As Spring has arrived here in California, we look back on an eventful first few months and with hope to the future of AFCC-California.

AFCC­‐California Conference – Costa Mesa, California February 10-12, 2017  

In February, we held our annual AFCC­‐California Conference – “Custody Complexities: Hard Decisions” – in Costa Mesa, California at the Westin South Coast Plaza Hotel.  This was our second trip to Orange County with our conference and it was just as marvelous as our first conference there two years ago.  Conference Chairs Judy Forman, Esq. and Angus Strachan, Ph.D., along with their fantastic conference committee put on a truly spectacular conference.  The more than 230 conference participants heard speakers from all over the country and Canada.  Featured among our presenters were: Marsha Kline Pruett, Ph.D. (who also happens to be the current President of the International AFCC); Robin Deutsch, Ph.D., ABPP; Michael Saini, MSW, Ph.D.; David Martindale, Ph.D., ABPP; and Phil Stahl, Ph.D., ABPP.  We also had our usual compliment of our own superstars, including but not limited to Leslie Drozd, Ph.D.; Lynn Greenberg, Ph.D., ABPP; Robert Simon, Ph.D.; Leslie Ellen Shear, J.D., CFLS; Lisa Meyer, J.D., CFLS; and Deborah Wald, J.D., CFLS.  A significant number of judicial officers, court administrators and others from all around California were in attendance as well, including the Hon. Philip H. Pennypacker, Judge, Santa Clara County: Hon. Richard G. Vogl, Commissioner (Ret.) Orange County; Hon. Marjorie Slabach, Commissioner (Ret.) San Francisco County; Hon. Michael Whitaker, Judge, Los Angeles County; Hon. Reva Goetz, Judge (Ret.) Los Angeles County; Hon. David Weinberg, Commissioner (Ret.) Orange County; Hon. Robert A. Schnider, Judge (Ret.) Los Angeles County and a number of others.  More than 140 mental health and legal professionals attended one or our four Pre-­Conference Institutes making these Institutes the best-­attended programs of their kind in our history.  Finally, it would simply have been impossible to put on this conference at all without the incredible talents and extraordinary hard work and dedication of our Executive Administrator, Merry Gladchun.  Thank you, Merry!

Lynda Doi Fick, MFT

It was with great sadness and despair that, not long after the conclusion of our February conference, we learned of the passing of one of our long-­standing members, Lynda Doi Fick, MFT.  Lynda was a very proud member of AFCC and one of our staunchest supporters.  Lynda was a friend and a cherished colleague to so many of our members.  She was a highly regarded forensic and clinical practitioner known to so many in both our legal and mental health professional communities.  I knew Lynda for more than 20 years and worked on numerous cases with her in the Juvenile Dependency and Family Law Courts.  She was a “cut to the chase” person who was so very dedicated to getting to the bottom of every problem and seeking a solution.  Tough as Lynda could be, her laugh and her infectious enthusiasm will be irreplaceable.  To say she will be missed seems like such an understatement.  Lynda was a valued  colleague, mentor and friend to us all.

Hon. Thomas Trent Lewis, Judge of the Superior Court of Los Angeles

It is with great pride and excitement that our former AFCC-California President, the Hon.Thomas Trent Lewis, was named the Supervising Judge of Family Law for Los Angeles County in late 2016.  Judge Lewis has been a leading light not only in guiding AFCC, but in the field of legal education and as an innovative  administrator with the Superior Court of California, Los Angeles County.  Prior to his appointment as a Judge, Thomas Trent Lewis was highly regarded family law lawyer, a Certified Family Law Specialist, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.  In his new role, Judge Lewis takes on the  leadership of what is perhaps the largest family law court in the world, with more than 45 judges and other bench officers operating in courts throughout Los Angeles County (for those of you who may not be aware, Los Angeles County is the largest court system in the world, with more than 600 hundred bench officers, in excess of 4,000 employees and an annual budget greater than $900,000,000.00).  We are so grateful for all that Judge Lewis has done for AFCC and all that he will do for our Courts.

Coming Attractions
On the near horizon are several important programs events of interests to our AFCC members and friends, so please keep these in mind:

54th Annual AFCC Conference May 31 to June 3, 2017 Boston, Massachusetts  

2017 AFCC/AAML Conference on Advanced Issues in Child Custody: Evaluation, Litigation and Settlement – September 14-­16, 2017 Westin San Diego, San Diego, California   (See the “Save the Date” announcement on page 3)  

AFCC California 2018 California Conference  February 2-­4, 2018 San Francisco, California  

A Sign the Apocalypse May Be  Upon Us #1

In order to stop toilet paper thieves at a busy tourist site in Beijing, authorities have installed dispensers with “facial recognition” software.  Thankfully, it does not recognize anything else.