Monday, December 16, 2013

Welcome Grant and David

We are really excited that Grant Dickenson and David Boyer have joined the PDA.  Some of you may not know them, so we'd like to provide the following introductions.

David R. Boyer is an attorney whose focus of practice, since 2000, has been parental and juvenile defense.

In 2009, Mr. Boyer left private practice and joined the Utah County Public Defender’s Association. In his capacity as a public defender, Mr. Boyer is primarily assigned to the Provo, Fourth District Juvenile Court.

From 2003 to 2006, Mr. Boyer contracted as a Parental Defense presenter, with the National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP). In that capacity Mr. Boyer assisted an organized team of drug court professionals in training and implementing Family Drug Courts on a national basis.

Mr. Boyer was honored in 2012 by the Parental Defense Alliance to be presented Trial Lawyer of the Year.

Mr. Boyer received his juris doctorate degree from Brigham Young University, a bachelors of science degree in psychology from Brigham Young University and a certificate of Alternative Dispute Resolution from the University of Utah.

Grant Dickinson has been a member of the Parental Defense Alliance since 2010.  Grant’s practice focuses mainly in Utah County and like many of our members focuses on Parental Defense, Criminal Defense, and Family Law related cases.

Grant achieved the Parental Defense Alliance 2012 Appellate Attorney of the Year for a case in which he finally obtained a reversal of the trial court’s termination of his client’s parental rights in L.G. v. State.  The main issue in this case is rights of incarcerated parents.

While studying at Willamette University, Grant served each year on the executive board of Willamette University’s Public Interest Law Project. 

Prior to Law School, Grant was employed at the Fourth District Court as  Deputy Clerk in Commissioner Patton’s Court and also as a Deputy Probation Officer.

Feel free to leave a welcome note in the comments.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Sharon Sipes Takes the Bench

I am sure that most of you have heard that our own Sharon Sipes has been sworn in as a judge in the Second District following the retirement of Judge Iwasaki.

In many ways Sharon has been the face of the Parental Defense Alliance and its most stalwart supporter.  We are sad to lose her.  However, our loss is the gain of all those who will enter her court room.  Sharon's intelligence and experience will make her an excellent judge.  Her wit and her humor will make it enjoyable to appear before her.  We all wish her well in her new endeavor and know that the decisions she will make will benefit Utah families.

Good luck, Sharon!  (I mean Judge Sipes).

If you'd like to wish Sharon well, you are welcome to leave comments below.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

DCFS SDM Training

Last Friday, on October 11, 2013, the Parental Defense Alliance (PDA) held a free Lunch and CLE at the Utah Valley Convention Center in Provo, Utah.  The presenters were from the Division of Child and Family Services (DCFS) and instructed us regarding the new Structured Decision Making (SDM) process that they are implementing throughout the state.

The DCFS has been training their caseworkers regarding SDM, but the PDA is the first group to request and receive the training outside of the division.  Those who attended received helpful instruction regarding how the DCFS caseworkers will be making decisions regarding families and services.

One attendee let us know:
"Having a good understanding of SDM is extremely helpful to determine whether DCFS used correct criteria to remove children from custody of parents and whether children can be safely returned or maintained at home with ongoing services."

Another said:
"This training offered information absolutely necessary to understand the decision making process behind DCFS decisions to get involved in a family.  If the decision is to get involved, how intrusive the involvement will be and what considerations to decide when to get out of the case."
For those of you who missed the training, we are excited to let you know that we are working on providing a video recorded version on our website.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Check Out Our New Website!

If you haven't had a chance to explore the new website, this video highlights some of the features.

We hope that you enjoy the new design and that the resources are of benefit to you in your practice.

Our First Blog Post

We here at the Parental Defense Alliance are pretty excited that we are starting a blog!  We hope this will be a place that we can keep you up to date regarding the happenings of the PDA, including workshops and trainings, as well as other matters related to child welfare.  You can sign up to receive notifications of blog posts in the left column (and we hope you will).  Feel free to also subscribe to our RSS feed.

We hope that you will use the comment section of this blog to provide us with feedback to to discuss the topics we present.