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2024 Speakers

6.5 Continuing Education Credits

for legal professionals, social workers and licensed professional counselors. 

Honorable Patti Oppenheim, 22nd JDC

Judge Patti Oppenheim is the Judge for Division K of the 22nd Judicial District Court, one of the two divisions of the Court which focuses on family law, including divorces, custody, child support, spousal support and community property. Her term began on January 1, 2021.

At the conference, she will participate in a panel discussion about drug court as well as present on the implications of AI (artificial intelligence) in the courtroom. 

Honorable Maggie Simar, Hearing Officer, 16th JDC

Since 2003, Maggie Simar has been the Hearing Officer for the 16th Judicial District’s Family Court docket. In that capacity, she hears and pre-try all family filings, including custody, child support, domestic violence litigation, spousal support, use of property, community property and any other ancillary issue pending from divorce, custody or domestic violence litigation, including criminal non support. Prior to serving in this capacity, she was in private practice for 5 years, practicing exclusively family law. Before private practice, she worked for the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, in the criminal department, concentrating on Juvenile Appeals and other Post Conviction Relief.


At the conference, she will participate in a panel discussion about drug court as well as present on the implications of AI (artificial intelligence) in the courtroom. 

Mike Fonseca

Mike Fonseca is a knowledgeable professional in the Family Law industry who specializes in Alcohol Monitoring Technology for Soberlink. He has given educational lectures to over 1700 different lawyers, attorneys, judges and mediators on alcohol monitoring in family law.

At the conference,  he will explore the facts around the disease of Alcohol Use Disorder and how it plays into developing parenting plans around child custody decisions and safety.  Best practices will be reviewed around testing and both compliant and non-compliant behavior. 

Kevin Dorsey

Kevin is a professional liaison for the OurFamilyWizard® website.
His role includes educating judges, attorneys, mediators, GAL’s,
and other family law professionals on the online tools that can be
utilized to benefit and monitor parental communication in high
conflict cases. Kevin graduated from the University of Denver receiving a BA in Music and Political Science.

At the conference, Kevin will be sharing updates to OurFamilyWizard that can be used by professionals working with court-involved families.

Heather Landry, LPC-S

Heather T. Landry is a Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor.  She is licensed in Louisiana as well as many other states.

A University of Louisiana at Lafayette Ragin Cajun and McNeese State University Alumni, as well as a former Secondary Mathematics Educator, Heather founded PBH Behavioral Consulting and Counseling LLC to provide secure, HIPAA approved, Telehealth, private, licensed mental health services to Louisiana, Texas, Washington, and Nevada residents.

She proudly maintains merit as a Qualified Parent Coordinator, Mediator, Child Custody Evaluator, Parent Plan Evaluator, Reunification Therapist, and Accelerated Resolution Therapist.

At the conference, she will be discussing how including a mental health professional on your legal team can benefit your clients and your cases. 

Renee Roberts- Gassen

Renee Roberts-Gassen is currently serving Attorney General Liz Murrill as her Director of Outreach in the LA Department of Justice.  Renee has an extensive career in state and local government spanning over 36 years.  Having served as an committee analyst for the Joint Legislative Capital Outlay Committee, the Assistant Director of Legislative Affairs for Governor M.J. ‘Mike’ Foster, Jr. and Legislative Liaison for the past three St. Tammany Parish Presidents.  A native of Baton Rouge, earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Southeastern Louisiana University.  She one of those L.S.U Baseball fanatics and is happy to talk sports with anyone.

At the conference, she will be discussing the current elder abuse statute and our role as professionals. 

Lisa Williams, LCSW-BACS

Lisa LeBon Williams, LCSW-BACS is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in private practice. She currently works with individuals and families who are managing the effects of traumatic events including court related matters. Lisa graduated with degrees in Education and Social Work from Louisiana State University, and has two decades of experience providing compassionate care to individuals facing challenging interpersonal dynamics.

At the conference, she will be discussing ways that legal and mental health professionals can advocate for clients without escalating high-conflict behaviors in order to get better outcomes for families. 

Douglas Balash

Doug Balash is the owner of BAL and Associates. He graduated from the University of Mississippi in 1997. He is breath alcohol technician trainer, and professional instructor in the use of breath alcohol tests. In addition, he is certified in DNA, hair and saliva collection 

At the conference, he will be a part of our Drug Testing 101 panel which will provide attendees with the nuts and bolts about the limitations and the capabilities of drug testing in family court. 

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