8:00 am Welcome
Sarah Newell, JD, NCDAA Vice President
8:15 am Language (Dis)Ability in the Justice System, Part I: What It Is
Gwyneth C. Rost, PhD, CCC-SLP, Senior Lecturer, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Decades of research has shown language impairments occur at a starkly elevated rate among adolescents and adults charged with and convicted of crimes. Common deficiencies include abstract language tasks, information processing, and narrative discourse. These constructs will be identified and discussed using real life examples from pop culture sources like Making a Murderer.
9:00 am Break
9:15 am Language (Dis)Ability in the Justice System, Part II: Why It Matters
Gwyneth C. Rost, PhD
The body of research confirming the high risk of language impairments among juvenile and adult defendants raises a host of questions about the quality of substantive and procedural justice provided, because many constitutional rights are, by their nature, language based and require a satisfactory level of linguistic and communicative ability if they are to be accessed and exercised in a meaningful way. This presentation will break down the impact of language disability in the contexts of competency, interrogation, testimony, and basic client communications.
10:00 am Break
10:15 am Breaking Down Communication Barriers: Tools and Resources for Representing the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
John Wyvill, JD, Executive Director and Kim Davis, Advocacy Specialist, Nebraska Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Whether it is representing a client, advocating for a client, negotiating for a client or mediating for a client, lawyers must understand the ADA and the Nebraska Rules of Professional Conduct in order to fulfill their legal duty to provide equal access to services, including access to their law firms; removing barriers in order to make services available through alternative methods; and promoting diversity within the legal profession.
11:00 am Managing Compassion Fatigue – Using Self-Care and Boundaries to Enhance Ethical Practice (1 hour ethics)
Jea Theis, LIMHP, LCSW, Omaha Therapy and Arts Collaborative
This presentation will provide attendees best practice tips for maintaining self-wellness, including what warning signs to watch for when it comes to professional burnout and mental health, as well as how to maintain personal and professional boundaries and wellness when handling high stress cases.
12:00 pm Lunch (on your own)
1:30 pm How Shaken Baby Syndrome Became Abusive Head Trauma: An Overview of the Research
Robert Rothfeder, MD, JD
This session aims to trace the history and development of “Shaken Baby Syndrome” from an evidence-based medicine perspective. Research on the bio-mechanics of injury thresholds using surrogates and cadavers will be discussed to elucidate how the construct has evolved from Ommaya’s whiplash monkeys and Guthkelch’s crazed nurse-maid to modern definitions and understandings of “Abusive Head Trauma.” The session will also discuss the methodology used to validate “Shaken Baby Syndrome” (SBS) and “Abusive Head Trauma” (AHT).
2:30 pm Break
2:35 pm What We Know Now About the Mechanism of Injury, Short Falls, and SIDS
Robert Rothfeder, MD, JD
This session expands upon the previous presentation by explaining modern medical and bio-mechanical research demonstrating that the original theories of rotational injury through whiplash have been largely debunked. A detailed review of research on retinal hemorrhaging in short falls and reperfusion hemorrhaging in Near-“Sudden Infant Death Syndrome” will provide new understandings of the cause or “mechanism of injury” in SBS/
3:35 pm Break
3:45 pm To Daubert, or Not to Daubert: That is the Question
Michael D. Nelson, U.S. Magistrate Judge, District of Nebraska; Zoe Wade, Douglas County Public Defender; Todd Lancaster, Nebraska Commission on Public Advocacy
This program will focus on the Daubert challenge of expert testimony. Each of the panelists brings a unique perspective and experience litigating this issue.
4:45 pm Closing Remarks
4:50 pm Adjourn