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Indiana AFCC chapter has first meeting this month

Dave Stafford
August 15, 2012
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The Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, a national organization that brings a holistic approach to family law, has authorized the creation of an Indiana chapter.

“This group is the only group I’ve come across that truly attracts and embraces multiple disciplines,” said Rebecca Billick, a family law practitioner and mediator at Andrews Harrell Mann Carmin & Parker P.C. in Bloomington.

Billick, who heads up organizing the chapter, said AFCC welcomes judges, attorneys, mental health professionals, mediators, guardians ad litem and others in the family law arena to discuss how to make the system work best for children and their families.

gatheringsThere are about 140 members of the national organization in Indiana. “We get the support of the national branch in attracting folks for conferences and research and different kinds of networking opportunities,” Billick said. “We hope to have at least one annual conference where we’ll have speakers from all disciplines.”

Along with Billick, the coordinating committee for the Indiana chapter consists of vice chair Christopher Barrows, attorney and

registered domestic relations mediator at Avery & Cheerva LLP; Allen Superior Magistrate Judge Craig Bobay of Fort Wayne; psychologist Frank Choate of Rochester; Steuben Superior Judge William Fee of Angola; psychologist Susan Dwyer of Fort Wayne; Fishers attorney and registered domestic relations mediator Mary Wisehart Phillips of Phillips Attorneys Inc.; and attorney and registered domestic relations mediator John Shanks of Shanks Law Offices & Conflict Resolution Center in Anderson.

The first business meeting for the chapter will take place Aug. 24 at Riley Children’s Hospital at Indiana University Health in conjunction with a day conference presented by the Indiana Association for Infant and Toddler Mental Health.

Dr. Angela Tomlin, a clinical psychologist at Riley, is organizing the preceding conference, “Young Children and the Courts: Process, Proceedings and Players,” with support from Head Start.

She said the conferences were scheduled together with the hope the professionals from various disciplines who work on matters of family law might have an opportunity to learn about the work of others in the field.

“I think great people are trying to consider this and we have a lot of challenges,” Tomlin said. “The legal side and the mental health side are trying to understand each other: Here are the gaps, and here is where we’re trying to improve things.”•

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  1. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  2. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

  3. I will agree with that as soon as law schools stop lying to prospective students about salaries and employment opportunities in the legal profession. There is no defense to the fraudulent numbers first year salaries they post to mislead people into going to law school.

  4. The sad thing is that no fish were thrown overboard The "greenhorn" who had never fished before those 5 days was interrogated for over 4 hours by 5 officers until his statement was illicited, "I don't want to go to prison....." The truth is that these fish were measured frozen off shore and thawed on shore. The FWC (state) officer did not know fish shrink, so the only reason that these fish could be bigger was a swap. There is no difference between a 19 1/2 fish or 19 3/4 fish, short fish is short fish, the ticket was written. In addition the FWC officer testified at trial, he does not measure fish in accordance with federal law. There was a document prepared by the FWC expert that said yes, fish shrink and if these had been measured correctly they averaged over 20 inches (offshore frozen). This was a smoke and mirror prosecution.

  5. I love this, Dave! Many congrats to you! We've come a long way from studying for the bar together! :)

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