Resource Letter:
For Judges and Attorneys Handling Child Protective Services Cases
May 8, 2020
Register Now: Webcast on Effective Advocacy in the Virtual CPS Courtroom
on May 22nd
Please join the Children's Commission on Friday, May 22, 2020 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. CST for a 90-minute webcast entitled “Effective Advocacy in the Virtual CPS Courtroom.” This webcast is designed for all practitioners on the CPS docket. Moderated by Hon. Rob Hofmann, Judge of 452nd District Court and Jurist in Residence for the Children’s Commission, this panel discussion will include a prosecutor, a parent’s attorney, and an Ad Litem who will discuss best practices and pitfalls to watch out for when preparing cases and clients for a virtual hearing. Topics covered will include how to facilitate the client’s meaningful participation in a virtual hearing; how to properly elicit testimony on Zoom; how to properly enter evidence on Zoom; and how to review orders in a virtual setting. Viewers will learn how to effectively advocate for their clients and apply these skills before, during, and after remote CPS hearings. Panelists are Dennis Arriaga, Managing Attorney for Region 8, DFPS; Jana Clift-Williams, court-appointed attorney in Caldwell, Comal and Guadalupe Counties; and Ann Marie Smith, court-appointed attorney in Bexar, Comal, Hays, Guadalupe, and Caldwell counties. 

MCLE has been requested from the State Bar of Texas. Registration is limited for the live webcast to 500 people.

Registration is now open for the Effective Advocacy in the Virtual CPS Courtroom Webcast
Reminder: Survey about the Effects of COVID-19 on Legal Representation
The Children’s Commission is seeking input from attorneys and judges about how COVID-19 is affecting the representation of parents and children. Please consider taking a few minutes to complete this survey in order to help the Commission develop relevant training and resources.

The Survey on Challenges for Families during the COVID-19 Pandemic will close on Friday, May 15, 2020 so that the results can be incorporated into the webcast on Friday, May 22, 2020.
Update on 2020 Summer Scholarships 
Many training events have been cancelled, postponed, or modified due to health and travel concerns associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. The Children’s Commission continues to communicate with conference partners regarding summer events and will announce scholarship opportunities if and when they become available. Please check the Commission’s website for updates about scholarship opportunities for judges and attorneys in the near future.
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For a complete list of Jurist in Residence Letters, please visit the Children's Commission webpage . Information provided by the Children’s Commission should not be read as a commentary by the Supreme Court of Texas or any other court. The Children’s Commission website is not equipped to facilitate dialogue or conversation about matters related to the information in this communique. For more information about the Children’s Commission, please visit our website .