Practice Resources

November 2011

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From left to right: Juvenile & Child Welfare Law Section Council Chair Michael F. Kilkelly and Vice Chair Marlies Spanjaard.

Note from Juvenile & Child Welfare Law Leadership

Welcome to the new bar year for the Juvenile & Child Welfare Law Section. The chair for the section council this year is Michael Kilkelly, a juvenile law practitioner with an office in Malden. The vice-chair is Marlies Spanjaard, coordinator of the EdLaw Project for the Youth Advocacy Department of CPCS.

We have had two meetings of the section council so far, and we have decided to start with a focus on two areas:

  1. The area of juvenile competency, and trying to draft legislation covering that issue; and
  2. Continuing legal education, and trying to develop both programs and conferences for practitioners.

Our next meeting is Wednesday, Nov. 9, from 5:30 to 7 p.m., at the MBA, 20 West St., Boston. All section members are invited to all section council meetings. The section council can use volunteers to help with all our projects and initiatives, and we are always open to new ideas.

Michael F. Kilkelly, chair
Marlies Spanjaard, vice chair
Juvenile & Child Welfare Law Section Council

Upcoming Juvenile & Child Welfare Law section council meeting

As a member of the Juvenile & Child Welfare Law section, you are invited to attend the section council meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 9 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the MBA, 20 West St., Boston.

Click here to R.S.V.P.

As a member of this section, you are invited to attend the section council meetings and section members are encouraged to network and discuss pending issues from legislation, statutes, resolutions, cases and reports and are urged to alert the section/division council of any legislation, statutes, resolutions, cases and reports which might require our attention. Click here to contact Juvenile & Child Welfare Section Council members.

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Juvenile & Child Welfare Law Updates

Juvenile Competency

At our September meeting, Dr. Kimberly Larson, Ph.D., J.D., an assistant professor in the Psychiatry Department of the University of Massachusetts Medical School, presented on issues relating to the competency to stand trial of juveniles. Larson and her colleagues at UMass Medical School have been assisting various states who have been looking at their juvenile competency statutes and drafting new legislation. As a section council, we expressed interest to Larson in beginning such an effort for Massachusetts, and she offered to provide us with further materials.

Science Manual for Judges

A new guidebook for judges and legal professionals, the Reference Manual on Scientific Evidence, is now available, replacing the previous edition published in 2000.

The 1,038-page manual explains scientific concepts, shows how evidence can be manipulated, and cites judicial decisions. It's free for downloading and online reading, and there is a $79.95 paperback version.

The manual is available here.

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Juvenile & Child Welfare Law Issues of Interest

House of Delegates

The issue of mandatory CLE was brought before the House of Delegates at its September meeting, and it was voted to postpone action until the January meeting. A task force was formed to solicit comments and suggestions. The section council will have the opportunity to discuss mandatory CLE and provide the input of our section to the task force and the House of Delegates.

CPCS Quarterly Report

The first quarterly report of CPCS to the House and Senate Committees on Ways and Means has been submitted. These reports are required by the recent budget which expanded the number of public counsel employed by CPCS.

The report is available here.

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Continuing Legal Education opportunities

The section council has discussed planning programs and conferences in the areas of juvenile delinquency and child welfare law, and in subjects that would be of interest in both areas. Some of the topics discussed have been probation violations, education issues, juvenile mental health and new legislation.

Our CLE coordinator is Wendy Wolf and she can be reached at
[e-mail wwolf].

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Put your name out there

Every month the MBA publication Lawyers Journal includes articles from each section for the MBA membership. The articles may pertain to statutes, rulings, or legislation or may provide techniques and tips of practice and procedure or other practice-related issues. Anyone interested in writing an article for our section should contact Maria Ventullo at [e-mail mventullo].

The Lawyers Journal is now seeking articles on legal specialties, pertinent to juvenile and child welfare practice for a special legal section in the December issue. Submissions should be 800-1,000 words in length and due by Monday, Nov. 14. Any member of the Juvenile & Child Welfare section is invited to submit. Articles should be submitted to Christina P. O'Neill, custom publications editor, The Warren Group at [e-mail coneill].

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The MBA is on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn

Join the conversation today

The Massachusetts Bar Association is pleased to announce its official Facebook fan page. To "Like" our new Facebook page, click here and please suggest your friends "Like" our page as well.

The addition of Facebook means the MBA has a presence on three social networking platforms, including LinkedIn, launched in January 2010, and Twitter, launched in July 2009. All three social media platforms feature information about the MBA including CLE, events and news.

As an MBA member, we encourage you to both post items of interest to you, and the greater legal community, on these pages and comment on items already posted.

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