Skip to main content

8-hour Guardian ad Litem Training

Total Credits: 8.1 MCLE, 8.1 GAL Credit, 8.0 Kansas Credit

Practice Area:
Family |  GAL |  Juvenile
Audio and Video



Originally presented at the 2019 Family Law Conference

8:30 – 8:41 AM | Guardian ad Litem: Role & Responsibility
Speaker: Chad T. Courtney
, Courtney & Mills, LLC, Springfield 
This concise session explains the role of the GAL and introduces statues and standards that guide and govern GALs.  

8:41 – 9:28 AM | Comprehensive Trauma Treatment
Speaker: Rene McCreary
, ED. S. LPC, Director of Counseling Services, Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sexual Assault (MOCSA), Kansas City 
This session will focus on practices for treating both youth and adults who have experienced trauma.  Ms. McCreary will introduce some of the basic processes of the most common treatment protocols and provide tools needed to locate qualified trauma therapists to treat both youth and adults. 

9:28 – 10:15 AM | Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy
Speaker: Rene McCreary
Learn what EMDR is and how it works, as well as for who EMDR can be used and when it may not be the treatment of choice. Get tools to guide you in making effective referrals for both youth and adults. 

10:15 – 10:30 AM | Break

10:30 – 11:20 AM | Domestic Violence 101
Speaker: Pamela Roychaudhury
, Managing Attorney, Legal Aid of Western Missouri, Joplin 
Examine the nature and dynamics of domestic violence. Specifically, the behavior of individuals who abuse, the complex effects of domestic violence on survivors and their children, its intersection with the judicial system, and tools for a guardian ad litem to utilize when domestic violence is present. 

11:20 AM – 12:10 PM | Proper Use of Custody Evaluations 
Speakers: Arthur H. Nissenbaum
, Law Offices of Arthur H. Nissenbaum, LLC, St. Louis; Dr. Rick Scott, Scott Psychological Associates, LLC, St. Louis 
Learn to identify when a psychological or child custody evaluation may be necessary by utilizing guidelines to help analyze these situations. The presentation will examine the types of evaluations available, discuss practical examples and issues to consider, and identify the most effective use of an evaluation. 

12:10 – 1:10 PM | Lunch

1:10 – 1:57 PM | Permanency & The Family First Prevention Services Act
Speaker: Becky Stone
, Foster America Fellow, Missouri Children’s Division, Jefferson City 
The Family First Prevention Services Act, passed in February 2018, allows states to use federal title IV-E funds to prevent children from entering foster care. This legislation provides the opportunity for states to provide evidence-based services to families in the areas of parenting, substance abuse treatment and mental health interventions, to prevent removal of children. Learn about this powerful new tool for addressing permanency through prevention. 

1:57 – 2:47 PM | JUDICIAL PANEL: Judicial Expectations – GAL Do’s & Don’ts
Panelists: Hon. Elizabeth V. Rohrs
, 30th Judicial Circuit, Bolivar; Hon. Sherrill L. Rosen, 16th Judicial Circuit, Independence; Hon. Margaret T. Donnelly, 21st Judicial Circuit, St. Louis 
Judges will share their expectations of Guardians ad Litem as well as provide tips on how to effectively carry out the duties and responsibilities of a Guardian ad Litem. 

2:47 – 2:57 PM | Break

2:57 – 3:47 PM | The GAL’s Role When the Child Resists the Parenting Plan 
Speaker: Larry V. Swall II
, Gates Shields Ferguson Swall Hammond, P.A., Liberty 
Guardians ad Litem are often in the middle of difficult and/or high conflict families where there is evidence of child resistance to a parent, alienating behaviors by a parent, or a child who is completely alienated from a parent-child relationship. This program is designed to help GALs identify issues associated with this dynamic, define a “treatment” methodology, identify appropriate professionals to provide services, and to protect the ultimate best interests of children and their relationships with parents. 

3:47 – 4:37 PM | Tools to Disengage the TOO Engaged Co-Parents
Speakers: Simone Haberstock McCartney
, The Law Offices of Simone Haberstock McCartney, LLC, Richmond Heights; Arthur H. Nissenbaum 
This session will help you identify high-conflict parents who will be best served with parallel parenting plans; develop parallel parenting plans; make a case for a parallel parenting plan in trial; and take actions that support disengagement of the parents. 

4:37 PM | Adjourn 


MAY 16 | M. Todd Miller, Law Office of Todd Miller, LLC, Jefferson City

Opinions and positions stated by presenters of MoBarCLE programs are those of the presenters and not necessarily those of The Missouri Bar. This program is intended as information for lawyers in Missouri, in conjunction with other research they deem necessary, in the exercise of their independent judgment.



Pamela Roychaudhury's Profile

Pamela Roychaudhury Related Seminars and Products

Legal Aid of Western Missouri

Pamela was a staff attorney with Legal Aid of Western Missouri (LAWMO) for 14 years. In 2015, she became the managing attorney of the Joplin office, managing a staff of five attorneys, three paralegals and one support staff.

As a staff attorney, Pamela was a member of the domestic unit in the Kansas City office of LAWMO from 2001 to 2007, focusing on the representation of victims of abuse in divorce, paternity, custody, and orders of protection. She also served as Guardian ad Litem in child orders of protection. In 2007, she joined the Joplin office of LAWMO as their VAWA-STOP grant attorney representing victims of abuse in orders of protection. She continues to represent victims of abuse in family law matters and represents many clients in housing, consumer, probate, and income maintenance cases.

Pamela is the current chair of the Family Law Section of The Missouri Bar. She is licensed in Missouri and Kansas.

Pamela received her Juris Doctor in 2001 from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. She received a B.A. in political science from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1998.

Arthur Nissenbaum Related Seminars and Products

Law Offices of Arthur H. Nissenbaum, LLC

Mr. Art Nissenbaum has a domestic relations practice in St. Louis. He often acts in the capacity of a Guardian Ad Litem. Art is also a mediator and parent coordinator. Art received his law degree from John Marshall School of Law in Chicago, Illinois. His undergraduate training was in psychology and human development/family at the University of Kansas. Art also received his Master of Arts degree in public administration from St. Louis University. Art currently participates on the St. Louis County Parent Coordinator Committee and is the current President on the Board for the Missouri Chapter of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts.

Rick Scott Related Seminars and Products

Rick Scott, Ph.D., a clinical psychology graduate of St. Louis University, spent 30 years with the Department of Mental Health, primarily as a forensic examiner. In private practice since 1995, he does court-related evaluations in criminal and family law cases, and he provides training for mental health professionals and attorneys.

Hon. Elizabeth Rohrs's Profile

Hon. Elizabeth Rohrs Related Seminars and Products

Hon. Elizabeth Rohrs has served as Associate Circuit Judge in Polk County since 2015, where she is the Family Court Judge. Prior to her election, she was engaged in private practice, served as Bolivar Municipal Judge and adjunct university instructor. She is a graduate of University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law.

Commissioner Sherrill Rosen's Profile

Commissioner Sherrill Rosen Related Seminars and Products

16th Judicial Court

Commissioner Rosen was appointed in 1994. She helped to draft the adult abuse statute, and argued its constitutionality. She was often appointed as a GAL. She is a member of AAML. 
She has given numerous professional presentations. She has been honored by KCMBA and Mo. Lawyer's Weekly for her service. 


Hon. Margaret Donnelly's Profile

Hon. Margaret Donnelly Related Seminars and Products

21st Judicial Circuit

Hon. Margaret Donnelly was appointed circuit judge in August, 2016, by Gov. Jeremiah W. "Jay" Nixon. She was a St. Louis County Family Court commissioner from 2013 until her appointment as circuit judge.

Judge Donnelly holds Bachelor of Science and Master of Social Work degrees from Saint Louis University and graduated cum laude from Saint Louis University School of Law in 1988. From 1988 to 2009, she was engaged in the private practice of law. She served in the Missouri Legislature as a state representative for District 73 from 2003 to 2009 and was the Director of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services from 2009 to 2012.

Judge Donnelly has been honored for service by the Missouri Judicial Conference and Legal Services of Eastern Missouri. She received the Women's Justice Citizenship Award, St. Louis Children's Hospital Advocate of the Year award, and Paraquad Disability Rights Legislative Leadership Award.  She is a member of the Missouri Bar, St. Louis County Bar Association, Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis, Women Lawyers' Association and Mound City Bar Association.

Judge Donnelly lives in St. Louis County with her family.

Larry Swall's Profile

Larry Swall Related Seminars and Products

Gates Shields Ferguson Swall Hammond, P.A.

Larry V. Swall is a family law attorney, licensed in Kansas and Missouri, with offices in Overland Park and Liberty. His private practice is concentrated in areas of family law and domestic mediation. Practicing for over 30 years, Mr. Swall was twice honored by the Missouri Bar.

Simone Haberstock's Profile

Simone Haberstock Related Seminars and Products

The Law Offices of Simone A. Haberstock, LLC

Simone Haberstock  has been a family law attorney for 30 years and a mediator for 20 years.  She acquired a Masters of Law in Dispute Resolution from University of Missouri School of Law in 2013 where she did IRB approved research on a mediation-arbitration process. Since graduating, she has founded a non-profit mediation service, Confluence Missouri, Inc.; served on the Mediation and Parenting Coordination Oversight Committee in St. Louis County Circuit Court; and worked on a number of court-connected ADR and problem-solving court projects across the state. She recently completed an interview research project of Missouri litigants who used mandatory mediation and has assisted in  the production of two videos for the public on ADR processes. She has mediated over 400 cases including family, small business, employment, landlord-tenant, and small claims matters. Ms. Haberstock has spoken and presented on  a variety mediation and ADR topics, including the decision- making process, at both national and statewide conferences. She also served on the Board of Governors for the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis for 10 years and is the immediate past-president of the Missouri Chapter of Association of Family and Conciliation Courts.


Wed, Aug 14, 2024 - 08:30am to 04:38pm CDT
Fri, Sep 13, 2024 - 08:30am to 04:38pm CDT
Tue, Oct 15, 2024 - 08:30am to 04:38pm CDT
Thu, Nov 14, 2024 - 08:30am to 04:38pm CST
Tue, Dec 17, 2024 - 08:30am to 04:38pm CST

Cancellation Policy

Click HERE to review the Cancellation Policy.