation of Breakout Schedule and room assignments 

Breaktout A: How to Use the State's Expert to Benefit Your Client by Dr. Beisinger

Breaktout B: How to Use Your Expert Witness to Attack the State's Case by Anna Trupp and Doug Goldsmith


First Breakout Session 


Second Breakout Session


transfer back to ballroom

 4:00 -5:00 Caselaw Update and Appellate Roster Training by Margaret Lindsay, Utah County Public Defenders Office, and Mary Westby, Staff Attorney for Utah Court of Appeals 

Friday, April 12, 2019

7:30-7:45 Registration and Breakfast



KEYNOTE ADDRESS by Judge Robert Thorne



Explanation of Breakout Sessions and Room Asssignments 


Breakout Options

A.  Coordinating Appellate Strategy Across the State by Rob Latham, Sara Pfrommer, Anthony Saunders, and Jordan Putnam

Participants on this panel all had significant appellate victories in the past year. They will be disccussing the strategies they utelized in their appeals, as well as helping foster discussion about how parental defenders can better coordinate our appellate efforts across the state. 

B.  Practice Pointers by Leslie Galacher, Thomas Sitterud, and Michael Rawson

One of our biggest requests from PDA members every year on training topics is for more "war stories" and practical pointers for parental defenders to put in their toolboxes. Each of these presenters are highly respected by their peers, and will be engaging in a discussion about real-life examples and innovative ideas of how to improve practice. 

C. Undestanding the Adversary by Nicole Lowe, Nicole Salazar-Hall, and 

What would it be like to really get into the mind of your opponent? Each of these presenters worked for a different office within the child welfare system before "seeing the light" and moving to parental defense work. They will be sharing insights that their professional experiences gave them on how to effectively handle your adversary, both in and out of the courtroom.

D. Mental Health Assessments by Brent Hall and (speaker)


Breakout Session 1

10:30-11:30  Breakout Session 2 

Mid-Morning Break and Awards

11:45-12:45  Professionalism and Civility Challenge by Grant Dickinson 

Pick up boxed lunches