On December 4, 2013, Allison C. Williams will be presenting to the Haydn Proctor Inns of Court. The presentation topic will be Substance Abuse and the Family Law Client.
This issue greatly impacts our society. Many assumptions are made about addiction and parenting that cause difficulty for family court judges. Should addiction cause an immediate removal of children? When is excessive alcohol consumption “abuse” verses “addiction”? How do family law attorneys differentiate a substance disorder Axis I diagnosis from episodic abuse? When does addiction implicate greater mental health concerns (depression, anxiety, mania, etc.)?
For attorneys, addiction implicates a greater responsibility to the client than merely zealously advocating his or her position (custody, reunification, etc.). For attorneys, addicted clients require guidance, information and assistance. However, what is to be done when an addicted client insists upon a course of action that may be harmful to the client? A course that may be harmful to the client’s child? What if the attorney has devised a strategy that may achieve the client’s litigation goals, while jeopardizing his or her sobriety?
These questions and many more will be addressed at the Inns of Court presentation. It will take place from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM at the American Hotel.