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Friday, March 31, 2023
9:00 A.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Registration Begins 8:15 A.M.
5 CE Credits
5 CLE Credits

Association of Family and Conciliation CourtsNew York Chapter


Mask or No Mask: A Critical Look at Post-Pandemic Issues Surrounding Families, Children and Those of Us Working in This FieldWhat Worked, What Didn’t Work, How Are We Changed, and What Changes Are Here to Stay?

Panel Presentations
Moderated by The Honorable Jeffrey S. Sunshine – Statewide Coordinating Judge for Matrimonial Cases

The Professional Community Experience: Hon. Javier E. Vargas; Samuel J. Ferrara, ESQ.; Jacqueline Caputo, ESQ.
Mediator: Daniel O’Leary, PhD.

The panel will look at some of the more difficult Pandemic cases, highlighting the behaviors that heightened the conflict.

The Family and Children Community Experience: Gloria P. Dingwall, Principal Dryden Street School, Westbury, NY; Jill C. Stone, ESQ./AFC; Paul J. Meller, PhD.

The panel will take an in-depth look at the difficulties suffered by children and families during the pandemic and examine alternative processes that were implemented and how they worked.

Pandemic Status and How It Changed Child Custody Evaluations: Joseph T. Cooke, MD; Michele Reed, MD; Milfred D. (Bud) Dale, ESQ./PhD; Stephen Gassman, ESQ.

Is COVID over, kind of over, what about RSV and the avian flu? How did we cope? Drs. Cooke and Reed will share stats and status, as well as coping skills.

Breakout (Afternoon) Sessions

1. Diane Hessemann, LMSW, Nancy Nybergh, MA Licensed Psychoanalyst; Lesley Friedland, ESQ., Founder of Family Kind will explore how secondary trauma affected divorce professionals pre and post pandemic. They will help us recognize secondary trauma and offer demonstrations and exercises highlighting how we can take better care of ourselves.

2. Gloria P. Dingwall, School Principal; Jill C. Stone, ESQ./AFC; Paul J. Meller, PhD. and participants will share heartbreaking stories of the effects of the pandemic on children and families at risk, as well as those involved in the court system, and how that system failed them and where it helped.

In-Person Event
Friday, March 31, 2023
9:00 A.M. – 3:30 P.M.
Registration Begins 8:15 A.M.

Event Held At:
Nassau County Bar Association
15th & West Streets. Mineola, NY 115011
View Map

Registration Fee: $95
Judges, Students: No Charge
Gov. Employees, JHO’S/Referees: $65

These fees include event admission, lunch and a certificate of attendance for CLE credits, and CE credits for psychologists and social workers. Help is Available for Cases of Financial Hardship.

Lodging Available at: Garden City Hotel at discounted rate call 646-494-9712 for info

We are grateful to the following sponsors: FamilyKind | Our Family Wizard | SoberLink

AFCC-NY President: Teresa Ombres, Esq.

CLE credits for Lawyers and Judges: The Nassau Academy of Law has been certified by the New York State Continuing Legal Education Board as an accredited provider of continuing legal education credits in the State of New York. This program is approved to provide a total of 3.5 NY MCLE credits in the Area of Professional Practice and 1.5 in Skills. This course Is appropriate for all attorneys. Credit for partial attendance at a segment will not be given. You must sign in and sign out to receive credit.

CE Credits for Psychologists and Social Workers: Family Kind is approved by the New York State Education Department to sponsor Continuing Education for Psychologists (#PSY-0114) and Social Workers. CE credits are calculated on a credit per course hour basis. This program has been approved for 5.0 CE credits. Psychologists and Social Workers must attend the entire program to be eligible for CE credits (no partial credits will be granted).

IMPORTANT DISCLOSURE INFORMATION FOR ALL LEARNERS: None of the planners and presenters of this CE program have any relevant financial relationships to disclose. No personal audio or video recording or photographing of sessions is permitted. The New York Chapter of AFCC maintains responsibility for these programs and their contents.