Spring 2018 Symposium

Widener University Commonwealth Law School

Widener Commonwealth Law Review Symposium
Children in the Courts: A Developed or Developing System?

Administration Building, A180
3737 Vartan Way, Harrisburg, PA 17110
March 23, 2018

This day-long program engages in the question of whether children and parents are properly protected in court proceedings including child custody and dependency hearings. Pennsylvania has made a large push toward creating a better environment and overall system for children in the courts. Some people, however, may have other ideas, opinions, and suggestions on how to make it better. Throughout the day, you will hear the different perspectives on this issue from a wide variety of academics, practitioners, and judges. In addition, you will hear from a panel comprised of a local Guardian ad Litem, solicitor, and parent attorney who will discuss potential ethical issues practitioners face when representing a party involved in a child proceeding.


8:15–8:45 am Registration 

8:45 am Welcome and Opening Remarks
Christian Johnson, Dean and Professor of Law, Widener Law Commonwealth

Jo-Anne Thompson, Editor-in-Chief, Widener Commonwealth Law Review

Alexandra Sholley, Pennsylvania Law & Symposium Editor, Widener Commonwealth Law Review 

9:00 – 9:30 am — Introduction to Pennsylvania Children in the Courts
Sandra Moore, Director, Office of Children & Families in the Courts

 9:30 – 10:30 am Panel 1 — Challenges in the System
Lucy Johnston-Walsh
,  Professor of Clinical Law, Penn State Dickinson Law; Director, Children’s Advocacy Clinic; Director, Center on Children and the Law; Jaya Connors, Assistant Professor, Albany Law School and Director, Family Violence Litigation Clinic

Moderator: Dean Christian Johnson

10:30 – 11:45 am Panel 2 Moving Forward
Merril Sobie, Professor of Law, Pace Law School; Sarah Katz, Associate Clinical Professor of Law, Temple University School of Law; Kara Finck, Professor of Law, University of Pennsylvania Law School and Director, Interdisciplinary Child Advocacy Clinic

Moderator: Professor Mary Kate Kearney

11:45 am –12:15 pm Lunch

12:15 – 1:30 pm Panel 3 — Why Fix What Isn’t Broken?
The Honorable Michael H. Sholley,
Judge, Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas, 17th Judicial District; The Honorable Jennifer L. Rogers, Judge, Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas, 11th Judicial District

1:30 – 3:00 pm Panel 4 — Legal Advocacy and Ethics: A Case Study
Marisa McClellan, Esq.
, Solicitor, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania; Heath Brosius, Esq., Law Office of Heath W. Brosius, LLC; Erin Komada, Esq., Scaringi Law

Moderator: Robert Davis, Jr., Esq.

3:00 pm Closing Remarks

5.5 CLE (4 substantive, 1.5 ethics) credits available

Online Registration and Payment Information:

Early: $90 (ends March 1)
Regular: $110
Discounted: $85 (alumni, government lawyers, and academics)

Fee includes coffee service in the a.m., lunch, and CLE credits.

Register: commonwealthlaw.widener.edu/eventregistration
Questions: CLEcwlaw@widener.edu