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Upcoming events

    • 20 Oct 2021
    • 1 Oct 2023
    • Zoom

    Magal’s “Virtual” Conference

    Available for Rebroadcast


    May I Speak Freely?” - The Interplay of Therapeutic Privilege, Confidentiality,

    and Family Law


    This conference will outline and discuss the following key topics:

    ·        Misconceptions regarding confidentiality and therapeutic privilege;

    ·        Complexities associated with obtaining and performing privilege waivers for minor children; and

    ·        The ramifications for GALs, PCs, therapists, and other professionals in family law.


    Join us “online” to learn from our distinguished panel of experts about confidentiality and privilege, their effect on GAL evaluations and investigations, or on working as part of a therapeutic team.   Learn about therapeutic privilege for children and adults, the state of the law on confidentiality and privilege, and the practical applications of waivers.


    Honorable Randy Kaplan (Ret.)

    Beth Aarons, J.D., M.S.W.

    John Baker, Ph.D.

    Richard Novitch, J.D.

    Joanne Romanow, J.D.


    CEUs Applied For: 3.5 hours for LMFT, NASW, Psychology, CPCS/CAFL & PC

    3.5 credit hours awarded for: GAL certification

    • 7 Jun 2022
    • 1 Jun 2027
    • Virtual (on demand via Zoom)

    MAGAL is excited to announce it's Spring 2022 virtual Conference:
    Now Available for Rebroadcast!



    Understanding the impact of Massachusetts case law on custody and parenting decisions is essential in working effectively and responsibly as a GAL, PC, mental health professional or family law attorney involved with the Probate and Family Court.  As professionals, we must be familiar with Massachusetts prevailing case law and the basis for the different standards for cases in the areas affecting our practices.  Dr, Robert A. Zibbell’s 2021 Compendium of Family Law Cases presents the critical cases that we all should know about, covering areas including custody, parenting, removal, expert testimony, domestic violence, grandparent visitation and more.  The role of this important case law in our work will be presented with commentary from our distinguished panel.


    Dr. Zibbell’ s compendium evolved because lawyers and mental health professionals speak two different languages. One of the goals he had in mind was to try and find a bridge to help all professionals in the field identify the data needed by the law. Are clinical impressions relevant, and, if so, when?  How can the law guide the investigative effort?  What are the “facts”?  How is the data communicated, and how do we maintain transparency and apply the data to legal standards?  These questions will be explored in this important conference.

    Speakers and Panelists:

    • Hon. Amy Blake, Associate Justice,  Appeals Court;
    • Hon. Richard Simons, First Judge Berkshire Probate and Family Court, Chair of the Probate and Family Court’s Ed Committee and a Trustee of Flaschner; 
    • Robert A. Zibbell, Ph.D., author of Case Law Compendium, is a psychologist whose specialty is in the area of child and family forensic mental health; and
    • Jennifer Durand, J.D., Director of Legal Training for the Child and Family Forensic Evaluation Service (CAFFES) at the Center of Excellence for Children, Families and the Law at William James College, and trial attorney.
    • Moderator

    Linda Minkoff, J.D., Family law attorney, GAL, current President of MAGAL, Inc,

    Topics to be covered during the conference:

    • Ways in which understanding case law is important and helpful in conducting investigations, collecting data, and complying with Standing Order 1-05 and 1-06;
    • The Court’s expectations regarding the information and data to be included in GAL reports and how that expectation is informed by Mass case law;
    • Understanding the relevancy of specific factors and how knowing the law is essential in making certain recommendations (e.g. Petitioner met the real advantage standard);
    • Covering key areas/standards that professionals might not be aware of and providing best practices regarding how such standards should be applied;

    ·        Learning how to read judicial opinions, legal reasoning (jurisdiction, precedent, etc.), and following issues, rules, and applications, leaving the conclusion to the judge!

    CE Credits

    • 4.0 CE Credits have been awarded  for licensed psychologists; independent clinical social worker;
    • 4.0 CE Credits have been awarded for Category V Parenting Coordinators
    • 3.5 CE Credits have been awarded for marriage and family therapists
    • 4.0 CE credits are being sought for mental health counselors, CPCS/CAFL.

    Registration and Cost

    • $65 for members and non-members

    • 10 Feb 2023
    • 8:30 AM - 4:45 PM
    • Conference Center at Waltham Woods

    Massachusetts Association of Guardians ad Litem, Inc. Presents:

    Bungles, Biases, & Boundaries:

    What Can Possibly Go Wrong?

    Keynote Speaker

    Sol Rappaport, Ph.D. ABPP

     February 10, 2023

    8:30am-4:45 pm

    Lunch included

    The Conference Center at Waltham Woods, Waltham, MA

    Please plan on joining your peers and colleagues, in person and live stream.


    Working in the family forensic field as a mental health professional or attorney, whether as a GAL, PC, legal advocate, or therapist, involves enormous challenges and many areas in which to make mistakes.  The goal of this conference is to explore some of the more complicated situations and traps that make even the most seasoned professional vulnerable to attacks at court, and which can lead to unfortunate consequences for court-involved families.  We will uncover pitfalls for the unwary and how to avoid them in the context of many circumstances, such as maintaining proper boundaries, managing biases, testifying at depositions and court, writing reports, utilizing psychological testing, and interviewing family members and collaterals in high conflict cases.  Regardless of your role, avoiding costly mistakes and adhering to best practices will lead to better results for the court-involved families we all serve, and increase the quality and consistency of our diverse professional work.  


     Learning Objectives

    • to conduct scientifically sound, bias-free evaluations and present the information to the court in a balanced, effective, and reasoned manner
    • to testify at court or deposition, and withstand cross-examination, credibly, consistently and with competence
    • the dos and don'ts for GALs, parenting coordinators, clinicians and legal advocates when working with court-involved clients.
    • the role psych testing can and should play in evaluations and other work with court- involved families
    • skills for working in professional roles with high conflict personalities 


    • Jane Appell, Ph.D.
    • Michael Childs, Ph.D.
    • Premela Deck, LICSW, JD, PhD
    • Hon. Katherine A. Field
    • Linda A. Ouellette, J.D.
    • Thomas D. Ritter, J.D., Ph.D.
    • Hon. Janine D. Rivers
    • Gary Todd, J.D.

    Registration Cost

     Late Registration (after January 10, 2023) $215 for members, and $240 for non-members.

    CE Credits

    • 7.0 CE Credits have been sought for psychologists, and  independent clinical social workers,
    • 7.0 CE Credits have been awarded for Category V - Parenting Coordinators
    • 7.0 Credits have been sought for CPCS/CAFL.
    • 7.0 Credits have been awarded for mental health counselors, and marriage and family therapists.

Copyright ©2021 Massachusetts Association of Guardians ad Litem, Inc.

Masschusetts Association of Guardians ad Litem, Inc.

P.O.Box 304

Franklin, MA  02038

(781) 329-9729

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