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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

    • 6 Oct 2023
    • 8:30 AM - 4:45 PM
    • The Conference Center at Waltham Woods

    Massachusetts Association of Guardians ad Litem, Inc. Presents:

    Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

    in Family Law

    Keynote Speaker

    Abbie Goldberg, Ph.D.

    October 6, 2023

    8:30am-4:30 pm

    Full Conference Brochure

    The Conference Center at Waltham Woods, Waltham, MA

    (Lunch included)

    The MAGAL conference will also be live streamed to the UMass Center at 1500 Main Street, Springfield, Room 003, same date, and time. (No lunch.)


    The challenges of divorce and custody disputes experienced by families who engage with the Probate & Family Court are often accentuated for LGBTQ+ families. Parenting, divorce, and co-parenting can be especially complex when a parent or child is gay or trans. Too often, misconceptions and biases affect the ways families engage with one another and the legal system.

    This conference provides a research-based understanding of developmental pathways for gender identification and sexual orientation. Presenters will discuss clinical services for children and parents, legal realities that LGBTQ+ families and children face, and case-based experiences of professionals working with LGBTQ+ families and family members. The conference is aimed toward legal practioners, Guardians ad litem, mental health clinicians and other professionals who deal with LGBTQ+ families engaged with the family court system. The conference will offer a combination of lecture and interactive audience engagement.

    Learning Objectives

    ·         Participants will be better equipped to evaluate, advocate for and/or treat LGBTQ+ individuals and families.   

    ·         Participants will learn how parenting, divorce, and coparenting can be impacted when a parent or child identifies as being part of the LGBTQ+ community.

    ·         Participants will learn about the legal realities that LGBTQ+ families and their children face.

    ·         Participants will learn how to recognize misconceptions and biases that may operate when LGBTQ+ individuals and their families engage with the legal system and/or mental health systems.

    CE Credits

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

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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