Conference Materials

2020 Virtual Annual Conference of the Parental Defense Alliance of Utah

May 14-12, 2020 1-4pm both days

Thursday, May 14, 2020

1pm - 2pm

Keynote Address: Parental Defense: The Most Important Civil Rights Field Nobody Knows by Martin Guggenheim.

Martin Guggenheim is the Fiorello LaGuardia Professor of Clinical Law and co-director of the Family Defense Clinic at New York University School of Law where he has taught since 1973. He served as Director of Clinical and Advocacy Programs from 1988 to 2002 and also was the Executive Director of Washington Square Legal Services, Inc. from 1987 to 2000. For 15 years, he taught the Juvenile Rights Clinic in which students represented accused juvenile delinquents in New York’s Family Court. He then created the Family Defense Clinic, which represents parents and other adult relatives of children in foster care in New York City. 

Guggenheim has been an active litigator in the area of children and the law and has argued leading cases on juvenile delinquency and termination of parental rights in the Supreme Court of the United States. Guggenheim is also a well-known scholar whose research has focused on family law, adolescent abortion, First Amendment rights in schools, the role of counsel for children in court proceedings, empirical research in child welfare practice, and juvenile justice.  He is the author of seven books on children and parents including Representing Parents in Child Welfare Cases (with Vivek Sankaran) (American Bar Association 2015), Trial Manual for Defense Counsel in Juvenile Court (with Randy Hertz and Anthony G. Amsterdam) (American Bar Association 2014) and What’s Wrong with Children’s Rights (Harvard University 2007) and the co-author of Effects of an Interdisciplinary Approach to Parental Representation in Child Welfare, 102 Child & Youth Servs. Rev. 42 (2019) (with Lucas Gerber, Yuk Pang, Timothy Ross, Peter Pecora and Joel Miller).

Guggenheim currently serves as a member of the New York State Commission on Parental Legal Representation and as a founding member of the National Alliance for Parent Representation at the American Bar Association. 

Parental defense in ordinary times is extremely challenging. This presentation will discuss why that is so and will strive to offer vitally needed encouragement and support to those committed to it. Now, more than ever, we need to redouble our commitment to this under-appreciated field.

2pm - 3pm

Safe Children, Strengthened Families: The Road Ahead for our Integrated Child Welfare System by Diane Moore

Diane Moore was chosen to lead the Division of Child and Family Services in 2017 after more than 25 years at the Department of Human Services. She began her career as a DCFS caseworker, and has since served in numerous roles including region director for the DCFS Salt Lake Valley Region, and later Director of the Office of Licensing. A licensed social service worker and graduate of Brigham Young University, Moore holds a Master of Public Administration degree. Her philosophy has always been to create safety and well being through strengthening families and to do everything possible to leave people and situations better than she found them. She is honored to be involved in such important work.

Through a lens of shared success, this presentation will follow the trajectory of child welfare services in Utah, including a look at current philosophy and the implementation of the new Family First Prevention Services Act

3pm - 4pm

Professionalism and Civility Challenge by Grant Dickinson

Grant Dickinson has been a member of the Parental Defense Alliance since 2010, and served as the President of the PDA Board of Directors from 2016-2018. He is now an emeritus member of the board. Grant's practice focuses mainly in Utah County and like many of our members focuses on Parental Defense, Criminal Defense, and Family Law related cases. Grant achieved the Parental Defense Alliance Appellate Attorney of the Year award in 2012. While studying at Willamette University, Grant served each year on the executive board of Willamette University's Public Interest Law Project. Prior to Law School, Grant was employed at the Fourth District Court as Deputy Clerk in Commissioner Patton's Court and also as a Deputy Probation Officer.


Grant will be reviewing the Utah Standards of Professionalism and Civility in an interactive challenge format.

Friday, May 15, 2020

1pm - 2pm

Keynote Address: Building Hope & Resiliency Using the ABA Child Safety Guide by Robert Wyman, Attorney Consultant, Judicial Engagement Team, Casey Family Programs. JD/MSW 

Rob is an attorney consultant with the Judicial Engagement Team of Casey Family Programs, currently working in Maricopa County and Pima County Juvenile Courts in Arizona to further the goal of safely reducing the number of children and youth in the foster care system. Rob has trained on the ABA Safety Guide in several jurisdictions around the country. Rob spent five years after college working in the juvenile corrections systems in Washington and Oregon States in many capacities. He then went to the University of Denver to attain an MSW and JD, specializing in the representation of children and youth in the foster care system (participating in the Rocky Mountain Children's Law Center Clinical Law Program). After graduation, Rob worked at The Defender Association in Seattle for 12 years, and supervised attorneys representing parents and youth in the dependency division for eight years.

The ABA's "Child Safety: A Guide for Judges and Lawyers" offers a framework and language that enables child welfare court participants to analyze, discuss, negotiate, mediate, and litigate using commonly understood words and concepts that connect on-the-ground social work with court rule- and law-based findings and decisions. By building structure underneath broad legal language often found in child welfare laws, the Guide promotes clearer understanding of the reasons for child removal and the type of reasonable efforts that might have prevented it or would eliminate the need for it. It also should make more acute the disagreements that reach the courtroom, and leave smaller spaces for intuition, bias, and "gut feelings" that so often predominate the practice. During this session we will cover a basic overview of the Guide, with the hope it will prompt your further exploration. Then, we will explore the concept of Hope, its role in the success of families who achieve favorable outcomes in their case, and the means by which our advocacy can focus on building components of resilience rather than focus on identification of and fixing problems.

2pm - 3pm

Case Law Update by Emily Adams

Emily is an appellate attorney based in Utah. Her practice at The Appellate Group is focused exclusively on appeals. She counsels with clients to determine their best strategy on appeal and strategize with clients and attorneys about preparing for an appeal while in district court.

Apart from appellate briefs, in her practice she has submitted amicus briefs before the United States Supreme Court, the Eleventh Circuit, and the Utah Supreme Court; she has represented criminal defendants and civil clients on appeal to the Utah appellate courts; she has drafted motions for permission to file an interlocutory appeal in the Utah appellate courts; and she has filed petitions for certiorari.

She is licensed to practice law in Utah and admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court. She loves being enormously tall, being a celiac in a bread-filled world, trying to do a pull-up, and dragging her kids on hiking trips.

Emily will be doing the case law update on the cases decided by the Utah Court of Appeals and Utah Supreme Court in the year that impact child welfare practice

3pm - 4pm

Defense-side Social Workers And Expanding Advocacy Resources by Adam Trupp, Assistant Director of the Indigent Defense Commission, Margaret Lindsay, Assistant Director of the Utah County Public Defender Association, Sheryl St. Clair UCPD Social Worker, Mandy Adams, UCPD Social Worker, Jordan Putnam, PDA President and Lokken & Associates Attorney, Melissa Foulger, Lokken & Associates Social Worker

In this panel presentation, participants will discuss the evolution of Utah's pilot program for defense-side social workers and how further expansion can serve more attorneys and families throughout the state. Discussion will also highlight the working relationships between attorneys and social workers and how different locations are using these invaluable team members in unique ways to expand advocacy and multidisciplinary practice.