National Conference on Juvenile and Family Law - Conference Summary

March 26, 2012

NCJFCJ’s National Conference on Juvenile and Family Law started with a patriotic display from Las Vegas’ Palo Verde High School Color Guard and a leading of the Pledge of Allegiance by our Board President, Judge Patricia Martin. High school student, Malia Civetz, performed the national anthem before joining her fellow jazz musicians from Las Vegas Academy for a few musical numbers to kick off the conference. More than 500 participants were in attendance with Justice Kristina Pickering welcoming the participants to the exciting city of Las Vegas.

The opening session was moderated by the enthusiastic Judge Brian Huff who led a panel discussion covering topics from the role of psychological evaluations in the courtroom to the use of social media in making decisions. Participants were encouraged to submit questions via Twitter for the panel to answer throughout the session.

The second general session of the day encouraged audience participation by grouping participants as various professions and asking how they’d make decisions on a specific case. This interactive experience was a new format to the conference and relied on collaboration between a variety of professionals to reach the final verdict.  

The conference sponsor, The S.P.I.R.I.T. project, presented during the conference luncheon giving an overview of their new technology applications designed to streamline the delivery and evaluation of prevention and intervention strategies to as-risk youth and families, resulting in cost-savings to local governments. The project staff were on-hand throughout the conference in our exhibit hall providing information to participants.

On the second day of the conference, participants were greeted with a lively general session from Shawn Marsh, Ph.D. In this session, participants learned how the human brain can create inaccurate perceptions that can be detrimental to our decisions in the justice system.

The conference concluded with a closing session by Judge Steven Teske where he emphasized the need for collaboration in the courtroom in order to improve outcomes for children and families.

In addition, 30 break-out session were offered covering topics including leadership, diversity, foster care, tribal work, adolescent relationships, cyber-stalking, immigration issues, child support cases, ethics, collaboration, and many more.

Click here to view a photo gallery from the event.

 NCJFCJ staff are looking forward to providing even more opportunities at our 75th Annual Conference to be held this July! We hope to see you to see you there as we ring in our 75th Anniversary in New Orleans!