On Thursday October 22nd and Friday October 23rd, 2015, the AFCC Ontario Chapter held its 7th Annual General Meeting & Conference, entitled From Risk to Resilience: Exploring Better Outcomes for Children.
For the first time, AFCC-O presented a Pre-Conference Institute the afternoon of October 22nd: Evidence Law for Mental Health Professionals and Family Lawyers. The presenters were Professor Rollie Thompson and Professor Martha Shaffer. The session was comprised of two parts: Part I addressed issues relevant to mental health professionals who are preparing for and may be required to testify in court, including their rights and obligations as witnesses, the principles of evidence law, giving opinion evidence and the law and practice relating to direct examination, refreshing memory, cross examination and redirect. Part II canvassed the top 10 evidence “rules” that every family law lawyer needs to know, with the rules being applied to various fact scenarios. Both parts were interactive and engaging.
Also on October 22nd, the New Professionals committee, chaired by Ms. Jaclyn Mackenzie, hosted the event “Opportunities for Resolution in Family and Child Protection Law”. Presenters included: Justice Stanley Sherr of the Ontario Court of Justice, Toronto, ON; Justice Anthony William J. Sullivan of the Ontario Court of Justice, Brampton, ON; Seema Jain, family law lawyer and mediator practicing in Toronto and Tammy Law, family law lawyer in Toronto, ON. Both Seema and Tammy have active family law and child protection practices. The event was moderated by Angela Greenberg, past Chair of the New Professionals committee, who is now a program lawyer with the Advocates’ Society. The event was well attended by multi-disciplinary new professionals. The advice given was practical and very informative. Audience members were able to ask their own questions and it was clear by the level of engagement (the event ran over time) that the frank answers were not only refreshing but helpful for new professionals working in the family justice realm.
As the New Professionals event was wrapping up downstairs at the restaurant Spring Rolls, the social event was getting underway upstairs! This event provided the wonderful opportunity for fellow family law and mental health professionals to mingle and connect with friends and colleagues with the opportunity of making new connections, in an informal setting, along with some delicious hors d’oeuvres.