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Our annual conference planning committee has pivoted its efforts and will focus on developing community chats, a facilitated, interactive, remote access program which will occur on each Friday beginning April 3. The first topic is entitled Emerging Use of Remote ADR During COVID-19: An interactive online discussion facilitated by Carl Arnold.

The program is described as, “many mediators and other ADR providers are going exclusively online in order to avoid spreading COVID-19. Join us as we discuss emerging tips, tricks, tools and methods as mediators and other ADR providers go online. Bring your questions and ideas. What do you think is better about remote facilitation? What concerns do you have? This will be an online facilitated discussion.”

Future topics will include a new mediation-arbitration program being developed called Remote Expedited Temporary Relief (RETR) how to keep people safe from domestic violence, how to address parenting time disputes, how do Guardians ad litem work given much of the work involved home visits, what happens with court interpreters when court is permitting more people to appear remotely just to name a few.  We encourage you to share with us ideas you have for other topics, including if you think you could be a facilitator on a topic.

We are not presenting these topics as if we have the final answers. The facilitator will share the facilitator’s perspective on the topic, but the format will allow others to raise concerns or suggestions. We are in unchartered territory, and yet we, collectively, have the most expertise to come up with solutions.

The sign up will be the same as our lunch in learns: for at least the first three conversations, they will be free to members, and $15 for non-members. Feel free to get the word out to any non-members to join to get this benefit. The program will be all remote. I want to thank Traci Capistrant, Jai Kissoon and Carl Arnold for being the consultants on our remote access function.

I also want to share with you that the annual conference, which was going to focus on the intersection of culture and family court and would have required an interactive presence has been postponed from July 30, 2020 until either November or most likely cancelled and presented in July 2021. More on that in a future communication.

The showing of the movie Angst which was going to be a combined program on April 1 at St. Thomas Law School is going to be rescheduled. We are exploring whether we should do that as a remote option or at a later date at St. Thomas Law School.

Our President-Elect - New Developments

AFCC-MN Members, It is with both sadness and excitement that I share the following message with you all. Our President-Elect, Racheal Howitz, is stepping down from her position. Racheal is expecting a


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